Did you take a catnap, have to wee and/or get held up by some fartknocker making an eighteen-point turn in a Ferrari on a glorified cowpath? Never fear! In addition to the live-blog, here’s our round-up of the biggest reminders so far that endurance racing will eat your car.
Let’s start off with the Porsche that rolled off the track looking like an extra from Up in Smoke.
The Proton Porsche 911 RSR was the second Porsche 991 fire of the day. The 991-generation car was told it could be anything, so it became a Ferrari. (Are we done with that joke yet? Because catching on fire really sucks. Also, can I have a good ol’ reliable 997, please?)
Proton became the second car to retire from the race.
Speaking of Cheech and Chong extras, Team ByKolles’ LMP1 (no -H) class CLM P1/01 had an engine fire that hotboxed its pit stall.
Fortunately, per Team ByKolles, no one on the team was hurt, and they were even able to get the car fixed and running again.
It’s not dead yet! It’s just a flesh wound. It’s getting better. It’s...happy!
Meanwhile, Toyota did their part in the longstanding tradition of LMP1 cars hitting slower GT-class Ferraris. The #1 car clipped a Ferrari, busting up its nose in the process.
Maybe we do need Ferrari back in prototypes. Move them along faster, out of the other LMP1s’ way.
Greaves Motorsport’s Gary Hirsch attempted a Satoshi Motoyama-style trackside repair when their Gibson LMP2 gave up the ghost. His team was able to coach him on how to fix the issue he pulled over for, however, the car can’t go behind the wall for them to work on it without retiring it from the race.
Sadly, there was nothing he could do to get remedy the battery problems the car was having.
The team commended his efforts after the car officially retired:
That’s the worst. You know it’s a fixable issue with the right tools and more time, but you can’t do anything about it when you can’t limp the car back into the pits.
The number 18 Porsche 919 LMP1 took a more common route back into the pits.
Unfortunately, it did so by plowing right into the wall nose-first. Fortunately, driver Romain Dumas was fine, and the number 18 was quickly repaired and is back turning laps.
Sometimes tires will betray you. The lovely, sticky bits that keep your car on the ground don’t work so well when they delaminate from their rims, as SMP Racing found out.
I’ll leave you with the Signatech Alpine, who decided to one-up Porsche’s big off with an even crazier smack into the wall.
Of course, these are just the flashiest oopses and failures that can happen during an endurance race. The art car Aston retired with an engine failure, and all three Nissan GT-R LM Nismos have had reliability issues throughout the race, including a clutch problem that kept number 23 in the garage at the beginning of the race. And as I’m about to save this, Thiriet by TDS Racing’s LMP2 just made contact with an Aston Martin.
Normal races are hard enough on a car. Racing for an entire day straight is one of the hardest things ever, both for man and for machine.
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