Author Topic: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans  (Read 1145 times)

Offline Alianora La Canta

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2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« on: June 03, 2017, 12:28:20 AM »
On Sunday, it is the test day for Giancarlo Fisichella, Toni Vilander and all of the other drivers doing the biggest race in motorsport.

Fisico has revealed his new helmet for the race. It has the same shape as usual, with grey diamonds and side stripe colouring reminiscent of summer 2006, in patriotic red, white and green. The back stripes are red (upper) and green (lower). The top of the helmet features a grey "teardrop", with a black Prancing Horse emblazoned upon the crown.

He's also released a limited-edition pair of sunglasses together with Serengeti.

Offline Alianora La Canta

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2017, 06:07:32 PM »
A text description of events in the Le Mans test. Fisico and one of his team-mates got a black-and-white flag each for disrespecting track limits, but managed to avoid getting formally told off by stewards (unlike 7 of their rivals).

Speed was more of an issue; the Corvettes and Aston Martins are a long way ahead of all of the Ferraris and Fords (a reverse of last year's situation).

Offline Marja

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2017, 07:03:34 PM »
I hope that Eurosport broadcasts the race too! Last year I watched part of the race and Fisico had almost same colouring in his helmet.
 Do you know who are his team mates this year?

Offline Alianora La Canta

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2017, 01:21:03 AM »
As I understand it, Eurosport still has the rights to Le Mans, so you can still enjoy it on your TV. (I do not have Eurosport, so will be "watching" via live timing, Twitter and Radio Le Mans).

Fisico's team-mates in the Risi #82 at Le Mans are Toni Vilander and Pierre Kaffer (PDF). Both have proven their worth at Le Mans, within racing Ferraris and also as talented team-mates to Fisico. This should be a very successful partnership.

Their rivals for Le Mans GTE-Pro glory are the twin AF Corses, two Corvettes, four - count them, four - Fords, two Porsches and two Aston Martins.

Offline Alianora La Canta

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2017, 05:21:12 PM »
There's been a Balance of Performance since test day. Fisico's Ferrari has been granted an extra 2 litres of fuel tank. The other significant difference is that the Corvette has had its air restrictor reduced, making it slower than it would otherwise have been.

Offline Marja

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2017, 04:27:26 PM »
There's been a Balance of Performance since test day. Fisico's Ferrari has been granted an extra 2 litres of fuel tank. The other significant difference is that the Corvette has had its air restrictor reduced, making it slower than it would otherwise have been.

This is new for me that it is possible to use extra litres of fuel tank during races. In F1 instead it is limited how much fuel you have during the race because all this fuel is part of driver's and car's weight together. If the fuel tank is too heavy, the car can have disqualification.

Offline Alianora La Canta

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2017, 11:13:12 PM »
This is new for me that it is possible to use extra litres of fuel tank during races. In F1 instead it is limited how much fuel you have during the race because all this fuel is part of driver's and car's weight together. If the fuel tank is too heavy, the car can have disqualification.

This is very true. In F1, all cars get the same amount of fuel. The cars can be changed every race to make as good a use of the fuel as possible. The idea is for one of them to eventually have the fastest and best car.

In sportscars where more than one type of car is allowed, the cars are usually the same for several years in a row. Fisico raced the last year of the Ferrari 430 era (in 2010), which had begun in 2006. Then he had the Ferrari 458 from 2011-2015, and now he's in his 2nd season of racing the Ferrari 488 - something he will likely continue to do until 2019. Since the cars tend to be basically the same for several years in a row, changes have to be made by the regulators to stop everyone from switching to whichever car is the best at a given moment.  The idea is to have all the cars be equally good, and have team and driver talent make the difference.

Fuel tanks are relatively easy to change size for, as are air restrictors (that control engine power), weight and small aero adjustments. So this is why these things are often changed slightly in Balances of Performance (BoP). If you see someone getting a bigger fuel tank, it is because the governing body decided their car was unfairly less able to race than somebody else's. A team getting a smaller fuel tank does so because the governing body thinks it has too much of an advantage over others.

In the case of fuel tanks, this works because fuel tank size controls how long a stint can be. Yes, cars are allowed unlimited fuel, but every time they stop in the pits, they must lose time because they travel slowly down the pit lane, and then stop for the fuel. Teams with a bigger fuel tank than permitted in a particular race are disqualified (or, more likely, fail scrutineering and are required to replace it with the correct size before starting practise).

This can be difficult - I remember back in 2012 when Fisico and Gimmi were so good compared to their opponents that the FIA accidentally started doing Balance of Performance changes to slow them down, rather than to balance what the cars were capable of doing... However, it has shown itself to be the most reliable way of keeping lots of different cars in world-class sportscar series.

Offline Alianora La Canta

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2017, 11:41:26 PM »
Edit: added French TV information.

For British viewers: Quest TV will have free-to-air coverage of the first hour (2 pm - 3 pm BST), the seventh hour (8 pm - 9 pm), the 21st hour (10 am - 11 am) and the last hour (1 pm - 2 pm). There is also complete coverage on the pay TV channels on Eurosport. As I understand it, Finland will also have full coverage on the pay TV channels on Eurosport, but I do not know whether it will have a free-to-air option like Quest.

For French viewers: France 2 has most of the first 3 hours of the race (starting at 2:50 pm and continuing until 5:50 pm). France 3 then has over half the race, starting from halfway through the 9th hour and continuing until partway through Hour 20 (0:35 am - 11:45 am). Eurosport, again, has the entire race, for those in a position to pay for it.

Across Europe, it is possible to pay 6 to watch the full Le Mans coverage online (race plus all practise and qualifying sessions) via Eurosport, or 7 to have an entire month's Eurosport, including all of Le Mans. Note that either of these can be streamed onto your TV.

If you don't see your TV channel in the above list, please refer to this PDF with what is on every channel worldwide that is broadcasting Le Mans.

Radio Le Mans will offer free radio coverage to everyone, worldwide.

LMP2 cars are going a lot faster than last year, which could be a problem when they come to lap the GTE cars. Fisico and his friends will need to be even more careful than usual.

Fisico, Toni and Pierre went through the Le Mans scrutineering today. They all look happy at the start of this week's big race, and ate together at the Place de Jacobin afterwards.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 09:37:01 PM by Alianora La Canta »

Offline Alianora La Canta

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2017, 09:27:54 PM »
Risi's car for this year's Le Mans is a brand new chassis, delivered from Italy just before test day. Expect much improvement over the course of the practise and qualifying sessions.

Risi has given a nice little interview for NBC about its history at Le Mans.

A bus somehow managed to get stuck in the gravel at Mulsanne corner earlier today. This is quite impressive as there were no racing sessions today, and the buses were only meant to be giving fans a tour of the track  :o Meanwhile, Fisico and his friends were greeting thousands of fans at their autograph session.

Finally, it's that time of the year: to play "spot Fisico" in the photo of all 180 drivers in the 2017 Le Mans race.

Offline Alianora La Canta

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2017, 09:45:14 PM »
Updates have been made to the TV post I made earlier, but the most important thing is that there is now a PDF which has all the TV and radio broadcasters, areas and times of broadcast. So now it's possible to make a plan that suits you.

Marja, Eurosport will have all the race in Finland. 1 hour and 15 minutes of it (times to be decided) will be on Eurosport 2. All the rest will be on Eurosport 1.

Offline Alianora La Canta

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2017, 09:50:02 PM »
We also have a timetable! So finally, I can tell you which sessions I can provide live commentary for. All times are in local format, starting 1 hour earlier in the UK and 1 hour later in Finland:

Wednesday

16:00-20:00.....Practise (will miss due to work - sorry)
22:00-00:00.....Qualifying 1 (will cover)

Thursday

19:00-21:00.....Qualifying 2 (will miss due to work - sorry)
22:00-00:00.....Qualifying 3 (will likely be able to cover the last half)

Saturday-Sunday

14:00-14:00.....Race (subject to router and ability to stay awake, will cover entire race)


Offline Alianora La Canta

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2017, 08:54:58 PM »
Risi finished practise in 37th place, 6th GTE-Pro. It has only 24 laps. There has been a red flag severe enough that Qualifying 1 (due to start in 6 minutes) may be delayed. Session will end at 12 midnight local time (11 pm BST, 1 am Finnish time) no matter what.

Offline Alianora La Canta

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2017, 09:05:21 PM »
The start of the session is in 1 minute. Forza Fisico, Pierre, Toni e Risi Competizione!

Offline Alianora La Canta

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Re: 2017 24 Heures du Le Mans
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2017, 09:12:01 PM »
Session still hasn't started?!?