Ah Le mans. 24 hours of fast cars and yelling at the tv when the team you wanted to win actually doesn’t because their car broke down. Twice. But lets not start with Toyota, lets start with the 3rd podium finisher, er, would be third if someone didn’t decide to cheat…
I remember in 1st grade (primary school for you Europeans) my class was doing a crossword puzzle. I sucked (and still suck) at crossword puzzles so I just leaned over and copied someone’s answers. I felt so slick, like I could get away with anything… Well until the teacher came and ripped up my paper. That story proposes a good analogy to what happened to Rebellion’s Le Mans pole winner, 3rd place finisher car. During the race the car suffered damage to the starter. To access the starter, the team would have to open the cover, and this would be at every pit stop. Someone, feeling lazy, decided to cut a hole to the starter and tape it up when it’s done, which, by FIA rules, is cheating. Why? Modifying a car mid race is kinda wrong, as it might grant an advantage another team doesn’t have. So rebellion got kicked off the podium, you, as many others say “Who cares about LMP-2!” lots of people do. And if you’re a fan of Daytona prototypes you should love LMP-2. But the race had some other down falls…
Like everything TOYOTA
The leading car, the number 7 which had set the lap record in the days prior, was getting a driver swap when he was instructed to leave the pit, but wait, no he wasn’t, and then he was again, and then wasn’t. Starting up and stopping the car put it’s tole of the TSO’s clutch, causing it to fail during the first lap when the yellow flags where pulled. The #8 suffered mechanical issues, with it’s front clip having to be swapped with the already down #7. Porsche wasn’t having it either, hell, they almost lost the race! Low pressure caused the #1 to stop, but there was still one Porsche left. The #1 crapped on itself when the front hybrid drive died, causing a lengthy pit stop, which, for the first time in history, caused an LMP-2 car to be on pole. Of course the number 9 Toyota would get a puncture and crap on itself, leaving only the #8 to parade around the field eventually coming in 8th place. As you probbaly know, Porsche won, hell, they barely won, and as much as I wanted Toyota to win, I am so happy Porsche brought it home.
Did PORSCHE deserve this win?
If effort to win is a deciding factor, Porsche had the most effort. They where damn near the back of the field, behind nearly all LMP cars and WHAM, they pushed and raced and flew to first place, barely one lap ahead of it’s closest rival. It was an honest win for them but a hard lose for others. 2007. Corvette racing and Aston Martin Racing had a dramatic show down. In the end, Aston won. This year somehow topped that. Aston and Vette where neck and neck until, bam, the corvette breaks on the last lap. Couldn’t get more heart breaking than that. Racing for 24 hours and then, right at the end, your car breaks. Couldn’t get more heartbreaking than that.
Oh, there was a privateer LMP-1 team
You might have forgotten ByKolles racing, the only private LMP-1 entry this year. Why? A tire puncture and a wave of bad luck brought the car down on the second lap. 10 minutes into 24 hours and you’re already out. Guess you’ve got a whole free day!
So what did you think of this years Le Mans. It certainly was interesting to say the least!