ILMC: Review the season finale in Zhuhai / views of the WEC 2012
Peugeot wins, Ferrari GT secured the title and the calendar for the WEC 2012 was announced.
The initial phase of the final run in Zhuhai, China was still promising, although the two factory Peugeots had secured the front row, but the two Audi R18 could be in the early rounds only between and even fight against them. But the fireworks, the Ingolstadt did not last long, during the first half of the race took over the Peugeots with decreasing temperature returns to the command. Also, different strategies changed nothing because there was a French double victory at the end and his Peugeot series perfectly made: victories in all ILMC races - except Le Mans.
The fact that the two factory diesel prototypes are very close together, if we look at the fastest laps: Only 31 thousandths missing Timo Bernhard's fastest time of Sebastien Bourdais, but had the Audi driver drove his best time on lap 5, as it is the track temperature was still at about 30 degrees. Also in top speed, the difference was only at 1.5 km / h for the benefit of both 908. But the French had for the cooler temperatures, which accounted for most of the race, the better setup, and so were victorious at the end Sebastien Bourdais and Anthony Davdison free of errors drive ahead of Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin.
For Bernard and Le Mans winner Fässler still only rank 3 was one lap behind - Kristensen / McNish were eliminated after a clash with the Rebellion Lola-Toyota, but could continue and finish the race in fourth. The team of Tokai University managed with the new exhaust waste heat hybrid finish, albeit with 62 laps down.
In the GTE-Pro class, the only title with still open, dominated BMW: the two M3 GT made all but 6 rounds Farfus / Muller won ahead of Priaulx / Alzen. And yet it was not enough to mastery: indeed were Fisichella / Bruni in the AF Corse Ferrari only last 40 laps behind the BMWs, but they reached the goal and conceded because of the small number of participants in the class the few necessary items to the Team caption secure. Even the manufacturer's title went to Italy, even more clearly, for Luxury Racing collected with the third rank of Ortelli / Makowiecki some counters.
This BMW has missed the title in spite of the work commitments in both ILMC years - but there are apparently still some hope: should a new race team as a substitute for carvers who move to DTM find the BMW M3 could loudly SpeedTV journalist John Dagys in the WEC be at the start in the coming year.
The GTE-Am the only Porsche won in the field, Lietz / Road / Ried for Proton Competition, a round before the Larbre Corvette in the occupied only two LMP2 cars led the Signatech-Nissan of Ordonez / Vernay / Mailleux from the start to the finish.
Mika Häkkinen's debut on the long haul was less successful: While he could take the lead in its start-stint in the GTC class, but did not consider the Mercedes SLS AMG by long and so the victory in the end went to the Audi Mortara / O 'Young / Imperatori.
Remarkably, the GT3 cars were both in lap times - keep up with the GTE vehicles and the top speed - at least in the qualification; also in terms of race lap times was not far. More sad is that ACO, SRO and FIA have not been able to develop a common GT formula that could be used both at Le Mans and in the many national championships ...
Progress is, however, be reported by the organizing committee of the new World Endurance Championship. In addition to a new logo and the calendar for the first season of the new World Cup was published as expected. Although much had been suspected and gerüchtelt in advance, but now there is certainty.
Eight races in eight countries on three continents, the WEC entourage - after the assessment could include John Dagys 30-35 full-season Entries - attention. That is, first first: there will be no two races in the USA, just Sebring is a season opener in March installment of the series. The Petit Le Mans is left out.
Given the fact that the field of ILMC and ALMS was there already this year too big, and that the ALMS can not waive the Challenge classes and wants this decision, however, is in my opinion not even the worst. In addition, there have been Sebring dispute over the GTC category, only reluctantly WEC officials have approved their participation in 2012. And also Sebring might as WEC run in 2013 on the brink stand, because the organizers want to avoid common loops to play all the World Cup races having similar rules can.
It does not work is the date of the collision Petit Le Mans with the WEC race in Bahrain. To the idea of organizing a FIA-sanctioned World Championship race just in Bahrain, probably does not have much to say and I'm not sure that the race will actually go on the stage. The benchmark we must wait at ease whether the formula 1 race takes place on the desert island or is canceled again.
There is a one and a half month break until 6h race at Spa, the last race before Le Mans takes place as usual in early May after the season opener at Sebring: Additional WEC runs. In early June following the Le Mans test day, two weeks later, on 16 and 17.6. the big race in its 80th edition. The European season ends early after the end of August, at Silverstone.
Thus, the WEC has secured two important and traditional courses - whether the LMS still competes at another date in Spa and / or Silverstone, remains to be seen. In England stood with the new Snetterton 300 Donington or course alternatives are available; the spa catchment area may be covered with a round at the Nürburgring. One thing is clear: the LMS will continue in Brno, the date is already confirmed. I would also assume that Le Castellet will be in the calendar again; a race in Italy would make for LMS sense since the World Cup omits this market.
Meanwhile, crossed the Atlantic and the WEC will be competing in Interlagos, which apparently only one option in South America. Then it goes to Toyota and Nissan home race at Fuji Circuit - a run that was already planned for the Asian Le Mans Series, but was canceled. This is how the skeptic to be considered Bahrain race, go over six hours, although there were earlier rumors of a 12h race in Bahrain.
Finally, the season finale to be held in China on 11 November. It is not yet decided whether the 6-hour race will again be held in Zhuhai or on the Formula 1 circuit in Shanghai. I would, in terms of distance, Shanghai prefer; but to judge by the voices from the past weekend by the organizers in Zhuhai found a great event with a great atmosphere on the legs, including a driver's parade through the city, as in Le Mans. Nevertheless, few Chinese made their way to the stands - but I doubt it would be much more in Shanghai.
So those are the conditions for 2012. Let's hope that the title decisions in at least some classes are more exciting than in the previous season just finished. The first important date, the sports car fans should mark the calendar itself, is 2 February: August when the WEC-field and the remaining participants in the 24 Hours of Le Mans is announced.
(Photos: Audi, ACO)
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