2015 24 Hours of Le Mans - start
During the qualifying rounds, the records were broken and the technology of the cars have pushed standards even further. We can expect extraordinary good racing in the next 24 hours with the main battle between Porsche and Audi in LMP1 class and Aston Martin and Ferrari in GT class. However, we must not forget other fantastic cars and teams which are just as fast and hungry for a victory.
After a few rainy moments during practice and the qualifying session, the weather cleared up and is now perfect for the start of this legendary race. At the moment, the cars are lined up for the start with mechanics sorting out the final details before the start at 15:00 CET local time.
A total of 55 cars have qualified for the start but one of the Nissan GT-R LM Nismos had some clutch problems and did not appear at the start, so 54 cars are lined up for the eagerly-awaited beginning. After the pace car moved, the drivers of the 83rd 24 Hours of Le Mans stepped on their accelerators for a rolling start and the 54 cars roared into action.
The start was smooth, without any notable incidents. In the LMP1 class, the red Porsche of Timo Bernhard had the best start and in few laps managed to gain significant lead. The Audi from 4th position managed to pass the Porsche on third but it was not able to attack the first two places. The Toyotas had a good start and managed to keep the tempo behind the Audis. In GT class, Ferrari took the lead from the start but in a few laps Aston (which was on pole) managed to reclaim the lead.
Interestingly, Porsche showed its absolute dominance on straights but Audi was very fast in the corners. The Porsche’s powerful 8J engine generated so much torque that while exiting the corner it appeared to be like a rocket that was launching.
After 7 laps, Timo Bernhard has come to heavy traffic from lower classes and lap times are 7 second slower. However, by the end of the first hour of the race, the overall positions have not been changed.
After about 40 minutes, one Porsche and Toyota all three Audis went to the pits for some small changes of the cars and refuelling as most of the teams started the race with only a small amount of fuel. In that time, the red 919 Hybrid was over 4 seconds ahead. Soon after, Timo Berhnard’s Porsche also went to the pits. However, his fantastic driving ensured that he came back on the first position with Nil Jani in the second.