Friday, June 17, 2022

LE MANS: No. 7 Toyota Finally Wins, Heartbreak in LMP2 Class

Since like many a racetrack, Futility is a Cruel Mistress at Circuit de la Sarthe!


Author’s Note

Once again, your Humble No Fenders Scribe is running way way Behind! Definitely more than “One Lap Down” over Le Mans Mega 8.467 mile layout! As Here’s last year’s report which was supposed to be posted prior to this year’s race…



E89 24 Heurs du Mans

Last year’s 89th running of the 24 Heurs du Mans just didn’t feel right to Mwah, I suppose since it was in August, not to mention there being an IndyCar race on later that evening. As I’ll admit I was more intrigued over Romain Grosjean’s Oval track debut thenwhether Toyota would win again, Yawn!


Thus I began my 24 Hours of Le Mans casually by switching on Thy Telie’ during a leisurely breakfast by tuning into Motor Trend TV.


Alas, having missed Thar introductions, I was left ponderin’ who this “B Team” of Eurosport TV Pundits were? And cannot find their Identities on the All Knowing Intrawoods’, nee Internet. So I’ll just go with Thar first names instead. Firs Thar was some ‘Ol Codger named Chris Something-ruther, may be Parsons? Who proclaimed he’d been Thar in 1965. Y’all know, the last time that Ferrari won outright, Crikeys!


Hmm, No idea if this Chris, Charles or Chuck Dude was in any way related to Alan? Y’all know of the Alan Parsons Project, Righto, Hya!


As Chuck’, Err Chris Prattled on ‘bout how strange it was seeing Risi Competizione running a “rosso” LMP2 Oreca after their years of running Ferrari GT’s and speculating about may be running a Ferrari (Customer) Hypercar in the future? And then banged on ‘bout how la Scuderia still has “The Iceman’s” phone number, provided Kimi’s (Raikkonen) not busy having an Ice Cream, as that’s my own Joke Thar, Hya!


Also said there’s some Dude named Rossi who’s retiring and says he’s always wanted to race at a place called Le Mans. To which lead Announcer Jake “The shark” said if I remember right, “The Doctor,” nee Valentino Rossi was only some seven tenths Off of Michael Schumacher’s times when he tested a Ferrari back in 2006-07?


Whilst the Other booth Boy Charlie “Brown” said to Chris, it’s when, not if McLaren will have it’s own Hypercar, since Zak Brown’s a major Shareholder in United Autosport’s who are one of the top LMP2 teams…


But Zackery’s Not gonna be Happy! As inexplicably the #32 took out it’s Seester’ #23 United Autosport entry when a passing Shower occurred! With two separate incidents occurring during the sixth hour, as Sophia florsch in the No. 1 Richard Mille Racing entry went Off-track, was Hit by the #26 G Drive who wasn’t paying Attenzione, and then when trying to reverse out of the tyres was Clouted by the #74 who totally missed the waving Yellow Flags!


MAGS’, aka Jan Magnussen Quipped that it was a bottle of red wine that put into motion this year’s running with his son Kevin Bacon’ Magnussen, since Jan is racing the ELMS season for High Class Racing and they had a second LMP2 car available. And with Kevin becoming a Werds’ Peugeot Sports Car Driver next year, there probably wouldn’t be another opportunity for awhile.


The team elected to replace the No. 49’s Gibson V-8 lump during Thursday’s practice sessions, since even with the two High Class Racing teams running identical set-ups, Kevin claimed they were 6kph down to their Seester’ car on the Straightaways…


Hour 3 Me Thinks, ANT’, aka Anthony Davidson in the LMP2 Pole winner #38 JOTA entry, put on Pole by Antonio Felix da Costa,  spun into the “Kitty litter!”

Dropping way down the order, having to wait to be towed out of the gravel trap. As Davidson later said he was Gutted, but the incident had occurred during one of the many rain storms and he thought he’d do it All over again…


One of the Pundits Mentioned that Renger Van der Zande was being harried by “Mean Jean” Alesi, who I hadn’t noticed on the Entry list. Whale’ at least it sounded like they said Alesi to Mwah, albeit Don’t think he was racing there.


Since None of Us are perfect, especially Myself! Although I noticed that John Hindhaugh still continuously called Olivier Pla Oliver Clark, as I Don’t know what his fascination with Ollie clark is, other than he’s a British racing driver…


Also talked about Thee Krakow Kid’, aka Robert Kubica who was making his Le Mans debut for WRT, aboard it’s #41 entry. As the former Polish Formula 1 Driver was hoping to finally finish a 24 Hour event, having failed twice so far, including this year’s Rolex 24 with High Class Racing.


Guess I left just before Hour 10? Off to a fairly Chaotic  IndyCar race at Gateway! Then came back to Le Mans after Hour 13. With’s Headline noting Yifea Overtakes WRT teammate for LMP2 lead.


And that’s as far as my Notes Jotted down during the race went, with the exception of the Magnussen’s LMP2 entry, which I’d Gleamed prior to the race. Whilst it’s a Good thingy’ Father and Son Had that experience, since little did they know then that Kevin would be recalled to the Haas F1 Team just prior to the 2022 Formula 1 season commencing after Rooskie’ Nikita Mazepin was Sacked after Mother Russia’s Invasion, Err Special Military Operation against Ukraine commenced…


And It’s Still as clear as Mud on a Rainy Day! But the No. 21 DragonSpeed team won the newly created LMP2 Pro Am category, which must include one Bronze rated Driver and get’s to stand atop the podium a la it’s LMP2 Class winners. So theoretically Juan Pablo Montoya has now become the second driver to win the mythical Triple Crown, Righto? Having previously won the Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500. Although I’m guessing he still needs to win Le Mans outright…


And from this meandering No Fenders story’s title, Y’all know that Toyota’s All Conquering GR010 Hypercar was victorious again. Although the No. 7 finally Cracked it’s Nut, Err Broke it’s Duck! With one of my favourite Sports Car Drivers K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi winning! Along with former IndyCar Ace Mike “Ice Ice, Baby!” Conway and Jose Maria Lopez.


But the Drama was in the lower tier LMP2 category, where it appeared that the No. 41 WRT entry was set to lead a Historic 1-2 victory sweep for the Belgian team, with it’s Seesster’ #31 tagging behind. Yet on the final lap of the race, Yifea Ye ground to a Halt at the Dunlop Curve and couldn’t fire the Oreca’s engine that He was sharing with Louis Delatraz and the aforementioned Robert Kubica. Meaning the Polish Driver would go 0-for-3 in 24 Hour races, Aye Karumba!


Therefore it was the #31 with Robin Frijns at it’s Keyboard holding off a hard charging Tom “The bomb” Blomquist in the No. 28 JOTA entry by a scant 0.07 seconds at the stripe!