Pit Exit Changes
’Following the various meetings and the eye-witness reports
from the drivers at the Le Mans 24 Hours test day on Sunday 4th
June, the ‘South’ pit exit will be used for the race’,
says the ACO’s statement this morning (June 9).
That means that the long, slow exit to a point joining
the track at the first left hander at the Dunlop Chicane will not
be used for the race. The cars will use the pit exit that has been
in place for as long as anyone can remember.
The longer, northern exit was the choice of the
FIA when it homologated the current track, but Henri Pescarolo led
the opposition to the use of that exit, before and during the test
“Safety is an absolute priority shared by
everybody and we hope that the solution we’ve found will allow
the drivers to leave the pits in the safest possible conditions,”
said Daniel Poissenot, the ACO assistant general manager and Le
Mans 24 Hours Clerk of the Course.
The south exit will be used from the start of the
first session of qualifying on June 14.
With the changes
to the fast right hander after the pits, the Dunlop Curve, the situation
exiting the pits will be slightly different from previous years.
With the large, new gravel trap on the outside, the Dunlop Curve
is now closer to the pit exit. Accidents have happened here in the
past, notably in 1999 when Thierry Boutsen in the Toyota GTOne was
knocked off by a Porsche leaving the pits. But with a degree of
caution, the south exit should be safer than the one used at the
McNish last Saturday, as the lines are painted to guide the cars
up the pit exit lane used on June 4.