Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2017 LeMans 24hr reaction

GTE Am
It could have happened exactly as we had predicted it, were it not for that
exploding Dunlop tire on the 98 Aston Martin.

We completely overlooked the JMW team. We just did not expect Will Stevens to do the lion's share of the driving. Even then he was flawless. He's auditioniong
for a factroy drive. LPM1/DPi, and GTEPro/GTLM managers take notice. But the
Scuderia Corsa #62 was also in the mix as we predicted.

GTE Pro
Corvette should have won. They did not. When we saw Jordan Taylor get in the

car for what seemed like the last stint we didn't care who was in any other car
we began celebrating as if corvette had already won. He is the real deal. But
then they put in Magnussen. He probably wasn't doing the same lap times as
Taylor, so they then put Taylor back in. Jordan Taylor should have never got out
of the car. with all respect due to seniority, they messed up Jordan's rhythm
with the switch. What's that?...oh...yeah. We had heard a while back that Jordan Taylor was daunted by the prospect of having to fight off a Scott Dixon in the last stint of the Daytona 24hrs. But that was a few years ago. He has matured right? Or did Jonathan get to him?

No.

As proof Johnathan Adam in a faster Aston Martin was unable to keep in front of Taylor, and even lost ground to him. But then a "racing incident" happened. Corvette Racing fans should just be happy that their team was able to prove its mettle once again on the world stage.

Would Garcia or Mags have splashed the C7R in the gravel? They know the car's
outer limits more than Jordan Taylor, so we're pressed to say no, but they would first have to get past Adam in the rocket ship Aston. Could they have
gotten past him? The Corvette brain trust thought Taylor the better closer given how the race unfolded.

GTE Pro lived up to the billing as the most entertaining class...as we called
it.

LMP2
In Daytona the Riley had no issues. At LeMans the mechanics got into a rhythm

repairing issue after issue. What gives? It may be that updated parts that were
meant to increase the car's pace just weren't reliable, and still yielded poor
pace. A double whammy.

Did we menton that Jackie Chan DC Racing and Rebellion and Alpine would be
fighting for top honors? Check.

Well G-Drive shot itself in the foot with both cars; but both of their cars had the lineups, and organization to fight up front.

Whenever we looked a the timing and scoring, Felipe Albuquerque was in the United Autosport car. He probably drove the maximum hours he could. But it worked for them. They almost made the podium. Ligier, Dallara, and Riley should begin development work for next year already. Or they would just have to be happy servicing Nissan, Cadillac, and Mazda DPis in IMSA. Because come next year if the pace doesn't pick up, some of the best funded non Oreca teams (SMP, United, Keating,...) will switch to Orecas for Lemans.

With an Oreca, United Autosport could have been on the overall podium given their 5th place overall with a Ligier.

Our personal gripe is that once the ACO saw the higher top speeds at LeMans
for LMP2 car they should have restricted them further. But then the teams might grumble at why they have to have a special restrictor just for Lemans which would be another expense for them. Those without machining capabality at the track would have to subcontract the task to fellow teams or an independent contractor...$$$.

LMP1
This was just an unworthy display. What's the point of spending tens of millions

on a car that barely outdoes a car costing half of a million. Sure, in a shorter
race the P1's would have no trouble against the LMP2 brigade. But this was 24hrs and everyone knew this coming in.

The car we really feel for is the #9 Toyota. Lapierre drove too fast on his way back to the pits after his puncture. Had he put on the pit speed limiter and lost about 2 laps coming back to the pits, we think Toyota would have won it. But he knew about the fierce nature of the #1 Porsche's drivers. They put pressure on him to get moving. He wrecked the car. 

The #9 Toyota was far ahead of the #2 Porsche. The #1 would have retired later on and yielded first place to Toyota. Sure clutch problems could have crept up, but having fixed it on the #8 car they would have been ready, and done it faster.

It's ironic that when Mark Webber retires, his car finally wins the race...with another Australian in his place. Just his luck.

It sounds good coming from the the FIA president, but don't believe it. It's not good for LMP2s to share the overal podium with LMP1 cars. What if an LMP2 car had won it overall? None of the P1 teams would be happy.  It would mean the P1 regulations were a total failure, and a waste of resources.