Porsche Curves safety upgrade on Le Mans 24 Hours circuit completed

The latest safety upgrade at the Porsche Curves on the Le Mans 24 Hours circuit has already been completed

Porsche Curves safety upgrade on Le Mans 24 Hours circuit completed

The wall on the inside of the final right-hander of the famous section of the 8.47-mile Circuit de la Sarthe has been moved back and asphalt run-off added.

The latest development is part of the ongoing drive to improve safety by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, which runs the track.

This included moving the barriers back on the outside of the same corner in time for last year's Le Mans World Endurance Championship round.

ACO sporting director Vincent Beaumesnil told Autosport: "In the past few years, as we have worked on safety in the Porsche Curves, the number of accidents has reduced drastically.

"We have created a big run-off on the inside, which we believe is very sensible even if it has come at a big financial cost."

Beaumesnil explained that the ACO was attempting to prevent cars that had encountered a problem coming out of the Porsche Curves' double left from making contact with the wall.

Last year's safety improvements were met with a mixed reaction by the drivers, some of whom believed that the opening up of the section removed its character.

Three-time Le Mans winner Andre Lotterer said last year that the changes made driving the circuit "a little less thrilling".

The ACO has claimed that moving the walls backs, as well as installing deformable SAFER barriers on the outside of the first part of the double left, is preferable to wholesale changes to the section or the addition of a chicane.

Beaumesnil said that there was a desire within the ACO "not to change the race route of the 24 Hours".

The Circuit de la Sarthe has been remeasured for the coming season and is now officially three metres shorter than before.

Startline position changed

The ACO has also announced that the circuit's startline has been moved.

A decision has been taken to shift the startline 145 metres further up the track with the start of the 24 Hours race in mind, although the new position will also be used by all events that take place on the shorter Bugatti circuit, including MotoGP's French Grand Prix.

The previous startline was located near the beginning of the straight, in line with the circuit clock, podium and first pit box.

The ACO said the change would "enable all the cars to line up on the pit straight" before the start and avoid a "situation of having cars in the Ford chicanes when the pack is finally unleashed".

Although the startline has moved, The positioning of the finishing and timing lines will not be altered.

shares
comments
Toyota: Fernando Alonso missing WEC prologue test raises no concerns

Previous article

Toyota: Fernando Alonso missing WEC prologue test raises no concerns

Next article

Leading LMP2 teams say G-Drive ELMS line-up threatens the category

Leading LMP2 teams say G-Drive ELMS line-up threatens the category
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Teams Porsche Team
Author Gary Watkins
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021
How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy Plus

How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy

OPINION: Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile Plus

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger Plus

The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger

Toyota's new GR010 contender for the World Endurance Championship's Hypercar era has little in common with the LMP1 TS050 that preceded it. But within the confines of the scaled back new rules, its latest challenger will be no less formidable a prospect

WEC
Jan 22, 2021
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Plus

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other

WEC
Dec 16, 2020
How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend Plus

How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot

WEC
Dec 5, 2020