Circuit de la Sarthe 2 24 hours

Discussion in 'GT4 Race Reports' started by flyingkiwi, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. flyingkiwi


    Well, I am back at the Le Mans circuit, one year after winning the first 24 hour race with a Mazda RX-7.

    This time, there are no chicanes, and the field is a lot stronger. I have decided to go with a BMW McLaren F1 GTR Race Car. I am from New Zealand, so obviously I have strong links with McLaren.

    1. Must use each set of tyres (R1s, R2s, R3s) for at least 50 laps of the race; 2. Cutting the chicane in the pits and getting a time gain will result in a stop-go penalty at the start-finish line;3. Rejoining the track unsafely and hitting another car will result in a 10-second stop-go penalty at the start-finish line.

    The Grid: 200 A-Spec Points
    Nissan R89C Race Car 968 hp, 900kg
    Minolta Toyota 88C-V Race Car 965hp, 850kg
    Sauber Mercedes C9 Race Car 987bh, 893kg
    Nissan R92CP Race Car 1001hp, 900kg
    Mazda 787B Race Car 843hp, 830kg
    BMW McLaren F1 GTR Race Car 759hp, 1000kg (50kg ballast), oil change

    Hour 1, Thursday, July 21, 2011, 18 laps completed
    Race start: 4:07pm Japan time. Start on R1 tyres. I decide very quickly that I should take it easy on the super-hard tyres. I get up to 380km/h in the Mazda's slipstream and pass him just before the end of the Mulsane. But I brake too late on cold tyres and I just get it stopped on the edge of the road. The Mazda repasses me and I end the opening lap 6.8s down on the leading Minolta having posted a 3:29.7.

    My second lap is a 3:23.1 but the Minolta is now 9 seconds ahead and I am still in 6th. A 3:18 follows on lap 3, and the Nissan R92 assumes the race lead 10 seconds up the road.

    By lap 5, the field has split into two distinct groups: the R92, Minolta and Sauber, followed by the Mazda and the R89. I can just see the Mazda and R89 up ahead but I spin coming out of the final Porsche Curve and I am now more than 20 seconds down on the leaders.

    The gap grows to 30 seconds before the 3 leaders and the R89 pit at the end of lap 8. I follow them in but I hit the inside wall after coming into the lane too hot.:ouch: I switch to R2 tyres in an effort to close the gap, or at least stabilise it. My best lap on R1s was a 3:16.412.

    The Sauber now leads narrowly from the R92, with the Minolta dropping back slightly. The Mazda is now in a clear 4th after going one lap further than the rest of us in his opening stint. Despite a spin at Indianapolis on my out-lap I am closing in on the R89 and I duly pass him at the beginning of lap 11.

    I pass the 787B down the Mulsane on lap 13 and it is my best lap so far: 3:12.256, about 2 seconds faster than the leading Sauber.

    We all pit again on lap 16, except for the 787B. I am delighted that my R2s lasted the distance, since it means that I can keep the same pit-stop strategy as the leaders whilst lapping as fast as them.

    The hour ends the Mazda pitting from the lead and I am back in 4th, 27s down on the Sauber. The R92 and Minolta are an estimated 7s and 14s back respectively.

    Hour 2, Thursday, July 21, 2011, 36 laps completed
    I spend the first part of the second hour gradually closing the gap to the Minolta. I gain about half a second a lap on him until he is just in sight as we enter the pits. The Sauber this time keeps the lead after his stop, 30s up the road from me. I stick to the R2s for the time being.

    On lap 26 I pass the Minolta on the Mulsane. He comes back at me on the run down to Indianapolis and on the straight heading towards the Porsche Curves, but I hold my ground and I am shot of him by the start/finish line. However, I have consecutive spins at Indianapolis and this allows him through again. We spend the next few laps battling for position but we are now almost 45 seconds behind the Sauber. I change to R3s when we pit nose-to-tail on lap 32. The R3s work and I pass the Minolta, hopefully for good this time, on the Mulsane on our outlaps. I pull away and gain time on the two cars in front of me. However, I have a huge lose entering the Porsche curves at the end of hour, and all that time gained is lost. I am back to 39s behind the Sauber.

    Hour 3, Saturday, July 23, 2011, 54 laps completed
    I push my R3 tyres to the limit and find out the hard way that they can only do 6 laps. On my 7th lap, I have two major spins and I have to limp to the pits. This drops me back to 4th and puts me 54s behind the Sauber after the round of pitstops. This becomes a 1:03s deficit when I spin at Indianapolis after the car got understable behind the Minolta. Such is my speed though, that I pass the Minolta at the end of the next lap to resume my 3rd position. Thereafter, I pit every 6 laps to the Sauber's 8. Eventually, he will have one pitstop less than me but in the meantime, I am spending less time in the pits due to not filling up with fuel as much; and I drive very fast and consistently, getting the gap down to 29s before pitting. I also move up into 2nd place for the first time in the race when I pass the R92 at the end of lap 49 after giving him a bit of a rub through the Porsche Curves. At the end of the hour I am 57s down on the Sauber, having done one extra stop.

    Hour 4, Saturday, July 23, 2011, 72 laps completed
    I close the gap down to 12s before pitting one lap after the Sauber on lap 57. I keep my second place, resuming just over 5s in front of the R92 and 37s down on the Sauber, who has now done one less pitstop. Meanwhile, the Sauber laps the R89 for the first time. I narrow the gap down to 28s before pitting on lap 63. The Sauber pits a lap later and resumes only 19s up the road. It is 16s by the end of the lap. The next lap my fastest of the race so far: a 3:11.707, which cuts a massive 8s out of the Sauber's lead. By the end of the next lap, the Sauber's lead is 5s and I can see him on the Mulsane straight. He is in my sights. I then break into the 3:10s (3:10.860) and the gap is 1.6s at the beginning of my in-lap. I desparately want to pass him on the track and the crowd is cheering me on. I get in his slipstream on the Mulsane and reach 385km/h as I pull out to pass him. The car gets very twitchy and I almost lose control but I hang on and I am into the lead of the Le Mans 24 hour!!! The Sauber comes back at me and I let him through at the end of the Mulsane. I don't want to spoil all my good work by spinning. I pit at the end of the lap and promptly have a small spin just before the Mulsane, my first mistake in over an hour. Which means that when the Sauber emerges from the pits I just beat him into the first chicane and by the time we get to the Mulsane I have a clear lead. Here ends an action-packed hour!

    Hour 5, Saturday, July 23, 2011, 90 laps completed
    I open up a 13s lead before pitting for R2s on lap 75. The R3s have done their job. I thought that making extra pitstops would have disadvantaged me, but it has proven to be not the case. I will now try to fulfill my quota of laps for R2 tyres and I also want to have a bit of a battle with the Sauber. I settle down into the 3:15-3:16 laptime range, and thus I resume my lead when the Sauber pits on lap 80. The race becomes a holding pattern: each time one of us pits, we hand the lead over the other. I have a spin at Indianapolis at the end of the hour, which means that my lead is now 16s, which is basically what it was at the start of the hour.

    Hour 6, Sunday, July 24, 2011, 108 laps completed
    On lap 99, I change to R1 tyres. I have only done 8 laps on them so far, and I want complete the minimum requirement of 50 laps on them in case things get close in the final hours. However, I cannot do better than a 3:18, so I decide to ditch them after 8 laps. They will have to wait. I resume on R2 tyres, now alone in 2nd position.

    Standings after 6 hours:
    Sauber Mercedes C9 Race Car 108 laps completed, 13 stops
    BMW McLaren F1 GTR Race Car +57s, 15 stops
    Nissan R92CP Race Car +1:30s
    Minolta Toyota 88C-V Race Car +2:40s
    Mazda 787B Race Car +2:45s
    Nissan R89C Race Car +2 laps

    Hour 7, Tuesday, July 26, 2011, 126 laps completed
    I close up to within 14s of the lead after the Sauber pits. I notice that he has two cars ahead of him on the road so I want to take advantage if he gets held up. I pit for R3 tyres at the end of lap 115. I have thus fulfilled my quota for the R2 tyres.

    Ironically, the cars in front of the Sauber pit and it is I who have to deal with lapping them. This leads to a major incident on lap 120. The 787B has just pitted and the R89 passes him. I also pass him at the final chicane. But I have trouble lapping the R89 and have to wait until the Mulsane to pull up alongside him. However, the BMW gets loose in the unstable air and I lose control and hit the inside wall before rebouding to the outside wall and coming to a stop. I had only moved a couple of inches before the 787B hits me at about 350km/h, which spins me again, and also sees him glancing the wall. We both recover, but I have lose 10s to the Sauber. Meanwhile, the Stewards deemed it to be a "racing incident" and I do not receive a penalty.

    I pit at the end of the hour and when I emerge I am 59s behind the Sauber. So, all-in-all, an average hour. Hopefully, things improve.

    Hour 8, Wednesday, July 27, 2011, 144 laps completed
    The first 20 minutes are good. I close up to within 7s of the Sauber (who is about to lap the Minolta), but my in-lap is disasterous. First, I go into the sand at the Dunlop bridge, which costs me about 4 seconds. Then, I have a massive lose at Indianapolis. I must have spun around at least 5 times before coming to a rest in the sandtrap. I pull into the pits thoroughly annoyed with myself. The car has gradually become more nervous to drive as the hours have ticked by. I hope that it doesn't become undriveable like the Toyota 7 did last year.

    I have another lose at Indianapolis on lap 134 but nonetheless I close up to within 3s of the Sauber before pitting for yet more R3s. The Minolta is still grimly hanging on to the lead lap and may even be holding the Sauber up a bit. He is finally lapped a couple of tours later.

    The hour ends with both the Sauber and I pitting on lap 144. I put on R2 tyres this time. As I exit the pits 31s behind, the 787B just gets in front of me to unlap himself. I get in his slipstream on the Mulsane but once again I lose control of the car and spin around twice before resuming. Sigh.

    Hour 9, Sunday, July 31, 2011, 161 laps completed

    The Sauber extends his lead to 46s before we both pit on lap 152. I switch back to R3s. I get the gap down to under 30s but a spin at Indianapolis drops me back again. The car is very unstable on R3 tyres in a straight line. I sometimes have to lift off the accelerator in order to keep it steady. I gain ground on the Minolta but I have trouble lapping him. He even gives me a bump on the run down to Indianapolis, which sends me onto the grass at 300km/h!! On the next lap, I am behind him but the car gets very unstable and I spin once again at Indianapolis. My rear tyres are now shot and I waste even more time spinning coming out of the Porsche curves. On R3s again, I spin just after the Dunlop bridge and again coming into the Porsche Curves. All of a sudden the R92 goes past me and I am back down into 3rd. An utter disaster! To compound things, the car gets loose behind the R92 and spins at Indianapolis again. All of this leaves me almost 2 minutes down on the Sauber, which becomes 1:17s after his pitstop. A horrible hour and the BMW-McLaren crew must be wondering if it is worth continuing with this increasingly unstable car.

    Hour 10, Sunday, July 31, 2011, 179 laps completed

    The first half of this hour is again disastrous for me. I stay with the R3s but I have fallen into a battle for 2nd with the R92 and every time I get near him the car gets very unstable and I also spin a couple of times, notably when together with the 787B and the R92 on the Mulsane. All these spins mean that I can only complete 5 laps per stint. I finally get some fresh air towards the end of the hour and I put in some consistent fast laps, which includes taking it slightly easier through Indianapolis. One of these laps is only 0.5s slower than my fastest, which proves that if I keep my head together, I can still lap quickly. But will the unstableness of the BMW-McLaren finally be the undoing of my challenge? The hour ends and I am 1:50s behind the Sauber.

    Hour 11, Sunday, July 31, 2011, 197 laps completed

    After a few more spins and almost losing control in a straight-line down the Mulsane, I decide that the car is no longer driveable on R3 tyres. I pit on 184 to change to R2s. I am now in serious danger of being lapped and the R92 is already 30s down the road in 2nd. As I start my 186th lap, I am 2:53s from the lead. The change to R2 tyres does not help. The car is still very unstable, but a couple of laps later I found a solution to the unstableness on the run down to Indianapolis: if I keep the car in 5th gear as I crest the small right-hand kink, then the car is a lot more stable. It may lose me a few tenths, but at least I won't spin around as much. I spend the rest of the hour knowing that one more mistake will see me lapped. I am now 3:06s behind the Sauber.

    Hour 12, Sunday, July 31, 2011
    A huge lose on Mulsane after the car suddenly turned right into the wall puts me a lap down. Soon afterwards, I pull into the pits, and sadly, into the garage. I wanted to continue but the car was just becoming undriveable. My Le Mans challenge is over for the time being.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  2. flyingkiwi


    Guys, is there any connection on how light a car is and how unstable it becomes in a long distance race like Le Mans?

    Should I use a 1100kg car?
  3. flyingkiwi


    Second go at the famed Le Mans 24 hours with no chicanes!

    The Grid (137 a-spec points)
    Minolta Toyota 88C-V Race Car 965hp, 850kg
    Mazda 787B Race Car 843hp, 830kg
    Nissan R89C Race Car 968 hp, 900kg
    Ford GT40 Race Car 525hp, 998kg
    Sauber Mercedes C9 Race Car 987bh, 893kg
    AMG Mercedes CLK-GTR Race Car 837hp, 1200kg (200kg ballast)

    Tyre Rule
    Each set of tyres (R1, R2, and R3) must be used for at least 100 laps, which is roughly 25% of the race distance.

    Here we GO!

    Hour 1, Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 18 laps completed
    Race Start 16:41 Japan time. I start on R1 tyres.

    The Sauber and I blast past the GT40 and I then pass the Sauber on the Mulsane. I quickly catch up with the leaders and I move up to 3rd by the end of the long straight. The first 5 cars cross the line nose-to-tail to start the second lap. The Minolta leads from the R89, myself, the 787B, and the Sauber. The long slog has begun!

    I have a lot of speed down the main straight and I blast by the R89 and touch 400km/h as I pull up to the Minolta!:crazy:. I can't quite get him before end of the Mulsanne. I understeer into the first of the Porsche Curves and that allows the R89 and the Sauber (who has got by the 787B) to move past me.

    On lap 3 I pass all three leaders on the Mulsanne but then the Minolta gets past me on the run down to Indianapolis. There is a lot of tapping on my rear bumper from the Sauber as we enter the super fast right-hand kink:nervous: but I hold my nerve and get a better run out of the following left-hander to move back into the lead. However, the Minolta gets back past me as I gingerly make my way into the Porsche curves. I don't want to try anything risky on R1 tyres in the early stages of the race. In amongst this action, something has happened to the Sauber as he drops way back behind the R89.

    Once again I pass the Minolta down the Mulsanne at 400km/h but I make the fatal error of braking too hard at the end of the straight and losing the rear end. It is a slight lose so I don't lose too much time and rejoin in 3rd with the Sauber gaining ground to put me under pressure in the Porsche Curves.

    I pass the R89 down the Mulsanne on lap 5 but once again I cannot hold my position and in fact the Sauber also gets past me.

    The AIs don't pit until the end of lap 8, which surprises me. We lap the GT40 at the end of lap 7 and I continue to battle with the Minolta and R89. For some reason, the Sauber has dropped about 10s behind us. I pass the Minolta and for a change I actually hold my position as we run down to Indianapolis. BUT! The Minolta sticks his nose alongside me and an ever so slight movement of my position sees me spun around and into the sandtrap. I make my way back to the pits, not in the lead, but instead in 4th position as the Sauber just beats me into pitlane. We all resume behind the 787B, who pits a lap later.

    I stay on R1 tyres, which could have lasted for 10 laps if I had enough fuel. I have a major lose at the beginning of the Porsche Curves (I gather this is the worst corner on the circuit for the Mercedes:sly:) and after 10 laps I am 9s behind the Minolta, with the R89 and Sauber in second and third respectively.

    I have another lose at the beginning of the Porsche Curves and lose another 5s. The gap to the Sauber, who has now taken the lead, stays at about 14-16s throughout the stint, but he then extends it to 20s before we all pit again. I change to R2 tyres, rejoining in 5th, which becomes 4th a couple of laps later when the 787B pits. My fastest lap on the R1s was 3:12.453

    Hour 2, Sunday, January 1, 2012 - 36 laps completed

    Happy New Year!:cool:
    I have a good battle with the R89 before finally pulling away from him on the Mulsanne. The gap to the Sauber remains constantly between 14-16s but my rear tyres lose grip on the 8th lap of my stint and I have a mini-lose in the Porsche Curves. I don't lose too much time, however, and I pit for more R2s, this time aiming to only do 7 laps per stint. The 787B is now too far back to overtake me when I pit.

    I close in on the Minolta and pass him easily down the Mulsanne, which puts me in 2nd, 14s behind the Sauber. As it turns out, I don't quite have enough fuel to complete 7 laps so I pit a lap earlier for more R2s and rejoin just in front of the R89. We have a good battle for a couple of laps before he pits. This leaves me free in 2nd, with large gaps now throughout the field. By the end of the hour, I have made good progress and I am only 12s behind the Sauber.

    As a footnote, the GT40 has now been lapped 5 times after only 36 laps.:rolleyes:

    Hour 3, Monday, January 2, 2012 - 54 laps completed
    I pit on lap 37, rejoin in 3rd and drive some conservative laps, which allows the Sauber to build his lead over me to over 50 seconds. When he pits, however, I put the hammer down and do 4 consecutive laps in the 3:13s (remarkably, my 3:12 lap on R1 tyres is still my fastest of the race). I gain hand-over-fist on the Sauber and I have him in my sights but I have to pit on lap 44 for more R2s. I rejoin in a clear 2nd.

    I make a mistake and have a huge lose into the sandtrap at Indianapolis on my out-lap but I keep it tidy until the Sauber pits. He rejoins 8s in front of me, and I gain on him and on lap 50 I am right on his tail going into the Porsche Curves. I go up the inside of him at the left-hander but he holds his ground on the outside and the two of us understeer and graze the outside wall! :crazy: He keeps his lead but after another couple of taps through the Ford chicanes, I have a big dive up the inside of him heading into the Dunlop chicane. I am successful and I hold my lead for the remainder of my in-lap, despite some close attention from the Sauber at Indianapolis and the Porsche Curves.:nervous: Apart from the opening laps, this is the most exciting part of the race.

    The hour ends with the Sauber 35s in front of me, having of course made one less stop.

    Hour 4, Monday, January 2, 2012 - 74 laps completed
    The Sauber pits and this time I take a clear lead, lapping the 787B in the process. I extend my lead to 9s before pitting to change to R3 tyres on lap 58. On lap 57, I do my fastest lap of the race so far: 3:11.393.

    I rejoin and push hard on the R3s, keen to know how fast I can lap with them. I overcook the rear tyres a couple of times at the end of the Mulsane so they are well-cooked by the time I have completed 4-and-a-half laps. I have a spin at Indianapolis and I have to crawl my way through the Porsche Curves. If I can only do 4 laps on my R3s, it will put me at a disavantage, since in 100 laps I would have to make 5 more stops than if I would if I stuck to 5-lap stints.

    I rejoin 58s down on the Sauber, which becomes 15s when he pits a lap later. This time I put in less fuel and make sure to keep the car as straight as possible, so as not to overexcite the rear tyres. This plan works and I am right on the Sauber's tail as we start the 5th lap of my stint. I pass him on the Mulsanne, where the car gets a bit unsteady, but I make it through the Mulsanne corner and hold my lead down the narrow chute heading towards Indianapolis. The Sauber pulls alongside me and I decide to let him go. Discretion over valor!:sly: I make it to the end of the lap without any problems and pit for more R3s.

    I set another fastest lap on lap 72 (3:10.101) but I ruin a good hour by spinning at Indianapolis on lap 74 and losing about 8s.

    The hour ends with the Sauber in the pits, as I shoot past him and into the lead.

    Hour 5, Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 90 laps completed
    The hour starts off in a horrible fashion when I spin at just after the Dunlop bridge. My rear tyres are shot and I have another "moment" at the Porsche Curves. The Sauber retakes the lead as I crawl back to the pits. Frustrating.:banghead:

    More frustration awaits as I have spins at Indianapolis and the Porsche Curves. The car is actually starting to feel slighly unstable on the run down to Indianapolis.:(

    But the biggest loss of time comes when I slightly rub the rear of the GT40 in the Porsche Curves and he goes off into the sandtrap. I am forced to wait for him to repass me, which of course takes an age and costs me about 20s. I am full of rage and decide to pit after 4 laps to get more R3 tyres and start afresh.:grumpy:

    When I rejoin I am 1:20s behind the Sauber, which becomes 32s when he pits on lap 80.

    The rest of the hour goes smoothly until the last minute when I come up behind the R89 on the Mulsanne to lap him. I get past him okay, but I have troubly steadying the car and eventually I clip a wall and spin around at about 330km/h!:crazy: I get going again and I finish the lap, and the hour, 15s behind the Sauber. If it weren't for those spins at the top of the hour, then I would probably have a clear lead by now.:indiff:

    By the way, I am trying to get as many laps in on R3s as I can because I don't want to be on them if the car becomes unstable (see first attempt in the first post of this thread).

    Hour 6, Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 108 laps completed
    The hour begins well as I make up ground on the Sauber, despite a mini-spin at Indianapolis which only costs me 2 seconds. I take the lead when the Sauber pits on lap 96, but I have to give it back when I pit a lap later.

    However, I gain on the Sauber quickly after resuming the race and take the lead from him down the Mulsanne on lap 101 (which becomes my fastest lap of the race so far: 3:09.830). I push on but by then my rear tyres are all used up and I have a lose at Indianapolis which allows the Sauber to close up behind me again. He takes the lead on the run up to the Porsche Curves. We actually rub panels in a very scary moment but luckily we both stay on the track.:crazy:

    I push on after pitting and when the Sauber pits on lap 104 I have a clear lead. Finally! :) I put in some decent laps and after pitting I emerge just in front of the Sauber, who gives me a punt up the backside.:grumpy: I let him through and give him a punt in return as we go through the esses.:dopey: I pass him on the Mulsanne but gave a small off at Indianapolis to gift him the lead again.:ouch: The gap at the finish line at the end of the hour is 0.185s!

    Standings after 6 hours:
    Sauber Mercedes C9 Race Car (13 stops)
    AMG Mercedes CLK-GTR Race Car +0.185s (18 stops)
    Minolta Toyota 88C-V Race Car +approx. 2:40s (13 stops)
    Nissan R89C Race Car +1 lap (13 stops)
    Mazda 787B Race Car +1 lap (11 stops)
    Ford GT40 Race Car +15 laps (7 stops)

    Hour 7, Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 126 laps completed
    I pass the Sauber down the Mulsane but he comes back at me on the run down to Indianapolis. The car gets unsteady and when the Sauber comes up on the outside, I lift off the gas and we only just make it through Indianapolis side-by-side.:eek: Thrilling stuff. At the Ford chicanes we come up on the GT40. The Sauber gets momentarily stuck behind the Ford as we cross the start-finish line which gives me all the incentive I need to take the lead. I build up a 10s gap before we both pit on lap 112. I change to R2s because I want to see my relative speed on hard tyres compared to the Sauber at this stage of the race.

    I rejoin with a 14s lead, which I stretch to over 30s, lapping comfortably in the 3:13s. The Sauber doesn't help his cause by getting stuck behind the 787B (now 2 laps down) for a couple of laps. Meanwhile, I no trouble putting the Minolta a lap down. A mistake at Indianapolis and a generally poor lap costs me some 8s but I return to the pits for more R2s with a healthy 26s lead.

    The car is much more comfortable on harder tyres and I stretch my lead to 50s but I carelessly put a wheel on the grass on the run down to Indianapolis and have a long, fast spin which costs me 10s. :banghead:Thus, the hour ends with me in the pits getting more R2 tyres, the Sauber about 38s behind me.

    Hour 8, Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 144 laps completed
    The hour begins with an intense out-lap where I battle with the Minolta and the Sauber and ultimately give up ground to them. Once again, common-sense applies. But we all come up behind the GT40 and the Minolta gives him a serve coming on the Mulsanne. This creates a log jam and to avoid hitting the Sauber I go off line and actually in the sand momentarily, which kills all my momentum for the Mulsanne.:indiff: Therefore, the Sauber enjoys a 5s cushion before pitting at the end of the lap. After that, I calmly and methodically build my lead with consistent 3:13.0s lap times so by the time I come back into the pits to change to R3 tyres, I have amassed an 50s advantage. Time to put the hammer down.:tup:

    And I do. Although the car is much more unsteady with medium tyres, I build up a one minute lead but I lose almost half of it with a massive, MASSIVE lose on the run down to Indianapolis after putting a couple of wheels on the grass.:crazy: To make matters worse, the R89 was right behind me and he almost spins trying to avoid me.:sick: AND, the GT40 hits me when I try to rejoin. :ouch: This whole incident costs me 20s, which means that when I pit, the Sauber is right behind me and takes the lead at the end of the Mulsanne when I let him through under brakes. I am in no mood for another massive lose:scared: The Sauber pits at the end of the lap and I end the hour having just taken back the lead.

    Hour 9, Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 162 laps completed
    The hour starts off smoothy as I build up a healthy lead but once again I let myself down by having incidents at Indianapolis and the entrance to the Porsche Curves. The car is getting very unstable on the medium tyres; it's even starting to wobble down the Mulsanne.:nervous: On lap 153, my rear tyres are shot due to the offs and I have to crawl back to the pits, which loses me in the order of 20s. I am still in the lead when I resume, but it has been cut down to 13s, which I manage to extend to 23s despite another lose at Indianapolis. I have five sets left on the R3s to complete my mandatory 100 laps, and I can't wait.:yuck:

    I rejoin behind the Sauber and have a good battle with him for a lap or two, driving within myself so as not to lose control of the increasingly unsteady Mercedes. I forget about this, though, when I get in his slipstream down the Mulsanne. Pulling out to pass him, the car suddenly launches itself into the sandtrap on the right and slams up against the wall.:censored: The lapped 787B just clips me as I rejoin, so luckily I didn't impede him too much.

    After a pitstop each, I end the hour 7 seconds ahead of the Sauber. But, it was the worst hour of the race for me so far.:tdown:

    Hour 10, Friday, January 6, 2012 -179 laps completed
    I extend my lead to 12s before pitting again on lap 165. I don't want to risk a 5th lap on my rear R3s if I slid around a bit during the stint. The car is unstable so it is very hard not to slide around at times.

    Lap 167 is a disaster as the car veers right into the wall in the middle of the Mulsanne. Luckily there are walls there.:scared: The bumps on the Mulsanne on really unsettling the car. I post a 3:22s lap, 13s slower than my best.

    I inherit a 20s lead when the Sauber pits on lap 168. I extend it to 24s before pitting on lap 170. I rejoin 4s down. But disaster strikes on lap 171 when I get a call from a friend, pause the game on the Mulsanne, restart the game and slide straight into the wall and into a massive spin!:banghead: The 787B once again glances me and I have to spend the next lap catching him up again. On the run down to Indianapolis, I am behind him. I lift off the accelerator, try everything to keep the car in the straight line, but to no avail, and I have another big lose. Sigh. What was a slim 4s for the Sauber is now a massive 55s advantage. I am then behind the R89 and pull out from behind him and veer right straight into the wall and have to do a 3-point turn to get going again. 1:12s and I am close to throwing in the towel.:tdown:

    When the hour ends, I am on my final mandatory set of R3s and I have erased the deficit slightly to 50s.

    Hour 9 was a walk in the park compared to this.:grumpy:

    Hour 11, Friday, January 6, 2012 - 197 laps completed
    Another trip into the sandtrap at Indianapolis at the top of the hour puts me at my wits end. I finally change over to R2 tyres on lap 181 but now the deficit is 1:33s. Is there anyway back from here?

    Well, at the end of the hour I am 1:30s behind the Sauber, so I have gained 3 seconds. The car is a lot more stable on the R2s but I am still having incidents at Indianapolis. I guess I just have to take it very easy on the run down to that corner and try to keep the car straight. Holding it in 5th gear seems to help. The next hour will be crucial. If I can cut into the Sauber's lead, then I still have a chance. But if I have a heap of spins and drop back to 2 minutes behind, then it will be game over, literally.

    Hour 12, Saturday, January 7, 2012
    After spins in consecutive laps at Indianapolis I park the car in the garage, having completed 200 laps.

    Extremely frustrating.:censored:
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  4. -raVer-


    It is not the weight , it is the chassis wear what makes the car unstable ;)

  5. flyingkiwi


    Do you know which of the race cars are most vulnerable to this problem?
  6. -raVer-


    I guess all of the LMP´s will experience this.

    Or you can try something like this:

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  7. flyingkiwi


    Third Attempt

    I have purchased a Dodge Viper GTS-R Team Oreca, inserted a Stage 4 turbo upgrade, and a soft setup which I hope will be good enough to last the distance this time. I actually attempted the race with a Stage 3 NA upgrade the night before but I found I was losing too much time on the straights.

    The Grid: 191 A-spec points (:grumpy:)
    Nissan R92CP Race Car 1001hp, 900kg
    Mazda 787B Race Car 843hp, 830kg
    Nissan R89C Race Car 968 hp, 900kg
    Minolta Toyota 88C-V Race Car 965hp, 850kg
    Sauber Mercedes C9 Race Car 987bh, 893kg
    Dodge Viper GTS-R Team Oreca 913hp, 1150kg, Stage 4 turbo, no oil change (newly purchased)

    Car Settings
    Spring rates: 10.3/9.9
    Ride Height: 80/80
    Gear Ratio: 20
    Dampers: 5,5/6,7
    Camber: 2.0/1.0
    Stablisers: 4/4
    TCS: 7 (to help reduce tyre wear)
    ASM: 0
    LSD: 10/40/20
    Downforce: 38/53

    Tyre Rule
    Each set of tyres (R1, R2, and R3) must be used for at least 100 laps, which is roughly 25% of the race distance.

    Hour 1, Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 19 laps completed
    I start with Super-hard tyres.

    Out of Control!!! is how I would describe the first lap, which will go down in legend. It begins with everyone slipstreaming everyone else. I get up to 398 km/h as I dodge and weave my way past the entire field up the Mulsanne. I get a hit up the rear under braking for Mulsanne corner, which means that I miss the apex of the turn, allowing the R92 to get back past me. The Minolta and the Sauber also work their way past me down the long narrow run towards Indianapolis. The entire field is nose to tail as we fly down towards the Porsche Curves. I give the Sauber a hit in the side which sends him onto the grass but he makes it back on without loss of position, and in fact makes his way past the Minolta as we exit the Porsche Curves. I also try to find a way past the Minolta but he sends me onto the grass and I just about get back onto the track before we brake for the first of the Ford Chincanes. But I still get unsteady under braking, which sends the R89 off the track and thankfully back on again. I end the lap in 4th. Phew!

    The next 3 laps are not as action-packed but it still involves the first five cars nose-to-tail and battling for position. Immense fun. We have left the 787B far behind but I am the first to blink when I run wide exiting the Porsche Curves on lap 4, which drops me some 6s behind the leading Minolta.

    I spend the next two laps in the 3:15s, which is the same pace as the leaders. I catch up to the R89, who has dropped back from the leading pack. I stay behind him, not wanting to risk any spins or getting hit up the rear.:sly: My fuel tank is showing empty as we go through the Porsche Curves for the 7th time, which indicates that the Viper is one thirsty beast. I arrive in the pits for the change to R2 tyres with 4 units of fuel remaining (with a fair bit of slipstreaming in that stint). Hmmm...

    My outlap is ruined by a lose at the first of the Porsche Curves, which sends me to the end of the sandtrap where there is luckily a side road which I used to rejoin the track. This means that instead of stealing a march on the cars in front, I actually have to pass them all in order to take the lead.

    I begin with passing the two Nissans on lap 9. By the end of the next lap, I am right on the leading pair and I pass the Minolta under the Dunlop Bridge. I sit in the slipsteam of the Sauber from the Mulsanne before taking the lead in the middle of the Porsche Curves.

    The car is handling well and the tyres are hanging in there. I complete a 7 lap stint and pull into the pits 4s ahead of the Sauber, who is lapping in the 3:14s. The Minolta is a further 2.5s back from the Sauber, and matching him for lap times.

    I pit for more R2s and this time I keep it smooth and tidy on my outlap and when the AIs in front of me pit on lap 16, I am able to sail by into a clear lead, which I extend to 19s over the Sauber by the end of the hour. Apart from the two mishaps in the Porsche Curves, I couldn't have asked for a better start to the race.:)

    Hour 2, Friday, January 27, 2012 - 36 laps completed
    Open up my lead to 23s before pitting for more R2s on lap 21. I resume in 3rd, about a couple of seconds behind the Minolta, who has dropped back to 9s behind the Sauber. After the Sauber and Minolta pit, I regain the lead, extending it to just under 40s before pitting for R1 tyres on lap 28. The Viper is very smooth to drive, and can do 3:13s comfortably.

    I rejoin just in front of the Sauber, but I let him through and proceed to stay in his slipstream down the Mulsanne for three consecutive laps, hoping to save enough fuel to complete an 8-lap stint on my R1s. In the end, I couldn't save enough to do an extra lap, having used 4 less units of fuel than in previous stints, and I pitted on lap 35 for more R1s, this time resuming with a 9s cushion.

    Hour 3, Friday, January 27, 2012 - 54 laps completed
    The Sauber closes down the gap whilst I warm up my tyres, but I hold onto a 2-3s lead for a couple of laps before he finally gets into my slipstream down the Mulsanne on his in-lap. I let him go and retake the lead when he pits.

    This pattern continues for the rest of the hour. I love this sort of racing, where the laptimes between me and the Sauber are very close, and yet neither of us are blinking. Meanwhile, if the Sauber does pass me, I stay behind him for the remainder of the stint in order to use less fuel. The hour ends with the Sauber leading me across the start-finish line to begin another lap.

    Hour 4, Saturday, January 28, 2012 - 72 laps completed
    Very good hour. Change to R2 tyres on lap 63 and proceed to pull out a 27s lead on the Sauber before pitting again for more R2s on lap 70. No incidents to speak of, apart from braking slightly too late at Mulsanne corner. Things going very well. The Sauber pits at the end of the hour to hand me back the lead. My fastest lap so far has been a 3:11.518. The 787B is now a lap down, with the R89 about to be lapped also.

    Hour 5, Saturday, January 28, 2012 - 91 laps completed
    Another good hour, apart from a lazy spin after Indianapolis and a quick detour through the sandtrap at the same corner. I change over to R3s on lap 77 and I manage to get 6 good laps out of them per stint. I do my fastest lap so far on lap 85 (3:09.556), and at the end of the hour, I am 1:23s ahead of the Sauber. The 787B, R89 and R92 are all a lap down now.

    Hour 6, Saturday, January 28, 2012 - 109 laps completed
    Apart from a spin at Indianapolis and at times some sloppy driving due to loss of concentration, it is another good hour. I extend my lead to 2:20s, despite making one more pitstop in the hour than the Sauber.

    Standings after 6 hours
    Dodge Viper GTS-R Team Oreca (16 stops)
    Sauber Mercedes C9 Race Car +2:20s (13 stops)
    Minolta Toyota 88C-V Race Car +1 lap (13 stops)
    Nissan R92CP Race Car +1 lap (13 stops)
    Nissan R89C Race Car +2 laps (13 stops)
    Mazda 787B Race Car +2 laps (11 stops)

    Hour 7, Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 127 laps completed
    I continue to consolidate and build on my lead. I get the chance to put a lap on the Sauber on lap 122. After getting in his slipsteam on the Mulsanne and on the run down to Indianapolis, I push my way past him before we get to Arnage. He gets the lap back when I pit three laps later, but so far so good for Team Viper.:tup: The R92 and the 787B are now 2 and 3 laps down respectively.

    Hour 8, Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 145 laps completed
    Another good hour. The Sauber goes a lap down and this time he stays behind me even after I make my pitstop. The R89 is also lapped for the third time. I am lapping in the 3:11s for the most part. My only blemish was hitting the wall in the Porsche Curves on lap 143.

    Hour 9, Monday, January 30, 2012 - 163 laps completed
    Another good hour, made somewhat exciting by battles with the R92 and the Minolta, which I eventually lapped. The R92 and I touched on the Mulsanne at over 300km/h and I almost spun, but luckily I kept it together. I am cruising around in the 3:11s and 3:12s on my R3s, which is still much too fast for the Sauber, who is now one-and-a-quarter laps behind me. The 787B was also lapped for the fourth time.

    Hour 10, Monday, January 30, 2012 - 182 laps completed
    Gun it for the last few obligatory laps on the R3 tyres and do some laps in the 3:09s, without improving on my best lap. I have a couple of offs during the hour. The car is getting slightly twitchy but nowhere near the horrible unstableness I have experienced here before at about the same stage of the race with the MR cars. The Viper is still very driveable and I change back to R2 tyres on lap 179. The R89 was lapped for the fourth time.

    Hour 11, Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 200 laps completed
    The highlight of the hour was running side-by-side with the 787B down the Mulsanne and becoming slightly tangled with him at Mulsanne corner. I keep the car on the track, but later in the hour I run off the track and into the sandtrap at Indianapolis after the car got twitchy. However, the unstableness on the run down to Indianapolis is still a rare phenomenon and is dependent on how I position the car through the right-hand kinks. The 787B was lapped for the fifth time.

    Hour 12, Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 218 laps completed
    Lapping in the 3:13s and 3:14s. Not a single AI car in sight during the hour. Have a couple of mishaps due to listening to podcasts and not really concentrating as hard as I was before. The car is getting a little unstable, but since I have a full lap and three-quarters lead over the Sauber, I am not too concerned. So, as the first month of 2012 draws to a close, I am halfway through this mother of a race!

    Standings after 12 hours
    Dodge Viper GTS-R Team Oreca (33 stops)
    Sauber Mercedes C9 Race Car +1 lap (27 stops)
    Minolta Toyota 88C-V Race Car +2 laps (26 stops)
    Nissan R92CP Race Car +3 laps (26 stops)
    Nissan R89C Race Car +4 laps (26 stops)
    Mazda 787B Race Car +5 laps (23 stops)

    Hour 13, Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 235 laps completed
    Once again, I don't see another car until the last lap of the hour before I dive back into the pits. The hour's driving was average. The car is now definitely unstable on the run down to Indianapolis, and even down the Mulsanne at times. In fact, I spin halfway down the Mulsanne on lap 228 and have another lose entering the Porsche Curves. This race is far from over.

    Hour 14, Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 253 laps completed
    Another average hour, but I have adjusted my driving style to compensate for the unstableness in the Viper's chassis. I am now keeping the car in 5th gear on the run down to Indianapolis, which does help to keep it in a straight line! Nevertheless, I have one or two hairy moments, but the Sauber is a lap and 2 mintues behind me so it will take a lot of spins and excursions for him to catch me up over the remaining 10 hours of this race. The two Nissans and the 787B were lapped again.

    Hour 15, Friday, February 3, 2012 - 271 laps completed
    Quite a boring hour. Nothing much happening apart from a couple of hairy moments near Indianapolis and entering the Porsche Curves. Car definitely unstable now. If I wasn't in the lead, I probably would have thrown in the towel. So, I'm pleased with myself for putting on the R3 tyres early in the race to get a good lead.

    Hour 16, Friday, February 3, 2012 - 289 laps completed
    Start the hour off by having a couple of spins, including one entering the Porsche Curves where I end up against the wall and spend a good 10 seconds trying to turn myself around. But I pull it back over the next 45 minutes of so. The Sauber has gained about a minute over me in the past four hours, but he is still a full lap and a minute behind me. At the rate he is gaining on me, it will take him another 16 hours to be on my tail. Thankfully, there is only one third of the race left.

    Hour 17, Saturday, February 4, 2012 - 307 laps completed
    A huge 720 degree spin on the Mulsanne is the "highlight" of this hour. When I get things right, I can lap in the 3:13s. But those lap times are becoming few and far between. The Sauber must have also slowed down, because he only gained 10s on me during the hour.

    Hour 18, Saturday, February 4, 2012 - 325 laps completed
    As a sample of my pace at this stage of the race, I am recording the laptimes for this hour:
    Lap 308: 3:15.279
    Lap 309: 3:16.188
    Lap 310: 3:15.447
    Lap 311: 3:17.372 (car got unstable on the run down to Indianapolis and I took to the grass)
    Lap 312: 3:18.665*
    Lap 313: 3:52.173* (went into the sandtrap at Indianapolis)
    Lap 314: 3:14.172
    Lap 315: 3:15.185
    Lap 316: 3:15.115
    Lap 317: 3:15.744
    Lap 318: 3:14.726
    Lap 319: 3:14.683*
    Lap 320: 3:49.172*
    Lap 321: 3:13.622
    Lap 322: 3:14.271
    Lap 323: 3:16.369 (got a bit taily at Indianapolis)
    Lap 324: 3:13.125
    Lap 325: 3:13.391

    As you can see, a fairly consistent hour of driving. The gap to the Sauber remains a lap and approx. one minute. I lapped the Minolta and the 787B again this hour.

    Standings after 18 hours
    Dodge Viper GTS-R Team Oreca (48 stops)
    Sauber Mercedes C9 Race Car +1 lap (40 stops)
    Minolta Toyota 88C-V Race Car +3 laps (40 stops)
    Nissan R92CP Race Car +4 laps (40 stops)
    Nissan R89C Race Car +5 laps (40 stops)
    Mazda 787B Race Car +7 laps (35 stops)

    Hour 19, Saturday, February 4, 2012 - 342 laps completed
    I change over to R1 tyres on lap 326. My laptimes drop to 3:16s-3:18s and I have a couple of spins as well. The Minolta also gets one of his laps back, so all-in-all, it's a very average hour.

    Hour 20, Saturday, February 4, 2012 - 360 laps completed
    Another hour of hard slog on the R1 tyres. The Sauber keeps closing in and halfway through the hour he is only 10s behind me on the road. Then, on lap 360, 19 hours and 59 minutes into the race, the Sauber unlaps itself just before Mulsanne corner. He has four hours (or approx. 72 laps) to make up about 195 seconds on me (which works out at about 2.7s a lap). It can't be done, surely?:nervous: Thankfully, I only have 23 laps left to do on the R1s.

    Hour 21, Saturday, February 4, 2012 - 378 laps completed
    I follow the Sauber under the Dunlop bridge and then onto the Mulsanne. I get into his slipstream and pull out to pass him in the narrow gap between him and the wall. But the car of course gets unsteady and I hit the wall before spinning across the track and ending up resting against the inside wall.:yuck: Thus, I lost the chance to relap the Sauber and, another spin later in the hour, my lead has been reduced to 2:48s.

    Hour 22, Sunday, February 5, 2012 - 396 laps completed
    The Sauber must have had a spin in the first lap of the hour, as my lead suddenly increased to 3 minutes. However, I am really struggling for grip on the R1s and the gap is soon under 3 minutes and even under 2 minutes at one stage when I made a pitstop. Thankfully, I could change back to R2 tyres on lap 389 and I immediately get my head back down and lap in the 3:13s and 3:14s. The gap increases to 2 minutes and 52 seconds by the end of the hour.

    Hour 23, Sunday, February 5, 2012 - 413 laps completed
    Not a very good hour of driving. A couple of spins lose me some time and, having made one more stop than the Sauber during the hour, my lead has been cut to 2:20s. The 787B is lapped for the 8th time. I am just winding down the clock now. 60 minutes to go!

    Hour 24, Sunday, February 5, 2012 - 431 laps completed

    Winding down the minutes, the gap to the Sauber stays constant at about 2 minutes and 20 seconds. After a spin in the Porsche Curves, I come in for my final pitstop on lap 424 with 22 minutes and 30 seconds to go. Perfect for a 7 lap stint. The final laps go by without incident and I slow down to negotiate the Ford chicanes for the 431st and final time and cruise across the final line to the roar of the crowd. It is complete!


    Final Race Results
    Dodge Viper GTS-R Team Oreca 431 laps 24h00m21.945s (63 stops)
    Sauber Mercedes C9 Race Car +2m40s (53 stops)
    Minolta Toyota 88C-V Race Car +2 laps (53 stops)
    Nissan R92CP Race Car +4 laps (53 stops)
    Nissan R89C Race Car +6 laps (53 stops)
    Mazda 787B Race Car +8 laps (46 stops)

    Race Fastest Laps
    Dodge Viper GTS-R Team Oreca 3:09.556
    Sauber Mercedes C9 Race Car 3:13.828
    Minolta Toyota 88C-V Race Car 3:14.181
    Nissan R92CP Race Car 3:15.156
    Nissan R89C Race Car 3:16.631
    Mazda 787B Race Car 3:18.182
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  8. Smallhorses

    Smallhorses Staff Emeritus

    Good going so far, and almost 2/3rd of a lap lead after 6hrs is turning into a bit of a massacre. I guess it remains to be seen how the Viper holds up to the chassis wear that's plagued your past entries, and how well your driving style adapts to the changes. Keep it up. :tup:
    See you for the [​IMG]
  9. flyingkiwi


    Thanks for the support!
  10. flyingkiwi



  11. SilverBeast


    Youre nice man... bggest spirit for yu