Anthony Davidson has called for separate qualifying sessions for the different classes in the Le Mans 24 Hours, bemoaning what he describes presently as a 'non-pure environment'.
Davidson finished fourth alongside Peugeot team-mates Alex Wurz and Marc Gené in the 2011 edition of the round-the-clock La Sarthe classic last weekend, losing four laps and with that all hope of victory when the Austrian went off at Indianapolis with just over five hours left on the clock.
One major talking-point after the chequered flag had come down was, of course, the sheer speed differential between the LMP cars and the slower GTs, which clearly played a role in the terrifying accidents suffered by both Allan McNish and Mike Rockenfeller [see here
]. Davidson contends that it is not only during the race that the discrepancy in performance is an issue.
“It would have been even closer if we hadn't had traffic getting in the way all the time,” the former Super Aguri F1 star told Crash.net
, when asked about a final qualifying session in which the top six cars were covered by barely half-a-second, a rarity at Le Mans. “Everybody had traffic at some point, and that's the frustration. It's the only frustration I have with endurance racing – the non-pure environment of qualifying – and it kind of dilutes everybody's efforts. I'm not having a moan – it's just factual.
“Hopefully, one day the regulations will change and we'll see each class have its own qualifying session. That will really, I think, make it a bit fairer for everybody, because it's not fair for the GT cars to be looking in their mirrors throughout qualifying, and it's not fair on us to have traffic to deal with on a qualifying lap time-and-time again. I didn't drive one clear lap at all – I don't think any of us did. I think the essence of qualifying should be about driver, car and the stopwatch, and that's something that the fans would enjoy even more.”