«The Club Arnage Guide to the 24 hours of Le Mans 2015 Every input was pure reflex - things were coming at me everywhere I looked. For about 50 ...»
Le Mans (not just) for Dummies
The Club Arnage Guide
to the 24 hours of Le Mans 2015
"Every input was pure reflex - things were coming at me everywhere I looked. For
about 50 percent of the lap I felt like I was on the verge of a massive accident."
Mark Blundell commenting his pole position lap in a 1.100 hp Nissan Group C at Le Mans 1990
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2The Club Arnage Guide to the 24 hours of Le Mans 2015Table of content
Hall of fame
Call for Donations…………………………………………………………………………………………………………... 6
The Le Mans Start………………………
Useful stuff Transport in Le Mans ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 71 The A.C.O. village………………………………………………………………………………………………................ 74 Golf Course
First aid – the Medical Center…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74 Funfair
Banking services / ATMs at the circuit…………………………………………………………………………………… 75 Internet Access
Visitors with physical disabilities
Le Mans – Not Just ‘Boys With Toys.’
On the run - Escaping the traffic at the end of the race
Toyota: Last year saw them winning the WEC and they arrive at Le Mans with the prestigious start no. 1 and as the reigning champions – but let’s be honest: It’s the Le Mans victory that counts, anything else is just a bonus. One of rd last year’s lessons for the Japanese team is clearly “Thou shalt not come to Le Mans without a 3 car” but obviously the Japanese manufacturer doesn’t want to spend the money on one. However, it’s excellent news for all fans that they have committed to stay until 2017 in the WEC – which is something we would like to hear from Audi too. The cars look strong and reliable but have failed to really impress so far. Both cars were clearly off the pace in the first 2 WEC rounds as well as on the test day – but Le Mans isn’t about speed only and their test day lap times were probably just sandbagging.
Audi: In 2014 they were slower than Toyota, but in the end it was the Audi-typical mixture of endurance, flawless driving, reliability and their capability to quickly replace broken parts (turbocharger change in less than 15 minutes, tell this to your local workshop!) which got them on top of the podium again. For 2015 they decided to focus on more speed, upgraded the electric part of the power system to 4 MegaJoules (MJ) and as a result they were the quickest car and winners at the season openers in Silverstone and Spa – and their lap times were not much behind Porsche and well ahead of Toyota on the test day.
rd Porsche: They are taking a 3 car to Le Mans this year – and with drivers Hülkenberg, Bamber and Tandy a strong line-up for it. A big welcome to Niko Hülkenberg on this occasion, it’s been a while since an active F1 driver competed at Le Mans in parallel. Porsche was the fastest in the pre-season Paul Ricard test; and to sort out any reliability issues they did more than 30.000 km of testing, a similar effort to Audi and Toyota. They also have increased the Hybrid part of the car and have moved to the highest MJ – class, which gives them a combined output of about 1.000 hp. Everything they did at Zuffenhausen in the last months clearly spells: “We want to win!”. Full kudos for the livery of the #17, picking up the historic design of the Le Mans winning Herrmann/Attwood Porsche 917 is a great idea.
Nissan: Producing big amounts of media reports without doing much racing – that was what we saw last year from them, when they did just 5 laps. I would not be surprised if their effort for 2015 ends in a similar fashion. A couple of slow test laps at Sebring was all what they presented to the general public before calling off the WEC prologue test and the first 2 rounds at Silverstone and Spa. By mid-April they had done less than 4.000 km of testing and managed just one back-to-back stint. At the test day they couldn’t even match the pace of most LMP2 cars. Once again it looks like the Nissan marketing guys had more saying than the engineers! No mistake: The GT-R LM NISMO looks ultracool and all fans I’ve talked to like the approach of trying something completely different. But is that all what a global manufacturer the size of Nissan has to offer after more than one year of development and a lot of ballyhoo? Let’s hope they keep going and we see something respectable from them in 2016.
Drivers: The WEC has become one of the most attractive series for professional race drivers – especially since rival series F1 seems to be unable to produce grids of more than 20 cars – and almost half of the drivers are paying for their seat there. In the WEC there are currently about 50 drivers earning good money in the LMP1 and the GTE pro class works cars. Many of them have multi-year contracts, since consistency in driver pairings is a key factor for success in endurance racing. Of course, no one makes the silly money which drivers like Vettel, Hamilton or Alonso are earning in F1, but contracts with a solid 6-digit or in some cases 7-digit yearly income aren’t that bad. Even the LMP2 and GTE Am classes see some paid drivers, usually financed by the typical gentleman (pay) driver in these classes.
Works Teams vs. Privateers in LMP1: With the current rule book it looks like the days when privateers could compete with the factory teams in the top category are definitely over. To race an up-to-date LMP1-Hybrid requires coaches full of engineers and truckloads of IT equipment – this is well beyond the capabilities of teams like Rebellion, ByKolles and the like. Even more surprising though that just one year after its introduction they ended the LMP1-L class and integrated it with the LMP1-H class again. But just 3 cars probably don’t justify a class of its own.
The track: In the last few years the A.C.O. have been trying desperately to keep lap times above 3:30 min., a mark which they consider safe for the current track standard. It looks like this year they will fail more than ever. Even on the test day with its difficult track conditions and the usual sandbagging last year’s pole time of 3:21 was broken.
Assuming good weather and a dry track I expect lap times around 3:15 in Qualifying.
Clear favourites: None! Toyota, Audi and Porsche are all capable of winning; the same applies to Aston Martin, Chevy, Porsche and Ferrari in the GTE Pro category. I expect thrilling battles in all classes.
On behalf of Club Arnage, I wish all of you exciting 24 hours!
Werner Kirchmann Editor
Adrian Jackson-Woods aka “ajw”; Allon Stokes; Graig; Anita Williams aka “Piglet; Bas de Graf aka “Bas“; Andrew Hawley aka “Andy Zarse”; Calum Cousins aka “ccr32 “; Chris Clark aka “Chris24”; Chris Howles; Chris Norris aka “dukla2000” Christopher aka “Kpy”; clkgtrlm1; Dave Davies aka “Grand Fromage”; Deborah Dudley aka “termietermite”; Ian Dudley aka “Mr. Termite”; Derek Appleyard aka “Delboy”; Ewan Dalton aka “ewan”; “Fagey”;
“Fran”; Geoff Morgan aka “smokie” Hansgerd Bramann aka “hgb”; Ian Swan; Jason Gore aka “Jason”; John Curtis;
John Dickinson aka “6Euros”; John G; John Brooks; John Hindhaugh; JPS Beemer; Julian aka “Jules G”; Justin Moran; “Lorry” ; “Lofty”; Kristof Vermeulen aka “Dottore”; “landman”; Marcel ten Caat; Marius van Herpen; Mark Every aka “jpchenet”; Mark Williams aka ”mgmark”; “Martini”; “mwbennett”; Neil Dobson aka “Dobbo”; Nick Livingstone aka “nickliv”; Paul Richards aka “Risky”; Paul Robertson aka “Robbo”; “rdj-pics“; Rick Wilson aka “Mr. Rick”; “Rhino”; Rob Preston aka “RobP”; Robert Walsh aka “Pilgrim”; Rupert Lowes aka “Nordic”; Simon Lowes akak “SL” ; “SmithA”;
“Slash”; Steve Barnes aka “SJ”; Steve Brown aka “Steve Pyro”; “stu_mchugh”; Thierry Charge; Tony Brown aka “lynxd67”; Trevor aka “topcatz” and of course thanks to all Club Arnage moderators and administrators for keeping the CA forum up and running!
2015 edition: Special thanks to John Stevens, Tony Brown and Geoff for their pictures for the entry list!
Thank you for choosing to download this year’s Club Arnage (CA) guide. As usual the guide is free. However we are once again asking you to spare a few Pounds / Euros / Dollars for charity as a way of thanks to those who gave their time and skills putting the guide together. Thanks to the few who donated last year, but overall it was disappointing!
A trackside beer at Le Mans is around €6, and we think the guide is worth at least one! Please don’t be a cheap Charlie, it’s all for a good cause!
Once again, our chosen charities are:
Association of International Cancer Research, charity registration no. SC022918: The AICR funds cutting edge research into the causes of cancer. In the past 26 years, they have supported a large variety of projects in all corners of the world. Currently they have more than 220 projects underway. For further details please see www.aicr.org.uk Motorsport Safety Fund, charity registration no. 296802: After the death of Roger Williamson at Zandvoort in 1974, a fund was set up in his name with the primary aim of educating marshals on fire fighting and rescue techniques. In 1987, it was reconstituted as the Motor Racing Safety Fund and became a registered UK charity with the wider scope to generally aid improvements in safety standards at motorsport events. For further details please see www.motorsportsafetyfund.com Payment can be made by bank transfer or Paypal to the Club Arnage Charity Fund from where the funds will be divided equally to each of the 2 charities listed above.
Bank transfer: Account name: Club Arnage, Bank: Natwest Bank, Sort Code: 60-03-27, A/c Number:
78121477, IBAN: GB31 NWBK 6003 2778 1214 77, BIC: NWBK GB 2L Paypal: Please go to www.paypal.co.uk and donate to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: You need a paypal-account to do so. Please ensure your payment via Paypal is marked as a Charitable Donation which will not attract any fees.
Thank you very much in advance Club Arnage
Initial version courtesy of Marcel ten Caat, Gabriel Portos and www.planetlemans.com. All pictures are in the public domain except as noted otherwise.
Once upon a time…