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Old 8 May 2011, 14:38   #1501
knighty
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knighty should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
oh well!!.....have any other engine bay shots surfaced from spa yet?......I noticed audi changed a rear body section during the race, surely some enthusiastic snappers had their long lenses pointed in there????
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Old 8 May 2011, 14:42   #1502
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I am not sure that there was a lot of time to take good closeup pictures. The new cover was on the car pretty quick, only the fixing toke (too) long.
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Old 8 May 2011, 15:18   #1503
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It seems from the press release that what really killed Audi was tire pickup--wider tires mean more grip, but also more surface area for junk to get stuck to.

Earlier this weekend, some people reported that Audi had better grip and agility, especially in sector two. I wouldn't doubt that Peugeot cranked on some more downforce on a gamble, because with the poor qualifying results, there was little to lose and a lot to potentially gain if the gamble worked. Because in practice, the Pug drivers complained about grip and balance issues.

Perhaps this shows that Audi's "true" LM set up is better than the Pugs, as the 908 may've run more downforce in the race to make up ground, and the 908's in full LM trim seemed to have grip issues in the Porsche Curves.

And as far as the rear deck changes, other than issues like with the 908's at Sebring, what else could've caused the issues?

With pickup seemingly being the biggest issue that Audi must address, why not dirty up and soil down a track like with the R15 last year? You'd think that they'd learn about tire pick up from that.
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Old 8 May 2011, 16:20   #1504
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So this win for the 908 shows that the R18 is the car to beat.
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Old 8 May 2011, 16:34   #1505
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So this win for the 908 shows that the R18 is the car to beat.
Theres not much sense in him .
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Old 8 May 2011, 17:24   #1506
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Theres not much sense in him .
Love him for his enthusiasm..........

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Old 8 May 2011, 17:36   #1507
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If the Pugs had to dial in more downforce to get their car to work (as both were in LM trim!), that shows that the Pug doesn't have the aero balance where they need it when they want to run their LM package. Remember, the Pugs were significantly slower than the R18s in the Porsche Curves at the LM test day, but the rest of the sector times were dead equal.

And at Spa last year, Peugeot ran their sprint package, and that was a deciding factor in their win last year.

In the end, I think that both cars are far from exactly where either camps want them. If either Audi or Peugeot want to run their LM packages else where, they'll need to add downforce, which if that's what Peugeot did, that's a card that they played which might bite them, especially with the 2:03s that Simon ran late.

That doesn't preclude Audi from sandbagging, either, as they ran a couple of 27 lap stints. Only thing that tells me is that either Audi got some help with cautions, or they dialed down the engines--one post in the Spa thread said that neither the R18s or the 908s smoked much at all compared to the test day, which means that they weren't running at full power.

My biggest grip is that I though that the ILMC being instituted and making LM a championship round would preclude any sandbagging, but if anything, it may've made such mind games worse.

If Audi are sandbagging, they'd better step up the pace and show some cards, because Peugeot did at Spa. If they can improve their cars, they'd better do so. Otherwise, all I can say is that I'm running out of patience with Audi developing race cars, putting out all the PR fluff, and not backing it up on raceday.

Last edited by chernaudi; 8 May 2011 at 17:59.
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Old 8 May 2011, 18:00   #1508
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If the Pugs had to dial in more downforce to get their car to work (as both were in LM trim!), that shows that the Pug doesn't have the aero balance where they need it when they want to run their LM package. Remember, the Pugs were significantly slower than the R18s in the Porsche Curves at the LM test day, but the rest of the sector times were dead equal.

And at Spa last year, Peugeot ran their sprint package, and that was a deciding factor in their win last year.

In the end, I think that both cars are far from exactly where either camps want them. If either Audi or Peugeot want to run their LM packages else where, they'll need to add downforce, which if that's what Peugeot did, that's a card that they played which might bite them, especially with the 2:03s that Simon ran late.

That doesn't preclude Audi from sandbagging, either, as they ran a couple of 27 lap stints. Only thing that tells me is that either Audi got some help with cautions, or they dialed down the engines--one post in the Spa thread said that neither the R18s or the 908s smoked much at all compared to the test day, which means that they weren't running at full power.

My biggest grip is that I though that the ILMC being instituted and making LM a championship round would preclude any sandbagging, but if anything, it may've made such mind games worse.
Listen - Both cars ran their LM aero kits.
But we do not know if either Audi or Peugeot ran in LM configuration (ei. Downforce levels and so on).
No matter what, both Audi and Peugeot got some problems, and seems very equal.
What we do know - however is that Spa was something Audi would have liked to won. You could see it in Dr. Ullrich's eyes in the end. Therefor i do not believe Audi would have "gave" it away by running in LM configuration.
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Old 8 May 2011, 18:54   #1509
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My biggest grip is that I though that the ILMC being instituted and making LM a championship round would preclude any sandbagging, but if anything, it may've made such mind games worse.
It's all a matter of priorities. Le Mans is just far more important than all the other ILMC rounds combined...it's the only sports car race that gets major international attention and the only one with real marketing value for the manufacturers.

Maybe one day when the ILMC has become a proper world championship, winning the overal title will become equally prestigeous... right now it is not.. Le Mans is the main objective and both manufactuers will sacrifice the championship to have an advantage there.
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Old 8 May 2011, 19:41   #1510
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Rant on championship vs LM:

I tend to value a championship over a single big race because a championship is a years worth or work over the course of most of a year, instead of a years worth or work put into one week.

I do believe that each racing series needs a grand event to symbolize it: NASCAR has the Daytona 500, Indy Car has the Indy 500, F1 has the Monaco GP, and so on. But I also believe that one race shouldn't dominate over an entire season. I do think that if Audi or Peugeot don't win LM, then the ILMC will be the major goal for whoever doesn't win LM.

Rant on Audi vs Peugeot:

Speaking of which, I guess that I'm a bit cynical over the fact that Audi and Peugeot both used Spa as a public test, and both have a bunch of little things to look at. Peugeot have to look at some driver disiplne issues and strategy issues, as well as fine tuning their cars, some of which was done at Spa.

In the case of Audi, they need to look at some issues that Peugeot had to deal with at Sebring--changing the bodywork and maybe making the tails or their cars a bit tougher, and getting the drivers more drilled in where certain buttons are on the steering wheel and dash to resolve the pit speed limiter and reserve tank issues that they had. And the big one is getting the R18's to work consistantly on changing track conditions.

I may be beating a dead horse, but it must now be stressed that if Audi don't want to merely equal Peugeot, they have to do like last year at Spa, and take what they've learned and apply it to their testing program before Le Mans. Mechanically, the R18 seems sound. It's now time to improve it's performance even further and fix a few issues. The gap is close to the 908s, it now time to try and bridge and exceed that gap if possible, because they can't simply rely on Peugeot mistakes to completely take them out of the game anymore.

I do think that the R18 has potential to right the ship, it's getting and using that potential now that must be the focus, and that's where fixing the little things will come in handy. It's like the Pontiac my brother owns. It didn't have one big problem with it, but a bunch of little ones. But once they were fixed it was like a new car. If Audi expects to beat Peugeot on a regular basis from here on out, they must do the same.

Personally, and I think that some of you may agree with me on this, but this is a pretty good justifcation for Audi to run in the ALMS again. They can use those races to keep the team and drivers sharp, and to test in public without losing out big time in a championship. Audi's best years at LM were when they raced regulary in the ALMS, after all.
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Old 8 May 2011, 22:43   #1511
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oh well!!.....have any other engine bay shots surfaced from spa yet?......I noticed audi changed a rear body section during the race, surely some enthusiastic snappers had their long lenses pointed in there????
Got 3 in hand of the 908. Just waiting to chat with Sam Collins to see if they are the winner to the bounty. Nothing of the R18 this weekend though.
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Old 8 May 2011, 22:46   #1512
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Oh, and courtesy of Steffen Spies, all 3 908's average lap times were faster than any of the R18s. He's posted a image on Facebook that shows this graphically.
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Old 8 May 2011, 22:57   #1513
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In this interview during the race Ullrich explains that they could more or less match the pace of Peugeot on clear laps, but in traffic they lose a lot.

Is this a lack of experience for the Audi drivers in a closed car? Or mainly handling issues?
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Old 8 May 2011, 23:04   #1514
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Most of the Audi drivers have GT car experience (though how well that translates isn't known) and Allan, Dindo, and Tom have experience with either the Toyota GT-One of the Bentley program.

I think it was down to the Audi's losing the handling in traffic or with tire pick up. At the LM test day, that wasn't a problem because of a green track and plenty of passing opportunites.

As I've mentioned, the Audi guys need to fix issues that don't neccesarily show up in endurance tests, and only race miles in rear world situlations will address that.
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Old 9 May 2011, 06:19   #1515
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In this interview during the race Ullrich explains that they could more or less match the pace of Peugeot on clear laps, but in traffic they lose a lot.

Is this a lack of experience for the Audi drivers in a closed car? Or mainly handling issues?
Well doesn't that just prove that you cant beat race experience. If Audi had raced the R18 to Sebring they may well have had nearly 2 more months to solve the issue.
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