Audi stronger operationally than rivals, says Pirro

Five-time Le Mans 24 Hours champion Emanuele Pirro expects Audi to hold an advantage in the race in strategy and teamwork despite a subdued qualifying showing.

Audi stronger operationally than rivals, says Pirro
Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro and Gérard Larousse
#8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer, #8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis
#8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis
#8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
Audi Sport Team Joest: Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18: Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
Listen to this article

The Italian, who won at La Sarthe in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2007, told Motorsport.com that the preparation and adaptability of Audi at Le Mans could have a significant bearing in who wins the 84th running of the French endurance classic.

“In human terms – the crews, management and drivers – Audi holds an advantage, and I say this with all respect to the opposition, who are also top class,” Pirro said.

“But I think the advantages come for Audi from not only experience but also the environment the team operates in. I am talking about the really healthy interaction between drivers and engineers from an operational point of view.

"Some teams can put pressure on drivers and this in the long run can be unhealthy. All this will help massively at a race like this.”

Pirro also believes that the changeable conditions will be trickier for the current generation of drivers compared to his experiences at Le Mans in the past.

“In my time racing here there were very different levels of downforce and grip with the bodywork and are being quite basic compared to now,” said Pirro.

“We had the option of changing to higher downforce bodywork during the race week and race itself but now you don’t have that option.

"This weekend is that halfway weather when it is wet one minute and dry the next. Any driver will tell you this is the nightmare condition.

"When it is wet consistently driving is fun but when it changes so much it is hard and many things can be out of your control. I think it will be like this in the race here this weekend, certainly until Sunday morning.”

Better weather warnings

Teams and drivers now have better warning systems for when showers are approaching, utilising their own meteorologists and also spotters out on the circuit.

“The days of getting caught by the rain like 2001 [when multiple collisions were triggered by a localised shower at Arnage/Porsche Curves] are mostly over.

"Now, the teams weather people can tell you where and when the rain comes so you are more prepared,” stated Pirro.

“I would be surprised if the weather affects the attitude of the teams on what pace they run.

“Endurance racing now, because of the technology and the level of competition is flat, flat, flat and that includes when the conditions are tough.

"Years ago when cars were more fragile there was choice of having ‘a hare and a tortoise’ but again that is no longer relevant.”

shares
comments
Le Mans LMP2 protagonists expect rain to mix up order
Previous article

Le Mans LMP2 protagonists expect rain to mix up order

Next article

Corvette Racing at Le Mans: 24 Hours of in-car and garage streaming

Corvette Racing at Le Mans: 24 Hours of in-car and garage streaming
Load comments
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans Prime

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload Prime

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

The 23-car GTE Am field promises to be one of the most open in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with the added jeopardy of managing the enthusiasm of amateur drivers to boot, as Absolute Racing Porsche driver Marco Seefried explains

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021