Of course one had to slap the little word 'Boost' on the heavily peddled 1000 HP, or 735 kW, indeed, only if the Super-Condensers in this hybrid-racing-car have taken in enough electric energy. The question still remains, whether the batteries are too heavy or too slow in taking on, or delivering energy.
Nevertheless, the TSO 40 was very much the 2014 Le Mans favourite. After all, it had won the first two races of the series and held the pole position. Indeed, this doesn't mean much, because of all races, this one is four times longer than the rest.
In addition, there are the regulations concerning the maximum consumption, which this year, has to be 25% lower than it was last year. Thereby, the lap-times are in fact, slightly faster. If the consumption, over three laps, is higher than that stipulated by the stewards, the team will be hit by severe penalties.
The various set-ups of the three main competitors is interesting. As before, Audi is counting on the Diesel-engine, Porsche on the petrol-driven Turbo and Toyota on the free-aspirated petrol-engine. Now, because petrol contains less energy than Diesel does, Porsche and Toyota are allowed to use 13% more volume-units.
Indeed, because the Diesel-technology weighs approx. 40 kg more than the petrol engines, Audi can only allow themselves 2 MJ (Mega-Joule) for recuperation, Toyota and Porsche 6 MJ. To get back to the 735 kW, purely as a calculated value, with the 1,67 kWh (6 MJ), the 353 kW electric motors can be used at full power for just 17 seconds.
Thus, for the remaining 3 minutes and 22 seconds, as the fastest lap done by the TSO 40, 'only' 382 kW (520 HP) is left over. Thereby of course, the lap-times during long-distance races, particularly during the night, cannot be compared with the fastest overall lap-times.
Now, how did all this work out? The two Porsche 919s which probably had the highest top-speed and held the most promising positions, had to resign because of engine or gearbox problems. Toyota, stricken by electronics problems and accidents, crossed the line in third place this time, behind two Audis.
Undoubtedly the race in Le Mans is the most important in relation to the other seven. But still applies that the may call 'world champion' the leads in the overall standings at the end and that's after all the TS040 Hybrid Toyota for the season 2014 ... 07/14