Saturday 11 April 2015

WEC Paddock chat - odds and sods

A whizzie gizmo on the LM P1 cars is an 'anti-collision light'. This is a new safety device or alarm that is mounted on the rear of the car and involves  flashing/blinking brake lights. We are at a modest disadvantage not knowing a) what 0.4G feels like and b) 0.2 secs doesn't sound very long !At 150 mph I wonder how far a car ravels in 0.2 secs.

Mark Webber when interviewed by RLM after free practice was saying that the pressure is enormous on the Porsche Team, An awful lot is expected from them . He went on to say that this isn't an easy event being so close to Le Mans and he says the team are inevitably focused on Le Mans. The car is great on short runs.

They say that but we read that Porsche have done over 30,000 kms of testing. We will see after qualifying but the beer fuelled thoughts from your team on the spot is that they will take pole but will they last? As a footnote it is interesting to note that since Webber moved so successfully to WEC a surprising number of other F1 drivers have started to show an interest.

Nissan GR-R LM Nismo.. ummm.. this could be one heck of a story for Le Mans, or alternatively not! It is all very well rewriting the rule book regarding virtually every aspect of the car but it is another thing making it all work at the highest level of your chosen sport. No doubt a diligent Google search would unearth the last 'central forward' engine ( Nissan's words) and front wheel drive car that has raced over the last 50-odd years. A cynic may wonder why this is . Likewise we were amazed to see that the front tyres and wheels are wider than the rear.. the same cynic might wonder why this hasn't featured  much either !  As Ben Bowlby, designer and Team Principal, succinctly puts it "Porsche , Toyota and Audi have so much experience of endurance racing that it would have been difficult to beat them just by copying". He makes a very valid point. The regulations still have some grey areas to explore, especially when it comes to the vehicles front aerodynamics". It now looks like they will miss Spa as well since failing the crash test set them back a bit. Their target must still be Le Mans but it will be tight. So don't let us count our chickens yet .. there could be a tasty omelette ahead!