Saturday, June 11, 2011

Le Mans 2011

Hour 1:
Great racing so far! Alan McNish ran into the #58 Ferrari and the #3 rolled, threw a tyre at a photographer and caused some scary moments. #58 got back to the pits and should be good to go. #3 is very very much out of the race, Alan looks to be okay. Safety car was out for 1 hour 9 minutes.

Hour 8:
Great racing so far! Mark Rockenfeller ran into a Ferrari and the #1 rolled after the Mulsanne's corner, rolling up and over the Armco and caused some REALLY scary moments. #1 is very very much out of the race, Mike looks to be okay, but I was sure he had died. Safety car was out for 2 hours twenty something minutes. 8 guys replaced 127 pieces of Arco and a ton of posts. That was a terrible crash. Rockenfeller is being kept by the hospital overnight but checks out as okay.

Hour 12:
#10 shunt at Indianapolis (I think). Limped back to the garage on three wheels.

Halfway Through
Peugeot #9 has been about 1:45 to 2:15 back on the leading #2 Audi for the last couple of hours is just waiting for something to break on the Audi. Just something small is all they need.

Hour 18:
7 Hours left. Safety car is out again for the #74, class leading Corvette, shunted hard. To give an idea of the racing quality, at the start of hour 18 there were three cars within thirty seconds and one more less than four minutes back on them. None of them have had any major problems and have stayed that way since... the last 17 hours, actually. Go Peugeot! Fantastic race so far this year! So many lead changes. So many. Also so much time behind the Safety car. I didn't even post two of the safety car periods. We are under our fifth, so far.

Hour 18.5:
NOSE TO TAIL. All four Peugeots, the two in first and third, the one a lap down in fourth, and the other in sixth ten laps down; and the second ranking Audi. Jeez. This is how it has been all race so far. You're missing an exciting one if you aren't watching.

3/4 Through
So much good. So much. Peugeot Sarrazin got a one minute drive through penalty for a mechanic not wearing his goggles at the last pit stop.

5:45 Left
#7 Peugeot off at Indianapolis with Wurz on board.

Two and a Half Hours Left:
#10 spun and lost rear body work at Indianapolis the same time rain started and the #22 spun at start-finish.

Two Hours Left:
Basically, everybody has gone off at least once in the last 1/2 hour. The rain can't decide where and when and how heavy it wants to fall. It's trying to be dry though. Most places. Engineers are fretting. Most exciting indeed. Still #2 Audi and #9 Peugeot within 30 seconds.

One Hour Forty-Five Minutes Left:
#4 Mark Gene seemed like he hit the leading #2 going into the 2nd Chicane on the Mulsanne, then maybe tried to push him off at the kink between there and Mulsanne's Corner. Shameful.

Forty-Five Minutes Left:
25 seconds between Audi and Peugeot. Incredible. Ridiculous. Both need to pit.

Thirty-Seven Minutes Left:
Both pit on the same lap. Audi has gone with Tyres, Peugeot not! We are down to six or seven seconds of gap for the end. What a gamble for Audi! Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. 7.8 seconds between them after 23 hours and twenty-three minutes. Ridiculous. 31 Pit Stops for Audi, 28 for Peugeot. Ready for a thirty-four minute sprint? The drivers are.

Twenty-Eight Minutes Left:
6.477 Seconds...

Twenty-Five Minutes Left:
The return of the rain. This race is unbelievable. "If you wrote this race, nobody would believe it." - Radio Le Mans

Twenty-One Minutes Left:
14.896 Seconds...

Eighteen Minutes Left:
12.7 Seconds...

Fifteen Minutes Left:
11.611 Seconds...

Ten Minutes Left:
16.755 Seconds... Is that it?

Four Minutes Thirty Left:
16.741 Seconds and there is now oil on the track thanks to the Pink Oak.

Two Minutes Left:
17.875 Seconds...

One Minute Left:
15.586 Seconds... White Flag. Full speed final lap.

It is Over:
13.854 Seconds.
Audi wins.
Peugeot 2, 3, 4, 5. Rebellion 6, Kronos 7.
Two cars on the lead lap, three on +45, and two on +55. Those are the only battles left.

Ford GT in third. :) On their anniversary.

Le Mans 2011 Predictions

LMP1
Audi (And if it must be, can it at least be #3?)
Audi
Peugeot

LMP2
Strakka
Signatech
RML

GTE Pro
BMW
Ferrari
BMW

GTE Am
Ferrari (AF Corse)
Porsche (Larbre)
Ferrari (CRS)

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Less than an hour until Green Flag. Stay safe everybody.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

My Le Mans 2011 Rooting Schedule

With the first practice scheduled to go down later today, before anybody gets their times put forth, let me lay out who I am rooting for in the 79th running of Le Mans.

LMP1
1. Pescarolo: When nobody would show up and race Audi for years, Pescarolo did. Good luck Pesky! Still behind you! Welcome back!
2. Team Oreca-Matmut: Just like last year. I love my privateer teams in fast cars.
3. Rebellion Racing: I love Lolas. Such Purdy Cars.
4. Hope Racing: A Hybrid, at Le Mans? So racing is supposed to lead technological development, this shows otherwise. A Consumer development, hybrid technology, put into a racecar. I look forward to this.
5. Peugeot over Audi, any day of the week.

LMP2
1. Level 5 Motorsports: Lola Coupe. REALLY HOT. And Amurican.
2. Greaves Motorsport: the renamed Team Bruichladdich still has that drop-dead-sexy Zytek, but they now have a Nissan engine.
3. Oak Racing: Hopefully no fires this year, right? Well these guys got the old Pescarolo Chassis that I rooted for last year, but this year they shoved a German engine into it - BMW - and it'll be interesting to watch their performance. First time BMW has been in the LMP2, right?

GTE Pro
1. Lotus: Finally.
2. Jota Aston Martin: I already mentioned that it was an Aston, right? Nothing more needs to be said.
3. Hankook 458: Ferrari, Porsche, who cares? Hankook tyres spearheading Korean involvement in Le Mans? I'm all about that. Less flats this year please.
4. Corvette: They dominated for years - scared all the other competition away. Let's see if they can do it again, just in their new car.
5. Flying Lizard: Go Silicon Valley and ALMS team! They need another win at Le Mans.

GTE AM
1. Robertson Racing: Finally, my favorite new racing team of the last few years gets to Le Mans. American too. Spearheading development of the Ford GT as a race car, the husband-and-wife-duo have stolen my heart as a fan. I hope they have no reliability issues. Oh yeah, also the first husband-and-wife-duo ever at Le Mans.
2. Gulf AMR Middle East: Representing another under-represented country and region, and doing it in an Aston Martin on Dunlop tyres instead of the Michelins it seems almost everybody else is running. What's not to like?
3. Flying Lizard: Go Silicon Valley and ALMS team! They need another win at Le Mans.
4. Larbre Corvette: Yay! Corvette!

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Spotter's Guides
Radio Le Mans
Live Timing

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Stanley Cup Finals Predictions

Predictions Update: Don Cherry thinks the Canucks are going to win.

Predictions Update 2: So do 5 out of 6 staff members at NHL.com. I think senior writer Dan Rosen said what I think the best: "The Canucks were the best team in the regular season and the best team in the best conference in the playoffs. They have a deeper defense, a far superior power play and the Sedin twins [and Keseler (man gets no love I tell you)]. Tim Thomas will steal a game or two, but not the series."

Predictions Update 3: I've been asked to give my prediction. I can never predict hockey. Partially because I always pick the Canucks and, well, they've never won a cup. I think we have a good shot, but Boston scares me quite a bit. I'll say Canucks in 6.