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Author Topic: Help! I've lost the faith!  (Read 20368 times)
Scottie917
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« on: June 17, 2012, 04:49:13 pm »

Hi guys,

First of all, I hope that those of you who went this year had a great race and a safe return to Blighty.

I made my first pilgrimage in 1999 and have since missed just 3 races since, including this one.

Most of the races in that time have been Audi/Volkswagen group testimonials. However, it never seemed to matter before and this is the first time that I've honestly felt that I've not missed anything.

Unfortunately, as I watched the race unfold on Eurosport, I realised the sad truth that my love affair with Le Mans is coming to an end.

Here are a few of the reasons why:

1) Audi

Audi must have known that Toyota were not going to provide a real threat this year. So why bring 4 cars? When I heard that they were bringing 2 hybrids and 2 diesels, the reason seemed obvious. Could it really be that they still wanted to demonstrate the effectiveness of their hybrid technology to road car buyers so brought two of their 'old' diesels to beat into third and fourth place?

For me, it's no use trying to convince myself otherwise. Audi's total domination has now killed the event.

When the Toyotas crashed out, it was depressing listening to the Eurosport commentators trying to talk up a non-existant race between the Audis as if there was a possibility that Audi would have let one of their 'normal' cars finish ahead of the hybrids.

Do I care if Audi no. 1 finishes before Audi no. 2? Er, no.

2) Cynical marketing

Quite simply: 'Morgan-Judd'; 'Lotus-Lola'. WTF!? Please stop it. Stop it now.

Lotus in particular are fast becoming a dirty word in the world of motorsport. Just look at the ridiculous Team Lotus/Caterham/Lotus-Renaut debacle in F1.

'Chunky' must be turning in his grave.

Also, too many Gulf cars. They aren't GT40s or 917s and never will be. Cars like the AMR One from last year are just ruining the racing heritage of this once-iconic livery.

3) Fugly cars

Not only do all the LMPs now look the same but vertical wings sprouting up on the prototypes now mean that the GTs are the best looking cars in the race.

Nothing wrong with that in itself, but for for me, Le Mans is all about futuristic and sexy-looking LMPs.

4) On the subject of ugly cars. Please tell me what the Deltawing was all about. No wonder the Indy guys turned it down. For me, it looked totally out of place at Le Mans so why did Nissan bring it?

Could it be so they could keep telling us at every opportunity throughout the race how the engine was 'based' on that in the Juke?

The only connection I can see is that the Deltawing looked like a phallus and that's what you'll look like in a Juke  Wink

5) Nissan/GT Academy

OK, credit where credit's due. Ordonez and co are proving to be good racers and maybe it was worse because of the repeated Eurosport ad breaks but please please please Nissan, stop implying that these guys honed their skills playing Gran Turismo on the Playstation. They didn't.

What they did was win a marginally relevant Playstation competition which then gave them the chance to go through another tough physical selection process which in turn allowed them the chance to race for Nissan in a 24 hour GT race before going on to have careers (probably forever more with Nissan).

I am sure that there are millions of other guys (and no, I'm not one of them) who entered the Playstation competition and who could have gone on to be just as good as Ordonez in real-world racing but who didn't get the chance because they weren't geeky enough with the steering wheel and pedal set in their living rooms.

Being good at Grand Turismo does not mean that you will be fast in real life. They could have had a Mario Karts or even Call of Duty competition and still found a couple of good racing drivers at the end of it.

6) Fixability/reliability

Exhibit A: 'F1 reject turned sports cars journey man' Fisichella crashes his Ferrari during practice. Car totally destroyed or so you might think but after being entirely rebuilt throughout the night, its back again for qualifying.

Exhibit B: Audi crashes at first chicane. Driver gets out, rips off whole nose section and limps back to pits on 3 wheels. After a short time in the garage, the car is rebuilt and finishes in top 4.

Exhibit C: Audi stops on track. End of race? No. Car's electonics are rebooted and said Audi finishes the lap back on race pace.

Nowadays, if a car needs a new light bulb teams replace the entire front end. If they need a new gear box, they can replace the whole back end.

OK, so I know that some cars still don't finish the race but with cars allowed to be rebuilt to the extent they are, it makes a mockery of Le Mans as an endurance race. If we get to the point where all the cars finish because nothing goes wrong with them and even when it does, they're fixed by replacing whole sections of the car, what's the point?

Furthermore, cars can also be refuelled as often as teams want and use as many tires as they want. I'm not for a minute suggesting that we go down the F1 route but it's making the race too easy to finish, particularly for the teams for whom money is no object.

7) Pecarolo

Oh Henri, where did it go so wrong? On the subject of money, watching Pescarolo this year has been a depressing experience. It's so sad that the team most passionate about Le Mans seems to have the least money. Privateers make Le Mans what it is and when the big manufacturers get bored and leave, who will pick up the reigns? Not Pesca because he'll have packed up and gone home long ago through lack of sponsorship. Sadly, I feel that the future of Le Mans is GT racing and pay drivers.

I could go on but won't as I realise that I'm probably not winning any friends on this forum.

All of the above is meant to be a bit of fun but is also based on what I genuinely feel.

I don't want to spoil anything for you guys and just hope that the comments you make will help reignite my enthusiasm for Le Mans.

You've got a year to do it!

S

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smokie
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 05:26:28 pm »

Well I enjoyed it, except the TV director's inability to stay with the action where it mattered.
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mike(liverpool boys)
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 05:39:14 pm »

Well I enjoyed it, except the TV director's inability to stay with the action where it mattered.

Me too. Well,what I managed to see anyway. Work today buggered any chance of seeing the final hours. A few less ad breaks would have been nice and maybe point the camera at the interesting stuff instead of a pit crew looking at a monitor.
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Martini...LB
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 06:59:47 pm »

Well, I watched more this year at home than I have in the last four/five years that I have been there.

Don't give up on LM Scottie, go to the Classic... but don't whinge about it though because it is a different experience.
Do not agree with your point 6 at all and Fissy is certainly not a reject.

I am not sure how you can say at the end of you epic that what you have said is fun as it is too precise to be that.

No hard feelings though - get yourself to the Classic quite a few from this forum will be there and approx 125k others.

>Martini...LB
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Scottie917
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 07:36:21 pm »

Reading it back, it is a bit of an epic so sorry guys - guess I got a bit carried away for a first-time post!  Embarrassed

I think you're definitely right about the Classic. I've never been before so maybe should give it a try. Do they use the full circuit or just the Bugatti?

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Kpy
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 07:36:31 pm »

Hi Scotty917,
Sitting with drink in hand on a sunny Houx and reflecting on a very enjoyable race I can only say no I don't agree, and it didn't look like that from here. We had the TV feed on the big screen opposite the stand and in our marquee on Houx.
But if you want to stay away next year, well, tant pis , as the French say.
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Kpy
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 07:40:25 pm »

I've never been before so maybe should give it a try. Do they use the full circuit or just the Bugatti?



Full circuit.
But since 2002, where have you been?
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Martini...LB
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 07:40:59 pm »

Reading it back, it is a bit of an epic so sorry guys - guess I got a bit carried away for a first-time post!  Embarrassed

I think you're definitely right about the Classic. I've never been before so maybe should give it a try. Do they use the full circuit or just the Bugatti?



Full circuit and cars from 1923 to 1979 in 6 different groups which run three times... read up on it and get yourself down next month...

(I think the above is correct, I have only been four times)

>Martini...LB
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Kpy
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 09:38:39 pm »

http://www.clubarnage.com/forum/index.php?topic=11145.0
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Fran
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2012, 10:07:50 pm »

Hmmm - I had forgotten how rude Dr S had been to me!  I will have to be sure to make him suffer for that.....

F
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BryanC
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2012, 11:23:10 pm »

Blimey Scottie - get it off your chest mate.  Wink

Agree what you say about being overdosed on the Audi win. I can't take away their military precise campaign but would have liked to see somebody give them a run for the money.

I think you and me might be Classic virgins next year - pity I can't mobilise and go this year.

Stay Cool

B.
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Fran
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2012, 11:26:09 pm »

I think you and me might be Classic virgins next year - pity I can't mobilise and go this year.

Will have to be year after next..... its only every 2nd year!

Smiley
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JPS Beemer
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 12:50:59 am »

Audi can only beat what what is up against them - the fact that Toyota only managed to get 2 cars to the grid both of which didn't make it past midnight.  Surely now is the best time for a challenger to emerge and depose the current king of Le Mans.  What better kudos than to strike down the most dominant team on the grid and in recent LM history.

Shame more on the ACO for failing to attract a big name challenger and the motorsport industry for not providing one.

By the way, the excitement surrounding the Deltawing was tangible at the track even if it didn't come across on the TV.  I think it is outrageous the leniency shown to the Toyotas for unceremoniously knocking it.
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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2012, 01:50:38 am »

You want ugly cars?  Try watching one of the Rolex Sports Car Series races and see the Daytona Prototype cars!

They are un-dadgum-believably ugly.  Not only are the hard to look at, the "powers that be" SLOWED THEM DOWN! 

It isn't Audi's problem that nobody shows up to beat them.

Personally, I love the GT class of cars.

Come on over to Sebring in the spring, we would love to show you around our track.
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« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2012, 09:17:42 am »

Hi Scottie 917
After the first reading of your epistle I thought, at last, someone who hankers back for the old days: Group C, space on the campsites, dust bowl Village, etc and I share some of your cynicism but to be honest, I couldn't make it this year for the first time in years and bloody hell I missed it - both the race and meeting up with my fellow "Club Arnagers".

It is still the greatest race on the planet and I'm already checking the camping gear for next year. Dr S has seriously tempted me in to attending the Classic but alas a job interview will prevent that.

Re: The Audi thing. Love 'em or loathe 'em they are the most efficient racing team out there and frankly deserved their victory. Yeah, a cynic might say the e-trons were first under team orders and hey, aren't Audi about to launch a new hybrid car? However, if I was one of the suits at Audi and had signed the huge annual cheque for Dr Ulrich's racing team I'd want some marketing payback. I haven't seen the papers today and I guess that, at most, there will be a small paragraph about the race. However, I wager that there will be a half page advert from Audi trumpeting their win using hybrid technology. Way of the world - Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday.

I agree with JPS - it's up to the ACO and other teams to pull their socks up and really challenge Audi. Can you imagine Sir Alan McNish and his buddies with two hours to go and a couple of Toyota, Nissan or Porsche LMP1's right up their chuff?

I even think the cars look good these days especially the coupes. I've never really liked the open cockpit cars and agree with Gatordad - if you want ugly, look at the Daytona Prototypes. I watched the race from Detroit last week and it took me ages before I realised that the two leading cars were Corvettes!

Keep the faith Scottie, don't give up mate.
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