Slightly different topspeeds and nobody is surprsied that the newer machines were the quickest.
I’ve to correct myself after a hint of Sam Collins and a fresh look, the Orecas in general were the fastest, except of the TDS-Ligier. A more detailed analysis has to come for all sectors to find out where the diferent concepts have advantages – at the end the came to a quite close result.
My apologies for doing such slim analysis this year. Unfortunatlely I don’t make money with such things and am quite busy at the moment in my regular job.
The pictures below shows nicely a group of cars with very similar pace. It represent the close battle we had during the race and again, it isn’t over until it’s over!
When you put the gap between the winning Ferrari #51 and the other cars into a chart, you can see how close the battle was at the beginning of the race until one after the another got problems. But it also shows that the Corvette #73, who were 10 minutes behind after 2/3rd of the race reduced the gap to 5 minutes to the end of the race – really, really quick machine!
Negative values mean the Ferrari was behind, positive infront of the opponent.
I choose the quickest car of each manufacturer for this chart and it seems that all were able to do 14 laps per stint, only Corvette had to switch between 13 and 14 laps, while Porsche clearly shows their fuel cell trouble.
This chart surprised me a little. The cars were almost equaliy quick – the difference was just between 2 or 4 km/h. If I had to sort the cars, I would say Ferrari quickest, followed by Corvette and Porsche with the same topspeed and the Aston Martin slightly slower. Remeber these data come from the official speedtrap and I can’t tell if this is already under braking, etc.
The Porsche #79 again is slower and the Ferrari #71 seems to be quicker, but he did only 28 laps.
For now, leaving LMP1 behind, maybe I will bring some more later.
GTEpro was fascinating to watch. Nice battles there and the #79 Porsche had only two drivers. A quick look at the laptimes shows, that the Aston Martin #97 and the quicker Corvette clearly did the fastest laptimes, but you have to bring it home to win a race – or you need to have more luck with the safety car.
The #79 Porsche is not shown here. The car, a Porsche 997 GT3 RSR, was way slower than the other cars in the class.
In Le Mans teammates should be the best budies and together they should be the best unit. Take one driver out and put the next one in and you can be confident that he brings the car home in one piece as you would do. And he is quick, as you are. But he is also the next competitor. Both use the same piece of hardware and the same setup.
But remeber, when you look at these pictures, that laptimes can be influenced by team order, by fuel or race strategy or tricky weather conditions. Doing it a bit slower can be way faster at the end.
Who had to work the most for the money in the factory cars.
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.
This graph shows the gaps between the winning Audi #2 and the other factory LMP1 cars.
How to read this?
Negative values mean the car is infront of the Audi #2, positive they are behind.
The little ripple come from pitstopps.
What we can see is, that the Toyota #7 was in the lead all the time (as we know) until it broke down, but because the line is relativly flat, both car did very similar laptimes. A reason could be that the Toyota took it easy or both cars were very equal.
The Porsche #20 tells a different story. Over the laps the graphs is rising, because the Audi #2 was constantly faster until around lap 250, when the turbo of the #2 had to be changed, and the Audi #1 and the Porsche #20 entered P1 and P2.
Before the 2014 race, ACO and FIA installd the Slow Zones to reduce the safety car problems where others can be penalized just because the safety car came out at the wrong time. Unfortunatly the safety cars came out this year again and again some had a big gap of a few minutes. Which can easily be seen at around lap 25. There has to be something for the future!