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Old 29 May 2002, 01:07 (Ref:298986)   #1
Rick
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" Le Mans threat" ?????

The following has appeared in todays "Motorsport News" - Australia.

Le Mans threat
FIA report could lead to cancellation of 24 Hours
by Joe Saward
The Automobile de l'Ouest, the organisers of the Le Mans 24 Hours, must decide in the next few days whether or not the classic French endurance race can go ahead as planned on June 15-16 following the publication of a report by the FIA that there are serious aerodynamic problems with the current sports cars and sports prototypes.

It goes on to talk about cars flipping, and two wind tunnel investigations - specifically says noyhing to do with 1999, possible measures to slow down cars - problem of spectators close by on pit straight.

Someone please tell me this is beat up by a journo - I get on a plane next week and don't fancy spending a week looking at chateaux!

Not panicking YET ....
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Old 29 May 2002, 01:23 (Ref:298992)   #2
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the only problem with current sports cars it the flat bottum

besides, unless they change the size of air-restrictors, its too late to really change anything else.
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Old 29 May 2002, 03:23 (Ref:299033)   #3
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Safety is obviously paramount but at this stage I pray they don't cancel.

At the first British GP at Silverstone, spectators lined the track edge and I'm afraid to say that if I'd been there I would have doubtless done the same.
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Old 29 May 2002, 03:35 (Ref:299039)   #4
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Liz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLiz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
This can't be true. Where did you see it?
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Old 29 May 2002, 04:51 (Ref:299075)   #5
Rick
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Rick should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Australian Motorsport News - fortnightly newspaper/magazine.
Joe Saward does all of the F1 reporting for them. I might give them a ring and see if they can explain whether its a beat up or a world scoop- I can't find mention of it on any of the usual websites - tho I seem to remember a few weeks ago Fab(I think) saying something about a rumour of a chicane at Indianapolis, don't know if that might be related.
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Old 29 May 2002, 07:26 (Ref:299113)   #6
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Originally posted by Rick
Australian Motorsport News - fortnightly newspaper/magazine.
Joe Saward does all of the F1 reporting for them. I might give them a ring and see if they can explain whether its a beat up or a world scoop- I can't find mention of it on any of the usual websites - tho I seem to remember a few weeks ago Fab(I think) saying something about a rumour of a chicane at Indianapolis, don't know if that might be related.
That was me talking about that rumour about a new chicane between Mulsanne and Indianapolis.

No confirmation, no infirmation for now...

I'm definitely circumspect about everything coming from FIA around Le Mans race, and more widely Sportscars. They run only for F1, and F1 has problems nowadays... they that lot of interrest could be transfered on sportscars, and they definitely don't want that.

Everything will be done to push ACO to problems, trying to kneeing them, to bow in front of FIA, thing that they don't want 'till the 50'...

I'm not pessimistic for Le Mans this year, but there's always a danger for sportscars : the more this category will be discreet, the more it will live - againts all FIA wills...
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Old 29 May 2002, 08:27 (Ref:299137)   #7
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The press release is real enough, go to

http://www.fia.com/homepage/selection-a.html

and scroll down to

Press release - Sportscars - 24.05.2002

It's in Adobe Acrobat format.

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Old 29 May 2002, 08:29 (Ref:299139)   #8
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The full text is for those without Acrobat is:--



AERODYNAMIC INSTABILITY OF SPORTSCARS AT ABNORMAL YAW ANGLES
New research commissioned by the FIA has revealed that the current design of cars running under
sportscar and ‘sport prototype’ regulations exhibit aerodynamic characteristics that can cause them
to leave the ground and possibly invert, when they run at yaw attitudes greater than approximately
±30º, even at speeds well below their maximum (see Editors’ Note).
Exceeding the critical yaw attitude is only likely if a driver has lost control of a car. Adverse pitch
and roll attitudes, resulting from mechanical failure or external disturbance, accentuate these
characteristics and lower the speed at which take off can occur.
When a car leaves the ground, it is unable to engage effectively with the circuit safety features
such as run-off areas and barriers. If a car lands inverted, the safety of the driver depends on the
ability of the roll-over protection to withstand the forces involved.
Further research is now being conducted in order to reduce or eliminate this phenomenon.
Pending the outcome of this research and possible new technical regulations, the FIA recommends
that all competitors and organisers involved with sportscar, ‘sport prototype’ and similar
competition cars take the following minimum precautions:
1. Organisers should ensure that all spectators are sufficiently far from the circuit at any given
point to be in no danger from an airborne car, having regard to the speeds of the cars at the
relevant part of the circuit.
2. In collaboration with the constructors of their cars, competitors should reinforce the car’s rollover
structure so that it at least meets the latest proposals which have been issued as a draft
regulation for 1.1.2003.
3. Organisers should ensure that all marshals and other race personnel working in close proximity
to cars travelling at speeds greater than 150 kph are suitably protected.
4. Organisers should take measures to slow the cars at any part of a circuit which would be
particularly dangerous for competitors, track workers or members of the public in the event of a
car becoming airborne.
Editors’ Note:
Sportscars normally run at yaw angles of less than ±10º. The yaw angle is the angle of the airflow
relative to the heading (direction of travel) of the car. The problem that has been identified occurs
once the driver has lost control of the car and starts to spin. It is different to the problem
experienced by Mercedes at Le Mans in 1999, in which the cars took-off while running under
normal conditions. Following those incidents, the FIA instigated circuit modifications and made
changes to the Sportscar Technical Regulations. The 1999 problem has not reoccurred.
Funding for the new research was provided by the FIA Foundation.
Paris, 24 May 2002

Last edited by FG1; 29 May 2002 at 08:30.
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Old 29 May 2002, 09:03 (Ref:299156)   #9
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I think the report is very general in its approach to this unique problem, it is blaming sportscar and sport prototype for having the problems of flipping (VERY RARE) and leaving the circuit, i have seen this happen in several different classes and types of racing.
When a car leaves the ground - did'nt NASCAR have this problem(just flipping) a couple of years ago, after this they fitted flaps to the top of the vehicle to eliminate this problem.
I was also at Donnington Park when Keith Odor in a touring car got hit coming down to the old hairpin and ended up barrel rolling over the gravel trap and landing upside down on the spectator side of the fencing(without touching the fencing), which was FIA type fencing.
I do believe that a race car should be as safe as you can make it, and also the arena in which it races should be as safe as possible. But these freak accidents do happen and will happen because there will allways be a freak condition that no one has tested for, or anticipated and that will cause a problem.
Egor....
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Old 29 May 2002, 10:00 (Ref:299222)   #10
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and the minardi f1 cars almost flipped in Barcelona this year! Scary flash back for Mark Weber, it shows that is not just down to sportscars but the FIA's very own f1 as well!
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Old 29 May 2002, 10:36 (Ref:299273)   #11
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paulzinho should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridpaulzinho should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
And don't forget that Ralf nearly back flipped in Australia!
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Old 29 May 2002, 12:22 (Ref:299361)   #12
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Liz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLiz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
This sounds like scare tactics to me -- or a slow news day. I haven't seen any mention of it anywhere else and the people who usually send me information ahead of the curve have not heard anything about it.

Seems to me that if anything was going to come of this, it would have followed Michele Alboretto's tragic accident. No sports cars except the Grand Am Archangel car have flipped since then.

Finally, after the Subaru's barrel roll at Rally Argentina that barely missed landing on a group of spectators -- and it's only the latest of a large number of very dangerous crashes that could have killed masses of uncontrolled and seemingly uncontrollable spectators -- the FIA has better and more immediate things to think about than messing with sports cars.
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Old 29 May 2002, 12:47 (Ref:299377)   #13
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Liz

Were you aware of the Press Release?

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Old 29 May 2002, 12:50 (Ref:299385)   #14
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kdr should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridkdr should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
agree with liz...theres a lawsuit waiting to happen in the world rally championship - that should be more foremost in the fia's mind.
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Old 29 May 2002, 17:07 (Ref:299578)   #15
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I agree about your points on the WRC, and i know this is not the right forum for my thoughts on this but here they are.
The FIA are trying to make rallying(WRC) as popular as FORMULA 1. In the UK the Lombard RAC Rally as it was called for a long time drew more spectators than formula 1 could dream about, with no real spectator problems as such and congestion no way near as bad as it is now.
This is not only a problem in the UK but even worse in europe with non competition cars being left on the side of the stages, and people hanging off every vantage point they can find.
The cause of this i believe is the fact of the FIA wanting easily managed packages for them selves to make as much money as possible, in as short a time as possible.
Obviuosly by cutting the number of stages or the number of total stage and road miles is better for the teams, but who is the customer here the fans.
And by doing such things, the fans who want to watch the WRC are forced to go to less stages and any person worth there salt will know that all these people who were spread over 10 stages (a few years ago)are now spread over three, and as is more common now stages get cancelled due to safety reasons because of the amount of spectators.
The FIA need a good kick up the
if you ask me and sort there act out ounce and for all.
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