Wednesday, June 11, 2014

LE MANS: Fast-forward a further 24-hours to another Audi Hat-trick...

Apparently here at No Fenders, I seem to enjoy doing stories in triplicate, which is somewhat scary since after all the number three was made famous by thee ‘Man in Black, NO! NOT Johnny Cash or the wishful Senor Gentilozzi, but instead by ‘Ol Ironhead, (Senior) aka Dale Earnhardt, thy original Intimidator! Although the number was also successfully flown by The Thrill from the West Hill, nee the effervescent ‘PT, better known as Paul Tracy or Mr. Chrome Horn victoriously to his 2003 CART/Champ Car championship.

Whilst another NOT so famous or liked character, fondly referred to as GOOFY here at No Fenders also prominently drove the No. 3 in his later Dazes, as I think he even won a further Trans Am title during the Jaguar SJR days? As Paul ‘GOOFY Gentilozzi will forever  be known as part scourge for dumping ‘TAG from his cockamamie R-Sports affair, not to mention being one of the four ChumpCarz Mouseketeerz! Ah but I digress - as where did all of this angst suddenly arise from, eh?

While today I'm very happy with the latest Gran Primo Piloto to have chosen thy number three, as in a one Daniel "Ricky" Ricciardo...

Hence back to the subject at hand, as I'd just finished watching seven tiny vignettes of six hours ‘O Memorex, (When I could still utilize my 'Ol School VCR, which I've subsequently Goobered Up the recording channel; URGH!) having taped one-quarter of last year’s 24 Heurs du Mans coverage upon thy then soon to be DEAD SPEED channel; as Marshall Pruett (now at Racer) apparently was spot-on with his article titled: Why Toyota won’t win at Le Mans

And interestingly, SPEED’s ‘B-Team trio of announcers led by Brian till with Scott Pruett and Darren Law saw a very short haircut Pruett tossing out the statistic that out of the 20 ex-F1 drivers in the field, 41% were contesting the GTE-Pro ranks with its five manufacturer teams jousting for top honours.

This along with the reminder that Ryan Briscoe was taking part before hearing a past IndyCar driver’s name, a la Bertrand Mmm-Mmm Sandwiches Baguette made me ponder just how many IndyCar Boyz were in the field? A la reverse of Gran Primo Piloto’s.

(#12) LMP1: Neil Jani. (Champ Car)
(#26) LMP2: Mike Conway.
(#33) LMP2: Ryan Briscoe.
(#35) LMP2: Bertrand Baguette.
(#35) LMP2: Martin “Plowie” Plowman. (Indy Lights; IndyCar)
(#36) LMP2: Tristan Gommendy. (Champ Car)
(#49) LMP2: Nicolas Minassian. (CART)
(#53) LMGTE-Pro: Ryan ‘Razzle-Dazzle Dalziel. (Champ Car)                                         
(#73) LMGTE-Pro: Jan MAGS’ Magnessen. (CART)

2013: 81st running of Le Mans Postscript
As perhaps it was just Mwah, but I  found it somewhat ‘Cornfuzing at first as I’d originally penciled-in that it  was the 90th running of Le Mans, yet changed this correctly, as I finally heard Bob Varsha proclaim it was the 90th Anniversary, yet only 81st running due to two ‘lil World Wars getting in the way...

Ironically, SPEED’s opening segment narrated by Sam Posey must have been somewhat haunting as Posey mentioned how safe today’s cars are prior to the 30min Pre-race preamble... As we all know the unfortunate fate of Allan Simonsen; as one of SPEED’s lead announcers, either Calvin Fish or more likely Dorsey Schroeder? Commented on how tricky the Tetra Rouge corner is in the wet, where the pavement’s white line becomes ‘Uber slick - mentioning “Rocky’s, aka Mike Rockenfeler’s ‘Gynormous shunt there aboard his Audi a few years ago also in the rain.

Also mentioned whas how unusual it was to see the roof panel structure twisted which indicates how much the chassis’s frame had buckled in the horrendous crash, as surely the No. 95 was the leading candidate for victory in its respective GT class for the factory backed Aston Martin concern who were celebrating their 100th Anniversary...

Afterwards, I had a horrendous time staying focused and being able to sit still for the remainder of my six hours 'O Memorex, while trying to watch my cobbled together taped coverage of said race, although I did enjoy the in-car camera footage of the “SLOW” Corvette C6R’s along with an LMP2 4.0-liter Nissan V-8 as the audible note was quite a contrast from the throaty 5.0-liter 90-degree Good ‘Ol American ‘Chebbie V-8 vs. the sewing machine like Japanese ‘lump...

Word of the day went to Dr. Wolfgang Ulrich who told Greg Kramer for ‘Gawds Sake lad, its an E-electronic Generator; now ‘Bugger Off!

Dorsey Schroeder revealed something unknown to Mwah over the ensuing lengthy repair job Audi performed upon its stricken No. 1 two-time defending 24hrs winner by claiming that many vehicles, for instance the Corvettes typically run one alternator off of the engine and a second back-up unit separately off of the car’s driveline; want to say he mentioned the driveshaft but not sure if that’s correct? As I also thought he’d mentioned something about the rear wheels.

And in a case of somewhat self imposed symmetry, Dr. McDreamy was once again back at le Circuit de la Sarthe, making his second entry in the race, this time aboard a LMGTE-AM Porsche 911RSR which just so happened to be the only all American driver line-up in the event. With longtime racing partner Joe Foster and Porsche Factory ‘Hotschue Patrick Long as co-drivers, as Patrick Dempsey got lots of ‘Face-time with SPEED’s Jamie Howe, along with several looks at him getting the chrome horn treatment from an offending LMP2 racecar!

As Dempsey's on my proverbial radar for flying the flag for Team Seattle along with raising funds for Seattle's Childrens Hospital...

Otay, back to the tape... NOT! As I actually gave up some 4.5hrs into I-T since I was running up against my own internal No Fenders clock of watching thy Telie' too much; Hya! As the race simply would be overshadowed by the unfortunate death of Simonsen...

Thus, with the two-time defending champions No. 1 Audi now quite off the pace, who would the eventual victory fall to? Uhm, if you're still reading, then Yuhs know I somewhat gave the results away with the title of this post, as not surprisingly, once again it was Audi upon the podium's Top-step.

This time being the No. 2 R18 E-Tron Quattro piloted by thee "Scottish Terrier," (Allan McNish) "Mr. Le Mans" (Tom Kristensen) and new co- driver Loïc Duval, who indeed replaced Dindo Capello en route to enjoying his maiden Le Mans victory - whilst Kristensen stretched his amazing record for victories at le Circuit de la Sarthe to an astounding nine!

Yet unlike the year prior, the Toyota's were far more reliable with both entries not only finishing, but taking second and fourth in Sports Cars most important race, while  the remaining two Audi's finished third and fifth, which should set-up a most enjoyable battle royale for the fast approaching 82nd running of le 24 Heurs du Mans this weekend. (June 14-15)