Text: Steve Tarrant
Images: Rick Kiewiet
The traditional "rest day" is still busy with news, with the ACO hosting the annual Championship press briefing, and other significant stories emerging.
ACO Press briefing highlights: -
The principal items shown to the world this morning were:-
The 2022 FIA WEC calendar revealed (see our separate story)
A 100% renewable competition fuel in 2022, created by TotalEnergies
Renewal of the ACO/IMSA agreement, binding for the next 10 years
MissionH24 and hydrogen – class for hydrogen-electric prototypes in 2025
Future regulation changes - current LMP2 & GTE regulations to remain until end of 2023
2023 - centennial 24 Hours of Le Mans - special celebrations planned.
Only 61 starters on Saturday
Sadly, the damage sustained to both of the IDEC Sport cars over the testday and race week has led to the withdrawal of the #17 car. Citing issues with the low downforce, the hard Goodyear tyres, and BoP (!), the car was too badly damaged after Bronze driver Dwight Merriman’s crash entering the Dunlop Curves in Free Practice 3.
New chassis for Porsche
The Porsche GT team are having a busy Friday after Kevin Estre's moment during Hyperpole, the car needing a complete new chassis. Once rebuilt, they will only have the 15 minute warm-up session tomorrow morning to test all of the systems are correct and functional.
New Panoz bridge inaugurated
The Panoz footbridge was formerly inaugurated today, by Dan Panoz, son of Don Panoz, together with ACO President Pierre Fillon.
This pedestrian bridge, approximately 25 metres long and 3 metres wide, has a view of the track and will help to improve the comfort of spectators. It is located at the north entrance of the circuit.
Photo: ACO Media
Bentley wins at Le Mans (again!)
The first of two Endurance Racing Legends races, organised by the Peter Auto Organisation, was held this morning, with the field included a number of past competitors, including Eric Helary (overall winner in 1993 with Peugeot), Mike Newton (class winner in 2005/2006 with Ray Mallock Racing) and Michael Youles (class winner in 1990 with PC Automotive Spice).
Photo: ACO/Peter Auto
At the end of the 45 minute race, Shaun Lynn in his 2003 Bentley Speed 8 took the chequered flag, ahead of Florent Moulin in his 2001 Dallara SP1, and Mike Newton in the 2004 Lola-MG EX257.
Race two will be held tomorrow morning.