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Question about the mulsanne straight?

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  • Question about the mulsanne straight?

    Hi i have a question the mulsanne straight at lemans if the straightaway if the track did not have the 2 chicanes i heard the straightaway is 4 miles long.

    If the track did not have the chicanes how fast could the current sportscar be at the end of the straightaway.

    Could todays cars be faster could they hit 250 or 260 mph at the end of the mulsanne?

    I've heard some people say todays cars are actually not as good or slower than the gtp or group c cars of the 1980's and early 90's.

    Isn't the fastest speed ever recorded at the end of the mulsanne straight wasn't it 254 mph and wasn't it set by a peugeot either in the 1970's or 1980's?

    Wasn't the last year they ran without the chicanes 1988 or 89?

    When did they first start talking about putting chicanes in the mulsanne?

    And was the reason for the chicanes due to what happened in some of the races at lemans in the 1980's?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Wilma Blanton
    Hi i have a question the mulsanne straight at lemans if the straightaway if the track did not have the 2 chicanes i heard the straightaway is 4 miles long.
    Yes. However, it was never entirely straight. It had 2 slight kinks at roughly the 1/3 and 2/3 points.

    Originally posted by Wilma Blanton
    I've heard some people say todays cars are actually not as good or slower than the gtp or group c cars of the 1980's and early 90's.
    Perhaps what that says is that cars today have a different balance between drag and downforce.

    Originally posted by Wilma Blanton
    Isn't the fastest speed ever recorded at the end of the mulsanne straight wasn't it 254 mph and wasn't it set by a peugeot either in the 1970's or 1980's?
    Data courtesy of Autotechnica, the 1990 Le Mans 24 Annual
    1988:
    391 km/h (242.4 mph) Porsche 962C, Practice Speed
    405 km/h (251.1 mph) W.M.P. 88 (Peugeot) Race Speed

    1989:
    400 km/h (248.0 mph) Sauber Mercedes C9 Practice Speed
    389 km/h (241.2 mph) Jaguar XJR-9

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    • #3
      google maps is an interesting thing to use to look at the track configuration - you can see the chicanes and imagine what the blast from Tertre Rouge to the Mulsanne roundabout (Autoroute 138) would have been like, if you had not needed them.

      http://www.trackpedia.com/wiki/Le_Ma..._des_24_Heures

      http://maps.google.com/maps?q=le+man...=13&iwloc=addr

      Also, watch the length of the straight in this 1984 (?) video with Derek Bell in a 956:

      ... Since all men live in darkness, who believes something is not a test of whether it is true or false. I have spent years trying to get people to ask simple questions: What is the evidence, and what does it mean?

      -Bill James

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Wilma Blanton
        Isn't the fastest speed ever recorded at the end of the mulsanne straight wasn't it 254 mph and wasn't it set by a peugeot either in the 1970's or 1980's?
        It occurred to me where that number came from. Doc Austin claimed that Vic Elford had told him personally that they (Porsche folks) had calculated the speed (based on engine speed, gearing, etc) and came up with 254. There's a couple of problems with that method. You need to know the rolling radius of the tire at speed fairly accurately. The tire grows slightly and gives you a bit faster (lower numerically) effective final drive ratio. This what happens in drag racing, but of a very different Order of Magnitude. Also, the 917's had a lot of aerodynamic problems. It may have been possible that they were getting some rear lift which caused some wheel spin. That would have the effect of giving you a higher engine speed than what's really happening.

        My guess is that the numbers posted by the Le Mans officials is based on actual speed trap data. If you do that, it takes a lot of the possible inaccuracy out of the deal and it becomes a straightforward time and distance calculation.

        Regarding Peugeot, their goal was to set a Mulsanne Straight speed of at least 400kph. The car had a real low downforce configuration; great for the Mulsanne but bad for the corners. After running a few laps and setting the record, they parked the car. That was the intention all along.
        Last edited by flatlander_48; 03-11-2008, 12:40 AM. Reason: Bad Spelling Day...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by paul-collins
          google maps is an interesting thing to use to look at the track configuration - you can see the chicanes and imagine what the blast from Tertre Rouge to the Mulsanne roundabout (Autoroute 138) would have been like, if you had not needed them.

          http://www.trackpedia.com/wiki/Le_Ma..._des_24_Heures

          http://maps.google.com/maps?q=le+man...=13&iwloc=addr

          Also, watch the length of the straight in this 1984 (?) video with Derek Bell in a 956:

          Ah yes "Incar 956"....what a sweet video!!!
          ( love how hes going down Mulsanne and takes his hand off the wheel while going by the slower car)
          But going around the 'Ring is simply the best!!


          Wilma..in that video DB talks about how the going down the straight at 240mph back in the 80's.

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          • #6
            Isn't there video of 1 of the jaguars doing a lap at lemans before the chicanes on the mulsanne straight if someone has that video or can find it can they please post it on trackforum please?


            Thanks.

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            • #7
              If there had been no chicanes on the mulsanne straight when these 3 cars raced at lemans could these cars have reached 240 or 250 or 260 mph?

              The ferrari 333 sp the toyota gt1 car which ran at lemans in 1998 and 1999 the audi r8 and the current audi car the r10 diesel car.

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