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Petit Le Mans 2011 - Audi and Peugeot get set for another lengthy battle

Published by Pat W

#1 Audi will start the race from the front row on Saturday
#1 Audi will start the race from the front row on SaturdayCredit: Audi Motorsport

This race promises to be an epic contest in most classes, especially since in 2011 the entry list was bigger than the permitted grid and some entries had to be turned away after qualifying. The big fight will be between Audi and Peugeot and Oreca's older Peugeot. It looks like Anthony Davidson's injuries are healed as he grabbed pole position. So far this season the trends seem to me to have been that Peugeot are a little faster over a lap, Audi are a little better strategically. Oreca are effectively racing for 5th and will try to get themselves ahead of the Audis if they can.

As always there are multiple classes and this season there are not 4 but 6 of them. What are the other interesting contests away from the very front? The petrol LMP1 field looks fantastic. Dyson, Oak, Rebellion, two Aston Martins (one from Europe and one the US). Rebellion's car had the best livery in the entire field back at Silverstone and I bet it does again today, and their engine sounds great too. I also like the other teams though so I'll sit back and enjoy whoever wins this one!

LMP2 has a small but exciting field, Level 5 has some potent new HPDs which are the class of the field, but they've only had them a few weeks so they might not be race tested yet. Oak have a couple of cars entered here too, but I like the look of the Oreca-Nissan from Signatech.

GT (or GTE Pro) has the best manufacturer contest and the closest race. BMWs, Ferraris, Porsches, Corvettes. Fantastic! Giancarlo Fisicella races a Ferrari in this class (follow car 51). Ex-Jordan man Ralph Firman takes the wheel of another Ferrari. The class is full of professional drivers choosing to be paid by manufacturers, this will be a very good race.

The classes I am less interested in are GTE Am (for old GT cars with Amateur-class drivers), and the spec classes LMP Challenge and GT Challenge (LMPC/GTC). The latter two classes can be quite exciting, but they aren't in the real spirit of multi-chassis endurance racing for me.

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The duration of this race is 1000 miles or 10 hours, whichever is reached first. Usually the distance can be completed in a little over nine hours. Pro-tip for newcomers to long-distance racing: Don't try watching at Grand Prix intensity, unless you are really getting into it! Have a break now and then and just listen to Hindy.


Here's a quick thread for Petit Le Mans, which has just this second started. I believe that Franck qualified third, which isn't too bad, all things considered. He's also teamed up with Alex Wurz, and I bet those two play a few practical jokes as they go along!

Event start

16:30GMT +01:00

1 October 2011