AD #1888 – Fireworks at LeMans, Global Cars Sales Hit Speed Bump, Toyota’s Artificial Intelligence Target

June 20th, 2016 at 11:39am

Runtime: 7:54

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- 24 Hours of LeMans Recap
- Toyota Issues Brexit Warning
- Global Car Sales Hit Speed Bump
- Toyota Sets Target for AI
- Rolls Royce’s Autonomous Interior
- Tesla’s Handling of NDA Situation

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29 Comments to “AD #1888 – Fireworks at LeMans, Global Cars Sales Hit Speed Bump, Toyota’s Artificial Intelligence Target”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    It seems the RR concept forgot to put in seat belts.Beware,I still manually drive ;}>

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Kudos to Ford for making their equipment last (and fast) but I sure have a problem with a ‘manipulation’ by the powers that be, relegating the previous ‘powers’ (Corvette and Aston Martin) a difficult hurtle to overcome (in the interest of history). I’m calling B.S. (on that decision) if in fact it is true.

  3. RumNCoke Says:

    #2 – The Europeans seem to have a long history of futzing around with rules in various sports. I’m thinking of soccer. And maybe Bernie Ecclestone’s version of F1.

    Nice to see Ford win but I would much rather watch a Ford vs Chevy battle!

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t know if the “powers that be” deliberately gave the turbo cars a big edge, or if they just didn’t have enough information to accurately balance performance. Since they made some last minute “adjustments,” inadequate though they were, I’d think the latter.

    Still, unfair advantage or not, Ford did well, with only one of the five cars having technical problems. One of the two Corvettes had a different type of problem, a crash, but they weren’t in the hunt anyway.

    In the end, the overall win is the only thing that means much anyway, at least to me.

  5. XA351GT Says:

    So Ford’s twin turbo 6 spanked the Chevy V8. Well can’t wait for the draconian rule changes to ensure that never happens again. Every time Ford has built a better mouse trap the rules are changed . I’ve watched happen in NASCAR for years. Everyone wants a level playing field until they get one . Once they are shown they aren’t good enough out come the rule changes.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Trying to “balance” Ford and Ferrari’s mid-engine turbo cars against Chevy’s front engine car with a pushrod V8, is about like trying to come up with rules to allow a NASCAR and Indy car to run against each other on equal terms. It wouldn’t be easy.

    Ford got their class win, in impressive fashion. Now, let’s see them go for the overall win, like they did 50 years ago.

  7. GM Veteran Says:

    It would be nice if the race organizers (any race organizer), would establish rules up front and then let the engineers do their best. Last minute adjustments to try to level the playing field undermine the time, money and talent invested in the development of the car, powertrain and aerodynamics. And for the fans, they don’t get to see what the true outcome would have been without the rule tinkering. It waters down the engineering prowess of the brands involved, and in the long run will reduce their interest level in participating in the race or racing series.

    It would have been nice to see how the Corvette and Aston Martin teams did against the Ford, Ferrari and Porsche teams without the rule tinkering. We were cheated!

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 The only way the GTE class can exist, is with “rule tinkering.” That is how you can run very dis-similar cars against each other, with some semblance of competitiveness.

  9. MARSHALL Says:

    If the electronics inside autonomous cars are as reliable as a home computer or the checkout register at your local market we are in for a world of hurt, accidents and deaths.

    But hey, at least all the lawyers will get rich from the lawsuits they file.

  10. Duke Says:

    What has always bothered me about the ACO/FIA/CSI is their inconsistency in rules enforcement. Either enforce them without exception, or don’t enforce them at all.

    Hindy pointed out numerous discrepancies in the closing 10 minutes concerning the Risi black-orange flag. But I disagreed with him that the Risi team should just be allowed to keep running because it was the last 10 minutes, when other cars were required to fix the same issue earlier in the race.

    The ACO is kinda like Nascar in that many rules are penciled in.

    GMVet, you weren’t cheated. It looked like the Vettes had a setup balance problem (watch the #64 crash replay – that car was not going to be competitive for 24 Hrs) – which probably had more to do with the rapidly dropping temps – esp when the sun started to go down than anything else.

    But if you look at the scoring & timing, there really wasn’t as big of differential as many years in the past and as big as many seem to think there was.

    Porches have a distinct advantage in rain due to their engine placement, FE-RWD (Vettes & AM) are more difficult to setup balance than ME-RWD, esp with large temp differentials. Looks more like the PM team blew it this year than anything else. Will we see a mid-engine Vette in the near future? Sorry for your loss. An emotional one, no doubt, but it is actually fairly logical.

    We won’t even revisit how Vette began their Le Mans success run – what is past is past. But you have nothing to complain about.

    Congrats to Ford for a job well done

    Oh yeah, Kit, I wouldn’t hold your breath on a LM P1 car from American manuf’s. Doesn’t make good business sense to spend $400-500M – to be competitive. The only manuf’s that do are from countries that have very restrictive protected markets and yet depend on America for sales (due to our non-reciprocal trade policies)

  11. Lisk Says:

    Watching LeMans this weekend was a good time. On the FoxSports Ap, there were only a handful of commercials and in the “allotted”commercial spaces, the live feed was still up, just no comentary, which itself was quite good.

    As I mentioned Friday, the GTE class can’t have parity. The Ford GT answered the reliability question, but I think they drove just fast enough to win.

    All the hoopla was a bit much, with the CLASS win going to the GT, not the overall victory as in 1966. That was a car that had some serious rule bending as well as in 1964 they competed with 289 V8s that couldn’t keep pace. eventually slipping in a 427 cubic inch V8 to beat Ferrari’s 4 liter entries.

    Remember Ford, Mini’s have won their class at LeMans too…

  12. Chuck Grenci Says:

    XA, it’s not about pushrod V-8′s or turbo motors; Chevrolet had already (many years ago) had power reduced to their entry because they were deemed too powerful (for the class they run/ran in). In fact the Corvette moved classes because they were too dominant (though I can’t remember the specifics of class differences; only that there were very few competitors before the GTE-Pro class was initiated). I’m thinking that there will be a lot of tweaking before the next race.

  13. MARSHALL Says:

    If you want a peak at the future of autonomous vehicles check out what buyers of the brand new Volvo XC90 have to say about the vehicle. It is loaded with the most cutting edge tech around and was voted SUV of the year by numerous publications. It is also riddled with dozens of electrical gremlins that effect reliability and drivability. http://forums.swedespeed.com/forumdisplay.php?5020-XC90-(2016-)

  14. Jonathan Says:

    I’m a big time corvette enthusiast and last Thursday both I and one member of the autoline after hours panel member said we believe ford was going to win lemans and sure enough it did.

    What better way to build excit,net at lemans and the series than to have ford re enact it’s lemans victory so many years ago with its battle of Ferrari.

    I knew it was going to come down this way…or maybe should say I hoped it would.

    It’s good for racing even though my favorite team corvette had to take it on the chin.

    Always a great show both each day with autoline daily and Thursday show autoline after hours.

    JB

  15. John McElroy Says:

    Corvettes won the Daytona 24 and Sebring 12 and would have won in Long Beach if a Porsche had not taken it out in what looked like a deliberate crash. Ford won a Laguna but that was on a fuel economy strategy. So I understand why the ACO people wanted to even things out. But the Fords were 4.6 seconds a lap quicker than the ‘Vettes in qualifying in a sport where 4/10ths is a big advantage. I don’t mind trying to make the cars more equal but how did the authorities miss by such a wide margin?

  16. Jesse Says:

    I look forward to the 24 hour race every year but the rule makers need to get back on their med’s. Every single year the penalize Corvette because we’re fast.. Faster then most actually.. In practice .. So they slow them down to the point that they have no chance of winning or even competing at their potential. It’s a farce. I don’t know that I’ll be watching next year! Let racers race!! Leave the damn cars Alone. Whatever happened to the old “run what you brung” spirit?? Apparently the rule makers never heard of it!!!

  17. Tuck&Roll Says:

    It’s to bad we can’t get LeMans w/o paying for it. Would have like to have seen Ford win and Toyota fail. Tired of the opposite in NASCAR.

  18. XA351GT Says:

    Here’s my point , no one complained when Ford ran 4th at earlier races and looked lost at Daytona. They built this car to Le mans and they set it up to do so. Everything was done for that goal. They prepared better for this track than the other makes did.

  19. XA351GT Says:

    Tuck&Roll , It was supposed to be on Fox Sports one from 2:30 AM to 9:30 AM eastern ,but for some reason all I got to see was stinking golf. The on screen guide said it was supposed to on ,but all I got was guys chasing their balls. I don’t know if they lost the feed or what.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I didn’t see any of Le Mans, just followed it on the FIA website, which had real-time standings.

    #10, Duke, I agree that it is unlikely that an American manufacturer will build an LMP1 car. Ford spent tens of millios to build a GTE car, with plans to sell a few road versions, but that was very cheap, compared to doing an LMP.

  21. Jesse Says:

    It was on Fox but you had to search because they had golf and wrestling listed at various times when it actually said auto racing… But… I switched channels on on directv 618 it said mma wresting but it was the race. That was also totally screwed up by Fox.It makes one long for the days of Speed channel…

  22. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Agreed, FOX screwed the pooch; was on FS1, then in mid stride switched to FS2 (I don’t get that one) so I had to stream the race on internet.

  23. Duke Says:

    John,
    You might want to take a look at T&S for the 3 qualifying sessions. All three were WET track conditions – with the 3rd one actually red flagged for a time (even an Audi R8 safety car driver demonstrated his drifting ability – almost spinning in T1 under flagged conditions). Qualifying times aren’t all that important for a 24 hour race either.

    It was generally known in the garage/pits that the Corvettes were having setup issues – which they pointed out when the 64 drove straight into the wall. After that, I doubt they even pushed hard wanting at least one car (#63) to finish.

    Time will tell tho’, and I suspect that it will come out that P&M just plain missed it this year with their setups.

    In actual top speed during qualifying there was only a few mph differential (trap speeds) between the GTE Pro cars, and, as Magnussen who was quoted in Motorsport mag last week, something to the effect of . . .that looking at the test, it’s hard to make it any closer than that . . . he thought that it would be a mistake making changes after the test (which, of course, the ACO did – even the day before the race).

    According to Jan last week, everybody was so close during the test, within a second and a half, that making changes could only mess things up.

    Also remembering that during the test, Garcia was the fastest in GTE Pro (time). Even after post-test BoP adjustments, Magnussen was still confident in Corvette Racing’s ability to repeat last year’s win. He didn’t think that they would be on top, in regards to pace, but he pointed out that outright speed isn’t what’s needed to win an endurance race like Le Mans.

    Also remember that this was the first race in Le Mans history to start under yellow flags. An unusual year for sure . . . esp the last 3 minutes. Unprecedented.

    Fox Sports TV sux – thank goodness for live-streaming – which I prefer to FS1/FS2 coverage anyway – and we split screened camera feeds and T&S on the big screen.

  24. Duke Says:

    T&S link
    http://fiawec.alkamelsystems.com/

  25. Dave Reed Says:

    John McElroy. Thanks for your comment – couldn’t agree more – nice way of saying the race was rigged. I’m losing interest in Lemans etc for all the back room shinanigans. Now that so many OEMs are offering such great high performance sports cars I’d love to see a return to a Showroom Stock series where only the brake pads and mufflers could be different from what any enthusiast could order in the showroom plus existing race safety systems like a roll cage , fire systems and fuel and electric shut offs etc. and a minimum of 50 or 100 cars must be made to that spec. GTO = omologato = homologated. And race separately from prototypes for safety and less crowded track. Great way for the OEMs to show us what they got and to improve the production cars. And way cheaper race cars than the hand built GTEs. Back to the future!

  26. Terry Says:

    If you want to equalize the cars to make it a driver’s competition, put all the drivers in the same model of car. If you want to see who has the best cars within class rules, stand back and let the best manufacturer win. But if they apply different rules to different cars to try to “equalize” their performance, the results of the race are meaningless for either car or driver, and of no interest to me.

  27. Dean Cafiero Says:

    Every company that uses goodwill to fix problems also insists on confidentiality agreements as well as releases. I believe many people who are implying that Tesla is hiding something, don’t understand the system. I am sure the smart viewers of autoline would agree with me.

  28. John McElroy Says:

    Duke,

    Great information. Thanks for posting.

  29. M Campbell Says:

    #10/#23 Duke has some things mixed up.

    John Hindhaugh’s point on Radio Le mans was that the rules were NOT enforced earlier in the race and thus it is unfair to start enforcing them with 10 mins remaining. See the Radio Le Mans studio segment #3 from the race on youtube.

    The first qualifying session on Wednesday evening was dry.

    The GTS rules era under which Pratt & Miller began campaigning the Corvette C5-R was completely different than the current GT-Pro rule book and its associated Balance of Performance. So, please, do revist how those early successes where BoP didn’t exist.

    The “setup issues” encountered by Corvette were a direct result of being handicapped by the ACO. See Jordan Taylor’s comments about Tommy Milner’s accident on sportscar365.com. By the way, that accident occurred on Sunday morning and not as the sun was going down.

    Top speed is one measure of a car but lap time is the only one which really matters. Ford and Ferrari were handed seconds (4.9 and 4.4 seconds faster, respectively) of advantage between the test day and race day.

    No setup or drivetrain layout can overcome a rule book deliberately written to reward your competitor.