Friday, June 25, 2021

LE MANS: 2020 Race Hopefully last of Toyota's laconic Whitewashes

As I'd like to believe that the forthcoming ACo/FIA Rule Changes to the new Hypercar LMH/IMSA LMDH Prototypes Formulae will improve Thee Show Soon! Albeit next year will be another somewhat Lame Duck season a la Formula 1…


Author’s Note

Another of Ye countless Yarns that got trapped in Ye proverbial No Fenders Worm Hole Vortex’, when encountering the Gravitational Pull of Blooger’s El Fantastico’ 2020 Blogsite redesign, SPEW! Along with your Hapless Scribe Tomaso trying to migrate from his Trusty ‘Ol Windows 7 Confuzer to the Daunting World of winDOUGHS  10 during the COVID 19 Pandemic, Sigh!


Hence this was intended to be Part Two of my Mythical Triple Crown 3 part tome, which Smarmy ‘Ol Fredrico Suave’, aka Fernando Alonso’s No longer Chasing currently, and I still need a Gory Break Away from this Darn-founded Confuzer’ that I’ve been Staring at way too Mucho lately!


And just like last year, albeit for somewhat different reasons, once again this year’s traditional 24 Heurs du Mans has been moved again, this time to August 21-22…



Any Sports Car Aficionado will know that this year's traditional Summer's June running of le 24 Heurs du Mans was postponed until Fall due to the nebulous COVID 19 Pandemic, with the 88th edition of Sports Cars Mack Daddio' event being held Sept 19-20th without Fans.


Whilst on a historic note, this year marks the Golden Anniversary of Porsche's Debutante Overall Victory at Circuit de la Sarthe with its iconic Porsche 917, which I'd hoped to have scribbled something significant, a la last year's Ford vs. Porsche No Fender tome.


But as Y'all know life's gotten very E-E-E-lectronically' Challenging for Mwah here upon thoust Isle 'O Nofendersville, Aye! Especially since I haven't been able to post Blog Stories with my usual Zeal since the beginning of August, Thanks Blooger!


Which in some small part I suppose is why I'd totally forgotten that I'd actually scribbled about Ye legendous Porsche 917's maiden Overall victory this summer here on Gory No Fenders, which seems an eternity ago Mates!


While we should also recall that 1970 was the year some Bloke named Steve McQueen and his Solar Productions movie company not only showed up at le Circuit de la Sarthe for  filming of the epic movie Le Mans, but also ran it's Porsche 908 Spyder in the race as a Bloody Camera Car which was one of the few Porsche's to finish the race!


And although I'm a Fan of the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours race, I cannot say I'm a true Historian of it, so these thoughts are just Off ye Cuff. Since I cannot easily conjure up when a lone Automobile Manufacturer had such a Dominance over its relative LMP1 Competizione, albeit Toyota's is quite scintillating, Eh?


As I'd say that the likes of the Almighty Jaguar D-Types faced stiff competition from the likes of Mercedes and la Scuderia, nee Ferrari. Whilst those All Conquering Scarlet Chassis faced fierce Competizione from FoMoco', nee the ford Motor Company.


Not to mention those upstart German's from Porsche Battling against the Mighty Ford GT-40 and Ferrari 512's.


And although Porsche ruled Le Mans with an Iron Grip during the 1980's-1990's with its ubiquitous 962's, at least they were offered in great quantity to Customers.


Whilst I'd hazard that the last Factory effort with such a Stranglehold a la Toyota was Audi, but once again they had fierce opposition in the likes of Peugeot and later when Porsche returned with it's amazing 919 Hybrid.


As it's gotta Smart at least a Wee Bitamyte that Toyota wasn't ever victorious at le Circuit de la Sarthe until the Werks efforts of Audi and Porsche had Quit Sports Car racing, El correctomundo?


As I suppose this lack of true competition for Overall victory against Toyota is what compounded my utter lack of enthusiasm for this year's 24hrs outing, albeit it Aint' Toyota's fault that the other Auto Manufacturers left. And I'm Glad that we had this race commencing, even if without its traditional Quarter 'O Million fans en masse…


Yet even if Thars more "Privateers" vs. the lone Werks' LMP1 effort,

i.e.; two Rebellions and one By Kolles all sporting normally aspirated Gibson V-8 lumps vs. Toy-Yoters' Uber Dominant TS050 Hybrid, Ho-Hum, surely it'll be another Intra-squad Scrum between the two Toy-Yoters' to claim a third consecutive win, Yawn! Righto?


As need I say anymore then simply mentioning  the "riveting" Ho-Ho-Ho latest World Endurance Championship (WEC) Smack-down at Ye Mighty Spa-Francorchamps Wayback on August 15th when guess who won? In what became the final "Tune Up" for this year's Le mans race. Where K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi, Mike “Ice Kice, Baby!” Conway and Jose Maria Lopez led another 1-2 toyota sweep at the Six Hours of Spa, Yawn!


 Yet Arse-sumedly I'll Drop-in occasionally since I'll be pulling for Kobayashi, who I've always liked since his Toyota Formula 1 Days to finally be victorious at Le mans! Along with former IndyCar HotShue’  Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez sharing the cockpit. As the latter would become only the second ever argentine to win besides José Froilán González, who won the 1954 event for Scuderia Ferrari.


This year's event, albeit with many revisions made to its final 59 Cars entry list, consisted of 29 Prototypes, with the majority, i.e.; 24 in the LMP2 category. And 30 Tintop Saloons' seeing a similar divide, i.e.; 8 GTE Pro entries vs. 22 GTE Am entrants, with two in particular grabbing thoust Attenzione due to Thar IndyCar roots.


Whilst Thars' several Prototype entries overall that interest Mwah, my main focus is upon the No. 21 DragonSpeed entry that drafted some former Two-times Indianapolis 500 winner on short notice.


Perhaps you've heard of him? As his initials are JPM, who's also known here on No Fenders as Monty or Mac. And another character known as 'Ol SuperTex', nee A.J. Foyt refers to him as that Montoyer Feller, Hya! Formally known as Juan Pablo Montoya.


As Montoya will Co-Drive with one of his former Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) team-mates from their winning Grand Am Sports Cars days, when Juan joins Memo Rojas in the Oreca/Gibson cockpit. Along with the totally unknown to Mwah Timothé Buret, reportedly making his Debutante start at Le Mans.


Hmm? Once again I'm curious over whether Montoya & Co. won their respective Class, albeit not outright victory. Would that mean JPM would Beat Fredrico Suave', aka Fred Alonso to his Quest for Thee Mythical Triple Crown, Eh? Since Montoya's also won two thirds of Fernando's much Ballyhooed Triple Crown conquest, i.e.; Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500. As may be that's part of Monty's inspiration, Eh?


Meanwhile, the second entry I'm intrigued by is the No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE Evo in the Big Boyz' saloons category, i.e.; GTE Pro.


As it really Sucks that I can No longer S-e-E what this Awesome Ferrari looks like, since this year's field is filled with 16 of Maranello's latest Tintop racing cars concoction, Aye Karumba!


With four of the Ferrari 488 GTE Evo's entered in the LMGTE Pro Class and an astounding 12 Prancing Horses in the LMGTE Am Class.


What draws me to the No. 82 entry is the fact that it's being driven by le Hamburgular' or the former Sealmeister B', aka Sebastien Bourdais, who's previously contested his Home race behind the keyboard of the now retired Ford GT, which he won class Honours aboard one during the Ford GT's return upon the 50th Anniversary of FOMoCo's inaugural Overall Le Mans win in 1966.


So it's somewhat interesting that Bourdais has now joined Ford's Arch nemesis Ferrari, albeit aboard a privateer entry alongside another Ford GT refugee Olivier Pla.


Whilst the final member of the all French driving trio is Jules gounon, who I've noted before is the son of ex-Formula 1 Pilote Jean-Marc Gounon, and I'm rooting for this car more for Olivier and Jules sakes than Bourdais, who I've never truly been a Fan of, but respect his Open Wheel Racing talent…