Thursday, June 20, 2013

Preliminary 24 Hours of Le Mans predictions

Number of 7 and 8 Toyotas will not finish, based on demonstrated reliability issues that I think are mostly related to their hybrid system.

Number 2 Audi will have a debilitating crash because of the habit of overly-aggressive driving by this trio, particularly McNish. If the Number 2 Audi manages to finish in spite of this, it will be a podium contender because of the poor performance of the Toyotas. All of the Audi's are podium contenders (I'm really going out on a limb here). However, if there is a lot of rain (some is predicted), Audi's engine exhaust system may compromise the rain tires by heating them above their optimal operating temperature causing excessive wear and putting the at a disadvantage relative to others.

Rebellion Racing has a strong chance of a podium finish based on the predictions of the above three cars (2, 7, and 8). Rain will further help Rebellion Racing by bringing down the lap times and making reliability, driving discipline, and fuel consumption greater factors (relative to dry lap times) in the race outcome.

GTE Pro should be a very competitive class and the outcome more or less a toss up between the factory teams.

My picks and Rachel's for all classes will be forthcoming after qualifying is finished.


Paul said...

Either Toyota or Audi could surprise with race fuel mileage. I'm thinking of Indy in 2012 when it was assumed Chevy would walk away from Honda and Honda went laps longer on a stint and Chevy teams were a non factor. If Toyota is able to pressure Audi, Audi (drivers) will start making mistakes. Rebellion is there to pick up the pieces and grab a podium.

GTE is for Aston Martin to lose in both classes. Ferrari got held back by the ACO at the end of last season and the Porsche isn't there yet. The main wildcard is whether Corvette is sandbagging, they got handed a weight penalty after the test day meaning the ACO thinks they are (the ACO had access to teams telemetry so BOP adjustments were made on more than just laptime).

P2 could be interesting.

Anonymous said...

I think that fuel mileage could play a part in GTE. There were significant differences between the factory teams at Spa this year with respect to fuel mileage and speed. Aston Martin was fast, but Porsche was getting two more laps per stint than Aston Martin. Ferrari was intermediate in both metrics and won.

Anonymous said...

Well, I couldn't have been more wrong about LMP1 unless I had picked Rebellion Racing in addition to all of my predictions.