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
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021
Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship Plus

Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship

Beyond the slender grid of headline-grabbing hypercars, there are numerous subplots and changes to look out for in the new season of the WEC, which gets underway at Spa this weekend. Here's the seven key things you need to know about

WEC
Apr 30, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Plus

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Plus

How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no works Aston Martins in the GTE-Pro class. As its new era in Formula 1 begins, Aston leaves behind a legacy of success courtesy of its Prodrive-run factory programme that was a hit from the word go in 2005

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
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