Honda website
Honda website

MAY 30, 2002

No word yet from Le Mans

THERE has been no reaction so far from the Automobile Club de l'Ouest about the aerodynamic problems which the FIA has warned could occur with the current sports cars. The federation gave details last week about research which revealed that the modern sports cars have a dangerous tendency to flip if they spin at more than 95mph. The FIA was conducting the work in response to the accident which claimed the life of Michele Alboreto at the Lausitzring last year and had identified two other recent accidents (one of them involving a fatality) which it thinks may be related to the aerodynamic problem.

The ACO must now decide whether it has the safety measures necessary to go ahead with the running of the Le Mans 24 Hours as scheduled or whether it will have to ban spectators from access to certain areas.

The research, done with grants from the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society, was the first such program to be funded by the new organization which was established last year with the money raised from the long-term lease of the commercial rights of F1 to SLEC, the Formula One group's holding company.

According to the FIA, the Foundation will have between $10 and $12m a year for its research programs which will include research into the European New Car Assessment Program crash test program, plus a variety of programs and campaigns related to issues of the environment and mobility in addition to doing more work to promote improvements in the safety of motor sport.