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Old 13 Dec 2003, 20:49 (Ref:811184)   #1
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Fastest part of the Le Mans circuit

I am pretty sure that most of the teams now think that the fastest part of the chicaned circuit is the run down to Indianapolis. Is this correct.

Now I also think that most of the speed trap figures are by the Restraunt on the first part of the Mulsanne Straight this is the fastest part of the three sections on the N138 I think, but why don't they measure the speeds before braking for the Indianapolis sequence? Tradition?

Also does anyone have any ideas what the difference in speed is at these two points? I would imagine that it isn't that much difference as most cars are nearing their terminal velocity. A couple of mph tops?

FWIW I read the Dome hit 207mph. I think there is a thread round here somewhere with this info!

Not that top speed is that important, but what do you think the actual top speed is over the Le Mans weekend? Any clues as to what the odd slipstreaming move might have added too?

And finally, is there anywhere else on other circuits that these cars race on that may rival these speeds? My guess is no.
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Old 13 Dec 2003, 22:21 (Ref:811232)   #2
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Re: Fastest part of the Le Mans circuit

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Originally posted by AdamAshmore
I am pretty sure that most of the teams now think that the fastest part of the chicaned circuit is the run down to Indianapolis. Is this correct.
That is what I understand aswell.

Quote:
Originally posted by AdamAshmore
Now I also think that most of the speed trap figures are by the Restraunt on the first part of the Mulsanne Straight this is the fastest part of the three sections on the N138 I think, but why don't they measure the speeds before braking for the Indianapolis sequence? Tradition?
Againt that is correct, not sure why they are taken there.

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Originally posted by AdamAshmore
Also does anyone have any ideas what the difference in speed is at these two points? I would imagine that it isn't that much difference as most cars are nearing their terminal velocity. A couple of mph tops?
I would go with that, but I might be wrong

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Originally posted by AdamAshmore
FWIW I read the Dome hit 207mph. I think there is a thread round here somewhere with this info!
Yeah that is again correct, there is more details in this thread http://tentenths.com/forum/showthrea...hreadid=47412&

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Originally posted by AdamAshmore
Not that top speed is that important, but what do you think the actual top speed is over the Le Mans weekend? Any clues as to what the odd slipstreaming move might have added too?.
Pass

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Originally posted by AdamAshmore
And finally, is there anywhere else on other circuits that these cars race on that may rival these speeds? My guess is no.
Not than I can think off the only palce where they get up to any speed is between Arange and Porsche Cerves
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Old 14 Dec 2003, 06:46 (Ref:811404)   #3
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The straight before Indianapolis was the fastest part of the track in the middle of the 90' but, don't ask me why, I don't know, if I can remember what said Jan Lammers in an ACO's annual, the fastest part of the track was in the first part of the Hunaudières again...

The Dome (the fastest one), reached 340 km/h here those last years. Before Indianapolis, it could be 10 or 20 km/h slower... :confused:

I don't think they could go faster than 330 km/h now, and the purpose is to win some time in the curves or slower part of the track ; the price to pay for a real top speed is too high regarding the rest of the track.

But some cars are still too slow for their category (Courage Evo, WRs) when some others are really fast and hard to take over (575)...

This one was taken during the last 1000 kms of Le Mans (Jérôme Mugnier's site).

Last edited by Fab; 14 Dec 2003 at 06:54.
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Old 14 Dec 2003, 09:51 (Ref:811458)   #4
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The track between Mulsanne and Indianapolis has two curves, it's not very wide and its surface is not enough even to allow high speed. I mean it makes taking off easier...

The Hunaudières straight had been improved in april 1988 with modern methods (laser measurements, coating...). It allowed the WM's 405km/h and the surface looks like a "billiard".
In 1990, the Nissan n°23 reached 366km/h near the restaurant (with 1000hp at that time).

These could be some reasons why the top speeds are still reached in the first part of the Hunaudières.

Last edited by PascaLM; 14 Dec 2003 at 09:53.
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Old 14 Dec 2003, 10:46 (Ref:811485)   #5
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Originally posted by PascaLM
In 1990, the Nissan n°23 reached 366km/h near the restaurant (with 1000hp at that time).
Blimey, I forgot this one... and with the chicanes ! Crikey !
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Old 15 Dec 2003, 17:12 (Ref:812315)   #6
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Originally posted by Fab
The straight before Indianapolis was the fastest part of the track in the middle of the 90' but, don't ask me why,
Just a guess, but from recollection the Indy run in is slightly downhill.. whereas the start of the Mul is up and then plateaus ??

I stand to be corrected...
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Old 15 Dec 2003, 17:16 (Ref:812319)   #7
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Well, i'd say the highest speed is at Indianapolis for two reasons

1) The first part of Hunaudieres is uphill
2) The Indianapolis section is downhill, plus, they don't have to brake so late at the other end.
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Old 16 Dec 2003, 13:45 (Ref:813073)   #8
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Does anyone know whether the cars run flat out now? I get the feeling that as well as being tuned down for the big race that very few of the cars are being pushed to the limits as they used to be.
Also didn't really get the impression of speed this year as much as before - LM getting too user friendly?
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Old 16 Dec 2003, 14:05 (Ref:813103)   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pilgrimage
Does anyone know whether the cars run flat out now? I get the feeling that as well as being tuned down for the big race that very few of the cars are being pushed to the limits as they used to be.
Also didn't really get the impression of speed this year as much as before - LM getting too user friendly?
I'm sure that were he available, Steve McQueen would have the answer.
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Old 16 Dec 2003, 15:12 (Ref:813147)   #10
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Originally posted by Pilgrimage
Also didn't really get the impression of speed this year as much as before - LM getting too user friendly?
Each year, at PQ, I've a gigantic impressino of speed, at the end of the very first lap accomplished by the fastest prototypes, when I stand in the Welcome area, side of the track...

This year, this car was a Bentley on sunday morning, I said to my brother-in-law "My, they're crazy !"...
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Old 16 Dec 2003, 15:44 (Ref:813181)   #11
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It was without a doubt bloody fast, but was it at the limit?
My point was that i'm not sure that the cars are being pushed as hard as they once would have been.
I must confess this year i travelled the least ever around the circuit. Spent most of the time at the Ford chicane in a g.stand, so not the fastest part of the circuit by a long stretch.
The speed through the new section after the Dunlop was amazing at night, but again were the cars (esp the fastest cars) on the limit?
Perhaps i could point to the improved endurance of the top cars by way of example, though i take on board the "bullet-proof" nature of some of the teams now.
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Old 16 Dec 2003, 15:53 (Ref:813189)   #12
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Fast Enough?

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Originally posted by Pilgrimage
It was without a doubt bloody fast, but was it at the limit? My point was that i'm not sure that the cars are being pushed as hard as they once would have been.
It is almost irrellevant as the lap times keep dropping.
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Old 16 Dec 2003, 16:27 (Ref:813207)   #13
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It was without a doubt bloody fast, but was it at the limit?
My point was that i'm not sure that the cars are being pushed as hard as they once would have been.
Undoubtedly, they are. You don't detune the engine, any more than you have to to ensure it lasts the distance, or set the throttle stops to 95%, or anything like that. Le Mans is more of a flat-out sprint for 24 hours than it ever was, certainly since I was first involved in 1981. The cars are tuned for fastest lap-time, which means running more wing than they used to (principally for better braking and lap-time consistency in traffic, as well has high-speed cornering), and that, together with the reductions in power from smaller and smaller restrictors, means lower top speeds. But the cars are being hammered ever harder. Better engineering has helped the reliability.

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Old 16 Dec 2003, 17:06 (Ref:813238)   #14
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The Audi engine of course runs a far lowers revs than say the V12 of the BMW's that one previously and the screamer Judd and Ferraris of recent years so they never sound like they are running flat out. But if you travelled out to Arnage last year and watched the way the Bentleys to Indianapolis and Arnage it was simply awesome. I think I have never seen cars look so fast through that section.
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Old 16 Dec 2003, 17:18 (Ref:813249)   #15
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Having Driven a 1959 Birdcage Masserati round the track this June i would say scariest place is down to Indianapolis
fairly hairy at 160 plus mph.next toughest would have to be exiting porsche curves without any grip.
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