Diesel Do?

A decade ago I predicted that within ten years there will be an outright win for diesel cars in the Le Mans 24 Hours. I was spot on. I also predicted that when this happens, the perceived advantage of petrol cars (i.e. greater speed) would disappear and diesel cars will become the normal personal transport, until, of course, fuel cell electric vehicles reach the market.
The Audi turbo diesels unexpectedly beat the petrol cars on their own territory. They easily out accelerated the other cars. The best petrol cars were off the pace by several seconds a lap.
Naturally the petrol proponents are shouting foul. It’s not fair that diesel cars could make more laps before refuelling they say. Diesels should have smaller tanks so that the petrol cars could stand a chance in distance races.
The best production diesel road cars develop about 200bhp on four cylinders. The Le Mans winner had 12 cylinders and developed 650bhp. They ran on high grade diesel and had large turbochargers for extra power at high speed. That alone could easily account for the extra 10% power over road cars. Methinks that there will be considerable spin-off which will improve diesel road vehicles.