Le Mans 2014: a driver's-eye view
Here's Aston racer and 24-hour veteran Darren Turner with his preview of the weekend showdown
Posted: 13 Jun 2014
"When are you going to brake for the Slow Zone?"
"About six hours of last year's race ended up under the safety car for barrier repairs and such like. This year they are introducing a ‘slow zone', a 60kph zone that just affects the area where the problem is and allows us to race for the remainder of the lap. It makes sense on a long track like Le Mans.
"What happens is, for example, if an area of barrier is being repaired the drivers will get plenty of warning, then we'll see a board that says ‘60' on it and from that point until you see a green flag you have to run at 60kph.
"What's going to be interesting is to see how everyone responds to that area of slowing down for the start of the slow zone. Some drivers will slow down ready for the slow zone and some will leave it until the last moment to hit the brakes, in the same way you do when entering the pit lane. Everyone in the slow zone will do the same time but the big differences will be in the way people deal with slowing down before the start of the slow zone.
"It might cause problems as you can imagine a less experienced driver seeing the first warning and slowing dramatically, which could cause people to pile into the back of them. Everyone is going to have to be vigilant and we will work with the organisers, giving them feedback about how it works from the driver's point of view. Sometimes the reality behind the wheel is different to the theory but let's see how it goes."