Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Le Mans

Starting at 2000: Audi, Audi, Audi, Audi, Bentley, Audi, Audi, and as of Sunday, Audi.

I am calling this year the Year of Firsts. Already passed firsts include an LMP2 one-two by Porsche, over Audi and Lola, the longest streak in GT1 ever, and Diesel power winning a big race (Sebring). This Weekend (Le Mans) had record crowds, first lap with Diesel in the lead, speeds, and intervals between pits (16 laps for Audi).

Diesel is the new black - I swear it. And with America finally going to a high grade diesel last January, it is much more efficient, economical, and ecologicaly safe than gasoline. Not to mention quieter with more torque and faster engine response.

Le Mans:

LMP1: No surprises here except Tom Kristenson did not win as he has every year since 2000. Pescarolo could not compete. Audi was kept from a 1-2 finish by a needed rear left quarter of the car replacement. Amazing that this car got tires for the first time 200 days ago, nobody having tried diesel before, and now it is 1st and 3rd at Le Mans. Bravo.

LMP2: Intersport had troubles and pulled a stunning effort to get to forth. RML took it all, while Binnie and Miracle showed American strength in 2nd and 3rd.

GT1: Hands down the most exciting racing this year. At minute 17 a privateer Aston slipped on the oil of the 007 works Aston and brought out a safety car. The oil leak turned into a six-lap, engine pulling problem for Aston. Meanwhile the 64 Corvette got into the lead. The 009 was close and they battled for a couple hours. At the end, the 009 was up a bit before running into trouble, letting the 64 take the win. 007 took 2nd. Privateer Luc Alphand in a Corvette took third. Aston privateers Russian Age took a hard fought fourth followed by the 009. And a great sixth place finish for the Saleen ahead of the 63 Corvette.

GT2: Pole sitter IMSA Performance Matmut started dead last and lead within the first five laps before retiring. Multimatic led then retired. Spyker led then retired. White Lightning led then retired. Out of 14 cars, six finished. Team LNT put a Panoz on the top spot. It has been a long time since an American developed car has won anything but GT1 so this is very exciting. Seikel put a Porsche 2nd. Scuderia Ecosse took third. Flying Lizard had serious troubles, but fought their way back to fourth late in the race. I was definately surprised by how many Porsches dropped out broken or wrecked.

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