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Featured Road to Le Mans 2016: LMP1

Discussion in 'World Endurance Championship' started by Jack Hunsley, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. Jack Hunsley

    Jack Hunsley
    Staff Premium Member

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    With our final 'Road to Le Mans' discussion we'll be taking a look at the big guns of the day; the LMP1 Privateers and Manufacturers.

    The Basics
    In many ways LMP1 is Le Mans. Unless some sort of almost apocalyptic spread of bad luck and travesty hits all nine LMP1 cars one of these nine cars will win the race come Sunday afternoon. Whilst the fuel emissions scandal has unfortunately removed two very competitive cars from the race, including last year's race winning Porsche, there's still a guarantee of plenty of drama and wheel to wheel action as evidenced by the 6 Hours of Spa where all three manufacturers led the race outright at one point or another.

    The Contenders
    For LMP1 it's fortunately much easier to pick and choose the contenders for the win given there's realistically only Porsche, Audi, or Toyota who have the package to win the race. Of these three first up is the Porsche.

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    Having long been dominate in quali-trim Porsche will start the race from 1st and 2nd on the grid on Saturday afternoon and should be able to get away from the Toyota's behind in the early stages of the race. However, whilst they did win last year it was by no means an easy feat. Considering the race is, shockingly, 24 hours long, there's plenty of time for reliability issues to sneak in. With a puncture and a technical glitch arguably denying them victory at Spa, Porsche have switched to their 2015-spec battery package to try and eek out a little more reliabilty for Le Mans.

    Even on the driving side Porsche have been admittedly quite poor in race-trim. Both cars arguably threw away an outright victory at the season opener courtesy of Hartley rolling the #1 machine after colliding with a GT Porsche with the #2 Porsche spinning out shortly after, leaving them reliant on an Audi disqualification to win the race. If Porsche have gotten both their reliability and driving standards sorted, a smart man might put his money on either the #2 or the #1 crossing the line come Sunday, but then again this smart man bet on Audi to win last year....

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    And that brings us on the Porsche's fellow VW buddies. After the nightmare that was Silverstone Audi bounced back from their DNF and lost victory with a double podium and victory at a chaotic 6 Hours of Spa thank's to their notorious consistency; and it's consistency that will win Le Mans. Their historical reputation is unparalleled, with perhaps only Corvette's 8 GT victories since 2001 coming anywhere near Audi's Le Mans success. At least one Audi should be in the mix come Sunday, but this time around they maybe reliant on the Japanese to fall by the wayside.

    And finally, Toyota. An incredibly poor 2015 season has spurred the team into life this year. After taking a shock pole last time out in Spa they had high hopes for Le Mans but perhaps given Porsche's qualifying dominance maybe 3rd and 4th on the grid is the best they could have done.

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    Whilst certainly more competitive than in 2015 it remains to be seen really where this new look Toyota does lie in LMP1. Bad luck prevented any realistic challenge for victory at Silverstone, whilst a tirade of technical problems saw their Spa pole go to waste. But when they have run reliably they've run very well. Don't forget that three hours into Spa Davidson led by over a minute, whilst it seems they've finally sorted out their wet weather pace issues which given the forecast for the race could prove very valuable. Could this be the year they can finally take Mazda's honour of being the only Japanese team to conquer Le Mans?

    The Dark Horse
    Again here it's very easy to pick the dark horse of LMP1. With ByKolles very much stuck in No Man's Land between LMP1 and LMP2, it's left to Rebellion to hoist the flag for the privateers. I'll admit, overall victory is nigh on impossible for Rebellion on out right pace or even if the manufacturers run into reliability problems.

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    But what Rebellion have enjoyed so far is nigh on bulletproof reliability compared to the big boys, which has earned them two 3-4 finishes so far this season. If Rebellion can run problem free for the entire 24 hours, which is a huge ask I realise, they could well sneak a podium at Le Mans, and with rain on the horizon things are almost guaranteed to get mixed up anyway. And who wouldn't love to see the plucky underdog stick it to the big boys?

    Outside of that who knows what will happen. Maybe one of the Ford GT's could win it once they drop their sandbags...

    Continue Reading
    Road to Le Mans 2016: LMP1
    Road to Le Mans 2016: LMP2
    Road to Le Mans 2016: GT Pro & Am
    Road to Le Mans 2016: The Non-WEC Drivers
     
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  2. Lada LMP1 will win this year. trust me. i'm an expert xD
     
  3. Audi Safety car has a chance of winning this year considering how crazy its been
     
    • Haha Haha x 4
  4. Bram

    Bram
    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    2016 will be the year where the world will finally see a Rebellion victory at Le Mans :inlove:
     
  5. Has GTE all wrapped up with that T1 drift lol.
     
  6. Sunny Sky Speed

    Sunny Sky Speed
    Livery Designer Premium Member

    I predict Toyota will lose the race at the very last lap by technical failure.
     
    • Haha Haha x 2