2011 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 79th 24 -hour Le Mans race, the Grand Prix d' Endurance les 79e 24 Heures du Mans, took place from 11 to 12 June 2011 at the Circuit des 24 Heures. The race was the third round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup 2011.

  • 3.1 qualifying
  • 5.1 pilots after Nations
  • 5.2 Final ranking
  • 5.3 Class Winner
  • 5.4 racing data

Changes to the regulations

For the 24 -hour race of 2011, the Automobile Club de l' Ouest since 2007 saw the first time before serious changes to the regulations, concerning both the prototypes as well as Gran Turismo.

After the rule changes of the ACO LMP1 vehicles should be slowed down so that the lap times no longer fall below the mark of 3:30 minutes. The upper limit for the displacement naturally aspirated engines was set at 3.4 liters, for turbo gasoline engine to 2.0 liters and 3.7 liters turbo diesel. Although LMP1 cars from the period to 2010 were allowed to continue to participate, but had smaller air restrictor, use lower boost pressure and smaller fuel tanks. The F-duct, which was originally planned for 2011, was banned.

In the LMP2 class costs should be saved in the first place. Prescribed were now standard based engines. Naturally aspirated engines were allowed a maximum of 5.0 liters and 8 cylinders have turbo engines, however, only 3.2 liters and 6 cylinders. Diesel engines were not admitted. A LMP2 car could cost a maximum of 400,000 euros, the upper limit for the chassis and 325.000 Euro for the motor 75,000 euros was. On a LMP2 car had to start at least an amateur.

The 24 -hour race in 2011 should be environmentally friendly. Hybrid drives were largely allowed with the changes in the regulations, including an energy recovery system similar to the KERS in Formula 1, wherein the stored energy is used automatically when the accelerator pedal. Hybrid vehicles could also use four-wheel drive. The minimum weight for all prototypes was 900 kilograms. In addition, had to be mounted on the hood in the body of the prototype, a vertical fin. This should reduce the tendency to lift and prevent serious accidents such as the Mercedes- Benz CLR 1999.

The separate class for GT1 cars was abolished. For the GT2 class was upgraded and divided into amateur and a professional class. In the amateur class vehicles were allowed to start, which were occupied maximum on the technical levels of the previous year and at least one amateur racer. The GT1 cars of 2010 would have been admitted for the GT- amateur class, but took no such vehicle part.


Automatic invitations

At the teams that reached 2010 top rankings in high class sports car racing and sports car racing series of the year, automatic invitations for the 24 - hour race at Le Mans were awarded in 2011. To the respective first and second in the LMP1, LMP2 and GT2 class of the previous race and the Le Mans Series, the winner of the Petit Le Mans, the American Le Mans Series, the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and the winner of the Michelin Green X came Challenge within the LMS. From the FIA ​​GT Championship got no team an automatic invitation as opposed to past years.

An automatic invitation had not be accepted.

Start list

On February 9, 2011, the ACO issued a first provisional start list with 56 participants plus ten reserve team. The start list underwent some changes in the subsequent period.

On April 12 Signatech Nissan pulled his second Oreca 03 back. At the starting point of the Norma M200P advanced from Extrême Limite AM Paris.

On May 16 Highcroft Racing HPD ARX - 01e pulled his back. The former partner Honda had the team not given the necessary financial resources to make the use of the vehicle can. The launch site was then given the Lola - Aston Martin B09/60 by Kronos Racing.

The following mentions that originally received a starting place have been withdrawn:

Reserve vehicles

As in previous years, the ACO published to coincide with the first provisional start list and a list of reserve vehicles. Five LMP and GT teams were put on the list and were given the opportunity to replace those teams who could not attend for various reasons in the race. The LMP- reservists were allowed to replace only vehicles of LMP1 and LMP2 class as the GT- reservists were allowed to replace only GT cars. The Nachrückung was in the order of nomination.

Two entries from the reserve list were still a starting place. Meanwhile, no reserve list exists.

The following mentions that originally stood on the reserve list, moved into the starting list:

The following mentions that originally stood on the reserve list have been withdrawn or have received no starting place:

The training


In the week before the race three qualifying sessions were held. The best time of all three sessions was crucial for placement in the grid.

The first session took place on Wednesday, 8 June, and lasted two hours 22-0 clock. Stéphane Sarrazin scored in the Peugeot 908, the best time of 3:27,033. He had moved out a lead of almost one second to the three behind -placed Audi R18.

On Thursday, 9 June, followed by the second session, which began at 19 clock and ended by 21 clock. Marcel Fässler scored in the Audi with a time of 3:25,961 the fastest lap and pointed Sarrazin, which reduced its own speed record on 3:26,156, to second place.

A short time later began by 22 clock the third and final session, which lasted up to 0 clock. The Audi and Peugeot submitted an even higher pace and it developed a close slugfest between the teams. The Audi driver Benoit Treluyer sat with 3:25,738 a new personal best and took his team so that the pole position. He just undercutting the 3:25,799 Romain Dumas in another Audi. It was followed by two Peugeot, which were placed in the second row. The third Audi squad had to settle with the fifth on the grid, after Tom Kristensen was blocked on his fast lap of a GT car and the next start-up threw his car into the barriers. In sixth place is the last factory Peugeot fell into line.

The older Peugeot 908 HDi FAP of the private ORECA team had to have a backlog of over four seconds. The Pescarolo and the two Rebellion Lola as the fastest gasoline were missing even more than seven seconds to the top. It was clear that in the fight for the overall victory only can engage the three Audi and the three Peugeot factory teams would. In these vehicles, however, there was no clear favorite for the race, because their times from qualifying all were very close. The sixth- placed Peugeot lacked just 0.534 seconds at the fastest time.

The pole position in the LMP2 class Soheil Ayari achieved in Signatech -Nissan with a time of 3:41,458. In the GT -Pro - class, the BMW M3 GT2 set of Farfus / Muller / Werner with 3:57,592 to the top. Fastest car the GT- Am class was the Ferrari F430 GTE AF Corse with 4:01,282.

The race

The race started as expected with a clear superiority of the six diesel - plant vehicles. In leadership was at the beginning of the pole sitter Benoit Treluyer in the Audi R18. Even after two and four rounds, the new Aston Martin LMP1 project ended. In the second round had Darren Turner, the starting driver in the Aston Martin AMR -One with the number 007, a spin in the Indianapolis curve. Almost at the same time and just behind Adrián Fernández rolled in the car with the number 009 with a broken fan belt tensioner from. Turner brought the car in spite of tire damage back to the pits, there was, however, for this vehicle to finish the race.

After nearly 45 minutes of racing and the first series of pit stops resulted in the LMP1 class and thus in the overall standings of the Audi R18 with start number 1 and Timo Bernhard at the wheel. In the LMP2 KLasse Alexandre Prémat was in the works Oreca 03 in front and resulted in the GTs Gianmaria Bruni on Ferrari 458 Italia GTC or Mario Cioci also on Ferrari when it came to the accident Allan McNish.

The accident Allan McNish

In the 13th round Allan McNish overtook the descent to the Dunlop bend the leader Timo Bernhard and collided with the vehicle in front of Bernhard Ferrari of Anthony Beltoise. By touching the Audi was pushed out of the train, got under air and struck a drive through the gravel hard into a tire wall. Short even threatened tipping over the wreck behind the rails where going about photographers and marshals of their work. The wreck of the completely destroyed by the impact Audi remained in front of the barrier on the roof lie. McNish was able to leave the car with the help of hurrying marshals unharmed, four people suffered through the flying parts, however minor injuries. Beltoise remained seated in the car and was able to continue the race after a repair to the box.

The accident of Mike Rockenfeller

The second serious accident occurred in the early hours of the night. At this time, the duel between Audi and Peugeot had already pointed. The Peugeots were able to drive longer stints and the distance it was clear that this would save up to three pit stops per Peugeot. On the other hand, it was driving at Audi quadruple stints until the next driver and tire change, Peugeot only triple stints. Although the Audi made ​​more stops, but it had only seven times change tires at Peugeot nine changes were planned. The different strategic approaches led to a stalemate, which led to a permanent driving at the limit for both teams.

Mike Rockenfeller had with an unplanned stop, which was necessary to change the hood, lost more than a minute on the box and was about to catch up with fast laps for lost time. In addition, team-mate Romain Dumas was shot once, which had cost additional time. Just before the Indianapolis occurred shortly before 23 clock to the accident. With almost 300 km / h Rockenfeller collided with the approach to this curve while lapping with the private driver Robert Kauffman in a Ferrari. Similar to McNish also lost the driver immediately take control of the vehicle. The Audi hit only left violently into the guardrail and came to a further impact on the right to stand. The car was in such a massively destroyed, that except for the driver cell practically nothing Compact remained. Rockenfeller was able to leave the wreck independently. He was - as McNish - brought to examine in detail the hospital of Le Mans, where as with his Scottish teammates except bruises no injuries were found.

After six hours of racing time were of the 56 starters still 52 in the race. Unusual were only four factory LMP1 car; Two Aston Martin and the two injured Audi R18.

The accident of Jan Magnussen

Sunday it was in the early morning hours, a rare situation in endurance racing, leadership changes directly on the road. The remaining Audi with the number 2 gave himself a tough but fair battle with the Peugeots of the numbers 9 and 7 at 8 clock on Sunday there was another, this time folgenschwereren, accident. Before the Ford chicane January Magnussen collided in the leading in the LMGE - per - class Chevrolet Corvette C6.R with the Porsche 997 GT3 RSR fielded by Horst Felbermayr senior. The Dane lost the exit of the Porsche Curves dominion over the Corvette. The tail broke off, hit the Porsche fully and pushed it into the wall. Both vehicles were heavily damaged from. The Austrian Felbermayr, a wealthy private driver, who is now 67 years old back in the 1970s drove sports car race, was seriously injured. He suffered a broken pelvis and a lung contusion.

After the end of the following safety car phase Treluyer led with just one second ahead of Simon Pagenaud Peugeot. Due to the different pit stop strategies, the guide between Audi and Peugeot with each stop change. A preliminary decision fell on Sunday at 9 clock 30 as Alexander Wurz with the number 7 had a slip-up in the Indianapolis 908 in which triggered 12 minutes loss of time by repairing the damage to the front of the car. At this point the root - car was almost 25 seconds ahead of the sister car with the number 9

After the last pit stop, 40 minutes before the race, André Lotterer had the Audi six seconds ahead of Simon Pagenaud, who now again drove the Peugeot. To the finish of the German was able to extend their lead to 13 seconds and retract the tenth overall victory for Audi. The race went to the checkered flag at full speed ahead and it was the first time since 1999, a full discharge and lap of honor.

After the race, it was announced that the winning Audi R18 in the last hour had a slow puncture and had managed barely a full round of almost 14 km at full speed. So we had at the last pit stop just before the end in addition also the tires are changed.


Pilot after Nations

Final ranking

Class winner

Race data

  • Starter: 56
  • Weather during the race weekend: warm, light rain on Sunday
  • Distance: 13.629 km
  • Honorary starter of the race: Jean Todt, President of FIA
  • Distance of the winning team: 4838.295 km
  • Winners section: 201.266 km / h
  • Pole Position: Benoît Treluyer - Audi R18 (# 2) - 3:25,738 - 238.480 km / h
  • Fastest race lap: André Lotterer - Audi R18 (# 2) - 3:25,289 - 239.002 km / h
  • Attendance: 249,500