2008 Le Mans Series season
The Le Mans Series 2008 season was the fifth long-distance championship of ACOs. She was discharged through five races in the period from 5 April 2008 to 14 September 2008. For the first time in the history of the Le Mans Series two auto companies fought for victory in the LMP1 prototype class.
- 2.1 LMP1
- 2.2 LMP2
- 2.3 GT1
- 2.4 GT2
- 2.5 Race Calendar
- 2.6 1000 km Catalunya
- 2.7 1000 km Monza
- 2.8 1000 km of Spa-Francorchamps
- 2.9 1000 km Nürburgring
- 2:10 1000 km Silverstone
- 3.1 Drivers' Championship 3.1.1 LMP1
- 3.1.2 LMP2
- 3.1.3 GT1
- 3.1.4 GT2
- 3.2.1 LMP1
- 3.2.2 LMP2
- 3.2.3 GT1
- 3.2.4 GT2
Changes in 2008
After the success of the semi- works team Penske Racing in the American Le Mans Series, the ACO modified the rules of the Le Mans prototypes. Thus, the LMP1 class was intended for designers and automobile manufacturers from 2008, whereas the class of the less powerful LMP2 prototypes should rather be addressed to privateers. In addition, the minimum weight of the two classes was modified. While the minimum weight of the heavier but more powerful vehicles of LMP1, has been reduced by 25 kg to 900 kg lighter, but less powerful LMP2 prototype could now not be less than 825 kg. The initial difference in weight of 150 kg thus shrank from 2008 to 75 kg. To highlight the performance difference between the two prototype classes clearer LMP2s were not allowed to carry more than 80 liters of fuel now. Vehicles of LMP1 had either continue a 90 -liter gasoline or 81 -liter diesel tank. On the engine side of the ACO allowed ³ up to a capacity limit of 6000 cm from the purebred LMP1 racing engines from 2008 homologatisierte based on production engines GT1 racing engines. Condition for use of this uprated standard engine was the annual production of 1,000 units of the series models. In addition, in 2008 diesel engines have been approved in the LMP2 prototype class for the first time. These engines had, similar to the GT engines, descended from the series. In contrast, however, have been made at least 10,000 times a year. The maximum engine displacement of diesel engines was 4400 cc. In addition, the Sporting Regulations were amended in some points. Had the driver been at least an hour's drive show to get championship points, the minimum requirement was reduced to 45 minutes. In addition, the ACO saw before now, to forgive more championship points for championship runs of more than 1000 km. So now received the first eight vehicles and their drivers in longer races points as follows: 15-12-9-7,5-6-4,5-3-1,5. The key to the classic 1000 km distance remained unchanged at 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1.
First six race dates were provided for the 2008 season. Originally planned as the start of the Asian branch of the Le Mans Series race and only race outside Europe in Shanghai, was canceled in May 2008, with reference to the economic situation and the Olympic Games. Otherwise, the calendar over the previous year remained constant, only the race at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo near Valencia accounted in favor of the 1000 km race at Barcelona.
For the official Le Mans Series at Le Castellet pretests published two new types vehicles. On the one hand, the closed prototype ee1 of Epsilon Euskadi, on the other hand the Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT2. Not present due to supply difficulties in pre-tests, stepped developed by Embassy Racing WF01 prototype only in Barcelona in appearance. Also for the first race of the season, Gérard Welter reported back with a new development for the LMP2 category. In addition to the new chassis designs and a number of vehicles have been developed for the 2008 season, led by the Lola B08/60 LMP2 and its variant B08/80. Compared with the same car the B08 was designed as a coupe and thus the third closed Le Mans prototype in this season.
In 2007, besides the actual class rating sponsored by Michelin Michelin Energy Endurance Challenge was held. During the pre-test at Le Castellet turned manager of ACOs Daniel Poissenot before the change for the 2008 season. Thus, the rating has been simplified in collaboration with Michelin. The aim was loud Poissenot, the rating restructure so that prize money will be distributed to those who can cover the greatest possible distance with the lowest fuel consumption. Furthermore, it was added to the part of the ACO, a further aspect during the first race weekend in Barcelona. With the victory in the energy rating an automatic invitation to the 24- hour race at Le Mans the following year is connected from 2008.
Teams and Drivers
The reigning team champions Peugeot Total continued in 2008 its two driver pairings in the Le Mans Series one, including among others, the two winning the drivers' championship in 2008. With the renewed participation of a supported Audi teams, the season was the first meet of the two diesel prototypes in a championship. So far, Peugeot and Audi have only been at Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring race against each other. Along with Allan McNish Audi was also back in the series. McNish was until then a total of three overall victories, one of the most successful prototype pilot the Le Mans Series and reported this year along with Rinaldo Capello, with which he could win the American Le Mans Series last year. Although Audi drove in 2004 and 2005 race in the European Championship, it was the first use for team owner Reinhold Joest. The last use of the Audi team, Team ORECA was changed after the engagement in 2006 and 2007 in the GT1 category and had taken over the chassis manufacturers around Yves Courage during the winter break. After the incorporation of Courage LC70 its prototype was developed and reported at the beginning of the season ORECA. So went the first prototype of the two LMS GT1 champion in 2007 Soheil Ayari and Stéphane Ortelli, while the second cockpit of the former Formula 1 driver Olivier Panis, Nicolas Lapierre shared with. ORECA took over from Courage also 5.5 liter engine from Judd. Overall, the British racing engine manufacturer supplied five of the eleven LMP1 teams this season. While Judd thus remained the most widely used engine manufacturers, the Czech racing team of Antonin Charouz used the newly created option to use a GT1 engine in a prototype. The engine of the new Lola coupes came from an Aston Martin DBR9 and was the only petrol engine with 12 cylinders in the LMP field. The work team from the chassis manufacturer Creation already secured the 2006 exclusive collaboration with the Japanese motor manufacturer AIM. After the development of the engine 2007, 2008 European racing debut followed in the Le Mans Series. Was provided in the previous year, the majority of vehicles of Lola, 2008, by Henri Pescarolo chassis structures in the majority were. While his team's two coaches of type 01 Pescarolo began, another customer team had risen in the LMP1 with Saulnier Racing. In addition, the British Roll Centre team also a Pescarolo chassis enrolled in the starting list. All four race cars were equipped with Judd engines, thus the most commonly used chassis - engine combination in the LMP1.
2008, reported three customer teams, with the hitherto very successful in the ALMS, the Porsche RS Spyder. While Horag Racing and Essex already has experience in the Le Mans Series accumulated in previous years, the name of rally driver Peter van Merksteijn was previously entered only as a guest in some GT2 runs of the series in appearance. Behind the message of the Dutchman was Franz Verschuur, who gained experience already in several national championships and the Renault Mégane Trophy. Besides Merksteijn the former Formula 1 driver Jos Verstappen and Jeroen Bleekemolen was engaged. Defending champion Ray Mallock appeared in 2008, both with a refined chassis, as well as with a new turbocharged engine of AER on. For the last race of the season, the team moved to the closed prototype EX265C. The new car was based on the Lola B08/80, with the Speedy Racing Team Sebah already drove the entire 2008 season. The Swiss team, a Spyker C8 began in the GT2 category in the previous year, 2008 saw both a motorized Judd Lola, as well as continue a Spyker at the start. In order to lift the double burden, they sought the British team Sebah Racing into the boat. Unlike Speedy Racing, based in the San Pietro Mosezzo team Racing Box changed completely in the class of LMP2. In the previous year with a Saleen in the Le Mans Series active procured team owner Luca Canni Ferrari one Lucchini LMP2. The team showed up unhappy with the reliability of the car and left in favor of further development of the vehicle, the 1000 km race at Spa from. Before the 24 - hour race at Le Mans, there were discrepancies between Lucchini and Racing Box, which led to the exclusion from the race at the Sarthe. To race at the Nürburgring appeared not only Lucchini Racing Box, but also the vehicle of Ranieri Randaccio. However, errors were discovered in the Homologationspapieren In both cars and therefore not allowed to race .. Gérard Welter, who can look back on a long history of Le Mans, was published in 2008 with a completely newly developed vehicle. The now WR- Salini, renamed team of the brothers Philippe and Stéphane Salini was financially supported. This in turn secured a place in the cockpit of the new prototypes. The second new development in the year LMP2 field came from the British Embassy Racing race team. After team owner Jonathan France 2007 a Radical SR9 began, appeared for the first race of the season two of Peter Elleray designed prototypes.
The subscriber loss in the GT1 category continued in 2008 continued. Only five reports started in all races of the season. Larbre, who won the title of the 2006 GT1 Aston Martin, came this year, first with a Saleen S7R. However, the racing calendar collided with the French GT Championship. Therefore, neither the vehicle nor any of the three drivers at Monza and Spa was available. Since the French team was commissioned in the FIA GT Championship with the care of a Ferrari, team owner Jacques Leconte decided the only Saleen season of the series to withdraw. In turn, appeared for the race at Spa, another Aston Martin DBR9. In addition to the sporadically participating vehicle Strakka Racing, and Team Modena sat still on the British manufacturer. For Antonio García, who went by the third season for the race team, Tomáš Enge joined. The racing team of Luc Alphand sat again in 2008 on the constructed by Pratt & Miller racing version of the Chevrolet Corvette. In the season, however, two cars of the type C6.R Unlike in the previous year were used. For the last race in Silverstone Alphand wanted to focus on in the championship promising vehicle placed and thus waived the second GT1 Corvette. After a one year break in 2008 was again a Lamborghini the way to the Le Mans Series. The designed three-year commitment of the Russian team Spartak Racing was supported by Reiter Engineering, who had the Murciélago R-GT developed.
Virgo Motorsport, the champion team in 2007, continued this year again a Ferrari F430. On the side of Robert Bell started this season Gianmaria Bruni, who was replaced for the final race of the year by reigning ALMS GT2 champion Jaime Melo. Bruni was not available at the weekend, as he took on the car at Brno FIA GT race. In addition to the two Ferrari teams Virgo Motorsport and JMB Racing this season put a Farnbacher Racing Ferrari F430 GTC both a, and a Porsche 997 GT3 RSR. In addition to the team by Horst Farnbacher and James Watt Automotive approached with two different makes. While the British team a Porsche 997 GT3 RSR started the entire season, owner James Watt was entrusted with the use of the newly developed Vantage. After the first use in Spain, the vehicle turned up but only at Silverstone again in the participant list. The two supported by Porsche Team IMSA Performance Matmus and Felbermeyer proton received from the race at the Nürburgring each an advanced boxer engine with four liters. Both units used were in the vehicles with the Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb, Alex Davison and Richard Lietz used. During the winter break 2007/2008 both equipped by the small series manufacturer Spyker teams exchanged for coupe version of the C8 Spyder.
Overall winners are highlighted in bold.
1000 km Catalunya
At the Circuit de Catalunya, the first round of the Le Mans Series took place on April 6, 2008 and received over a distance of 215 laps. In this case, a distance of 1000.825 km has been covered.
Stéphane Sarrazin drove to the pole position, followed by local hero Marc Gené in the sister car with a lap time of 1:31.875. Already on the fifth Jos Verstappen qualified as the fastest LMP2 driver in the Porsche RS Sypder. He lapped the course in 1:34.422, more than a second faster than Xavier Pompidou in the new Lola B08. In the GT1 category Antonio García finished the qualifying on pole position in its class. With a time of 1:44.484 he undercut Patrice Goueslard by 47 ms. The pole position in the GT2 went to the Ferrari driver Robert Bell.
Pedro Lamy puts his pole position into a leadership behind Allan McNish and Stefan Mücke can to Nicolas Minassian go by. Obsolete within 60 minutes Minassian only mosquito, and later McNish and can close the resulting gap to teammate Lamy again. Shortly after the safety car has to be used after the Bruchladdich Radical stopped on the track. The yellow phase took many participants for a Boxstopp. Thus, only Olivier Panis, then rinsed Allen McNish to the top. When you restart McNish leads ahead of Marc Gené and Sarrazin. Some laps later it comes when lapping the collision between the Peugeot of Sarrazin and the Aston Martin of Team Modena. Sarrazin can bring his vehicle in the box, but falls back to the 39th position. Before the third hour of the race occurred at McNish problems with the vehicle electronics and he must leave his R10 repair several laps in the pits. Meanwhile Minassian leads just ahead of Mike Rockenfeller and Jan Charouz. By the end of the race Rinaldo Capello and Allan McNish overtake a competitor after the other and take over an hour before the end of the race the fifth position of Christophe Tinseau. Marc Gené and Nicolas Minassian cross the finish line just before the six- hour mark and win the first race of the season.
In the LMP2 Casper Elgaard overtaken the race start two competitors and now moves behind Jos Verstappen in second place in its class. After a good hour and a half Verstappen must serve out the box to see a stop-and -go penalty for overtaking under yellow. Elgaard takes the lead, but a race an hour later involved in a collision with Allan Simonsen and Marc Lieb. Elgaard must be connected to the box and falls to fourth place in the LMP2 category back. In leadership, one hour before the end of the race is now again Jos Verstappen before Andrea Belicchi and Matthieu Lahaye. By the end of the race itself Capser Elgaard and John Nielsen can work your way back to the third position in the LMP2 category.
In the GT1 category leads after the first round Antonio García ago Guillaume Moreau and Peter Kox. After the scheduled driver changes and a collision between the Aston Martin of Team Modena and the Peugeot of Sarrazin, can Moreau's teammate Patrice Goueslard take the lead. Following Tomáš Enge closes the gap to five seconds, his vehicle has to stop with a broken fuel pump but on lap 124. From the failure benefited Frédéric Makowiecki, who now advances to second place in the GT1 category.
Marc Lieb leads when starting in the GT2 category, the leadership must but a few minutes later ceded to Robert Bell. The following safety-car phase uses Allan Simonsen to carry a better pit stop classified as first GT2 in the field. He can claim the lead up to his accident with Elgaard and second-placed lovers. Advantage of this situation are Bell and Raymond Narac that the first two places are allocated in the GT2 now. While Simonsen has to park his car as a result of the accident, the driver duo Davison and lovers can drive up to the end of the race in second place.
1000 km Monza
The 1000 km race at Monza on 27th of April at the Autodromo Nationale Monza and walked over a distance of 173 laps á 5.793 kilometers, so a total of 1002.189 km.
In the qualification Peugeot secured, as in Barcelona, the first row of the grid. The best time of 1:31.470 Nicolas Minassian lapped the course as the fastest racer. In the LMP2 pole position went to Jos Verstappen. Between him and the second placed Jan Lammers was at the end about a second. On the 27th place in the fastest GT1 car went into the race. Olivier Beretta won with a lap time of 1:44.102 just under the duel against Tomáš Enge, completes the 14th row. Further two rows of Robert Bell qualified as the fastest GT2 pilot, followed by Alex Davison for Felbermayer proton.
The flying start gaining Marc Gené against his teammates Sarrazin. Followers Rinaldo Capello must already after about 15 minutes unscheduled pit stops, a burst tire throws him back nine rounds. Now both Peugeots lead with several seconds before Stefan Mücke. After the end of the first hour of the race of the hitherto leading Minassian is pushed with a damaged drive shaft into the box. He can continue later, but loses almost 15 minutes. In leadership is now Pedro Lamy, followed by Mike Rockenfeller. In the last hour of the race Stéphane Ortelli bashing into the barriers at the chicane Rettifila. Then the safety car has on track. Lamy immediately runs into the box and Rockenfeller is therefore Leading. After re- release of the race Lamy Rockenfeller can overtake at the first chicane, but intersects the curve inside. Then he lets Rockenfeller happen again. One lap later, he tries again, thereby both vehicles to touch. Rockenfeller has repaired his damaged vehicle, but also must Lamy to the box. He receives a stop-and -go penalty for overtaking the first. The Peugeot is dispatched quickly and wins at the end before Rockenfeller and Christophe Tinseau.
In the LMP2 lead at the start Jos Verstappen. He is haunted only by Jan Lammers, later by Andrea Belicchi who could overtake Lammers after the first safety car phase. After 90 minutes advised when lapping each other by Van Merksteijn Porsche Motorsport and Racing Speedy Spyker. Then must the RS Spyder to the pits to repair the defect in the chassis. The class implementing the LMP2 now goes to Casper Elgaard. The Essex team can expand the gap to second-placed further, obtained during the third hour of the race but a stop-and -go penalty, so Didier Theys again runs directly behind the RS Spyder of John Nielsen. Some laps later Theys has buried his hopes for a class victory, he comes off course and is stuck in the gravel. Theys can indeed continue later, but falls back in the standings. However, he ends up in third place and only his two fellow has to admit defeat.
At the start of the race lead in the GT1 category Oliver Barretta before Tomáš Enge. Tight tried several times to go past Barretta, however, can not enforce. During the race change places due to different pit stop strategies multiple times between the vehicle from Team Modena and Luc Alphand Aventures. About 90 minutes before the end of the race decides Tomáš Enge the race in favor of the British Aston Martin team by only overtaken Barretta and then exits on a twelve -second lead until the end of the race.
Gianmaria Bruni and Robert Bell lead the field in the GT2 cars up to the third hour of racing almost continuously on, but then the duo is within a few minutes two punctures, which they throw back to seventh place. New leader is now Raymond Narac. Behind Pierre Kaffer and Richard Westbrook duel for second place. Westbrook can prevail over his teammate in the end. Kaffir initially remains within striking distance, but loses to the end of the race 26 seconds on the driver trio Nielsen, Allan Simonsen and Westbrook. Richard Lietz and Raymond Narac first explains to the GT2 class winner but disqualified by scrutineering of the vehicles. The race director announced that the vehicle of Lietz and Narac the connection was interrupted for data recording device.
1000 km of Spa-Francorchamps
The 1000 km of Spa -Francorchamps took place on 19 August and went over a distance of 143 laps á 7.004 kilometers, so a total of 1001.572 km.
In the qualification twice interrupted Stéphane Sarrazin secured pole position with a lap time of 1:58.069. The launch site next to Sarrazin did not go for the first time this season at Team Peugeot Total. McNish surpassed at the end of 0.07 s the best time of the second Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. In the LMP2 Jos Verstappen circled again fastest in the course. With a lap time of 2:05.941 he placed his Porsche RS Spyder in eighth place overall. The best times in the two GT classes were driven out by Antonio García for Team Modena and Gianmaria Bruni for Virgo Motorsport.
The race is one lap later than planned released since Joey Foster is coming off on the formation lap of the track. After finishing the second lap now necessary Pedro Lamy goes as the leader in the race, followed by Allen McNish, who is under pressure of the second Peugeots soon. Nicolas Minassian initially finds no way to overtake. After 90 minutes, the Frenchman set when starting the Les Combres next McNish. Both drivers brake too late and have to drive through the gravel bed. Minassian is first on the track, while the Audi driver must return with a puncture to the box. A few minutes later, the Safety Car is sent onto the track after Jonny Kane comes in a dangerous place to stand. In the top box that carried the driver change. In the re- release of the race Rinaldo Capello and Alexander Wurz clash. While Capello can continue the race for Root is finished. The accident triggers a new safety car phase. The order on the podium now remains constant until the end of the race. Marc Gené leads, followed by Alexandre Premat and Oliver Panis. The driver duo McNish, Capello ended the race after catching up on the fourth place.
In the LMP2 Jos Verstappen converted his pole position into a classroom management. Behind Andrea Belicchi, the Verstappen obsolete after about 30 minutes the lead but loses again Verstappen after another 30 minutes. A Safety Car period before the second hour of the race can move closer together the field again. After release of the race the lead changed several times between the Lola B08/80 by Speedy Racing and the two Porsche RS Sypder of Horag Racing and Van Merksteijn Motorsport. While technical defects can excrete the Lola, the two RS Spyders are a few minutes before the end of the race apart just 20 seconds. The Leading Jan Lammers must shortly afterwards for a splash and dash visit the Box. Verstappen takes the lead and wins at the end of 10 seconds ahead of Lammers.
The GT1 leadership takes over at the start of Guillaume Moreau, followed by Antonio García. After 40 minutes, Garcia overtaken the French, is arrested in the subsequent pit stop with electronic problems. By disengaging the safety car in the second hour of the race now guides the vehicle from Luc Alphand Aventures. Peter Kox is the beneficiary of the situation and ranks as the leader of the GT1 behind the safety car one. After transfer to novel Russinow there is a collision between him and a prototype in which Russinow the hood of his Lamborghinis loses and has to go to the box. In leadership again goes Moreau, holding the position until the end of the race.
At the start of Robert Bell to maintain its pole position and leads just before Marc Lieb the GT2 field. The driver duo Lieb and Alex Davison in the Felbermayr - vehicle remain close to the Ferrari of the Virgo Motorsport team. In the third hour of racing lovers used the opportunity to Gianmaria Bruni obsolete, who took over the cockpit of Bell in the meantime. The positions of the competitors go down to the last hour of the race several times. When disengaging the safety car a few minutes before the race ended Lieb and Bell are separated only by a faster LMP2. Bell comes after the release of the race under pressure from Lieb. In the last round Bell brakes too late in the Bus Stop chicane. Lovers can sit beside the Englishman, so that they cross the finish line side by side. With a lead of 0.184 seconds Robert Bell wins ahead of Marc Lieb. The podium is completed by the second Felbermayr - Proton vehicle. Horst Felbermayr Sr., however, was the podium with Christian Ried and his son denied because he could not produce the required minimum travel time.
1000 km Nürburgring
The 1000 km Nürburgring found on August 17, 2008 at the Grand Prix circuit of the Nürburgring instead and went over a distance of 1001.715 km, while the course was 195 times orbits.
In qualifying, Marc Gené secured the pole position. He undercut his own lap time of the year by more than two seconds. He lapped the course in 1:39.492 and thus 0.023 seconds faster than his team-mate Pedro Lamy. In the LMP2 again Jos Verstappen drove the fastest lap and qualified in seventh place overall. In the GT1 Tomáš Enge outbid in the final round of the evaluated time by Olivier Beretta. This narrowness needed to complete his final lap 1:52.387. The pole position in the GT2 has been driven by Anthony Beltoise.
At the start of the race, both Peugeots can deduct from the field. First results Stéphane Sarrazin is overtaken after 15 rounds of Nicolas Minassian. Behind Stefan Mücke and Alexandre Prémat fight for third place. Prémat later goes past the mosquito, is now but a few seconds behind the two Peugeot 908 back. Leadership changes now take place only by different pit stop window of the two leading cars. Behind Prémat and Mike Rockenfeller fall back on and are in turn obtained from the second Audi R10. To the end of the race, the team of Peugeot has a lap ahead of two cars of the Audi factory team.
In the LMP2 lead at the start Jos Verstappen, followed by Casper Elgaard. Verstappen can claim its place among the more powerful LMP1 cars, the RS Sypder the Essex team slips at the end of the second hour of the race into the gravel, moves to later on, however. This is only the vehicle of Horag Racing, Matthieu Lahaye later to second place in the LMP2. Xavier Pompediou overtaken Lahaye later, but the box for a repair on Lola has to go in the fourth hour of the race. At the end of Jos Verstappen and Jeroen Bleekemolen win with four laps ahead of Lahaye and Pierre Ragues.
When you launch it leads Tomáš Enge in the GT1 category. After about 20 minutes overtaken Olivier Baretta his teammates Guillaume Moreau and is now in second place. Later Baretta over to Jérôme Policand colliding in the second hour of the race with Juan Barazi, his vehicle but can go into the box. Now the Lamborghini Murciélago is in second place in the GT1. However, Peter Kox must park the car an hour before the race with a problem of power transmission. During continue to lead the class at the top of narrowness and Antonio García, looking for the remaining vehicle of Luc Alphand Aventures on the box. In the ensuing repair they need to use parts of the sister car, which is now finally excreted. They fall back a long way, but may just classify.
In the GT2 Marc Lieb and Richard Lietz overtake the pole car of Pierre Ehret. The championship leader Gianmarina Bruni has to start from last place after a fire in training, may after 30 minutes but Lietz and overtake some love later and now leads in the GT2 category. At the order Virgo Motorsport, Felbermayr-Proton and IMSA Performance Matmus nothing changes. Thus Bruni and Robert Bell win their third race of the season.
1000 km Silverstone
The 1000 - km race at Silverstone was held on 14 September 2008 and received over a distance of 195 laps of 5.141 kilometers for a total of 1002.495 km.
In the 20-minute qualifying Stéphane Sarrazin drove to his second pole position of the year. With a lap time of 1:30.359, he completed his fastest lap of 11 /1000 seconds distance ahead of his teammate Nicolas Minassian, who completed the front row. The fastest time in the LMP2 category was awarded to Jos Verstappen. To ensure that all personal bests this season went to his class to the Dutch. With a lap time of 1:34.212 to Verstappen also qualified in the middle of the LMP1 cars. The fastest laps in the two GT classes went to a with a 1:45.327 Peter Kox, on the other hand, Robert Bell, who lapped the course in 1:48.960.
At the start of the race, Allan McNish and Nicolas Minassian come together. Minassian turns and takes its place at the end of the field, while McNish now the leading Pedro Lamy pursued. At the pit stop before the end of the first hour of the race, the Audi driver at Lamy goes by. Minassian, who has been working in the interval by the rotator to start of the race to third place, collided while lapping with the GT2 - pilot Richard Lietz. Both vehicles will be irreparably damaged in the accident and the race is neutralized by the safety car. Now run both Audi R10 on the field, but Rinaldo Capello and Stéphane Sarrazin collide after the release of the race. As a result of the second accident, the two cars in this race Sarrazain must visit the box for a half-hour repair, Capello after a tire change continue immediately. Because of the accident is now Alexandre Premat in the lead, followed by Jan Charouz and Olivier Panis. In the further course of the race, Capello and McNish can again catch up with the sister vehicle and pass this one hour before the race. Shortly thereafter, the now second placed Premat has problems on the suspension to the box. Premat can continue later, falls in a subsequent stop-and -go penalty to the end of the race to fourth place back.
Jos Verstappen continues its LMP2 best by the qualification in a class leadership, closely followed by Xavier Pompediou Lola B08/80. Despite a stop-and -go penalty for unauthorized aid on the grid leads Verstappen even after completion of the second hour of the race. A few minutes later collides his direct followers Pompidou with Roman Russinow. The accident triggers a safety car phase and Pompidou has to give up his vehicle. After re- release of the race, Jan Lammers is up to the fourth hour of the race drive up to second place in the LMP2 class. Behind this first fight Darren Manning and Miguel Amaral to the remaining podium. With an 8 -minute pit stop for the Embassy drivers, the situation falls in favor of the Quifel ASM team.
In the GT1 category first leads Peter Kox will be overtaken after 30 minutes of Tomáš Enge. The vehicles of Luc Alphand Aventures and Strakka Racing lose early connection to the lead group, so that novel Russinow despite collision with Xavier Pompidou remains at the beginning of the third hour of the race in second place. However, the driver pairing Kox / Russinow falls a lap behind the leaders Antonio García and Tomáš Enge, decide at the end of the race in the GT1 for themselves.
Robert Bell leads after the start of the race in the GT2 class cars, but can not deduct from his pursuers Richard Lietz and Marc Lieb first. The collision of Lietz and Nicolas Minassin after completion of the first hour of racing lovers now advances to the second position. After the race management frees the race again, the driver pairing Bell and Jaime Melo increasingly relies on the runner- Lieb and Alex Davison. Lieb and Davison in turn can drive out ahead of Pierre Ehret, Pierre Kaffer and Antohony Beltoise until crossing the finish line two rounds.
Within each of the four classes are the drivers of the vehicles first eight points distributed as follows: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1. Drivers who have not driven for at least 45 minutes will not get any points. If two or more drivers have the same number of championship points, those who are better off, which achieved the best individual result in the season. Do all drivers achieved the same result, priority is given to the person who can have the highest rankings with the result. Should all drivers have the same number of relevant results, one is rated better, who scored the item as the first result. Otherwise, all drivers occupy the same placement.
Last year's champion Stéphane Sarrazin and Pedro Lamy could their success despite two wins in five races, not repeat them. Her teammate Marc Gené and Nicolas Minassian submitted two more victories not winning the championship title. Similar to the previous situation, all Peugeot pilots were always the fastest driver in the field, one of the two vehicles started always from the pole position in the race. Allan McNish qualified only at Spa -Francorchamps for the first row. However, it lacked both Peugeot driver pairings continue to reliability. The team was able to prevail at the end of 2007, still against Jean -Christophe Boullion, they failed this year to Alexandre Prémat and Mike Rockenfeller. Although Prémat and Rockenfeller led only 5.5 % of the full race distance of the year, they avoided all risks and sailed always in the top four in the points. Teammates Rinaldo Capello and Allan McNish, however, could not play in the championship victory in the 1000 km race at Silverstone, the better qualifying times and higher number of laps led. Due to the multiple collisions with rival Team Peugeot Total, they fell, for example, in Monza and Spa far back. Thus, the runner-up title went to Marc Gené and Nicolas Minassian. Best driver in Le Mans prototype with petrol engines were January Charouz and Stefan Mücke, able to provide the greatest consistency in the field behind the factory drivers.
The drivers' championship in the LMP2 was already decided at the Nürburgring. By the victory of Jos Verstappen and Jeroen Bleekemolen second-placed Casper Elgaard and John Nielsen were in the final race only to catch up. Since the two Danes but less class victories would be able to prove they were still only become runner-up. Since Peter Van Merksteijn driver and team owner decided not to participate in the championship and for use with his son in the Rally Germany at the 1000 km Nürburgring, the drivers' title in the LMP2 Verstappen was awarded alone. It was decided during the run at Silverstone whether Van Merksteijn or Casper Elgaar and John Nielsen received the runner-up title. With another victory for the Porsche RS Sypder Van Merksteijn Motorsport ultimately kept the Dutchman the upper hand. Mike Newton and Thomas Erdos, champion of last year, played, as well as the remaining runner-up Miguel Amaral, this year no decisive role Championship. None of the drivers could show either a pole or a lead lap at the end of the year.
After next year's winner ORECA turned towards other tasks, a number of teams this season, remained in the group GT1 only three fixed total prescribed racing teams. Since at no time started more than five driver combinations in a race, each rider classified thus scored championship point. By the penultimate race at the Nürburgring Guillaume Moreau and Patrice Goueslard were nine points clear in the lead. Antonio García and Tomáš Enge found after the technical defect in Barcelona with two podiums after the driver pairing Russinow / Kox, which in turn had to leave at the first championship race points to a guest starter Larbre Compétition. At the Nürburgring four GT1 cars were only enrolled, of which two cars of Luc Alphand. With the failure of the Lamborghinis and the own sister vehicle only remained two GT1 cars in the race. Despite 32 rounds residue on the now second place in the championship García and Enge, handed the completed distance in order to obtain as runner-up eight championship points. This required Moreau and Goueslard the last race at Silverstone now only a counter. The driver pairing finished the race ultimately on the podium and thus secured the championship of the GT1 category, although at the end of the season tracker with 58.1 % could show a significantly higher number of laps led. Enge and Garcia on the other hand defended the third class win its position as the runner-up in 2008.
In the Drivers' Championship GT2 two driver teams were able to sell the rest of the field over the season. For one, the champion of last year Robert Bell with Gianmaria Bruni, on the other hand, the Vice Champion 2007 Marc Lieb with Alex Davison. As Bruni performed his obligations in the FIA GT Championship at the 1000 km race at Silverstone, it opened Bell again the opportunity to be the sole winner. Thanks to the fourth class victory of Bell and Jamie Melo at the home race of Virgo Motorsport Bell not only won the championship, but I went with lovers in the number of league titles the same. In addition, he has now a higher number of class victories show as the German, by a renewed podium Bruni surpassed 30 meters with Davison and again was runner-up. Bruni, in turn, had the third position before the race safe since Followers Ben Aucott and Stéphane Daoudi back were more than 10 points after the 1000 km race from the Nuerburgring.
† - Driver did not receive any points for the championship race because he did not drive at least 45 minutes in the race.
Since all the top teams familiar constant in the season on the same driver, the result of the team standings of the drivers' championship. So took Audi Sport Team Joest, the last race at Silverstone the lead. Peugeot who divided until then the victories among the two 908, could not score points by racing accidents. Despite the failure of the then leading vehicle by Marc Gené and Nicolas Minassian, the duo finished the championship in second place and thus secured Peugeot another automatic invitation to the 24- hour race at Le Mans 2009. Behind the four working vehicles from Peugeot and Audi, Charouz Racing finished system the championship in fourth place and also suggested so that the team Pescarolo Sport, the date is the most successful Le Mans Series team with two league titles in 2005 and 2006. Team owner Henri Pescarolo was less pleased with the results of the season and moved to the last race at Silverstone to move to the LMP2 class in the meantime into consideration.
The championship in the LMP2 were largely dominated by the three teams from the RS Spyder. Only the Swiss -British cooperation between Speedy Racing Team Sebah and was able to match the speed of the Porsche teams. Thus, the Lola coupe was the only car that could produce alongside Van Merksteijn Motorsport, Team Essex and Horag Racing leading laps in the LMP2 class. However, the team was denied by technical defects and racing accidents a corresponding result in the points standings. Last year's winner RML could drive consistently in the points, with its open Lola older models like Saulnier Racing, but in the championship decision Both played no role. At the end of the Van Merksteijn the team competition decided by more than 10 points ahead of its own. In addition to the championship, received the Dutch team, as the second-placed team Essex an invitation to the 24- hour race at Le Mans 2009.
The results of the drivers' championship and the team championship are largely congruent. Only Darren Turner at Strakka Motorsport, Olivier Barretta and his team owner Luc Alphand started for the respective teams at selected championship events. So could decide with the number 72 in the championship at the end of the team of Luc Alphand Aventures. Ultimately, helped the two regular drivers Patrice Goueslard and Guillaume Moreau on the one hand each had experienced a failure, the competition teams, while the French team to score Alphand each race finished despite technical defects in the points. With the class win and the runner-up title of both GT1 Luc Alphand Aventures, and Team Modena also received an invitation for the 24- hour race at Le Mans 2009.
The team won the 2008 Championship of the GT2 Virgo Motorsport, who completed four of the five runs as the class winner. Like last year, the runner-up title went to pursuer Felbermayr-Proton. The German team was able to turn terminate four runs in the second class rank, technical defects in the single failure of Virgo Motorsport Ferrari at Monza prevented a better placement of the Porsche-supported team. Also used by the Spa from the 1000 - km race 4.0 -liter boxer engine could not turn the tide of the championship. Virgo able to provide the year at 70.9 %, most leadership kilometers, an invitation to the 24- hour race at Le Mans 2010. Runner- Felbermayr-Proton with 4316 km back laid the biggest race distance in return secured, received the remaining automatic invitation in the GT2 category.
In addition to the main race of the Le Mans Series in 2008 drove the same race weekend several accompanying racing series on the same route. An integral part of the Framework Programme Classic Endurance Racing were with historic sports cars and the Radical European Masters. In addition, the one-make cup of THP Spider Cup started in three of the five European events. At selected championship races competed among others, the World Series by Renault and the ADAC GT Masters.
Euro Sport took over for three years, the rights to retransmit the live broadcast of the Le Mans Series and the 24 - hour race at Le Mans. So sent the division transmitter 2008 the start of each race live, then took over until the end of the race Euro Sports 2 on euro sport followed after a summary of the championship run. Motors TV, the radiated far all Le Mans Series events, reduced their reporting on a summary of the respective race.