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Author Topic: Le Mans Classic 2008 (July 11th-13th)  (Read 11732 times)
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« on: July 13, 2008, 12:52:53 pm »

Jox Jottings …Le Mans Classic 2008 (July 11th-13th)

Was it really only a month ago we were all here for the ‘Main Event’! Those of you who are not hardened ‘Le Mans 24 hrs’ fanatics might like to consider ‘The Classic’. The whole atmosphere is entirely different and, even though it is pretty busy, there are far fewer people around. However the range and top quality exotic machinery is far and away more impressive and rather more than simply mouth-watering! We are not just talking about the cars out on the track; we are also talking about the ‘cruisers’ …. you know.. the ones that drive all the way to Le Mans, appear to wash their cars and then repeatedly drive round and round the fountain at Arnage ‘looking good’ and sounding a bit good as well!  There is a new trend this year and that it is to put your name and national flag on the door, plus putting a door decal and race number on the car. As we supped our umpteenth glass of beer we did wonder about the thinking behind this...

The other bit of excellent news is that the local eating establishments are not all obsessed with the dreaded 24 Heures du Le Mans ‘Menu Rapide’ so the full monty is generally available.

Then, if and when the beer has settled down a bit and if your anorak is fitting snugly, you should head off to the Bugatti Circuit infield and take a look at the ‘Car Clubs’ display. There you will find 6,000 cars from over 55 Owner’s Clubs! At one end of the scale you have the Porsche Clubs with over 1,000 cars and at the other end is the Swallow Doretti Owners Club with six cars!
So, what is it all about? That is not all that easy to explain. To give you an idea there are around 400 cars (representing 69 marques) here that will be competing, there are apparently some 900 drivers ready and waiting to drive them. The oldest cars here are a 1924 3.0 litre Bentley and a 4.5 litre Tourer of the same year … the youngest is a 1981 Rondeau 379C driven here by the great Henri Pescarolo himself. This is a wee bit confusing since the ‘cut off date’ is 1979! However Mr Pescarolo is French and lives locally! So imagine what the pits look like?

The cars are divided up by age into six ‘grids’, each grid (or plateau) has a maximum of 66 cars that will race. Each race is a maximum of 43 minutes. So if you ‘do the maths’ you will find that each car will race for just over 2 hours in total ... if you have two drivers that equals about one hour in twenty four behind the wheel! (And quite a lot of waiting around!) There is a mandatory pit stop that must last at least 1minute 30 second this has to happen after 15 minutes and before 30 minutes have elapsed.

At their first start all the drivers in grids 1-4 will get to run across the track in the traditional fashion and after an installation lap they will reassemble and have a rolling start. After that all their starts are ‘rolling’.

To give you an idea of the sort of machinery that is here, after practice the quickest in each grid were:-

Grid One (1923-1939):-
1st #5 1931 Talbot 105 driven by Gareth Burnett and Julian Bronson.
(6.2:44 secs)
2nd #24 1927 Bentley 4.5 Le Mans driven by Joe and Adam Singer and Stuart Fearnside
3rd #47 1937 Lagonda LG45 driven by Colin and Martin Bugler.

Grid Two ( 1949-1956)..
1st #55 1952 Jaguar C=Type driven by Nigel Webb and Gary Pearson
(5.18:524 secs)
2nd #12 1954 Jaguar D-Type driven by Peter Neumark and Mark Griffiths
3rd #19  1955 Maserari 300 S driven by Nicolas and Henri Chambon

Grid Three (1957-1961)
1st #29 1957 Aston Martin DBR1 driven by Peter Hardman and Harry and Nick Leventis (5.3:931 secs)
2nd #8 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta driven by Vincent Gaye
3rd #69 1959 Lister Costin Jaguar driven by David Wenman and Julian Bronson

Grid Four (1962-1965)
1st #30 1965 Ford GT40 driven by Ray Bellm
(4.31:711 secs)
2nd #33 1965 Ford GT40 driven by Richard Meins
3rd #20 1965 Ford GT40 driven by Shaun Lynn

Grid Five (1996-1971)
1st #19 1970 Porsche 917 driven by Jean-Marc Luco and Jurgen Barth
(4.19:195 secs)
2nd #16 1970 Porsche 917 driven by Jean Guitard and Soheil Ayari
3rd #33 1969 Lola T70 Mark 3B driven by Rene Arnoux and Shinji Nakano

Grid Six (1972-1979)
1st #5 1973 Lola T292 driven by Irvine Laidlaw, Simon Hadfield, Michael Schryver and Louis Dibrell. (4.13:787 secs)
2nd #26 1972 Gulf Mirage driven by Chris MacAllister
3rd #29 1978 Alpine Renault A443 driven by Jean Ragnotti and Alain Serpaggi.

Just for the record you will recall that this year’s Peugeot 908 did a 3:18.513 sec in qualifying (247.16 kms/h.. 144.375 mph) !!

The first grid (1923-1939) was waved off just before 16:00hrs by astronaut Buzz Aldrin (the second man to walk on the moon in 1969). This is all to do with the 100 year celebrations of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s official public demonstrations on 8 August 1908 at the Hunaudières horse racing track. Wilbur’s first flight lasted just 45 secs.

If you are looking for results and times may we suggest you take a look at . To make life a little more complex there are several elements to the results..

The Overall Classification .. The winners will be
-   The drivers of the team winning the scratch classification after thee rounds
-   The drivers of the team winning the ‘Index of Performance’

The Round Classification:- Quote  “ the number of laps achieved, multiplied by the time established at the last crossing of the finishing line, of the team winning the scratch classification after the flag, before the 53rd minute of the race. After that the car gets a fixed time.” (Clear as mud eh?)

The General Scratch Classification: -
Quote “Addition of the laps and times of the three rounds” (Now that is a bit easier!!)

The Index of Performance Classification: -
Quote “The times realised by each car are multiplicated (yup.. their word!) by the coefficient which includes age, its capacity and its original category”… ( Ummm…)

The Teams: -
Quote “It is possible to build a team, associating a car of each grid. The six cars of the same team will bear the same race number (?!).. Then it gets confusing… we think it means you can build a team made up of a car from each of the six grids… (This makes quantum physics look pretty easy!)

It may come as a surprise that we may not be going to try and publish results of all 18 races … and the various categories/classifications… life is a little too short! Plus drivers can collect various time penalties for no apparent reason, or at least no reason that we know of …Oh yes .. and we don’t know the classes either.. So good luck.

* stitch le mans classic porscheweb.jpg (91.2 KB, 800x252 - viewed 754 times.)

* 080712_dd_0745start.jpg (106.87 KB, 800x394 - viewed 651 times.)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 01:37:36 pm by clubarnage » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008, 11:55:33 am »

Why is the guy in the lower picture holding a Dutch flag in his hand?  Huh


This film should be played at high volume, so don't come complaining about it! And who the hell is Steve?
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2008, 03:35:05 pm »

I think it just might be a French flag turned sideways... but I could be mistaken :-)
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