24 Hours of Le Mans: Wednesday

24 Hours of Le Mans: Wednesday 0
Petersen handles the “inside gun” for #80 pit stops. Here, he moves from back to front on the tire-changing sequence.
24 Hours of Le Mans: Wednesday 1
Team strategist Thomas Blam (front, wearing a beanie) designed Flying Lizard’s pit stop sequence. Here he reviews it with the crew.
24 Hours of Le Mans: Wednesday 2
Lunch means business for Peterson. Here he reviews video footage of a pit stop.

Pit stop practice

Today is the first practice day, but not just for the drivers. Flying Lizard Motorsports crew member Ryan Petersen spends his lunchtime reviewing video footage of pit stop practice, putting a stopwatch on each practice round. Over and over, the video repeats, with Petersen providing a play-by-play of every wasted motion where he thinks he can pick up another tenth of a second.

Consistently, the #80 crew recorded 20-22 seconds to change four tires. Fans of Formula One might note that the Red Bull crew can do the same in three seconds. But, consider for a moment that ACO rules for the 24 Hours of Le Mans only allow the use of one impact wrench at a time; F1 crews can use four. Thus, each tire at Le Mans has to be changed consecutively, with crew members sprinting around the car in a carefully choreographed pattern.

A 20-second practice run is starting to sound pretty quick, right? Well, Petersen figures the crew can find another second by race time. It’s this dogged pursuit of excellence and attention to detail that can make a good race team great.

For Tuesday’s installment (with extra pictures), click here.

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