2nd February 2012
Despite Peugeot’s desertion, the 80th Le Mans 24 Hours has attracted a high-quality field dominated by two major manufacturers, both of whom have decided to bet on the hybrid: Audi and Toyota.
The billing is not the one expected, but it rivals many others seen in the 24 Hours, all the more so as both manufacturers have opted for solutions of the future by giving priority to hybrid technology. German diesel cars against Japanese petrol-powered machines promise a thrilling strategic and sporting duel in the context of a car market that is undergoing a sea change.
Two TS030s will be entered for the Sarthe classic, which is enough to save the 24 Hours. Taking into account the two Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyotas (with Nick Heidfeld as one of the drivers), it could be considered a 4-car duel between both sides. Audi too has made a big effort and has not put all its eggs in the same basket by entering two R18 hybrids whose driver line-ups are led by André Lotterer and Allan McNish, and two other diesel R18s to ride shotgun.
Among the outsiders there are also a few pleasant surprises like the resurrected Pescarolo squad as Dome has decided to entrust its S102.5 now powered by a Judd engine to the Sarthe-based team. This motor will also be installed in the new Pescarolo 03 built around an Aston Martin AMR One chassis. Oak Pescarolo will continue with the 3.4-litre Judd, although Jacques Nicolet’s squad is running a singleton LM P1 this year. It looks like Honda’s debut in LM P1 will finally take place thanks to Strakka Racing and JRM Racing. US outfit Dyson Racing will also make its long-awaited debut in the Sarthe. The choice of the DeltaWing project for the 56th pit has also been confirmed.
Read a more complete analysis of the teams and drivers in Le Mans Racing.
Text: François Hurel - photo: DR
|Mise à jour le Lundi, 12 Mars 2012 21:07|