24 Hours of Le Mans: Hypercar - What to remember from test day?

24 Hours of Le Mans: Hypercar – What to remember from test day?

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Why are TOYOTA and ALPINE slower than in 2021?

It’s just regulation. But who expected the GR010 Hybrid to take pole position last year in 3:23.900, a handful of seconds too fast in the eyes of the legislator? The BoP has been there, so don’t expect this moment to come anywhere near Wednesday in qualifying or Thursday during Hyperpole. ” We have lost on several levels, Toyota Gazoo Racing Technical Director Pascal Vasselon explained to us. We have four more kilos -which means one tenth per lap- but also 9 kW (approx. 12 horses Editor’s note) less and a hybrid system firing speed raised to 190 km/h (compared to 120 last year. Editor’s Note) “. If this last factor will be less detrimental than on the other routes, this increase is not without impact.

Below you will find the BoP 2021 vs BoP 2022 comparison. Figures to look at carefully, other factors to consider, including the change in tire trims made by Toyota during the off-season.

Toyota on the date!

After a 2022 edition of the 6 Hours of Spa marked by the retirement of the #8 due to a technical problem, Toyota needed reassurance. And this even if, as technical director Pascal Vasselon confirmed to us, ” This is a transformer issue, which we believe has been resolved. »

In the morning, the two GR010 Hybrids were out of time for a long time. As the circuit was still “dirty”, the decision was made to work on the set-up, both aerodynamically and mechanically, before spending time on the tires in the afternoon. An important factor because the Japanese no longer has 31-square tyres, but 29 at the front and 34 at the rear.

Winner last year, the n°7, however, agreed with everyone by achieving the best time of the two sessions, each time thanks to José-Maria Lopez. ” It was a good dayPascal Vasselon is satisfied. We even did more kilometers than expected. We have reviewed our entire program without knowing the slightest problem. We are where we thought we were and therefore slower than last year due to the BoP change. The question to ask is why Glickenhaus couldn’t match his times from last year (while the BoP of the 007 LMH is similar to that of 2021. Ndlr). »

On a regular basis, let’s face it, Toyota looks unbeatable and promised a fifth win in a row, a feat only achieved by Porsche, Ferrari and Audi. But for the first two races of the 2022 WEC season, the Japanese team lost one of its two GR010s each time, with Lopez going off the track at Sebring and then a mechanical issue at Spa, so be wary…

© MPS Agency

Glickenhaus Racing as the number one outsider?

In the morning, the US team brought a cold sweat to their fans. The n°708 remained immobilized in its box for a long time. ” A minor mishap related to engine debugging after reassembly, Romain Dumas told us. Unlike the competition, we don’t complete a debugging session before coming here. But that did not prevent the Alésien from finishing the morning session just 0.109 behind José-Maria López. ” Tire grip, long relays… In general, we are satisfied, the double winner of the event continued. And we reviewed a good part of our program »

In the afternoon, Romain did it again by moving up to second again, 0.208 seconds behind his Argentinian rival who runs for Toyota Gazoo Racing. ” Last year, the car wasn’t necessarily very easy to corner for Porsche, with some moves that abused the rear tyres, highlights Olivier Pla. The team has worked well and seems to have fixed the problem. However, since the 2021 edition, Glickenhaus Racing has only used its race weekends to perfect its 007 LMH, which has not participated in any test sessions since its competition debut, on the occasion of the 8 Hours of Portimão 2021, last June. What if Glickenhaus Racing were the main protagonist of this 90th edition?

Should we worry about Alpine?

At the end of the morning session, the Alpine A480 closed the top five, with a payout of 1”167 over the reference mark. ” Good morning dedicated to assembly, he will then entrust us with the main team Philippe Sinault. We lapped well, found good set-ups and were satisfied with the performance of the tyres. Different from the ones she used last year as the Frenchwoman now uses Hypercar tires and not LMP1 NH.

But in the afternoon, the tricolor clan was spoiled a bit. The Nicolas Lapierre-André Negrao-Matthieu Vaxiviere trio followed in the rear, while their deficit was reduced to 2”524. Enough to get ahead of the two fastest LMP2. ” It’s clear that we miss him. admits Philippe Sinault. It is in acceleration, and therefore top speed, that we struggle. The gap with the competition is widening mainly in sector 2 (+1”325. Editor’s note). Now we must find the solution to remedy this deficit. The fact is that if the A480 really does suffer from a power deficit, only a Balance of Performance tweak will be able to make things happen.

But has the No. 36 hidden his game? ” We haven’t played any games says Vaxivier. In the morning, we work well with the team and we are not far from the ideal set-up. But we didn’t expect to get this far. In the end it was quite a frustrating day where we even struggled to overtake the LMP2s. If it continues like this, we could have traffic problems. We will have to see what the governing bodies will decide…

Comparative table Test Day 2022:

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