Michelin, the tire manufacturer, released this past Thursday a 6 minutes video showing some of what happened in the back scenes at the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans 🏁.
I’m not exactly the biggest fan of the cars from Maranello, but I have to say this looks pretty good. It’s a Monza SP1, customized by Novitec. Ferrari only produced 500 of them, between the SP1 (monoposto) and SP2 (two places). I talked about them in 2018 when they were first released, but now Novitec made some improvements. And the SP1 looks mighty fine.
Well, at least in my humble opinion. The Alpine, in my eyes, had it all – the looks and the performance. And Petrolicious just uploaded a charming video of a 1972 A110 1600S.
This is a short film of the Belgian Grand Prix, at Spa-Francorchamps on June 18th 1961. Frankly, the editing is a bit of a mess, not being sequential or chronologically set up. The GREAT part about it though is that it’s in 60 FPS. That being so, you can really appreciate the details, specially on the onboard parts. As a comparison, you can see here “regular footage” of that race.
According to legend, it was footage like this that inspired John Frankenheimer to make one of the most famous racing films of all times, “Grand Prix” of 1966 (you can watch the whole film from that link).
Predictably, Toyota won at Le Mans this year again. With no other big manufacturer in the fight, it was just a matter of how many laps would they finish in front of the smaller teams. Granted, to win at Le Mans you first have to finish the race, and the TS050’s reliability was top-notch. Kudos to Rebellion, that managed a most deserved second place. Still, an eerie race, with the empty grand stands and only team personnel or track officials at the podium 😯.
Well, that was the last time a LMP1 car raced at La Sarthe. Next year we will see the debut of the Hypercar class, and lets hope that we will see more competition in the top class.
A few months ago Top Gear did a piece on Volkswagen’s ID.R, their full-blown racing monster. Their goal was to conquer Pike’s Peak, which they did in 2018 and then, in 2019, conquered Nürburgring. On both runs Romain Dumas was at the helm, and it’s eerie to see him going flat-out and just hearing the electric whine of the engine.
As always, Top Gear made a fantastic video, and specially nice since it’s presented by the great Chris Harris.
Audi S1 Sport Quattro. Possibly one of the coolest models ever from Audi, and no doubt one of the coolest cars of the decade. With it’s 2.1 inline-5 engine delivering 300 hp, this specific model was one of the 200 homologation special models for Audi’s Group B rally monster. Therefore, it’s quite rare, produced only in 1983 and 1984. And Petrolicious has a very nice video on it.
Although not a “Le Mans car”, I have a very soft spot for this one. In fact, Spark just announced they will release a 1985 Monty Carlo Rally version of the car… 🤗
I found this video on the Porsche 917 Facebook group that I follow. The author made a homage to all the pilots who lost their lives at the track, using footage from “Le Mans” to a soundtrack from George Harrison, “Faster”. Fantastic music and footage, just a shame that he accelerated the video a bit (10%?) in relation to the actual movie. One of the key aspects of “Le Mans” was that both McQueen and Lee H. Katzin did not want accelerated images for the racing scenes. At the time, a common trick to simulate speed was to speed up the camera a bit.
Still, AWESOME tune and footage.
I’m probably correct to assume that everyone who has an interest in motorsports in general has seen the film “Rush”. I also believe that very possibly, the film was inspired by the convoluted 1976 F1 season. It’s a very colorful story and Aidan Millward very competently resumed it in his YouTube channel. Though actual events diverge some (a lot?) from what the film shows, in essence it’s a VERY good film. In fact, I l-o-v-e it, and kick myself for not getting a Blu-ray copy when it was easily available 😫.
If you enjoyed the film, check out Aidan Millward’s very nice resume of what happened during the 1976 season.
At the 24 Heures du Mans of 1980, all-mighty Porsche was (again) the favorite. But that year there was a David in their path, the Rondeau M379B. Jean Rondeau, a pilot and small time builder from Le Mans, is the definition of a garagista. And one of my racing heroes 🥇.