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Thursday, May 23, 2024

New security automotive guidelines threat devaluing Le Mans win

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Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe technical director Pascal Vasselon believes that the revised security automotive system may make “Le Mans a little bit of a lottery”. 

The {old} system of three security vehicles being deployed on the lengthy 8.47-mile Circuit de la Sarthe is being replaced by a new procedure whereby the sphere can be lined up behind a single course car when the race goes inexperienced. 

“The character of the race may now fully change with a security automotive,” Vasselon informed Autosport.

“It makes Le Mans a little bit of a lottery, and that adjustments the worth of the win.  It may devalue a Le Mans victory as a result of you will get it by probability one way or the other.”

Vasselon identified that any security automotive system will affect the race. 

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“A security automotive all the time has a sporting impression. You possibly can minimise that impression with the three security vehicles, or maximise it, which is what has been completed for this 12 months,” he defined. 

“The process that was in place was in all probability the very best one to have the bottom sporting impression on a monitor of 13.6km with a lap time of 3m30s. 

“Now, all it’s a must to do is keep inside three minutes of the chief and watch for a security automotive.”

He described the transfer as “not very Positive” and a “type of Americanisation of the race”. 

Security automotive leads (a portion of) the pack at Le Mans…

Photograph by: Paul Foster

The brand new security automotive guidelines have polarised the WEC paddock. 

Porsche Penske Motorsport boss Jonathan Diuguid stated: “Extra vehicles on the lead lap on the finish of a 24-hour race is extra thrilling than not. 

“After Le Mans final 12 months, we checked out how the warning durations affected our LMP2 programme. And on the finish there, one labored for us and one labored in favour of the [class winning] Jota automotive. 

“Attempting to get rid of that as a lot as attainable needs to be good.”

United Autosports staff principal Richard Dean identified that the brand new system would enable scope for delayed vehicles to make up misplaced time.

That, he argued, “needed to be good” on condition that final 12 months his staff’s #22 LMP2 entry misplaced two laps in a startline incident and was unable to make up for the delay.

“Something that offers you the prospect to possibly get a lap again if issues be just right for you needs to be seen as Positive,” he stated.

“Final 12 months, we misplaced these two laps initially, and our drivers drove flat out for twenty-four hours, however we had been by no means going to make up any floor.”

Jota staff boss Sam Hignett, whose staff is becoming a member of the Hypercar class of the WEC with a Porsche 963 LMDh this 12 months, defined that he had blended emotions concerning the new guidelines.

“Within the brief time period, it’s in all probability good for us as a result of we can be going to Le Mans with a automotive that’s new to us and possibly aren’t going to be as fast as a few of our rivals,” he stated.

“Something that retains us within the combine is nice in that respect, however taking a look at it long-term, a security automotive that bunches up the sphere takes away from our strategic IP as a staff.”

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The race can be neutralised behind three security vehicles as up to now, earlier than a merging of the queue behind a single course car. 

Any automotive forward of the chief of its class within the pack will then get a wave round. 

This can be adopted by what has been termed ‘drop again’, which is able to kind the vehicles into class teams with Hypercar on the entrance and GTE Am on the rear.

The system was practised on the opening day of the WEC Prologue check at Sebring earlier this month. 

A time of 20 minutes has been estimated for the process to be accomplished at Le Mans.



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