The works team’s run of victories with its mighty
C6.R came to an end with only a fifth- and an
unclassified sixth-place finish in the GTE class,
while AF Corse’s Ferrari 458 ruled the 24 Hours.
Criticism that the FIA-mandated
“shark fins” on Le Mans
prototypes do no more for safety
than they do for aesthetics were
leveled when Anthony Davidson’s
finned Toyota took flight after a
collision with a GT car at Le Mans.
Toyota says that the fin, while
helpful, can not repeal physics.
“In the past, these kinds of
accidents were happening at
speeds as low as 140mph, but
the fin and wheel-arch openings
have raised the takeoff speed to
160 or 170mph,” noted Toyota
technical director Pascal
Vasselon. “There will always be a
limit and today we exceeded it.”
Rick Dole/Getty Images
Speculation about how
long the Nissan Delta Wing
could endure in the 24 Hours
of Le Mans was rendered
moot when Ben Bowlby’s
innovative machine was
nerfed into the wall and
retirement less than seven
hours into the French classic.
“It’s a shame, because we
had been setting respectable
times and things were going
well,” related lead driver
Marino Franchitti, who never
even got a chance to get in
the car in race conditions.
“Having spent so much time
Salving the pain was the
impressive performance of
the car in its race debut.
T WO CLOSE
While the Delta Wing wasn’t directly racing anyone at
Le Mans, its performance was just a few percentage points off
of the fastest LMP2 car in several respects. The car also easily
beat the 3m45s target lap time set for it by the organizers.
0.5% 0% 1% 1.5% 2% 2.5% 3% 3.5%
(FASTEST P2 3m38.181s;
(FASTEST P2 199.1mph;
(FASTEST P2 3m38.803s;
FASTEST RACE LAP
QUALIF YING LAP