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Author Topic: Le Mans 2009  (Read 4343 times)
Lennart Sorth
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« on: June 09, 2009, 01:38:01 pm »

I'm sitting under the canopy at the Quincorse de Jacobins for the Le Mans scrutineering as usual, interviewing drivers and writing articles for the www.lemans.org website. ( http://www.lemans.org/24heuresdumans/pages/articles_gb.html )

We have some very spectacular weather, with bright sunshine and some hefty showers, which sees most people immediately change to "fast forward" and rush into the dry under the canopy - however there is not much space, so everyone are cramped, and you only hope you get to stand next to one of the drivers you'd want to interview. Takes a bit of planning, but has for the time being worked reasonably well. :-)

Pescarolo has just got both their cars through scrutineering - they have both their own Pescarolo-Judd car and a Pescarolo-Peugeot diesel car in LM P1
The quality of their strategy and pitwork the previous years has seen them be the only petrol-powered car actually capable of challenging the diesels, so IMO this puts them in a very good position for this race.  Madie Pescarolo plays it down a bit though, - expecting the official Peugeot teams to be faster, but nomatter how much I like Peugeot, I know where my support is. :-)

The outlook for the race is mostly dry, so these two days of hefty showers are taken as the clouds draining themselves, so we can get a dry race. However the latest forecasts have quite a bit of rain arriving Sunday evening -  a few days ago this was forecast to Monday, so if this trend continues, there is a chance/risk that the race will end in the wet. That would definitely be challenging, with tired teams and drivers.

Personally I hope it stays dry though.


At some point I hope to get time to upload some of my pictures - possibly not until we're safely installed in the press-room.

/Lennart

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Lennart.Sorth@matrasport.dk
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2009, 07:26:04 am »

Yes, Pesca is the true hero for a Matra fan - but I'm also going to keep an eye on another driver with Matra relations: The daughter of Jacky Ickx: Vanina. Ickx's period in Matra was brief (and I don't even remember if he ever drove Le Mans in a Matra?), but his name is still associated with Matra for me. Is she the only woman driver this year?

I'll be looking forward to your photos! Smiley

/Anders
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Lennart Sorth
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2009, 12:54:21 am »

Jackie Ickx hardly can be said to have had a brief career at Le Mans - he has won Le Mans 6 times, only surpassed by Tom Kristensen in the recent years.

But Vanina is indeed the only female driver this year.

/Lennart
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Lennart.Sorth@matrasport.dk
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2009, 02:18:24 am »

I'll be looking forward to your photos! Smiley

They are now here:

    http://www.sorth.dk/p/20090614/index.html

My personal - realistic - favourite was the Pescarolo run Peugeot 908, as they are such a well functioning team with great strategy and great pitwork - the latter has been the Achilles heel for Peugeot. This was confirmed when Peugeot actually torpedoed the poor Pescarolo car - which caused Henri Pescarolo to be VERY clear in his speak, when he said "that was very VERY stupid indeed, - you just don't do that!"

My heart sank when the Pescarolo Peugeot later was spotted in the barriers somewhere on the track, where is actually looked very much like the smoking wreck of the M640 that almost killed Pescarolo in 1969.
Luckily our japanese colleagues whoi were in close contact with the pits (as the driver Treluyer resides in Japan)  could inform us that he was in fact unhurt.

but this wiped out Pescarolos hopes for podium, - such a shame. However they still finished the race with their petrol powered car in 8th place, in front of one of the Audi R10's and one of the two remaining R15's. Thats pretty good going!

All in all an enjoyable Le Mans - can't wait for next years race :-)

/Lennart
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Lennart.Sorth@matrasport.dk
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2009, 08:48:32 am »

There was such a nice report about Treluyer on Planet Le Mans the other day.
http://www.planetlemans.com/2009/06/16/treluyer-survives-massive-le-mans-accident/

Apparantly the rear end of his car slipped just after the Dunlop bridge causing him to go sideways and (unbeleiveable that noone has caught any photos of it!) get airborne. These prototypes fly when they no longer point in the right direction!

While his car looked very bad with wheels and panels stripped off, the cockpit was more or less intact and the engine and gearbox still attached to it. I have seen photos of worse crashes than this (remembering a Ferrari Enzo crashed in California some years back - search on www.wreckedexotics.com ).

It has probably taken a good number rolls after slipping, but nothing like the hard one that Tom K was subjected to in his DTM crash in 2007. And with modern fuel systems, massive fires are a thing of the past. Pescarolo was very lucky to survive his crash. Treluyer was a safe passenger, in comparison. Probably also better than Ara, who crashed his Porsche head-on into the tyre wall during the last hour or so of the race on the Mulsanne straight probably going almost top speed Sad

But I was very worried about him seeing the pictures. I had fallen asleep in front of the tv, but woke up when the tv pictures of the crash came on. Not nice...

PS: Lennart, I'm looking forward to you changing your avatar to a cutout of that great photo o you and Henri, which you have so humbly omitted from your selection Wink

/Anders
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 08:51:17 am by Anders Dinsen » Logged

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Lennart Sorth
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2009, 03:59:49 pm »

There was such a nice report about Treluyer on Planet Le Mans the other day.
good article indeed.
I was told by our japanese colleagues that the rear bodywork possibly came loose, which caused enough lift to get the whole thing started. Then after going sideways and into the air, the car summersaulted multiple times, before finally ending in the barriers. Thats also why there was almost no bodypanels in sight of the crash.

The first TV picture showed the wreckage with a little steam coming up from the engine ... in the darkness this made it look horribly like the M640 crash picture I have somewhere.

When Treluyer was back in the pit a few hours later, he was crying because they had lost their car, and I felt with him - they were in *such* a good position to run away with the victory.


Quote
PS: Lennart, I'm looking forward to you changing your avatar to a cutout of that great photo of you and Henri, which you have so humbly omitted from your selection Wink
I meet Madie and Henri Pescarolo every year at Le Mans.  Being a French and local team, they are hugely popular, and access to pit and hospitality is very restricted, but they always give me a pit-access or media-pass to their pit and hospitality tent.

Henri calls me a big amateur.  

WHICH, I have to say sounds (and it meant) different in French: "Grande amateur", being a great enthusiast :-)

So here is the picture of the Great Pesca and the big amateur

/Lennart
« Last Edit: June 21, 2009, 01:13:52 am by Lennart Sorth » Logged

Lennart.Sorth@matrasport.dk
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2009, 04:26:03 pm »

Anders wrote regarding Pascarolo┤s crash: Pescarolo was very lucky to survive his crash.
I will add that a very important feature that has increased race car drivers changes of surviving a high speed head on crash is the HANS-device. Before the introduction of the HANS-device the some drivers looed  unhurt after a high speed crash, but they had broken their neck and were stone dead.

http://hansdevice.com/site/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HANS_device

Hans
PS Unfortunately the HANS-devise has nothing to do with me.
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Lennart Sorth
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2009, 01:16:36 am »

For those who don't know, Henri Pescarolo suffered a stroke last year, - which was the second time he defeated death - now his face is distorted by the paralysis as well as the horrific 1969 accident.   Hence he looks a bit grumpy, - but he really isnt't.

Motors TV interviewed Henri Pescarolo about the M640 1969 crash - and this interview can be found on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCv0QqxKEiw

at 1:34 you it shows the picture I was thinking of, - even if the M640 had both its rear wheels still attached,  I had a worryingly strong feeling of deja vu when Pescarolo Sports #17 with Treluyer at the wheel suddenly was a smoking wreck up against the barrier.

/Lennart
« Last Edit: June 21, 2009, 02:19:28 am by Lennart Sorth » Logged

Lennart.Sorth@matrasport.dk
Murena 1983 1.9i silver // Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0d 2012 white // Smart 4two cdi 2010 blue //
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2009, 02:01:18 pm »

There was such a nice report about Treluyer on Planet Le Mans the other day.
good article indeed.
I was told by our japanese colleagues that the rear bodywork possibly came loose, which caused enough lift to get the whole thing started. Then after going sideways and into the air, the car summersaulted multiple times, before finally ending in the barriers. Thats also why there was almost no bodypanels in sight of the crash.

The first TV picture showed the wreckage with a little steam coming up from the engine ... in the darkness this made it look horribly like the M640 crash picture I have somewhere.

When Treluyer was back in the pit a few hours later, he was crying because they had lost their car, and I felt with him - they were in *such* a good position to run away with the victory.


Quote
PS: Lennart, I'm looking forward to you changing your avatar to a cutout of that great photo of you and Henri, which you have so humbly omitted from your selection Wink
I meet Madie and Henri Pescarolo every year at Le Mans.  Being a French and local team, they are hugely popular, and access to pit and hospitality is very restricted, but they always give me a pit-access or media-pass to their pit and hospitality tent.

Henri calls me a big amateur.  

WHICH, I have to say sounds (and it meant) different in French: "Grande amateur", being a great enthusiast :-)

So here is the picture of the Great Pesca and the big amateur

/Lennart

WOOOW!!! Congratulations to this picture with such a big legend which Pescarollo really IS!
 Shocked
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