May Editorial
1 - Le Mans Test Day. Now It gets Serious

Someone once made the point that when a driver leaves the pit lane at Le Mans, he’s heading out to tackle something completely different from anything else in our world of sportscar racing. Four times a lap these guys will be exceeding 200 mph, and they just seem to take it in their stride. Don’t they?

There’s a parallel with Monza and the speeds the F1 cars reach, but there are clear differences in the challenges at the two tracks. F1 drivers take on a fresh set of tyres very regularly, and the straights in the park are considerably shorter, so the F1 screamers are only exceeding 200 for brief instances of time. And they don’t do it at night, or when they’re tired! And they don’t have GT cars to pass lap after lap – or sunset and sunrise to cope with. Our guys go out there come rain or shine, with rubber that can be 90 minutes or more ‘old’, and within a minute of leaving the pits, they’re doing 200+ again. It only happens at Le Mans, this combination of so many special features. The Test Day lacks only a couple of them.

dailysportscar.comMay 4 won’t have the drama of the Pre-Qualifying days of old, but it still has pressures all its own. The teams have two four hour sessions to find that ultimate set-up, and do not want problems of any sort spoiling their Sunday plan. Someone is bound to have a nightmare day – but let it be someone else!

The cars will have been as meticulously prepared as if this was the race. The track should be exactly as it will be for the race (remember when the kerbs weren’t in place and stones littered the Ford Chicanes?) and the weather….well, the forecast for Sunday is shown by this graphic: ‘averses’ is the French for downpours. Oh oh. Fingers crossed that the forecast is wrong. If it’s right, we might not really know how quick this year’s cars are until mid-June.

2 - Subscriptions
We were anticipating returning to a payment system by now, but it’s all taken a little bit longer than planned. It’s fiendishly difficult slipping existing subscribers into a new system, but we’re just about there. Currently we’re aiming for the new system to be in place at midday BST May 6, next Tuesday. It will all be made plain on the site, but regular readers (those who paid for the service some time between May 2002 and February of this year) will receive details by e-mail on Monday May 5. Those of you who have rediscovered us during the past two months will need to follow instructions on the new front page (from May 6). Having rekindled your addiction, we’re confident you’ll want to keep coming back for more. We hope so!
Malcolm Cracknell

 

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