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24H Le Mans

Le Mans Sunday Notebook

John Dagys’ Sunday notebook from scrutineering at Le Mans…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Twenty two of the 60 cars competing in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans took part in scrutineering Sunday at Place de République in downtown Le Mans. Among them were the four Ford GTs, which were the star of the show with many ACO executives, including President Pierre Fillon on hand to witness the group photo.

***Ford Chip Ganassi Racing had a special moment during the photo shoot, as Andy Priaulx and Dirk Mueller held a French flag from the 1966 race that primary engine engineer Mose Nowland, for the race-winning Ford GT40, took home. Nowland has lent the flag to the team as a good luck charm this week.

***Saturday night’s rain-out of the IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway delayed the travel plans of Ganassi drivers Scott Dixon and Sebastien Bourdais, SMP Racing LMP2 driver Mikhail Aleshin and Scuderia Corsa GTE-Am Ferrari driver Townsend Bell.

***Dixon and Bourdais were scheduled to join their teammates in today’s scrutineering but will now look to Monday to complete their required inspections and licensing. Aleshin and Bell, working in Texas in his role as at television commentator, should arrive in Le Mans in time to join their teams scheduled scrutineering sessions.

***VisitFlorida Racing principal Troy Flis and team engineer Rick Cameron are attending their first 24 Hours of Le Mans with a firm eye on participating in the race as soon as next year, as previously reported on Sportscar365. “We are here to check out every aspect of the race, from seeing how scrutineering works to looking for places to stay next year,” Flis said.

***Flis and his family are on a two-week European trip that includes next weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed where team driver Marc Goossens will be giving media, Visit Florida VIPs and other guests rides in a two-seater No. 90 Corvette Daytona Prototype

***Goossens is among the drivers who missed participating in Sunday’s scrutineering while competing in a European NASCAR race at Brands Hatch in England, where he finished third. He will join Murphy Prototypes LMP2 teammates Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen Monday at Le Mans where he will complete his mandatory driver checks in the final day of scrutineering.

***The engine issues that struck both of the Toyota TS050 Hybrids at Spa have been diagnosed as being specific to the Belgian track, due to the bottoming through Eau Rouge. Toyota Gazoo Racing technical director Pascal Vasselon said they don’t expect any problems this weekend.

***Despite having scaled back to a two-car LMP1 effort, Porsche has still turned up to Le Mans in force, with a significant spares package. It includes a spare 919 Hybrid chassis, four extra engines, four front and rear gearboxes, as well as six front and rear wings.

***A new-generation fuel flow sensor from Sentronics Limited has been homologated for use in the LMP1 class. The new model increases the upper temperature limit from the original FIA specification of 85°C to 120°C. All LMP1 cars are mandated to run with fuel flow sensors, per regulations.

***Brad Pitt and Patrick Dempsey won’t be the only Hollywood stars attending Le Mans this year, as Jackie Chan will be present to support the Baxi DC Racing Alpine team, which he co-owns with David Cheng. Chan will be attending the premiere of his latest film, “Dragon Blade” Friday in the city.

***The ACO will hold its annual press conference on Thursday at 11 a.m. in the museum. Further details on the new LMP1 Privateer regulations, as well as the finalization of the 2017 LMP2 regulations will be confirmed.

***The route for the drivers’ parade has been slightly modified from previous years. Click Here for the revised layout. It is still scheduled for Friday afternoon, on the eve of the the race.

Adam Saal contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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