Le Mans Friday Notebook – Sportscar365

Photo: ACO

*** The crew has returned for the first time since the coronavirus epidemic began, with fans flooding the main streets of downtown Le Mans to see the stars before tomorrow. Other festivities on Friday included a walk in the pit with this year’s newcomer, a fan walk that includes running opportunities (pictured above).

*** The name of the FIA ​​and the new GT ACO class of 2024 will probably be called ‘LM GT’ according to FIA Endurance Commission President Richard Mille, who criticized the GT3 or GT. The name came to prominence in the late 90’s and early 2000’s when a production team identified the same name before it was renamed GT2 in 2005.

*** Porsche Motorsport CEO Thomas Laudenbach foresaw what the GTE-Am maker would look like next year: “We will not enter the factory as we do today,” he said. “If a customer makes a package and runs, we will help as much as we do in the customer game.”

*** Laudenbach also said it was unthinkable for Porsche to make special liveries for its GTE-Pro cars in Le Mans this year. In the past he also said that the manufacturer should do something special to realize the manufacturer’s final GTE-Pro competition before changing LMDh. “It would have been nice, but no,” he said Friday. “So far, we are really looking forward to winning the competition.”

*** Other important decisions on the 2025 LMP2 rules are due to be made this year according to ACO competition chief Thierry Bouvet. He added that next-generation tenders and tires and engines are among the things that are “still being finalized” that are clearly expected in the coming months.

*** When announced at the ACO press conference with his first public appearance “by the year 2025” Richard Mille told Sportscar365 that the hydrogen class set up at Le Mans will not run long, as it has already been pushed for a year. “It’s a goal for 2025, but at the same time we must make sure that the car doesn’t go crazy,” he said. “This is a huge development project with all the stakeholders.”

*** The Mission H24 car took part in Thursday’s Road to Le Mans race with Stephane Richelmi finishing eight times, with a perfect time of 5: 03.882 around Circuit de la Sarthe. It compared to Laurents Hoerr’s LMP3 record of 3: 44.352 set last year.

*** Ford Performance Global motorsport CEO Mark Rushbrook said the Ford Mustang GT3 project, announced in January, was still in preparation for the start of 2024. “So far, there are no problems,” he told Sportscar365. “It all depends on the supply chain management.”

*** Asked if Ford was still reviewing the LMDh program, Rushbrook said “no comment.”

*** Five round calendar published 2022-23 Le Mans Virtual Series, which concludes with the third edition of 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. Features of the program are: 8H Bahrain (Sep. 17), 4H Monza (Oct. 8), 6H Spa (Nov. 5), 500 Miles of Sebring (Dec. 3), 24H Le Mans Virtual (Jan. 14- 15) .

*** Le Mans Virtual Series will continue to take place on the rFactor2 platform and hosted by Motorsport Games. The rules for driving drivers are loosened, and entries require that their chosen driver be seen on a single event, not an entire season.

*** Gertual Neveu Virtual Le Mans Series CEO replied: “We are confident that we will continue to attract professionals from various motorsport and sim racing teams, and that we can create another exciting and professional list of the world’s biggest sports and viewers. for the sake of the audience. ”

*** Roger Penske has returned to Le Mans as a team owner for the first time in 51 years.

**** Penske notes: “Before 1963, the man with the largest engine was in front. So 1963 was the first time he qualified. Rodriguez did [lap of] three minutes, 50 seconds. ”

*** The online event of the FIA ​​Women in Motorsport Commission took place in paddock on Friday. More than 50 women taking part in the car race, including five Le Mans drivers, gathered at a round table to share their thoughts and experiences. The event was led by the new President of the FIA ​​Women in Motorsport Commission, Deborah Mayer.

*** Six-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen has been named ambassador for next year’s 100th edition of the tournament, confirmed June 10-11, 2023.

*** The new 100-year-old competition will be unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August ahead of the “Olympic-like” international tour that will include a suspension at Goodwood Revival, WEC at the end of the 6th season. Bahrain hours and other events in preparation for next year’s competition.

*** Nick Tandy hit a new running track with his custom-powered radio car earlier this week. As reported on Jordan Taylor’s YouTube channel, the Briton ran 143 mph (230 kph) in front of Circuit de la Sarthe straight.

*** 95 vehicles are using Xtrac gearboxes in the 24-hour Le Mans and Road to Le Mans fields this week. Sixty of them are competing in a 24-hour race.

*** The 15-minute race to prepare for the 10:30 am local time (4:30 am ET) starting at 4pm.

*** A list of tomorrow’s race drivers is provided. Click Here for a list. Sebastian Buemi and Mike Conway have taken the front row in two versions of the Toyota GR010 Hybrids.

*** Corvette Racing’s Hyperpole drivers Nick Tandy and Antonio Garcia share the front for the GTE-Pro. LMP2 pole-sitter Team WRT has selected Rene Rast at the start, with AF Corse placing Vincent Abril under the GTE-Am pole.

Daniel Lloyd and Davey Euwema contributed to this

John Dagys is the founder and CEO of Sportscar365. Dagys has spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to many other car publications around the world. ask John

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