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Old 26 Oct 2011, 19:55 (Ref:2977355)   #1
PascaLM
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Are the most exciting LM editions the most fast ?

These days, high performances seem to be banned. Restrictors have been compulsory for many years ; priority is given to energy efficiency.
So, do you think the next editions will be as interesting as before ?
Do you think there's a link between a great edition and a high average speed ?
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Old 1 Nov 2011, 08:22 (Ref:2980019)   #2
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I think that the speed is part of what makes the most exciting race but the to me the most important part is having close racing within each category not just in the top section but Lemans is all about keeping the excitement going for 24 hours and speed alone will only keep your attention for a short spell.

As long as there are still cars fighting for the whole 24 hours I am happy the ability of this race to deliver that is what keeps me coming back year after year
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Old 1 Nov 2011, 09:18 (Ref:2980036)   #3
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AGD should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridAGD should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
It's an interesting question and I guess the answer is that it depends. Even with all the new restrictions that came into place this year, the top LMP1s were running lap times that were pretty close to last year's times. That's pretty remarkable. At the same time, the top teams have managed to run hot laps almost throughout the entire race. I guess an argument could be made that the cars weren't pushed to the total extreme this year as there was a lot of time run under the safety car, but that is a different topic. Of course, even if the cars are capable of running near qualifying laps throughout the whole race, it's not so clear if the drivers can do it. We saw the consequences of that this year.

So while all of this is new and exciting right now, the fact that cars are almost bulletproof while being pushed hard could become boring old news after a while. I guess that is when racing becomes less interesting. I'm hopeful that teams will experiment with new technology that will not only up the pace (if only temporarily before new regs are made), but perhaps these new technologies will be pushed so hard to the extreme that teams will have to weigh reliability concerns again.

We have a saying here in America that things have "jumped the shark" when something has reached it's peak potential and is now on the downfall. Many forms of racing hit that moment at some point in the 80s, 90s, or early 00s when speeds became too high for safety and subsequently car technology became highly restricted, controlled, and sometimes even mandated. This hit Indycar racing hard, but I think there is still enough openness in Le Mans style racing that the racing is still interesting. I hope it can stay around for a long time, but it is not easy. Well, at least we're not at the point where drivers (or team managers!) have to pose mostly naked in magazines and FCYs have to be thrown near the end of races to make for close finishes in order to grab people's attention. We may not be in the 60s anymore, but there are still things going on with the cars that are interesting and the racing is very close in a natural way even if the diesel regulation haters disagree with that. So even without maximum speed, the racing is still interesting. Maybe it could be more interesting if big ole V12s were still allowed and such, but luckily we aren't at the point (hopefully) where we need to make a spiritual call to PT Barnum to ask for suggestions on how to spice up the action.
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Old 1 Nov 2011, 09:18 (Ref:2980037)   #4
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Carsandmotorracing should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I think good battles in cool cars with good drivers make for a exciting Le Mans 24 Hour personially.
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Old 1 Nov 2011, 21:53 (Ref:2980374)   #5
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These days, high performances seem to be banned. Restrictors have been compulsory for many years ; priority is given to energy efficiency.
So, do you think the next editions will be as interesting as before ?
Do you think there's a link between a great edition and a high average speed ?
Keeping in mind that the fastest LM to date was way back in 2010, along with a lap qualifying record. Sure, the cars are a bit slower now, but if they leave the regulations alone for a year or two, they'll quickly be back up to that pace. There isn't much of a correlation between absolute top speed, and having a great race. For a great race you want close competition to near the end, such as this year. Historically speaking, the 3:25's run this year are pretty fast, and what I might consider high performance. The margin of victory was 13 seconds after 24 hours.
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Old 1 Nov 2011, 22:10 (Ref:2980378)   #6
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Another thing I suppose is, unless you are watching the race exclusively on the Mulsanne, you are getting more of a sensation of speed than ever due to the amazing grip demonstrated in the corners.
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Old 2 Nov 2011, 08:03 (Ref:2980504)   #7
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I think the the biggest thing that has made Le Mans more and more exciting in recent years as a 'race' is the ability to run flat out for the whole 24 hours. Before the arrival of Audi most races were still run to a pace and the car with the least trouble won.

Now the top cars in each class (p1 and GT especially) have to run flat out and race the whole time so the victory comes down to the drivers and the teams strategy which makes the whole thing more exciting throughout.

The reality is that the ultimate pace of the cars are no faster than they were 25 years ago due to the restrictons and rule changes
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Old 8 Nov 2011, 07:35 (Ref:2983049)   #8
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I think generally speaking, yes.

You have to run guts out for 24 hours to win or you will get left behind, but yet the pace is so fast that the cars are pushed to the ragged edge in terms of reliability.

I like attrition during the race. It means that the cars are being adequately challenged.
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Old 8 Nov 2011, 08:39 (Ref:2983074)   #9
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Steptoe should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridSteptoe should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Fastest are generally exiting for reasons stated before (running cars to limit the whole time) and the increased corner speeds. But in the days of no chicanes and low drag config cornering was still exciting albeit slower. Even with the old WSC fuel limits it was awesome especially for the strategists out there but sometimes reduced the last hour to a procession.
For me though the whole diversity of cars and without a doubt the engines and NOISE just increase the whole excitement factor............just don't tell Ulrich Baretzky because he has most definitely got his facts on noise wrong.
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Old 8 Nov 2011, 16:18 (Ref:2983209)   #10
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For me though the whole diversity of cars and without a doubt the engines and NOISE just increase the whole excitement factor............just don't tell Ulrich Baretzky because he has most definitely got his facts on noise wrong.
Please DO tell him! The 'sound is wasted energy' nonsense has to stop! And quick!
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Old 8 Nov 2011, 17:52 (Ref:2983231)   #11
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wolfhound should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridwolfhound should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridwolfhound should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
To answer the original question generally yes for the following reasons.

The fastest Le Mans races seem to always have at least 2 cars slugging it out for most if not all the race, the last few races and the late 80's late 60's early 70's spring to mind. in all these cases there were a number of cars or manufacturers fighting for victory.

Races where one car or team were able to pace themselve to a following car that was many laps behind do not create the same excitement, you are there waiting for a mishap to liven things up a bit.
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Old 8 Nov 2011, 19:31 (Ref:2983269)   #12
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I think much of what I was going to say has been said already. Exciting doesn't necessarily require the ultimate speeds. I think we were incredibly lucky this year with a great race between Audi and Peugeot, although I would have loved to have seen a real fight at the very finish. I also think back to 09, a great race until the Peugeots started going bang and the fact that they all went bang made the last couple of hours as dull as any Le Mans I've seen in my 26 years....
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Old 8 Nov 2011, 20:33 (Ref:2983284)   #13
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thebear should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridthebear should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Another point of view . . .

I believe that teams overcoming adversity is what makes the races more interesting. Obviously action and success in the pits ties it all together.

Punctures seem to be the most random difficulty as `bits' rarely fall off the cars other than from contact.

General mechanical reliability in the current crop of cars is excellent.
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Old 8 Nov 2011, 23:31 (Ref:2983348)   #14
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AGD should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridAGD should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
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I think much of what I was going to say has been said already. Exciting doesn't necessarily require the ultimate speeds. I think we were incredibly lucky this year with a great race between Audi and Peugeot, although I would have loved to have seen a real fight at the very finish.
13 seconds might not be a wheel-banging fight to the finish, but that's epically close by Le Mans standards especially considering that there wasn't a late FCY setting that up. At least I don't think there was, I might be forgetting something.

I don't really buy that the WEC championships are going to be as important in the future as some say they will be, but let's say that they will be really important. Given that Le Mans is a double points race and that some of the WEC teams (Audi & Peugeot for example) will have non-WEC extra cars in the race, could we see a Schumacher-Barrichello type racing order "photo finish" if a team's non-WEC 3rd car is leading and a WEC car is 2nd? Would you guys consider that to be exciting? What about a Dyson at Laguna type finish? I kind of know what Ken Miles might have said in response to that question if he was still alive, but I guess it isn't too far-fetched of a question.
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Old 9 Nov 2011, 08:57 (Ref:2983478)   #15
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I dont know the statistics, but my guess is that in the last few years we have seen at least 2 cars on the same lap at the finish more frequently than in the past.
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