lemans_2010

It is truly the time for excellent sporting events. Not only do we have the World Cup 2010 happening, but today, June 11, is the start of the 78th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I’m so excited for it, and you should be too. Here’s why:

Held in Le Mans, Sarthe, France, it is one of the oldest and most amazing racing circuits in the world. It is, actually, the oldest endurance sports car race in the history of automotive racing. And it’s the most popular racing event in the world.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans was the start of something that has carried on ever since its happening in 1967… The spraying of champagne, instead of drinking it. It was Dan Gurney, along with his co-pilot A.J. Foyt, who won the endurance race in 1967, and he and Foyt were not the favorites to win. No, in fact, it was widely reported that their Ford GT40 Mk IV would have a horrible race. The biggest reason was because Gurney and Foyt were rivals. But they ended up beating Ferrari, for the second time in a row. Upon seeing Carroll Shelby, the team owner, and Henry Ford II, along with all of the reporters and team staff below the podium, he started spraying his champagne over everyone to show his dominance and the love of proving everyone wrong. This is now the greatest tradition in motorsports.

The race has a wild and amazing history. Did you realize that the cars have to be shut off during refueling? This is for safety, but also to test the abilities of the race cars to be started and shut off multiple times to test their real credibility as good cars.

I could go on and on about how amazing the race is, but in the end, you just have to watch it for yourself. Below are pictures of the race, but most importantly, there are two spotter guides that you can either print off and use while watching the race on television, or you can keep them saved on your computer and look at them while watching the race live, either by the tele or via online showings.

The race coverage starts at 8:30 AM EST live on Speed TV, and then live coverage will take place starting at 12:30 PM EST until 6 PM EST on Speed’s online webcast. After the webcast is over, Speed TV will pick it back up going all the way through the end.

Below is also the running order of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. I’ll tell you right now, Peugeot has the first four spots on the grid, as well as, obviously, taking the LMP1 pole. Strakka Racing, with their Honda powered ARX, took the LMP2 pole, and the 15th spot on the grid. The pole of GT1 class was taken by Young Driver AMR, with their Aston Martin DBR9, and the 31st grid placement. And for GT2, it was a hard fought battle… but Fisi Competizione took it with the number 82 Ferrari F430, only to be thrown to the last spot on the grid (55th) because of an illegal wing. So the number 1 and 2 spots go to Corvette Racing and their C6.R GT2 racing cars, with 64 taking first and car number 63 taking second spot, for the 36th and 37th spots on the grid, respectively. May I also add that this is Corvette Racing’s first season in GT2, and that they have 6 GT1 24 Hours of Le Mans victories to their name since the C5-R and the C6.R programs began.

Let us also pour a little bit out for our homies, because GT1 racing is out at Le Mans after this race. Sad, I know.

Qualifying Results (taken from Wikipedia):

Pos No. Team Class Day 1[14] Day 2[15] Gap Grid
1 3 Peugeot Sport Total LMP1 3:19.711 3:20.212 1
2 1 Team Peugeot Total LMP1 3:20.317 3:22.007 +0.606 2
3 2 Team Peugeot Total LMP1 3:20.325 3:20.961 +0.614 3
4 4 Team Oreca Matmut LMP1 3:21.129 3:23.141 +1.481 4
5 9 Audi Sport North America LMP1 3:23.578 3:21.981 +2.270 5
6 7 Audi Sport Team Joest LMP1 3:24.688 3:22.176 +2.465 6
7 8 Audi Sport Team Joest LMP1 3:24.430 3:23.605 +3.894 7
8 007 Aston Martin Racing LMP1 3:26.680 3:29.369 +6.969 8
9 009 Aston Martin Racing LMP1 3:26.747 3:28.869 +7.036 9
10 6 AIM Team Oreca Matmut LMP1 3:30.056 3:29.506 +9.795 10
11 008 Signature-Plus LMP1 3:29.774 3:37.142 +10.063 11
12 14 Kolles LMP1 3:30.907 3:31.870 +11.196 12
13 15 Kolles LMP1 3:31.661 3:34.401 +11.950 13
14 11 Drayson Racing LMP1 3:36.634 3:31.862 +12.151 14
15 42 Strakka Racing LMP2 3:36.168 3:33.079 +13.368 15
16 12 Rebellion Racing LMP1 No Time 3:33.490 +13.779 16
17 26 Highcroft Racing LMP2 3:37.202 3:34.537 +14.826 17
18 5 Beechdean Mansell LMP1 3:36.897 3:38.367 +17.186 18
19 13 Rebellion Racing LMP1 3:44.101 3:37.093 +17.382 19
20 25 RML LMP2 3:44.598 3:39.648 +19.937 20
21 40 Quifel ASM Team LMP2 3:41.968 3:40.532 +20.821 21
22 35 OAK Racing LMP2 3:42.399 3:41.310 +21.599 22
23 19 Michael Lewis/Autocon LMP1 4:00.646 3:43.167 +23.456 23
24 29 Racing Box SRL LMP2 3:51.065 3:47.971 +28.260 24
25 41 Team Bruichladdich LMP2 3:55.680 3:51.189 +31.478 25
26 39 KSM LMP2 3:52.972 3:51.310 +31.599 26
27 24 OAK Racing LMP2 3:52.730 3:52.008 +32.297 27
28 38 Pegasus Racing LMP2 4:03.784 3:52.837 +33.126 28
29 37 Gerard Welter LMP2 3:55.818 3:53.109 +33.398 29
30 28 Race Performance AG LMP2 3:59.361 3:53.942 +34.231 30
31 52 Young Driver AMR LMGT1 3:55.025 4:02.133 +35.314 31
32 70 Marc VDS Racing Team LMGT1 4:00.325 3:55.356 +35.645 32
33 60 Matech Competition LMGT1 3:57.296 3:55.583 +35.872 33
34 73 Luc Alphand Aventures LMGT1 3:58.810 4:14.438 +39.099 34
35 72 Luc Alphand Aventures LMGT1 3:58.906 4:03.423 +39.195 35
36 82 Risi Competizione LMGT2 3:59.2334 4:03.104 +39.522 55
37 64 Corvette Racing LMGT2 4:01.012 3:59.435 +39.724 36
38 63 Corvette Racing LMGT2 4:00.097 3:59.793 +40.082 37
39 95 AF Corse SRL LMGT2 4:02.492 3:59.837 +40.126 38
40 61 Matech Competition LMGT1 4:11.566 4:01.628 +41.917 39
41 77 Team Felbermayr-Proton LMGT2 4:02.001 4:01.640 +41.929 40
42 76 IMSA Performance Matmut LMGT2 4:01.755 4:06.630 +42.044 41
43 78 BMW Motorsport LMGT2 4:04.986 4:01.893 +42.182 42
44 97 BMS Scuderia Italia SpA LMGT2 4:06.278 4:02.014 +42.303 43
45 89 Hankook Team Farnbacher LMGT2 4:03.886 4:02.427 +42.716 44
46 96 AF Corse SRL LMGT2 4:02.615 No Time +42.904 WD
47 80 Flying Lizard Motorsports LMGT2 4:08.315 4:02.685 +42.974 45
48 50 Larbre Compétition LMGT1 4:03.175 4:06.091 +43.464 46
49 79 BMW Motorsport LMGT2 4:05.851 4:03.215 +43.504 47
50 83 Risi Competizione LMGT2 4:03.959 4:13.047 +44.248 48
51 85 Spyker Squadron LMGT2 4:06.997 4:04.057 +44.346 49
52 92 JMW Motorsport LMGT2 4:06.391 4:04.303 +44.592 50
53 69 JLOC LMGT1 4:13.368 4:05.170 +45.459 51
54 75 Prospeed Competition LMGT2 4:14.578 4:10.017 +50.306 52
55 88 Team Felbermayr-Proton LMGT2 4:10.054 4:20.293 +50.343 53
56 81 Jaguar RSR LMGT2 4:13.537 4:12.431 +52.720 54

Here are the regulations that make LMP1, LMP2, GT1 and GT2 classes what they are (taken from LeMans.org):

“PROTOTYPES”

The “Prototype” category refers to cars exclusively developed for competition on track and which meet the technical regulations of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. The performance levels and technological development make this category overeign in endurance.

“GRAND TOURING”

The “Grand Touring” category features cars derived from models homologated for road use and which can be purchased. A minimum of 100 road cars must be built by the major car manufacturers and a minimum of 25 for the smaller makes. Easily identifiable by the public, the GTs always achieve great success.

Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1):
dagys_13679

“Open or closed cockpits, technologically ultra-sophisticated, the LMP1 cars battle for the overall race win. In this category, there are the powerful Audi R10s, the high-performance Courage Orecas, and also the Lola Coupés with the Aston Martin engines, the Pescarolos, the Ginetta-Zyteks…and, of course, the new official Aston Martins!

A wonderful diversity for the queen of the categories which will once again guarantee a good show.

N.B: As from 2010, LMP1 hybrid cars will be regularly classified.

Let’s us remember the main LMP1 characteristics, but also the fact that since 2008, the cars are using petrol made up of 10% of ethanol, as well as Diesel BTL. It is about second-generation biofuels, elaborated from the non-edible part of plants.”

  • Minimum weight: 900kg for petrol-fuelled cars and 930 kg for diesels
  • Wing length: 1m60
  • Maximum engine capacity: 6,000cc for petrol atmospheric engines, 4,000cc for turbo engines and 5,500cc for diesel engines
  • Maximum disc diameter: 38cm
  • Tank capacity: 90 litres (81 litres for diesel engines)
  • Headlamp beam: White
  • Race numbers: 1-24
  • LMP1 Category sticker: red

Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2):
pruett_lm242010_mon_099

“Lighter and less powerful than the LMP1′s, the LMP2s can also have either open or closed cockpits and are essentially reserved for private teams. Among them, we find the Lolas with Mazda engines, the Pescarolo-Mazdas of the OAK Racing team, and also some Porsche RS Spyders and other Ginetta-Zyteks.

In 2008, several changes were made in the regulations with the aim of reducing costs. Thus, to avoid the additional costs of research into how to reduce the weight of the cars, that of the  in LMP2s has been raised by 50kg. With  this same way of reasoning as LMP1, the use of mass-produced engines has been authorised.”

  • Minimum weight: 825kg
  • Wing length: 1m60
  • Maximum engine capacity: 3,400ccs and a maximum of 8 cylinders for atmospheric engines or 2,000ccs with a single turbo and a maximum of 6 cylinders for turbo engines
  • Maximum disc diameter: 38cm
  • Tank capacity: 80 litres
  • Headlamp beam: White
  • Race numbers: 25-49
  • LMP2 category sticker: blue

Le Mans Grand Touring 1 (LMGT1):
Young_Driver_Aston_Martin_Silverstone

“In the LM GT1 category, the Saleens will represent the category. Considerably modified compared to their mass-produced counterparts, the LM GT1 cars with a power output that can reach 560bhp with a minimum weight of 1,200kg or 600 bhp with a minimum weight of 1,250kg. Top speeds often near those of the Prototypes.”

The rules of the category is from now on open to the new generation of LM GT1s.

There has been no change to the regulations since 2007:

  • Minimum weight: 560 bhp with a minimum weight of 1,200kg or 600 bhp with a minimum weight of 1,250kg
  • Maximum width: 210cm
  • Maximum engine capacity: 8,000ccs for atmospheric engines, 4,000cc for turbocharged engines
  • Carbon brakes authorised
  • Tank capacity: 90 litres
  • Maximum 6 speed gearbox
  • Headlamp beam: Yellow
  • Race numbers: 50-74
  • LM GT1 category sticker: green

Le Mans Grand Touring 2 (LMGT2):
dagys_9616

“Less modified than the LM GT1′s, they are also less powerful (between 450 and 500bhp). The 2010 season displays a wonderful diversity in this category, which should delight both novices and motorsport lovers alike, thanks to the duels between the Porsche 997s, the Ferrari F430s, the BMW M3s, or again the powerful Spyker C8s and the Aston Martins Vantage V8s.”

There have been no technical changes made to this fiercely competitive category for 2010.

  • Minimum weight: 1,145kg
  • Maximum width: 200cm
  • Maximum engine capacity identical to the LM GT1 category
  • Carbon brakes forbidden (exclusively iron based)
  • Tank capacity: 90 litres
  • Maximum 6 speed gearbox
  • Headlight beam: Yellow
  • Race numbers: 75-99
  • LM GT2 category stickers: Orange

The spotter guides for this year’s race were designed by Andy Blackmore. As well as making the guides for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Andy has made spotter guides for multiple racing series’ and are all available on SpotterGuides.com. It is also asked that you possibly donate to Miles to End Malaria. Just sending a quick text message to the phone number provided, $10 is added to your phone bill. With that money, a simple bed net is sent to help someone in need in Africa. As you know, malaria is a horrible disease that kills between 1 and 3 million people in many different parts of the world, but mainly Africa. Most of them are children… I’ve donated to the cause, and you may want to think about it yourself.

[Photos taken from: SpeedTV]

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