Tag Archives: LM24

2017 has been a brilliant year for GT endurance racing

The recent Spa 24 Hour featured a close fight for victory right into the final hour, but that’s still nowhere near being the closest GT endurance race in 2017. The previous two 24 hour races for GT sportscars (at the Nurburgring and Le Mans) featured incredible last lap battles for victory. That’s amazing! Not only that, but the GTLM class at the Daytona 24 back in January also produced a very close finish, so there has been an amazing trend of nail-biting GT enduros this year.

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WEC: Recent history suggests three-car teams are more successful at Le Mans

LMT

Interestingly, Toyota will be the only manufacturer battling for outright honours at Le Mans this weekend without a three-car LMP1 team. The decision to run two cars instead of three might’ve cost Toyota a shot at victory last year but the team hasn’t changed its approach and has said the additional funding required to run a third car is better spent on research and development. That’s a fair point. You’re probably better off with two good cars than three which are not ready.

However, there are distinct advantages to running a three-car team at Le Mans because the extra car provides insurance against problems hitting the other two. The statistics also tend to back this up – only twice in the last fifteen years has the race been won by a manufacturer with only two outright contenders on the grid. In a race where reliability is everything, more cars equals more chances to reach the finish, and several of Audi’s 13 victories mightn’t have been possible with only a two-car squad.

It will be interesting to see what impact reliability has on the LMP1 field this weekend.

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