» Porsche’s decision to swap their cars has been met with mixed emotions. Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer were visibly frustrated post-race. Rather than create drama on circuit, Porsche opted to hold the leading #1 car longer for its final pit stop, allowing the #2 to take the lead. The decision was clearly championship based, as it allowed the #2 Porsche to extend its lead over the #8 Toyota in the championship.
» Tyre wear and rubber pick-up was an issue throughout the race. Pickup was visible on the ‘honking holes’ on the front wheel arches of the Toyotas from the onboard cameras. Both Porsche’s suffered from aero degradation at various points in the race. Both teams had mechanics wiping clean the rear gurney flaps to dislodge built up rubber. High tyre wear was expected, but perhaps not to this extent. LMP1 teams only had 4 new sets of tyres to work with during the race, requiring double stints of a set.
» Toyotas opening pace was surprisingly quick. The leading Toyota in the hands of Kobayashi managed to hold off the Porsche’s for the first 90 minutes of the race. As tyre wear became an issue and the track rubbered in, Lopez was unable to hold the lead and slipped to 30 seconds back in a stint.
» Fantastic pit work from the Toyota mechanics managed to turn the #8 car around after only losing 5 laps. A faulty fuel pump was changed in just 8 minutes. The car proved hard to service at Le Mans, a fact which cost them the overall victory. The quick repair allowed the #8 car to recover to 4th overall, and minimise the loss of championship points.
» The #26 G-Drive car was hampered by penalties throughout the weekend. The car was carrying a 3 minute stop and hold after Le Mans, but being sent to the back of the grid after failing post qualifying scrutineering rubbed salt into the wounds. The car recovered strongly to 6th in class, overhauling both Manors and the sister TDS Racing car. The 26 was extremely fast throughout the weekend and will be a thorn in the side of the championship contenders for the rest of the season.
» The #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing victory can largely be credited to a strong middle stint by the Silver driver. Thomas Laurent extended the gap after the car was handed to him, whilst the Rebellion’s lost ground. It gives the Mighty 38 a massive 27 point lead over their team mates.
» The first round of the auto-BoP system has now been run and might raise some questions. Aston Martin showed strong single lap pace, but were unable to translate this over a race distance. As the only team running Dunlops, it could be that tyre wear was a bigger issue for them. Porsche and Ferrari made gains during the race, whilst Ford were the most vocal about the unfavourable BoP.
» Keita Sawa deserves a mention for his excellent drive in the last few hours. As the TV focused on the titanic Aston Martin versus Ford battle, Sawa was in the back of every frame, matching time with the factory cars. Whilst laps down and not in contention for a pass, it was a very visible show of speed and consistency from the Japanese driver.