Le Mans Friday Notebook – Sportscar365

Photo: ACO

*** The motorists’ parade is back for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, as fans gather on the streets of downtown Le Mans for a star-gazing before the start of tomorrow. Other festivities on Friday included a pit tour and new for the year, a parade for fans that included running opportunities (pictured above).

*** The new GT class imposed by the FIA ​​and ACO for 2024 will likely be called the “LM GT” according to FIA Endurance Committee Chairman Richard Mille, who has ruled out the GT3 or GT titles. The name dates back to the late 1990s and early 2000s when the production-based class was known by the same name before it was renamed GT2 in 2005.

*** Thomas Laudenbach, Head of Motorsports at Porsche, reviews what next year’s built GTE-Am stable might look like: “We’re not going to enter the factory as we do today.” “If the client makes a package and races, we will support it as we do in client sport.”

*** Laudenbach also said that no consideration was given to Porsche doing special liveries for GTE-Pro cars at Le Mans this year. It was previously suggested that the manufacturer do something special to learn about the last factory GTE-Pro race before switching to LMDH. “That would have been nice, but no,” he said on Friday. “So far, we are focused on winning the race.”

*** More major decisions on the 2025 LMP2 regulations are due this year according to ACO Competition Director Thierry Buffett. He noted that tenders for the supply of tires and engines for the next generation formula are among the items “still in progress” with more clarity expected in the coming months.

*** While announcing at the ACO press conference its debut “by 2025” Richard Mille explained to Sportscar365 that the planned hydrogen class at Le Mans would not be launched before then, having already been delayed by a year. “It’s a target of 2025, but at the same time we have to make sure that the car is not ridiculous in terms of performance,” he said. “This is a huge development work with all partners.”

*** The Mission H24 raced the Road to Le Mans on Thursday with Stéphane Richelmy completing a total of eight laps, with a best lap time of 5:03,882 around Circuit de la Sarthe. It compares to Laurents Hoerr’s LMP3 category record of 3:44,352 that was set during last year’s event.

*** Mark Rushbrook, Ford Performance’s director of global motorsport, said the Ford Mustang GT3 project, announced in January, is still on schedule for its 2024 debut. “At this point, there are no issues yet. ,” he told Sportscar365. “With everything revolving around supply chain management.”

*** When asked if Ford was still evaluating a potential LMDH program, Rushbrook replied, “No comment.”

*** A five-round calendar has been published for the Le Mans Virtual Series 2022-23, ending with the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual Edition. The events on the schedule are: 8H Bahrain (September 17), 4H Monza (October 8), 6H Spa (November 5), 500 miles from Sebring (December 3), 24H Le Mans Virtual (January 14-15).

*** The Le Mans virtual series will continue to be held on the rFactor2 platform and will be organized by Motorsport Games. Driver regulations have been relaxed, with entries requiring a designated professional driver in the real world to appear in just one event, rather than the entire season.

*** Gerard Neveu, CEO of Virtual Le Mans Series commented: “We are confident that we will continue to attract champions from all different categories of motorsport and sim racing, and that we can produce another exciting and professional esports series for gamers and spectators around the world. fans to enjoy.”

*** Roger Pinsky returns to Le Mans as a team owner for the first time in 51 years. The “Captain” raced once as a driver in 1963, notably sharing the Ferrari 330 TRI/LM with Pedro Rodriguez who finished first in the race by qualifying.

**** Penske said, “Before 1963, the guy with the biggest engine was up front. So 1963 was the first time they had qualified. Rodriguez did a [lap of] Three minutes and 50 seconds.”

*** An FIA networking event took place at the Circuit Motorsports Committee on Friday. More than 50 women in sports car racing, including five women drivers of Le Mans for 24 Hours, took part in a roundtable to share their views and experiences. The event was led by Deborah Meyer, chair of the FIA’s New Car Racing Committee.

*** Tom Christensen, a nine-time Le Mans winner, has been named an ambassador for next year’s centenary edition, which is confirmed June 10-11, 2023.

*** A new trophy will be unveiled to celebrate the centenary of the race at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August ahead of an “Olympic-like” world tour that will include a stop at Goodwood Revival, the season-ending 6-hour WEC of Bahrain and other events in preparation for next year’s race.

*** Nick Tandy set a new speed record with his custom built radio-controlled car earlier in the week. As documented on Jordan Taylor’s YouTube channel, the Briton clocked 143 mph (230 km/h) while running right on the Circuit de la Sarthe front.

*** A total of 95 cars used Xtrac gearboxes in 24 hours from Le Mans and Road to Le Mans this week. Fifty-one of those compete in the 24-hour race.

*** 15-minute warm-up session at 10:30 AM ET (4:30 AM ET) followed by 4 PM.

*** The list of junior drivers for tomorrow’s race has been released. Click here for a list. Sebastien Buemi and Mike Conway take the front row in two Toyota GR010 Hybrids.

*** Corvette Racing Hyperpole drivers Nick Tandy and Antonio Garcia will share a front-row GTE-Pro. The WRT LMP2 team nominated Rene Rast as a starter, putting AF Corse Vincent April at the center of the GTE-Am.

Daniel Lloyd and Davey Oyama contributed to this report



John Daggis He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports reporter for FOXSports.com and the SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications around the world. Contact John


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