With the top three in LMP1 qualifying identical to the first round at Silverstone, Audi Sport Team Joest locked out the front row for the 6 Hours of Nürburgring with the #7 Audi R18 qualified by Marcel Fässler and André Lotterer on pole and the #8 car, qualified by Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis, in second.
The #7 Audi R18 qualified on pole with an aggregate time of 1:30.444. André Lotterer put in a 1:39.239 on his fourth lap of five with Marcel Fässler just over four tenths of a second behind with a 1:39.649 on his fourth lap. In the #8 Audi R18, Oliver Jarvis put in a 1:40.644 on his third lap while Lucas di Grassi drove the fastest lap of qualifying with a 1:38.777 on his second lap.
Sunday July 24 sees the fourth round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship take place at the Nürburgring.
After an enthralling first three rounds of the 2016 season, Porsche lead the Manufacturers Championship on 127 points, 32 points ahead of Audi. Toyota, following its heartbreak at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, are third in the Manufacturers’ title chase on 70 points.
In the race for the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams, Signatech Alpine, with its #36 Nissan-powered Alpine A460, currently leads the standings on 87 points after its win at the French classic. The #26 G-Drive Racing ORECA 05 is second on 66 points after its pole position and second place at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Third in the Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Teams, on 56 points, is the #43 RGR Sport by Morand Ligier JS P2 after a consistent season so far in 2016.
Fresh from celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of its 1966 1-2-3 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a 1-3-4 finish in GTE Pro category at the 2016 running of the French classic, Ford Motor Company has announced that the Ford GT program will run for a minimum of three more years.
G-Drive Racing, managed by Kent-based JOTA Sport, has announced that Alex Brundle will join the team to partner Roman Rusinov and René Rast for the remaining rounds of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season.
Currently leading the LMP3 class in the 2016 European Le Mans Series driving for United Autosports, Brundle tested for G-Drive Racing at the Le Mans Test Weekend in June to allow him to be eligible as the team’s official reserve driver for the French classic. Continue reading Alex Brundle Joins G-Drive Racing For WEC→
When writing the story of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016, one word summarised everybody’s thoughts about the LMP1 class and what the fight would boil down to. That word was – reliability.
As one commentator, when discussing the weather forecasts for race weekend, said:
“I want it to be dry so we can see these things break.”
As race weekend approached these facts were known: Toyota Gazoo Racing had rapidly advanced its development programme to race the 2017 car in 2016. Inevitably this had caused some head-scratching at the early rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship as the TS050 was being sorted. Porsche Team, Audi Sport Team Joest and Toyota Gazoo Racing were all only bringing two cars to Le Mans for financial and political expediency purposes. Audi and Porsche each had one less ‘bullet in the gun’ to fire at the challenge of the world’s greatest motor race. Porsche had changed to the 2015 battery pack for Le Mans. Audi had encountered some damper issues at the Test Weekend that took longer to resolve than we had come to expect from a team that could change a whole back end of a car in less than ten minutes.
As a day has passed since the EnduranceAndGt team sneaked on a ferry before chaos ensued in Calais, I thought I would record some thoughts on the race, and race week, when I could put them in perspective whilst they were still fresh in my mind. Detailed reports on four classes, and race results, will follow shortly. Anyway…
Anybody who has attended a 24 Hours of Le Mans has lived through an experience that few global sporting occasions can match. The Indy 500 possibly matches it. The Monaco Grand Prix as well but in a different way. But the immense challenge of racing a car round the Circuit de la Sarthe for 24 hours in weather that is guaranteed to present extremes is, well, in my opinion, in a class of its own.
This year, however, the experience was off the scale. A number of factors, which included the weather, the build-up in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the expectations of history being made, all conspired to produce something which will live in the minds of all those who were there for a long time. Let’s look at some of those factors in more detail.
The weather this year was biblical in the extremes it threw at all concerned. I have never known a Le Mans where it was either raining, had just rained or was about to rain for the entire week leading up to the race, which curtailed the final qualifying session and which caused the race to start under a safety car.