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Le Mans: Wednesday Paddock Notes

Dallara aero, Ligier LMP3 aero and Corvette's Test Day engine trouble

Nederland set to run both aero kits

Following the results from the Test Day which saw Orecas take up the top 13 positions on pace, a team member of Racing Team Nederland has told DSC that its Dallara P217 will run both high and low downforce kits (above) during practice to see which reacts best to the circuit and can achieve the best time. A decision will then be made which will run during the race.

At Le Mans, LMP2 teams are not required to use the Le Mans aero in the race, though at La Sarthe is the only place they can use it. The rule leaves the door open for teams to try both.

During the running at the Test, the Dallaras were the quickest LMP2s in a straight line, with Villorba Corse’s topping out at 341kph. But the Dallaras lost a lot of time each lap through the corners, and were therefore seconds off the ultimate pace of the Oreca 07 Gibsons.

Aero changes to Ligier JSP3s

All 29 Ligier JSP3s set to take part in the double header of 55 minute Road to Le Mans races at Le Mans (On Thursday and Saturday) are in the process of being fitted with revised rear wings with 10mm being taken from the rear gurney to improve straight line speed.

The move comes in the wake of significant concern from Onroak Automotive over the speed shown by the new Norma M30 in early races, in particular at Monza where the new cars were some 6 k/h faster in a straight line than the more established, and over a year older, Ligiers.

The change has been agreed by Norma, after it was approached by Ligier, before it was proposed to the ACO.

Notable names

Of the famous faces at the race this year, McLaren F1 race director Eric Bouiller and Zak Brown here. Boullier is here as a guest, while Brown co-owner of United Autosports which is racing in LMP2 and in the Road to Le Mans with two Ligiers.

F1 CEO Chase Carey meanwhile, has had his parking spot marker removed from the ACO car park, making for further intrigue into the reason for his visit.

Milner explains Corvette’s Test Day engine change

Corvette Racing’s Tommy Milner explained to DSC that the reason for the #64 C7.R’s engine change during Test Day – before setting the fastest time, was due to an small sign in the data that something was wrong with the car.

“It was the most excitement that day,” Milner said. “We saw on the data that there was something up, and something went on the motor so we decided to change it. It was fantastic for us to get back out so quick (91 minutes) we saw data that something was wrong, but it wasn’t totally obvious what it was, as we were down on top speed, and there’s a number of things that could be.

“So, we changed the motor to validate what we thought was wrong, and the answer was ‘yes’, something was wrong! We didn’t want it to be a question mark as to whether it was the engine or not coming into race week.

“I don’t expect we’ll have that same problem again, but when it’s something that isn’t obvious, like oil pressure, there were signs of something because of the dip in speed.

“It became a challenge for the engineers looking for the data and then a good exercise for the mechanics. “