Although the result was an entirely predictable Audi whitewash, the race contained lots of hints for what might happen at Le Mans in June. A detailed analysis will appear on dailysportscar.com later this week, but in the meantime, here are some interesting points. How about the time spent in the pits by each of the leading runners?
|Car No.||Car||No of stops||Time in Pits||Tyre stops||Stop-Go penalties||Finishing position|
|1||Audi||8||9m 36.471s||5||0||1st LMP1|
|2||Audi||8||8m 51.866s||4||0||2nd LMP1|
|3||Audi||8||9m 23.116s||5||0||3rd LMP1|
|8||Toyota||7||8m 20.856s||4||0||4th LMP1|
|12||Rebellion Lola||7||7m 40.526s||3||0||5th LMP1|
|13||Rebellion Lola||6||7m 16.466s||3||0||6th LMP1|
|21||Strakka HPD||7||10m 41.754s||5||0||7th LMP1|
|49||Pecom Oreca||8||10m 42.654s||7||0||1st LMP2|
|24||Oak Morgan||7||8m 54.954s||5||0||2nd LMP2|
|38||Jota Zytek||7||8m 05.926s||3||0||3rd LMP2|
|51||Ferrari||7||7m 26.231s||5||2||1st GTE-Pro|
|98||Aston Martin||6||6m 24.265s||3||1||2nd GTE-Pro|
|71||Ferrari||5||6m 33.919s||5||0||3rd GTE-Pro|
|81||Ferrari||5||7m 06.562s||5||0||1st GTE-Am|
|95||Aston Martin||5||6m 34.702s||4||0||2nd GTE-Am|
|50||Corvette||5||7m 37.932s||5||0||3rd GTE-Am|
The pit lane at Spa is 386.6m long, which means that at a constant 60 km/h it will take 23.2s just to get from one end of the pits to the other. For the no. 2 Audi, this means that more than 3 minutes was spent travelling down the pit lane - so the time actually spent stationary in front of the pit was something like 5m 40s (taking account of braking and acceleration time).
Even more impressive was the no. 98 Aston Martin, which spent just over four minutes at rest during the race.
With so many teams have practically perfect runs over six hours, the objective for the twenty-four hours must be at a similar level. One cannot imagine the winner at Le Mans (in any of the classes) having an unscheduled pit-stop.
As far as the race for the overall win was concerned, neither the no. 3 Audi (in Le Mans aerodynamic configuration) nor the no.8 Toyota (in 2012 specification) was quite on the pace of the others, and once the no. 7 Toyota had retired, it was left to the two Audis that battled for the lead at Silverstone to provide the excitement at the front at Spa as well.
The fact that Tréluyer, Fässler and Lotterer were able to overcome a 45s longer pit stop time speaks volumes for the pace of the three young chargers (although Lotterer was seen having a couple of close calls in the traffic). The average times for the fastest 25 laps for each of the Audi drivers (along with Nicolas Lapierre in Toyota no. 7) are as follows:
|Car No.||Driver||Average of best 25 laps||Laps completed|
|3||di Grassi||2m 02.316s||67|
There is a good case that André Lotterer is the best prototype driver of the current era - the above table certainly provides evidence that he is the quickest. It is, however, inevitable, that those drivers completing more laps will have a better 25-lap average. And in those terms, Oliver Jarvis is serving notice of his intent to join Audi's top flight.
There's a lot more to look at, especially the fact that the Audis were only running for 20 laps before refuelling, whereas the Toyotas could do 22. For the moment, though, it is all speculation. June will be upon us before long, and the pieces are in place for another great race at Le Mans.