Mans Test Day – Sunday Report 2
So has the white line rule been abandoned or not? It’s not at all
clear. Tom Kristensen thought not, Prodrive thought it had – so
how are we to know? There is certainly no paperwork to say the idea has
hours into the session and times are not plummeting yet, but
we wouldn’t expect them to, until this afternoon.
had an engine failure with the #88 car, the one with the more
experienced drivers (who don’t need to cover ten laps).
More an inconvenience than any thing else. The Courage C65 is
in engine trouble at higher revs., while the 2003 WR hasn’t
been out yet, reason currently unknown.
The TVRs are
carrying an extra 30 kg compared to Sebring: the reason is that
the company has built more cars (!), but more specifically that
they’re running two cars here. Explain Cracknell. Well,
as John Hindhaugh dug out from the Race Sport pit, 17 cars in
total have been built (race and road) by TVR, but only 10% of
the total can be raced here – so TVR would be OK if they
were running 1.7 T400Rs. With production likely to top 20 by
the race, they’ll lose the extra 30 kg they’re carrying
here, and go back to the Sebring penalty, which is in place for
not having produced 25 (small manfacturer).
is stopped at 2 hrs 50 minutes, something to do with oil on the
track at Indianapolis (and perhaps a TVR). Yes, it was a TVR,
Tim Sugden at the wheel. They’re taking some time to bring
Ah, the white
line rule has now become a ‘too much kerb’ rule.
Kelvin Burt took too much kerb – “Well, you have
to explore what you can get away with” – and was
black-flagged for a bit of a wigging from the ACO. So by a process
of apparent compromise and common sense, we have arrived at a
reasonable solution: don’t take too much kerb (we think).
is here, accompanied by Bruno David (formerly of Eurosport, now
of the ACO): is this the Le Mans Tournament / FIA SCC coming
together for 2004? We hear that the Lausitzring sportscar race
next week isn’t definite….but Racing for Holland
has heard nothing, so that is strictly paddock gossip.
Le Mans is go: you heard it here first.
Holland have had an almost perfect morning: just a puncture for
Andy Wallace. The new bodywork includes “completely different
side pods and cooling arrangements,” a new air box and
a semi-R8 rear wing arrangement (much lower on the Dome).
three and a half hours and the times aren’t yet desperately
quick: this afternoon should see them come down, particularly
later when it is cooler. It’s hot for engine changes at
Prodrive, Intersport and TVR (below).
Half an hour
left and one of the Bentleys is behind the barrier opposite the
Chinese restaurant, with a puncture, while the #54 GNM Saleen
is behind the barrier at Mulsanne Corner, reason unknown.
Kristensen: When asked if he would be happy to be
third or fourth, the answer was a very clear one. "I'll
only be happy if we're first and second. We have to be faster
than the opposition, although it doesn't matter so much within
the team. We're running different programmes with the #7 and
#8 cars, to gather as much data as possible.
I only be happy to be first and second? Well, we have higher
fuel consumption than the other cars, we have higher tyre wear,
and our driver changes will take longer. We have to keep focusing
on being faster. I would quite like to be the fastest driver,
but only as long as it doesn't compromise our #7 team."
We asked Tom
about all this white line business next. "It's very confusing,
and this rule will kill the racing, especially at night when
you can't see the lines. I appreciate that the ACO are looking
at safety, but going off and bringing gravel onto the track is
the problem, and I believe this confusion will make it more likely
that cars will go off. The ACO should be looking at the GT cars...."
Thank you Tom.
More from the four time winner later this month.
And on the
subject of cars crossing things they shouldn't, Keith Hunter
spotted this chap at the Dunlop Chicane - writing down the number
of every car (and the time of the incident) that crossed the