Friday, 29 June 2012

More on Average Lap Time comparisons

It is no secret that I am a big fan of average lap times... particularly when analysing driver performances.

Last year, at the Le Mans Test Day, the fastest stint (of 11 laps) was done by Dindo Capello at 3m 33.1s. In the race, Benoît Tréluyer completed 10 laps in 3m 28.8s. This average is worked out from pit out at the start of the stint, until pit in at the end - thus including the out an the in lap, but excluding the time spent driving up the pit lane.

This year, the fastest stint on the Test Day was by André Lotterer, who did 3m 31.5s for 12 laps. In the race, this improved to 3m 27.1s - over 12 laps by Allan McNish. Remember that the cars this year had less fuel available and less power.

I was interested to compare this with Toyota, but of course by the Sunday morning 'happy hour', when McNish was in his 'purple patch', both Japanese cars had retired. Looking at the best average lap time for an 11/12 lap stint up to 8pm Saturday evening though, gives the following:

Position Number Car Driver Time No. of laps
1 7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Lapierre 3m 29.8s 11
2 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro Lotterer 3m 30.1s 12
3 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro McNish 3m 30.4s 12
4 3 Audi R18 ultra Dumas 3m 30.5s 12
5 8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid Buemi 3m 30.8s 11
6 4 Audi R18 ultra Bonanomi 3m 31.0s 12

I think the remaining races in this year's WEC could be quite close. Silverstone is next, on 26th August. With the chance of some family time on Bank Holiday Monday!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Audi Driver rotations at Le Mans

It was interesting to see at Le Mans this year, both the Audi R18 e-tron quattros, which finished first and second in the 24 hour race, juggling their driver sequence.

It was unusual last year that Marcel Fässler was excluded from the driver rotation by a team decision. However, this year, both the number 1 Fässler / Tréluyer / Lotterer and the number 2 McNish / Kristensen / Capello cars changed the rotation through the race.

The driver sequences were:
Number 1:
- Lotterer (3 stints)
- Tréluyer (4 stints plus 3 laps)
- Fässler (3 stints)
- Lotterer (3 stints)
- Tréluyer (2 stints)
- Fässler (3 stints)
- Lotterer (5 stints)
- Fässler (4 stints)
- Tréluyer (3 stints)
- Lotterer (3 stints)

In total, Lotterer completed 156 laps, driving time 9h 26m 23s; Tréluyer completed 111 laps (6h 53m 24s) and Fässler 111 laps (7h 00m 31s).

Number 2:
- McNish (3 stints)
- Kristensen (4 stints)
- Capello (3 stints)
- McNish (3 stints)
- Kristensen (3 stints)
- McNish (3 stints)
- Capello (3 stints)
- Kristensen (3 stints)
- Capello (2 stints)
- McNish (4 stints) - including crash at Porsche curves
- Kristensen (2 stints)

The total driving times were: McNish - 148 laps, 9h 10m 58s; Kristensen - 136 laps, 7h 59m 14s and Capello - 93 laps, 6h 05m 05s.

In the number 1, Benoît Tréluyer was suffering from a bad cold, apparently caught when he was out in the rain on Friday night, which neatly explains the reason why he was given a slightly longer rest overnight.

In the number 2 car though, I wonder whether Dindo was given the 'happy hour' to let him celebrate his birthday in style, in what will probably be his last Le Mans? If they hadn't changed it, perhaps McNish would not have been the one in the car when it came across the slower car in the Porsche curves... and maybe, just maybe, the result might have been different.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Audi - Longer, faster and on less fuel

We are currently on a family vacation, enjoying the sunshine of a Mediterranean villa.

However, looking at the times from the Le Mans test day, it looks to me that the Audi R18 e-tron ultra can go further on less fuel than last year's Audi R18. What's more, it is doing faster average lap times as well. I reckon it was managing 12 laps on a tankful!

A full analysis will appear later in the week on - provided I can (a) get a decent Internet connection and (b) manage to drag myself away from the pool!