24 Hours of Le Mans Race Report
Circuit: Circuit de la Sarthe (8.47-mile road course), Le Mans, France
Weather: Overcast, cool, light showers during final hours, 63 degrees F at finish
LMP2 Class Results:
|1.||6.||Kimber-Smith/Lombard/Oijeh||Greaves Motorsports||Nissan Zytek Z11SN|
|2.||1.||Ayari/Mailleux/Ordonez||Signatech||Nissan Oreca 03||-7 laps|
|3.||11.||Barbosa/Bouchut/Tucker||Level 5 Motorsports||HPD Lola B11/80||-8 laps|
|4.||8.||Collins/Erdos/Newton||RML||HPD ARX-01d||-12 laps|
|5.||5.||Charouz/De Crem/Nakano||Oak Racing||Judd BMW Pescarolo 01||-13 laps|
|6.||7.||Frey/Meichtry/Rostan||Race Performance||Judd BMW Oreca 03||-22 laps|
|7.||10.||Barlesi/De Rocha/Lafarque||Oak Racing||Judd BMW Pescarolo 01||-38 laps|
|8.||9.||Fournoux/Haezbrouck/Rosier||Extreme Limite AM Paris||Judd BMW Norma M200P||-79 laps|
|9.||3.||Hallyday/Kraihamer/Premat||Team Oreca Matmut||Nissan Oreca 03||Retired|
|10.||2.||Kane/Leventis/Watts||Strakka Racing||HPD ARX-01d||Retired|
|11.||4.||Perez-Companc/Kaffer/Russo||Pecom/AF Course||Judd BMW Lola B11/40||Retired|
Level 5 Finishes Third for HPD at Le Mans
In it's first attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, American-based Level 5 Motorsports completed a trouble-free run to third in the LMP2 category, leading the Honda Performance Development effort at the 2011 edition of the endurance racing classic.
Level 5 drivers Joao Barbosa, Christophe Bouchut and Scott Tucker steadily moved through the field in an incident-filled event, with their HPD HR28TT V-6 engine providing faultless performance throughout the 24-hour run. Level 5 took the checkers Sunday afternoon 10th overall, just one lap behind the second-place LMP2 of the veteran Signatech team.
RML completed a strong comeback effort with their HPD ARX-01d prototype after a turbocharger actuator lever failed early in the contest. Initial repairs cost the team some 17 minutes in the pits, and additional time was lost when a more permanent repair was made later in the race. But the RML trio of Ben Collins, Tommy Erdos and Mike Newton persevered to a fourth-place finish in LMP2.
Following a crash in Wednesday's initial qualifying session, resulting in a 41-hour repair performance from the crew, Strakka Racing started second in LMP2, briefly led the category, and was in the thick of the fight for class honors early in contest with drivers Jonny Kane, Nick Leventis and Danny Watts. But as the race approached its mid-point, a brief run over a section of exit curbing by Watts resulted in a broken oil line and retirement for the Strakka HPD ARX-01d.
Steve Eriksen (Vice President, Honda Performance Development) on this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans: "A big thank you for the tremendous effort shown by all three of our teams as well as our HPD associates in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Congratulations to Level 5 Motorsports for it's third place finish in LMP2, an excellent performance in it's first Le Mans run. We were very pleased to have our new HR28TT V-6 turbo engine finish so well in its Le Mans debut, against competition from highly developed ex-Super GT Series V-8 engines. Unfortunately, damage to the Strakka ARX-01d, and a reliability issue with the turbocharger hardware on the RML car, impacted the results for both teams. But it was good to see RML's strong recovery effort rewarded with a well-deserved fourth in LMP2."