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2024 24 hours of Le Mans...

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GB899

NO REGRETS
610
809
Nebraska
Pleasantly surprised with the Mustang LMGT3 efforts at their maiden attempt... started a little rough.. but with a little over an hour to go... all three are still going, and I believe they are #88 3rd, #44 5th and #44 pretty much DFL because of a 4 hour repair early... making it 24 hours is quite the achievement... hope I haven't jinxed anything.. lol
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
8,627
8,805
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Interesting to see a German Team fielding the Mustangs ( reminds one of Oreca fielding Vipers almost 30 years ago ), and for all the cars to be running at the end is a true testament to a new machine as Mike in Fl. noted. Thanks for posting Rob , and the only real issue is again the folks doing the Telecast failed to listen to the consumer who every year asks for more coverage of the cars many folks can actually drive. Tons of coverage on Hypercar, alot even with LMP2, and just a smidgin here and there for LMGT3! TV coverage is clueless and I would wager the first production that gives LMGT3 the coverage it deserves will see viewership increase.

The fact that a new Mustang GT3 was on the podium against two essentially " Factory Teams ," is a feat in itself. Obviously Ford helped Proton, but this was not a Dearborn based team and Proton has to be pleased since their LMP2 and Hypercar teams had horrible luck during this year's race.
 
567
755
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Wisconsin
Interesting to see a German Team fielding the Mustangs ( reminds one of Oreca fielding Vipers almost 30 years ago ), and for all the cars to be running at the end is a true testament to a new machine as Mike in Fl. noted. Thanks for posting Rob , and the only real issue is again the folks doing the Telecast failed to listen to the consumer who every year asks for more coverage of the cars many folks can actually drive. Tons of coverage on Hypercar, alot even with LMP2, and just a smidgin here and there for LMGT3! TV coverage is clueless and I would wager the first production that gives LMGT3 the coverage it deserves will see viewership increase.

The fact that a new Mustang GT3 was on the podium against two essentially " Factory Teams ," is a feat in itself. Obviously Ford helped Proton, but this was not a Dearborn based team and Proton has to be pleased since their LMP2 and Hypercar teams had horrible luck during this year's race.
The Hypercar was the only thing of interest during daylight hours on the tv broadcast on MT channel which is no interest to me though. I switched it back on in our evening time zone and of course it’s 2:00am over there, pitch black and that’s when “they” decided to showcase the LMGT3 class ??? Rubbish !!! I agree as they don’t have a clue to what the real race viewer wants to see. Them GT3 mustangs got them so really really BRIGHT headlights though !!
 
I agree the coverage sucked for GT3, youtube had several Proton in car cams and those are sweet. I got to see them running in Detroit a few weeks back and they sound great, not quite as special as the Cadillac LMDh but close. Anyone have links to more mustang footage from Le Mans 2024?
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
1,062
1,388
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
Bill Ford was at the race, and joined the drivers of the #88 on the podium. (Lots of pics if you follow the link in the article.)

About four hours into the race, car #77 (which was running pretty steadily in the top 5 of GTLM) had a steerinig rack failure from overly-aggresive curb use. As the driver was limping it back to the pits, it looked like the left front wheel wanted to leave the car to enjoy a Nutella crepe or two in the infield.

When they got it in the garage, it looked like the crew chief took one look under the hood and did the hand-to-the-throat gesture. And then about 3 mechanics started arguing with her, probably that there were 20 hours left and if they could get the car back on track it would still be good for testing. Plus, all the good restaurants nearby were fully-booked, and their flights home weren't until Monday anyway, and being a German team they were worried that having too much free time in the middle of France might give them ideas about trying to take over the country. Again. (Hey, it's a joke - here's a smiley if you're offended :))

So four hours later, they had managed to completely rebuild the entire front suspension and get the car back on track. Only to have it be savagely abused a few hours later by an LMP2 car trying to pass it in the esses after the Dunlop bridge by dive-bombing the inside of an apex. So a wait to get a full course yellow (or was it a safety car?) so they could get craned out of the gravel, limp around nearly the entire 8-1/2 miles of the course (again), some smaller repairs, and back out on track again. Kudos to the track workers for pulling the Mustang out of the gravel trap first, then the offending LMP2 car (and the announcers commenting on it).

The other two Mustangs were bouncing between top 5 and just out of top 10 for much of the race, as fuel sequencing seemed to shuffle the field more than normal. Probably a remnant of teams' decisions to pit for wets or not during the first light rain (or decide too late and switch to wets just as the rain stopped), which put many cars across all the classes off-cycle from one another.

Overall, one of the more exciting LM24 races I've watched lately, despite the long safety car periods for heavy rain, car retrievals, and barrier repairs. Seemed like more of a crash-fest than recent years, probably due to rain showers and no intermediate tire (so teams seemed reluctant to pit for wets if they thought the rain would blow over quickly). And no tire-warming this year, so quite a number of spins on cold tires. Lots of aggressive driving, bumping, spinning, and ensuing penalties in the final hours, plus closeness of several positions in class, meant some big changes in standings.

I was also disappointed with the relative lack of coverage of GTLM, sometimes having to pause the TiVo just to be able to read the class standings. Also not sure what the deal was on MT / Eurosport's interviews - they'd split-screen to a pit reporter doing an interview, but 9 times out of 10 there would be no sound from the interview and the main announcers would just continue talking.

I do enjoy the completely off-the-wall commentary that tends to occur around 1 - 4 am French time. "Tea and cake" talk did make a return appearance in the wee hours, but not as famously outrageous as in 2020. This is the 2020 finale of a few hours of sleep-deprived commentators intermittently arguing about whether to have biscuits or cake with tea, and responding to tweets from fans on the subject. https://www.facebook.com/Imonzausa/...za-imonzasport-/552491236358191/?locale=en-us
 
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I do enjoy the completely off-the-wall commentary that tends to occur around 1 - 4 am French time. "Tea and cake" talk did make a return appearance in the wee hours, but not as famously outrageous as in 2020. This is the 2020 finale of a few hours of sleep-deprived commentators intermittently arguing about whether to have biscuits or cake with tea, and responding to tweets from fans on the subject. https://www.facebook.com/Imonzausa/...za-imonzasport-/552491236358191/?locale=en-us
"I am a doctor... ohhhhh uhhmmmmmm ' hahahahahaha. Let them eat cake.
 

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