or to join or start a new Discussion

Article Rating     Not Rated Yet

24 Facts of Le Mans – Well only 12 actually

To assist members watching the race for the first time and a useful reminder for the rest of us, I have produced below some basic facts to help people understand more clearly what happens in the race.

1. A Guide to the Classes

LM P1 (Prototype) – Engines can be located in the front or the rear, petrol or diesel, tuborcharged or atmospheric kinetic energy recovery to the propulsion system. Energy storage using batteries or flywheel, discharge to the front wheels or the rear.

LM P2 cars similar to LM P1 but with strict cost controls : chassis cost is capped at €362,100; engine cost is capped at €78,750.

LM GTE Pro (Professionals) Category – This is were you will find the best sports cars on the road with Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Chevy Corvettes and Vipers.

LM GTE Am (Amateur) - must be at least one year old and therefore not able to benefit from the latest technical evolutions. Each car must have a least one driver that is a professional.

2. BoP
Stands for Balance of Performance. In order to keep the differences between the various LMP1 propulsion technologies within a 2% margin of the lap time, the Endurance Committee will be able to adapt the performance of the slowest technologies of the cars.

For LMP2 cars, the FIA and the ACO do not wish to encourage the Manufacturers to invest in any developments which improve the performance of the cars. Should a particular model of car perform too well, the Endurance Committee may take immediate measures to
reduce that car’s performance.

3. The Race
Commonly known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency and taking place at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France, the race winners will on average cover over 5,000 km, a distance equivalent to 16 F1 GP's and make more than 30 pit stops.

4. The Race Start
Do not expect the traditional “Le Mans Start" where drivers ran to their cars and started their engines. This was dropped for safety reasons. The cars now line up in qualifying order and there is a rolling start after a parade lap. The cars are led on the parade lap by a pace car and followed at the rear of the grid by an Intervention car. The race is started by the waving of the French flag.

5. Lights
The cars must keep their front and rear lights on at all times during the race. They are allowed to flash their headlights to signal an overtaking manoeuvre, the sequence can only last for 2 seconds and no more than 4 flashes at any one time. The flashing is actually automated by a button on the steering wheel.
6.Race Position Indicating Lights
On both sides of each car you will see 3 LED's. These enable viewers to identify which cars occupy the first three positions in each category. The car that is leading will have one light on, the car in second position will have two lights on and the third car will have all three lit up. Each category has a different colour, LMP1 = Red, LMP2 = Blue, LM GTE Pro = Green and LM GTE Am = Orange.

7. Limit on Driver Hours
Drivers are limited to a maximum of 4 hours in any 6 hour period.

8. Race Director
On the TV commentary you can hear the announcements of the race director warning of incidents out on the track. He will sometimes use the abbreviation MP followed by a number. This indicates the Martial Post nearest to the incident.

9. Pit Rules
When pitting, there are limits on the numbers of mechanics allowed to work on the car. Re-fuelling and tyre changes can not be done at the same time as each other. Only 2 mechanics can refuel and only 2 mechanics can change tyres.

An additional 2 mechanics can be used to clean headlights and windshield or assist the driver. Situated beside the driver are two bottles (one Blue and one Red). One is for drinks and the other for screen wash.

4 mechanics can be used to push the car into the garage.

The engine must be shut off during refuelling and the cars must be restarted by the driver alone seated in the car.

The teams sometimes state that a car is suffering from “Alternator problems" this is used to disguise the real problem.

10. Mechanical Breakdown on Track.
The driver must not use any outside help to get his car re-started. He is allowed to fix the car himself using tools carried in the car. If a driver gets out of the car, whilst the car is being moved by the martials, he must remain within 30ft of the car to remain classified.

11. Safety Cars
Because of the length of the track it is necessary to deploy 3 pace cars spread throughout the field. There are also several spare pace cars to enable a pace car to return to the pits for re-fuelling.

12. Other lights
During pit stops at night you may see some identification lights on the windshield of some of the GTE cars. These enable the pit crews to distinguish their car from a rival car pitting at the same time.

comment by WTCBU (U13662)

posted on 18/6/13

The 1967 Le Mans winner Dan Gurney started the tradition of spraying champagne instead of drinking it.


posted on 7/7/15

Fact 13 ... hire Hulkenberg .. he is a beast !!!!

Sign in if you want to comment
Rate Breakdown
0 Votes
0 Votes
0 Votes
0 Votes
0 Votes

Average Rating: 0 from 0 votes

Article RankingNot Ranked
Article ViewsNot Available
Average Time(mins)Not Available
Total Time(mins)Not Available
Article RankingNot Ranked
Article ViewsNot Available
Average Time(mins)Not Available
Total Time(mins)Not Available