2011 24 Heures du Mans - 79th Grand Prix d'Endurance, June 11-12 - Race Week Thread

settler

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Wow, what a race that was! Deserved win for Audi with just car on the track. It was sad when Davidson and Gene became a moving blockade. I hoped that team could win, but what they did after Wurz's crash was just stupid :(.

Also a nice anniversary for Chevy with both GT wins.
 

bone

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what was the total distance travelled by the winning audi? (and what is the record? - with all the safety cars, i assume it isn't broken?)
 
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settler

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This year total distance for winner was 4838.30 km, record was broken last year with 5410.71 km.
 

Martin90

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what was the total distance travelled by the winning audi? (and what is the record? - with all the safety cars, i assume it isn't broken?)
355 laps, 4838km (3006 miles). No distance record, as that's still at 397 laps, set by the lead Audi last year.
 

Hazardous

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On the trivia side, it was the lowest distance covered by the winner since 2001 (4381.65 km). I guess the weather that year was pretty bad which slowed the cars down, couldn't find a proper race report with a quick googling.
 

settler

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On the trivia side, it was the lowest distance covered by the winner since 2001 (4381.65 km). I guess the weather that year was pretty bad which slowed the cars down, couldn't find a proper race report with a quick googling.
Yes, it was because of rain they did so few laps in 2001.
 

scpunk11

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that was an incredible race. one of the best I've seen in quite sometime.I now remember exactly why I used to try to watch the full 24. Great to see Audi win after those heart stopping crashes. Well deserved. Thanks everyone who put the feed links up. I spent most of work yesterday watching the race.:)
 

Topgearfanatic

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What a brilliant race! Ridiculously great action, listening to RLM was awesome, Jim Roller especially has a great talent of calling out battles, it was great to listen to his insanely descriptive calls when Speed stupidly went to commercial in the middle of a great battle.
So glad to see the trophy stay with Audi, they deserve it. I imagine heads will roll at Peugeot tomorrow.

Think I made 21 of the 24 hours.
 

D-Fence

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I also think it is worth noting how bloody good these racecars are by now, the top cars did 24h without a single flaw AND the Audis have proven in quite a special way how safe these modern cars are, I mean, both drivers almost uninjured after these stunts, some years ago there might have been some work involved recovering their bodies after such a crash!
 

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since I was in Sydney for the weekend and totally missed out on seeing anything of the race, is there a place where I can watch the highlights (prefer ~1hrs worth rather than a 5-min job)
 

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Just to rehash this and put my two cents in...

The problem is, the Ferrari had already committed to take the corner on the racing line and heading towards the apex by the time Mike was beside it. The GT drivers have been told to stick to racing line and let the prototypes find their way past, they are having their own race and while they are obviously not racing against the prototypes they are not going to jump off the track whenever a prototype is coming past either. Obviously Kaufman could have been better aware of where Rocky was but IMO Mike deserves part of the blame.
But he hadn't obviously committed. The time between when Kaufman crossed into the other lane and when he hit Rocky's car is less than a second. He held straight on his line on the outside during the two previous flashes when Rocky was on the inside, so it would stand to reason he'll be staying there during the pass.

And "having your own race" doesn't mean being completely oblivious to cars around you. It should have been totally obvious that Rocky was going to make the pass the way he did. Even if you're told to "stick to your racing line", you don't just go for it anyway when there's a car already there.


He's also somehow a GTE Pro driver after having only finished one GTE Am race during the Le Mans series. :hmm:
 

Hazardous

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But he hadn't obviously committed. The time between when Kaufman crossed into the other lane and when he hit Rocky's car is less than a second. He held straight on his line on the outside during the two previous flashes when Rocky was on the inside, so it would stand to reason he'll be staying there during the pass.
Of course he held straight on the outside until he came to the corner, that's where the racing line is at that point of the track. When Kaufman started to turn towards the apex of that kink he was committed to take that corner on the racing line, not realizing that Mike was going to try and pass him at that point. Sadly at that point it was too late for Mike to do anything about it because of the closing speed and I think Rocky realized that as well as he flashed his lights a few more time right before he went off.

And "having your own race" doesn't mean being completely oblivious to cars around you. It should have been totally obvious that Rocky was going to make the pass the way he did. Even if you're told to "stick to your racing line", you don't just go for it anyway when there's a car already there.
The point of having your own race is that it is the responsibility of the car behind to make a safe pass regardless of the class, and the point of sticking to your line is to make sure the faster car can predict what you are going to do and make that safe pass. What Rocky tried to do there was not a safe move, it was a last moment dive to the inside which always carries the risk of the car in front not realizing your intentions. Especially in the dark. And this is exactly what happened.

And how was it obvious that Rocky was going to make that move at that point? Because he flashed his lights? The LMP drivers were flashing their lights all over the place, it didn't specifically mean that they were going to pass you in the next corner, just that they were behind you and going to make a move soon. It could just as easily have been an LMP2 car which might not have been close enough to make the move until Indianapolis.

He's also somehow a GTE Pro driver after having only finished one GTE Am race during the Le Mans series. :hmm:
Don't get me started on the classes... Basically you can have rookies in the GTE Pro class as well as Le Mans winners in the GTE Am class. The only limitations are how many pros you can have in your team. Also, 2011 cars are only allowed in GTE Pro.

I'm sure vikirad can write a quick summary of the exact details off the top of his head...
 

vikiradTG2007

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I'm sure vikirad can write a quick summary of the exact details off the top of his head...
Brief description of driver limitations:

LMP1: Bronze drivers excluded

LMP2: at least one Silver/Bronze driver on the team

GTE-Pro: no driver restrictions

GTE-Am: only one Gold/Platinum driver on the team

As for the 71 crew, the reason they were in GTE-Pro was that they wanted to run a Ferrari 458, and since that's a 2011 car, it's not allowed in GTE-Am until next year.

I also think it is worth noting how bloody good these racecars are by now, the top cars did 24h without a single flaw AND the Audis have proven in quite a special way how safe these modern cars are, I mean, both drivers almost uninjured after these stunts, some years ago there might have been some work involved recovering their bodies after such a crash!
Yeah, that's the best thing to hear about those accidents. Also, when it comes to huge crashes, according to the drivers that were involved in them, Peugeot's two crashes in winter testing were also as enormous as the two Audi crashes in this race (although with no contact with other cars). Just goes to show how safety has to be at the very top of the checklist when designing a new car. :) So instead of four moments of which we talk about in hushed tones, we have four fit and relatively uninjured racing drivers with a story to tell, and four destroyed chassis that did their job perfectly in protecting those guys.
 
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MadCat360

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The point of having your own race is that it is the responsibility of the car behind to make a safe pass regardless of the class, and the point of sticking to your line is to make sure the faster car can predict what you are going to do and make that safe pass. What Rocky tried to do there was not a safe move, it was a last moment dive to the inside which always carries the risk of the car in front not realizing your intentions. Especially in the dark. And this is exactly what happened.
"Hold your line" does not mean "take the normal racing line". "Hold your line" does mean exactly that. Hold it. Do not change it. Moving your line, moving from one side of the track to the other, is unpredictable. It's the difference between I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing, and I'm going to decide to do something different a some point in the near future. One is predictable based on available data, one is not.

If a driver is going to change his line in order to take his normal racing line, he better be damn well sure he's not going to impede anyone. Yes, it's up to the passing driver to make a safe attempt, but it's also the responsibility of the driver being passed to not turn in on him or directly impede him.

When you start to involve greater and greater speed differences, it becomes ever more burdensome on the driver being passed to not hit anyone, especially when you consider that the commitment distance increases drastically with increased closing speeds. I was in a test day last month with a Pontiac GTP car. The thing was top-flight formula car fast and there I was in my little Miata, thankfully with a humongous mirror. I could check my mirror just before braking for turn 11 at Infineon, see nothing (in other words, no traffic all the way to the apex of 10), and have that Pontiac whiz by on the inside of turn 12. The closing speeds by that point were probably on the order of about 80 MPH, which is huge by any measure, but especially when you've got 40 feet of track to work with, walls directly on either side and an apex to make. It got to the point where if I could even see the car behind me I just gave up the corner, otherwise he'd be riding my bumper by the time I went to turn-in. He had to decide whether to pass me basically then, hundreds of feet back, because the closing speed was so great. And know what? We had absolutely no problems. If I had committed to my racing line in each and every corner where he caught me, I'm sure it would have been much more dicey and dangerous. Infineon is dangerous enough.

Basically what I'm trying to say is if both cars aren't heads up, you'll have problems in multi-class racing. And the Ferrari driver involved in the Rockenfeller incident had blinders on. He made a change in his line too late for Rockenfeller to react to safely and Rocky crashed.
 
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Autobahn

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On the trivia side, it was the lowest distance covered by the winner since 2001 (4381.65 km). I guess the weather that year was pretty bad which slowed the cars down, couldn't find a proper race report with a quick googling.
The rain was beyond description that year, IIRC they were considering red flagging the race because of it.

since I was in Sydney for the weekend and totally missed out on seeing anything of the race, is there a place where I can watch the highlights (prefer ~1hrs worth rather than a 5-min job)
There's usually a review program made at some point, but until then you can find most of the major incidents at http://www.youtube.com/user/MT89Motorsport2

http://www.radiolemans.com/ also has every hour of the broadcast available for download. The two major Audi crashes were in hours 1 and 8.
 

Hazardous

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The problem is that it's nighttime and the visibility is obviously limited. Presumably all that the Ferrari driver in this case would have been seeing in his mirrors would have been white light, absolutely nothing else. Now, this white light could be from an Audi R18 or it could be from a considerably slower P2 class car, you have no way of knowing, and since it's only white light it's extremely hard to judge distances. Would you drive on one side of the circuit through all the kinks leading to Indianapolis (and possibly beyond that) until the car with the white lights makes it's way past you?

Note: I am not saying the Ferrari driver did nothing wrong and Rocky was the guilty party in this accident. What I am saying is that this was clearly a racing incident where both parties should take some blame, and because of this excluding Rob Kaufman from the event because of this incident was extremely harsh.
 
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