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The drama has already begun at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, albeit not the on-track kind. Peugeot has reportedly lodged a protest against Audi's R15 racer, charging that elements of the car's front wing are illegal. Peugeot asserts that the flap-like sections at the rear of the front wing, where "Michelin" appears in the above pic, are bodywork elements that are not allowed by the technical regulations.

Article 3.6.2 of the ACO's technical regulations allows two aerodynamic elements at the front of the car, but beyond that, "Any bodywork element the function of which is only to generate down force" is prohibited. Said Aston Martin's race head after the car was questioned at March's 12 Hours of Sebring, the components act "exactly like a flap on a wing, with the splitter arrangement acting as the main plane."

Peugeot raised its concerns earlier this year, but the Audi has been scrutinized every race since. Peugeot says it doesn't want to hurt the competition, it simply wants the rules clarified. However, if the Le Mans stewards rule against the French team, it says it will take its case all the way to the FIA. And if that happens, Sunday's result will be unofficial until the high racing court decides. Thanks for the tip, mforty!

[Source: Motorsport.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Diesel is all powerful
      • 5 Years Ago
      i love all the "peugeot and france sucks" posts. do any of you guys even watch the 24 hours of le mans?

      think about this, if this part is indeed ILLEGAL and provides audi with a 0.1 sec per corner advantage (random theoretical number), over the course of 24 HOURS, how much of an advantage could that give audi?

      lets see:

      last year, the winning audi completed 381 laps. there are 10 corners in one lap. so that makes 1 second per lap for 381 laps = 381 seconds = 6 minutes and 21 seconds. that's equivalent to almost 2 LAPS of an advantage over the race length. if you were peugeot, you would also question its legality. time is money in racing. lots and lots of money.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The part isn´t illegal... the R15 raced befor like 12h of Sebring were it passed every technical observation by independent technical race comissars. Would be stupid if a part that was perfectly legal a month ago would be suddenly illegal racing under the same rules.. Peugeot just wants to build up a bitter smell if Audi win´s again.... you know the car wasn´t realy 100% legal to beat us...

        Would be better if the organisation that runs the 24h of LeMans would stop it endless last minute rule changes...
        • 5 Years Ago
        if you read the whole article, peugeot was going to make a protest at sebring also, but the aco said they would take care of it...............
      • 5 Years Ago
      Man sounds like these other teams need to make better cars maybe then they won't complain about a lil bit of carbon fiber.
      • 5 Years Ago
      To be fair, it's not just them, wherever audi uses engineering and ingenuity to dominate people b!tch and moan instead of bringing their A game. Same thing happened in TransAm. Fat audi 4 door sedans with quattro burning ammmerrrikkkannn muscle powered entrants with moar power and rwd. It happens all the time. I'm glad someone's passionate enough about motorsports to innovate. the whining just comes with the territory.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's interesting to see Audi promoting and winning with Volkswagen technology (TDI) all these years, shouldn't they be promoting something unique to Audi? This is just a VW in disguise.
        • 5 Years Ago
        TDI comes from Audi not Volkswagen....
        The first TDI powered car was the Audi 100 TDI presented 1989 powered by a 125hp 5cyl TDI engine. The 1.9 TDI engine was developt by Audi and first time used in 1991 in the Audi 80. The first TDI powered VW was the Golf from 1993...4 years after the first Audi TDI...
        Learn technical history first..
      • 5 Years Ago
      And to think, Peugeot has had the better straight-line speed, while Audi has had to compensate with ideas, like quadruple-stinting drivers, to cut the number of pit stops. Peugeot theoretically has the better car, and still can't win?

      Shut up and race, Peugeot!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ zamafir

        i wouldnt say f1 is completely based on the driver-the car is absolutely a huge part of wins. brawns triple diffusers got called out early on. why? bc brawn was trouncing the field. who would have thought that a non sponsored team w/ jensen at the wheel would be tops? i sure didnt.

        and as for strategy-you dont think fueling strategy or tires, when to use kers, or to go all out (etc etc) is not as important in f1 as it is in lemans? i disagree.

        aero parts are a huge deal. why else do teams change wings and etc for each track? peugeot is making the right call.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sure, but 24 hours is a lot longer than 2. Audi saved some 9 minutes in the pits over Peugeot by quadruple stinting every driver in the lead car last year. You try that stunt on those grand prix guys and they'll be peeing their pants and crying to their mothers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Peugeot theoretically has the better car"

        It's not theoretical, audi will admit they're faster and about as reliable, peugeot just relys on F1 driver a lot more heavily than audi, who relies on experienced (or, in the case of TK the most experienced alive) lemans drivers. Completely different mindset.

        That's why I love LeMans. F1's about the driver. LeMans is about the entire team. Without a reliable car, without a great strategy, without great drivers, without everything being perfect you won't win, regardless of how fast you are.
      Delorean2006
      • 5 Years Ago
      Peugeot is just jealous because they can't make a car as good as Audi and also they know they can't beat them
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bunch of freaking cry babies, Tired of loosing to Audi's. If the sanctioning body hasn't stopped it why would another team b*tch about it. If Peugeot feels that it is such a big advantage then they should add it to their cars as well to have the same edge nobody has stopped them from doing it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, they must be really tired of losing to Audi. And they're probably more than a little bitter about "Truth in 24". Which I think I'll watch again tonight.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Also, the ACO rejected Peugeot's protest.

        "The notification which was sent to Peugeot gives the following explanation of the ACO: “…the ACO has the discretionary power to deem whether or not the sole function of an element of bodywork is to generate downforce… …it is based on this discretionary power of appreciation, compounded by the exclusive power it has to interpret the technical regulations as laid out in Article 18, that the ACO homologates the cars which take part in the events covered by its regulations.”

        Peugeot has appealed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe...just maybe...Peugeot needs to field a car that won't break down?

        • 5 Years Ago
        Beastage, et al,

        The loophole that Audi has exploited, I understand as such: The R15’s front aero is effectively a “wing” but it does not fall under ACO’s definition of a wing, because its elements have a symmetrical profile. Audi achieved this by treating the splitter and the flap in question as two separate pieces of bodywork (which they are) whose combined profile generates the downforce they’re looking for but either piece on its own are completely legal in design. Hence the gap between the two elements, or else the ACO would have viewed them as a single wing, and Peugeot’s complaint would be upheld.

        Audi cleverly used two legal pieces together, skirting the regulations. The ACO pre-approved this design, homologated it, and passed it in inspection twice. (Once at Sebring and again on Monday) If that’s not legal, nothing is. It's not like Audi spent 80 million dollars manufacturing and developing a race car that had any chance of not meeting regulations. The ACO was, to my knowledge involved in the early planning and development stages of the R15.

        Even the 908 wasn't up to spec when they introduced it, but the ACO allowed them to run a narrower cockpit than was described in the regulations. For Peugeot to take the graces of the ACO one year only to bitch and moan about somebody else's (much more clever) front aerodynamics a few years later demonstrates that organization's lack of commitment to the sport as well as some arrogant sense of entitlement for being the home team. Face it, Audi is the home team. Le Mans is their turf, if you want to beat them you'll have to out EVERYTHING them.

        I hope the Pescarolo 908 outpaces the factory cars, and that the lot of them are squarely beaten by their superior opponents at Audi Sport for being whiny bastards.

        For more clarification, go to Mulsanne Mike’s excellent website here:

        http://www.mulsannescorner.com/newsmarch09.html

        His discussion of the R15 front aero are at the top and bottom of that page.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The R15’s front aero is effectively a “wing” but it does not fall under ACO’s definition of a wing, because it's elements have symmetrical profiles. Audi achieved this by treating the splitter and the flap in question as two separate pieces of bodywork (which they are) whose combined profile generates the downforce they’re looking for but either piece on its own are completely in design. Hence the gap between the two elements, or else the ACO would have viewed them as a single wing, and Peugeot’s complaint would be upheld.

        Audi cleverly used two legal pieces together, skirting the regulations. The ACO pre-approved this design, homologated it, and passed it in inspection twice. If that’s not legal, nothing is.

        I hope the Pescarolo 908 outpaces the factory cars, and that the lot of them are squarely beaten by their superior opponents at Audi Sport.
        • 5 Years Ago
        being a fanboy of an automaker undefeated in a field, with the most winning driver in the history of the race, who did it 3x faster than the man he usurped, that aint bad. Keep it up Turall!

        Being a fanboy for no reason, ie telling everyone how great the LF-A is going to do pre 24 hrs just for it to fall flat on toyos face for the second year in a row, or for a brand with no real successful motorsport hardedge, that's one thing. Being enthusiastic about a brand that has done nothing by dominate? That's just a part of being a fan. There'd be lots of back and forth here between pro audi and pro Peugeot camps if anyone in american actually followed the sport and that'd be totally expected.

        Calling a fan of a team a fanboy in a thread focusing on the sport they compete in is about as useful as calling a fat person @ an ice-cream parlor with a pair of banana splits an over eater. No sh!t.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ditto. damnit though, i left f1 for the drama, now the french are bringing it to lemans simply because their f1 drivers are having issues with racing for more than a few hours, well that and poor tire choices and reliability issues.
      • 5 Years Ago
      im kinda tired of all this "that segment in that part of that small piece of wing in that part of the rear segment of the front part of the rear flap int the front of the rear wing is illegal" in motorsports.
      • 5 Years Ago
      their just mad audi kicks their cans every year.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Peugeot knows its car is just as good, if not better (faster top end) than audi's, yet they can't figure out how to win. I say to peugeot, go watch "truth in 24", learn a thing or two, then improve your technique, team, drivers, etc instead of moaning and complaining about audi's car. There is no reason why peugeot shouldn't be able to bring a more competitve car to the race.

      That being said, i still want audi to win. Can't wait to see how the race turns out!
        • 5 Years Ago
        So let me get this straight, you watch a 90 minute program produced by Audi's marketing department and come away with the impression that Audi simply outclasses every other company?

        Strange how that happened!
        • 5 Years Ago
        sorry Why not the ls2ls7?, but maybe you can't read correctly. I said that i think peugeot has the better car, especially when compared to the r10 (since the r15 still needs to prove itself over 24h). There is no reason for peugeot not to win if they have a faster car, and one that is quite reliable too. Hence, i think they could learn a thing or two from audi, a team that has pretty much "simply outclasse[d] every other company" since they started racing back in 2000.

        So, that being said, i guess i do think audi outclasses evey other manufacturer, not because of a 90 minute movie produced by the marketing dept, but because even though peugeot was able to make a faster car, audi was still able to beat them, proving the le mans is more about the team than the car or driver. And that is why they outclass everybody.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yup. An hour into the race last year, I thought it was a complete write-off for Audi. Imagine my surprise when I got off from work and TK was ripping out fast laps in the wet a lap ahead of the Pug?

        Lets face it. Audi should never have won in 2008. Peugeauxdts is just angry because had one and only one opportunity to catch Audi with their pants down (fielding a 3sec/lap slower car) and they blew it by picking the wrong tires.

        Now Audi has a competitive race car, pace-wise and had Peugeot Sport done their due diligence and upped the strength of their organization to exceed that of Audi, they'd be the favorites to win. Instead their arrogant sense of entitlement from being the home team has taken what would be the greatest battle of Le Mans in a long time to courts and boardrooms and away from the Circuit de la Sarthe where it damn well belongs.
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