Two titles of world champion of “Formula-1” Fernando Alonso added a second victory at the legendary “24 hours of Le Mans.” The dramatic denouement of the race for the ring “Sarthe” podium Russians in the main standings and the end of the super season WEC – what is remembered the famous marathon this year?
THE END OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Not in the sense that the championship close. WEC – maybe not the most popular series in the world, but afloat is held. Another thing that reform does not escape. Two years ago the organizers decided to go on an unexpected move to hold the super instead of the usual season, which lasts from spring to autumn. In the end, he started in may of 2018, and ended now in June 2019. Next – already the 87th in the history of the race in Le Mans.
What is the benefit? To be honest, nothing. The number of stages has decreased in comparison with the 2017-th year (8 instead of 9 marathons). The costs of the teams with less did not, and a substantial portion of the budget eaten visits to Japan, China and the United States (all other races held in Europe). The competition is not increased, and in the main class LMP1 – and it disappeared. Toyota too much money invested in their hybrids, so someone has the opportunity to challenge them. In the end, the crews of the Japanese team dominated in all races and in all won victories (however, at Silverstone the 2018 they were disqualified for infringement of technical regulations, but essentially it does not change).
Naturally, this state of Affairs is bad for the interest of the audience, so the FIA are seriously thinking about how to remedy the situation. In the future season will see the innovation in rules – to-weight ratio of cars, the victorious, will add ballast. Supposedly it helps equalize the chances and to raise competition. But that’s how it is right from the point of view of the sporting spirit – a separate issue.
As for the super season, the title eventually went to the crew Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima. They won at Le Mans. However, in a very dramatic climax…
THE STRUGGLE OF TWO “TOYOTA”
…Because shortly before the finish of the marathon Spaniard, Swiss and Japanese seriously lagged behind their partners from the other crew, “Toyota” – under the management of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose-Maria Lopez. How did this gap – too a separate song.
– I could not understand – we went without errors, we had no technical problems, we were significantly behind on the straights and in high-speed turns, losing the respect of leaders of several seconds a lap. – admitted Alonso. – When I found out the reason, it was possible to laugh and cry.
It turned out that under the planned change drivers when behind the wheel once again sat a Spaniard on his car… not have locked the door! In a race, every detail is important, and this nuance has seriously affected the aerodynamics. In the end, the speed of the second “Toyota” and declined. Not so much in order to approach other rivals. But enough to keep up with the second Japanese crew. When the problem was fixed, the rate has leveled off hypercar. But to catch up with Conway, Kobayashi and Lopez were married…
Help came suddenly. Shortly before the finish on the car under the number “7” had a slow puncture. And plenty of time allowed to conduct an unscheduled check in the boxes to replace the tires without losing position! But the mechanics decided to save some power, or a few extra seconds in the end, changing only one wheel – the front right. In it, as shown by the telemetry data, was the problem. However… the computer was wrong. Had a puncture in the right rear. Lopez (he was driving) had to go into the pits, and then for the second crew still leaders.
Then celebrated the victory.
“Toyota” may have dominated the entire season, and this weekend, but the Japanese – only two of the crew. So, third place on the podium was supposed to go to someone else. And it went to the Russian team!
In SMP Racing took a lot of effort by developing a prototype BR1 for LMP1 and brought together two strong crews. Yes, the victories did not have to dream too great advantage main competitors, but the team think for the future. The pace in qualifying, as they say, inspired – Sergey Sirotkin, Egor Orudzhev and Frenchman Stephane Sarrazin behind Alonso, Nakajima and Buemi by just 0.2 seconds! Alas, the high speed on the straight was offset by a lack of downforce in corners and higher fuel consumption. So in terms of a daily marathon to fight with Toyotas, it was still impossible – the gap is already to the middle distance has grown to several tens of kilometers. However, in the fight for third place is the crew SMP Racing looked clear favorites!
And, in General, confirmed this status.
However, Sirotkin orujiem with no luck – the guys had an accident in the night and early out. But Vitaly Petrov, Mikhail Aleshin and Stoffel Vandorn confidently coasting to the finish after the “Toyota” and made it to the podium. An obvious success!
Another Russian team G-Drive Racing – the former in the top three “Le Mans”, but in the LMP2 class, were, alas, unsuccessful. Roman Rusinov, Jean-Eric Vergne and job van Uitert long fought for the lead, but shortly before the finish line during the pit stop, their car suddenly stalled motor. As it turned out – failed wiring. The fault has been eliminated, but the time has been irretrievably spent, and 20 minutes of downtime turned into a loss position and only the sixth place in the Protocol of its class.
source: “Soviet sport”