Speed Traps

June 15, 2012

Speed Traps

June 15, 2012

While Audi leads the Le Mans qualifying results, a look at the official “Event maximum speed ” report shows Toyota Racing posting the two highest speeds recorded through the official speed trap.

Toyota’s Anthony Davidson was clocked at 335.2 kph (208.29 mph) aboard the #8 Toyota TS 030 Hybrid.

Toyota’s Alex Wurz in the #7 was next at 332.1 kph (206.37mph). The turbo-diesel Audi Ultras had the third and fourth highest speeds at 331 and 330 kph (205 mph).

Interestingly, the Audi R18 –eTron Quattros of #1 Marcel Fassler and #2 Allan McNish were nearly 5 kph (3 mph) slower through the speed trap at 326 and 325 kph (202mph ).

The Nissan DeltaWing showed its potential with Michael Krumm 14th overall, shading the top LMP2 contenders with a 309.5 kph (192.3 mph) top speed.

Three Ferraris led the GTE-Pro speeds, with Olivier Beretta in the AF Corse #71 at a stunning 296.9kph (184.4 mph) while Toni Vilander had a 292.1 (181.5 mph) in the #51.

The two Corvettes led a large group at 290.6 kph (180.5), the same speed as the JMW Ferrari, both Team Felbermayr Proton Porsches, and the #79 Flying Lizard Porsche.

Le Mans is a very fast, low downforce circuit and trap speeds during practice and qualifying can be a bit misleading as teams sometimes experiment with different wings, aerodynamic adjustments and set ups prior to the race to find the optimum combination of top speed and cornering.

The greater the mechanical grip provided by the chassis and tires means that less downforce is required for cornering.

For example, while the Toyotas recorded the highest trap speeds, Audi qualified 1-2 with the Audi R-18 e-tron Quattro winning the pole with a lap at 3:23.787 despite having only the fifth highest trap speed.

The top 11 cars in qualifying are all Michelin technical partners.

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