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View Poll Results: Best post 1970 Le Mans racing car?
Mazda 787B 7 25.00%
Toyota GT-One TSO20 2 7.14%
Nissan R390 GT1 2 7.14%
Porsche 962 10 35.71%
Audi R8 7 25.00%
Peugeot 908 HDi FAP 2 7.14%
Bentley Speed 8 0 0%
Porsche 917 (or 917K) 4 14.29%
Audi R10 TDi 7 25.00%
Mercedes-Benz Sauber C9 0 0%
Peugeot 905 1 3.57%
Audi R15 TDi 2 7.14%
Aston Martin Lola LMP 0 0%
Panoz LMP-01 0 0%
Cadillac LMP 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 09-14-2010, 07:05 AM
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Matra et Alpine Matra et Alpine is offline
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RM , how can you say "meh" ... the sliding injection bodies are a work of art
Mazda have the highest percentage of finishes of any team entered ( hmmm reminder to self, check Audi figures )
"unusual circumstances" is what Le Mans is about and especially in it's past it was the norm to see a team send out a "sprinter" to drag the competition into racing harder than they can survice for the second car in the "sprinter" team to run steady and win. Part of the tactical planning to win Le Mans imho Now computers have made it all boring
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  #32  
Old 09-29-2010, 12:03 PM
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KillKevsCorsas KillKevsCorsas is offline
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I think that pretty much everyone on this thread will know the following, but, just in case anyone stumbles upon this thread and likes random bits of le Mans info, here are some of the winning Le Mans cars from the past c.20 years:

1989 - Mercedes-Benz Sauber C9
1991 - Mazda 787B
1992 - Peugeot 905
1993 - Peugeot 905
1994 - Dauer/Porsche 962C
1999 - BMW V12 LMR
2003 - Bentley EXP Speed 8
2007 - Audi R10 TDi
2008 - Audi R10 TDi
2009 - Audi R10 TDi
2010 - Peugeot 908 HDi FAP

And some interesting top speed figures recorded for some selected Le Mans prototypes and Group C cars:

Mercedes-Benz Sauber C9 - 254 mph
Nissan R92CP - 249 mph
Porsche 917K - 248 mph
Jaguar XJR-12 - 245 mph
Bentley Speed 8 - 212 mph
BMW V12 LMR - 215 mph

Notice how the more modern LMP cars are far slower than the Group C prototypes. The Group C should never have been changed, it is the greatest form of racing car ever made. Stuff the Formula 1, Group C cars are the absolute pinnacle of speed perfection - to the point that, even now, around 20 years on, Stefan Bellof's Nurburgring record of 6:11 in his Porsche 956 Group C car has still not been beaten, not even by a fancy, modern, KERS enhanced F1 car.
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  #33  
Old 09-29-2010, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillKevsCorsas View Post
Mercedes-Benz Sauber C9 - 254 mph
Nissan R92CP - 249 mph
Porsche 917K - 248 mph
Jaguar XJR-12 - 245 mph
Bentley Speed 8 - 212 mph
BMW V12 LMR - 215 mph

Notice how the more modern LMP cars are far slower than the Group C prototypes. The Group C should never have been changed, it is the greatest form of racing car ever made. Stuff the Formula 1, Group C cars are the absolute pinnacle of speed perfection - to the point that, even now, around 20 years on, Stefan Bellof's Nurburgring record of 6:11 in his Porsche 956 Group C car has still not been beaten, not even by a fancy, modern, KERS enhanced F1 car.
If those are the top speeds of the cars as recorded at Circuit de la Sarthe, then it must be known that chicanes were added on the main straight before the 1900 24 Hours of Le Mans to slow the cars down. Also, newer cars would probably have top speed as less of a design feature for Le Mans than their Group C ancestors as there are now chicanes, and top speed is not as crucial.

Concerning Bellof's record, yes, it is astonishing, but no one has really been given free reign to attempt to beat that record in a modern top flight race car.

Nick Heidfeld did some demonstration laps in 2007 at the Nordschleife in BMW's F1 car and did well considering he wasn't permitted to go for the record - in the 6 minute window as I recall. Some of BMW's engineers estimated that if the car was properly set up, Nick was well acquainted with the track, and conditions were good etc., that they coulda got a 5:45 (or around that) as I recall. That being said, the track configuration has changed a bit since Bellhof drove it. No less, the record could be beaten by an F1 car, or an LMP if the teams set their minds to it and someone was willing to pay the bills and risk their life and car doing it.

The main reason why that record hasn't been beaten is that no major racing series (VLN doesn't count) uses the Nordschleife because it's so dangerous. The big guns haven't raced there sine 1984. Another problem is with the track being so old and bumpy, current prototypes and open wheelers having such low ground clearance, that they have to jack up their ride height to race there even if they were attempting the time - tracks like the Nordschleife aren't designed for by designers anymore. Most tracks are now super smooth (or at least smooth compared to the 'Ring).

Do I have this right?
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  #34  
Old 09-30-2010, 03:52 AM
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Yes, Kitdy. Comparing top speed & lap times this way is specious at best, and not just because the cars and tracks are configured differently. It shouldn't diminish the extraordinary performance of those great machines, but the argument is apples V. oranges. A more constructive comparo would involve measureable differences in aero, downforce, lateral grip, mass/hp, gearing/wheel size, etc., etc.

An interesting engineering exercise were all the data available.
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  #35  
Old 09-30-2010, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csl177 View Post
Yes, Kitdy. Comparing top speed & lap times this way is specious at best, and not just because the cars and tracks are configured differently. It shouldn't diminish the extraordinary performance of those great machines, but the argument is apples V. oranges. A more constructive comparo would involve measureable differences in aero, downforce, lateral grip, mass/hp, gearing/wheel size, etc., etc.

An interesting engineering exercise were all the data available.
But then again no.
As the Le Mans regulation has been through a lot of changes the last 20 years, which makes it hard to compare the cars directly on specs.

ex. you can't compare the Sauber C11 with the Peugeot 905, as the 905 ran 3.5L regulation where as the C11 ran the old Group C regulation with restrictions.

It's the same today, as you can't compare the R15 with the R10 (if it wasn't for the 908 as a measuring point).

The Same in F1, where you can't compare the V10 cars with the V8's and the "Clean Aero" V8's

In motorsport it's hard to put forth hard data on improvement because of the continuing development of regulation.
All you can do is coming with good guesses, as of course, technology progresses.
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  #36  
Old 09-30-2010, 05:39 AM
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Thanks Brix, you helped make my point even clearer.
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  #37  
Old 09-30-2010, 08:00 AM
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The Laptime set by those 400+ kph Group C cars though, on a track without chicane, is still not that much faster than a modern car with chicane, lower top speed, and a twistier track....

Pole time in 1971: 3:13.9/250.06 km/h avg Porsche 917 LH(No Chicane, no Porsche Curves, no restrictor, different Dunlop Bridge section)
Pole time in 1989: 3:15.6/250.16 km/h avg Porsche 962C(No Chicane, no restrictor, different Dunlop bridge section, qualifying tire)*

Pole time in 1992: 3:21.2/243.32 km/h avg (3.5L formula, no restrictor, lighter min weight, Different Dunlop Bridge Section, qualifying tire)
Pole time in 2008: 3:18.5/247.16 km/h avg Peugeot 908

*Fastest lap avg speed wise ever at Le Mans.


Not to mention they broke the all time distance record(1971, 24 hrs avg speed @ 222.3 km/h) this year, for I believe all top 3 cars....(Winning car: #1 Audi, 225.2 km/h, over 24 hours, for reference, thats faster than the Dauer Porsche's fastest lap during qualifying in 1994). The current cars also do their qualifying run on race tire...its not unusual for Group C car to be much slower in the race, where as the Peugeot/Audi in the last 3 years been able to run withing 1% of their qualifying pace in their fastest race lap.
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Last edited by RacingManiac; 09-30-2010 at 08:03 AM.
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  #38  
Old 09-30-2010, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillKevsCorsas View Post
1989 - Mercedes-Benz Sauber C9
1991 - Mazda 787B
1992 - Peugeot 905
1993 - Peugeot 905
1994 - Dauer/Porsche 962C
1999 - BMW V12 LMR
2003 - Bentley EXP Speed 8
2007 - Audi R10 TDi
2008 - Audi R10 TDi
2009 - Audi R10 TDi
2010 - Peugeot 908 HDi FAP
2009 - Peugeot 908 HDi FAP
2010 - Audi R15 TDi Plus

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  #39  
Old 09-30-2010, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacingManiac View Post
The Laptime set by those 400+ kph Group C cars though, on a track without chicane, is still not that much faster than a modern car with chicane, lower top speed, and a twistier track....

Pole time in 1971: 3:13.9/250.06 km/h avg Porsche 917 LH(No Chicane, no Porsche Curves, no restrictor, different Dunlop Bridge section)
Pole time in 1989: 3:15.6/250.16 km/h avg Porsche 962C(No Chicane, no restrictor, different Dunlop bridge section, qualifying tire)*

Pole time in 1992: 3:21.2/243.32 km/h avg (3.5L formula, no restrictor, lighter min weight, Different Dunlop Bridge Section, qualifying tire)
Pole time in 2008: 3:18.5/247.16 km/h avg Peugeot 908

*Fastest lap avg speed wise ever at Le Mans.


Not to mention they broke the all time distance record(1971, 24 hrs avg speed @ 222.3 km/h) this year, for I believe all top 3 cars....(Winning car: #1 Audi, 225.2 km/h, over 24 hours, for reference, thats faster than the Dauer Porsche's fastest lap during qualifying in 1994). The current cars also do their qualifying run on race tire...its not unusual for Group C car to be much slower in the race, where as the Peugeot/Audi in the last 3 years been able to run withing 1% of their qualifying pace in their fastest race lap.
But from that you can still not make a prober comparison, as there is still regulation changes between 1971 and 1982, especially concerning safety.
La Sarthe has undergone small changes every single year, changes which can differ with 1-3 seconds a lap, a year.

The problem is simply that there is too many unknown factors which plays in when you compare lap times. Yes, you can see that some development has happened, but you can't say how much.

There is no way ever to truly compare the cars as they are all build for different versions of La Sarthe, under different regulations.
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