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Old 8 Jan 2017, 13:31 (Ref:3701011)   #1
Gingers4Justice
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First Lap Human Error at Le Mans

For anyone who's been lucky enough to be track side at the start of the world's greatest motor race, the start of Le Mans is one of the most dramatic spectacles in motor sport - and that's despite the fact that it's very rare that anything happens of significance, at least as far as the main protagonists are concerned, within the opening 8 miles of the race.

The lack of opening lap drama is something quite extraordinary. In a typical Formula One season, you could probably expect 4-5 incidents on just the first corner alone, in a field of just 22 cars.

Of course, Le Mans can never be won on the first lap and drivers will be doing everything they can to keep it on the grey stuff - but the fact that year after year, every single driver seemingly drives without fault on the opening lap, without so much as a gentleman driver locking up with cold brakes, is something special.

As far as I'm concerned, the last non-mechanical incident to occur on the first lap was 18 years ago, when Hiroki Kato span his BMW V12 LMR at the Dunlop Chicane:

https://youtu.be/CYvdNNjt5vo?t=28m50s

I'd be interested to know if this is indeed the last first-lap incident - have you seen something during the first lap that the cameras didn't catch?
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 14:52 (Ref:3701028)   #2
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Does the mere fact of the JLOC Lambo starting the race count as a woeful 'human error'.....?
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 15:11 (Ref:3701032)   #3
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Originally Posted by Aysedasi View Post
Does the mere fact of the JLOC Lambo starting the race count as a woeful 'human error'.....?
I think that entry could be described as a catalogue of errors...

I can't remember if that car finished the first lap or not?
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 15:23 (Ref:3701033)   #4
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Assuming my original post is correct, 791 cars (possibly minus the JLOC lambo) have successfully completed the opening lap of Le Mans since 1999.

That's a total of 10,361 perfectly negotiated kilometres at racing speed, which would take you a quarter of the way around the equator. Or from Le Mans to New York and back.

Thus creating one of the most trivial Le Mans stats.
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 15:48 (Ref:3701037)   #5
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tux should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridtux should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
There was this from 2007 from the Peugeot, but i barely think it qualifies if at all.
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 16:01 (Ref:3701042)   #6
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Originally Posted by tux View Post
There was this from 2007 from the Peugeot, but i barely think it qualifies if at all.
No link in your post, but I was going to post the same thing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u30V7pN9h2Y

Bourdais went off at Dunlop on lap 1, handing the lead to Audi. The only thing that stopped that being a real incident was luck, as he was out of control and hit a bollard. Not the best start to an endurance race.
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 16:15 (Ref:3701045)   #7
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I think that entry could be described as a catalogue of errors...

I can't remember if that car finished the first lap or not?
My recollection is that it pulled into the pits at the end of the first lap, but I could be wrong.....
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 16:20 (Ref:3701052)   #8
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In 2006 didn't JLOC do not too bad? In 2009 i heard stories they were using road car parts from club members in the car... Wasn't 2007 only a couple of laps as well?
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 16:22 (Ref:3701054)   #9
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Hedley Verity should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
There were reports at the time that pulling in at the end of the first lap was a condition of them being allowed to start the race.
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 17:48 (Ref:3701071)   #10
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Originally Posted by Akrapovic View Post
No link in your post, but I was going to post the same thing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u30V7pN9h2Y

Bourdais went off at Dunlop on lap 1, handing the lead to Audi. The only thing that stopped that being a real incident was luck, as he was out of control and hit a bollard. Not the best start to an endurance race.
Knew I'd forgotten something!

But when does a slight moment become an incident?
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 17:50 (Ref:3701072)   #11
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Originally Posted by Aysedasi View Post
My recollection is that it pulled into the pits at the end of the first lap, but I could be wrong.....
I remember it pulling up with a small puff of smoke? Not sure.

Akrapovic is right, JLOC were respectable in 2006. They ran without issues well into the Sunday and as I recall they weren't classified because the car didn't complete the final lap.

That was probably why they were given the benefit of the doubt next time round.
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 18:09 (Ref:3701077)   #12
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Originally Posted by Akrapovic View Post
In 2006 didn't JLOC do not too bad? In 2009 i heard stories they were using road car parts from club members in the car... Wasn't 2007 only a couple of laps as well?
2007 was a hurriedly-assembled spare car from DAMS that was barely finished in time for the race, they couldn't shake it down in time and it broke a driveshaft on the Mulsanne on the second lap. The original car was written off in a crash in qualifying.

... and may have been rebuilt to enough of a state that it could do one slow race lap 2 years later, or so the RSC chassis archive says.
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 18:14 (Ref:3701079)   #13
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Originally Posted by Gingers4Justice View Post
Knew I'd forgotten something!

But when does a slight moment become an incident?
Well that's opinion I suppose isn't it! He was off the road (twice) and hit some trackside furniture. We could call that an incident.

But then again, the only effect was losing a couple of spots. That's not a huge effect over 24 hours.

Your call!
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 18:55 (Ref:3701083)   #14
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Le Mans 1997, a Panoz DAMS has hit a car just before the start and loses a frontlights protection :
https://youtu.be/6lq9YNQ22rQ?t=4m7s
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Old 8 Jan 2017, 20:19 (Ref:3701102)   #15
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Hawkwood should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Didn't someone demolish an Aston on the first lap in 2007/2008 or something?

I remember seeing it on TV, and the cars were bunched up, so it must have been very early.
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