Another interesting fact is the topspeed in Le Mans. In the past the most significant parameter, it changed a bit over the ears. Remember the question for the „Langheck“ or „Kurzheck“ Porsche 962 when the chicanes were build.
But Topspeed is still important and a look into the oficial numbers shows something quite intersting. First of all, Audi did the fastest topspeed of all. Maybe because of a good slipstream, but everyone has expected that Porsche would take the trophy or at least Toyota. But during the weekend there were rumours that Porsche had an unexpected aero-bouncing on the front and reduced laptimes and topspeed.
Toyota found themself in discussions about a strange behaving rear wing – see Mike Fullers excellent analysis – which could also be a reason for the slower speed. More likely to me is, that the Toyota driver simply lifted the food earlier to charge the supercaps.
Using hybrid technologydoes mean a different way of thinking and hybrid strategy is the key to a fast and efficient lap. The graph shows slower Toyotas at the speed trap and Audi and Porsche close by at higher speeds. The reason why I used the percent instead of absolute numbers is the different number of laps the teams did. Unfortunatly I had to remove Audi #3 and Porsche #20 because of faulty or too little amount of datas. Audi did the fastest topspeed reaching 339,1 km/h, while the other competitors were 5-8 km/h slower. But if you take the average of all topspeeds of a car relatively to the fastest topseed you can see a bigger difference for the Toyotas than for the Audis or Porsches. This underlines that the Toyotas could have gone faster.