The Barcelona-based company will be responsible for the timekeeping, TV graphics and broadcast data for this epic race.
A team of 18 people have been working since 28 May on preparations for the great endurance race, in which two former F1 champions are taking part this year: Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.
‘Because of our passion for the world of motorsport, we feel very proud to have been chosen to time the 24 Hours of Le Mans’, says José Luis García, CEO of Al Kamel Systems.
For the eighth year running, Al Kamel Systems will be the technology supplier of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the ultimate endurance race on the motorsport calendar and one of the three races that make up the legendary Triple Crown, together with the Indianapolis 500 and the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix. The Spanish company will once again be responsible for the timekeeping, the TV graphics and the broadcast data received by the teams, television stations and the race management over the entire weekend.
The eighty-sixth edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans features a big attraction this year with the participation of two former Formula 1 champions. Fernando Alonso, twice F1 world champion, will be competing for the first time in the race at the wheel of a Toyota TS050 Hybrid, in LMP1. Alongside him will be British driver Jenson Button, debuting with a BR ENGINEERING BR1–AER of the Russian team SMP Racing. They won’t be the only former Formula 1 stars taking part, however. As many as 24 of the drivers on the starting grid next Saturday have competed in the premier motorsport event.
To meet all the needs that an event of this scale requires, Al Kamel Systems is deploying 18 staff at the La Sarthe circuit, who have been working on preparations for the race since 28 May. One of these preliminary tasks is laying more than 10 km of network cable and coaxial cable, along with the 2.5 tonnes of other material necessary for the set-up. ‘Our job over the coming days is to set up all the equipment, get it up and running, conduct a whole barrage of tests and check that everything is working absolutely perfectly’, says timing coordinator Cristóbal Lopera, whose main objective is to get to the main event on Saturday with everything ready and zero margin for error.
Although it already has a semi-permanent facility, one of the biggest challenges posed by the 13,626-kilometre racetrack is, precisely, its size: ‘While at the Spa racetrack, for example, we have 17 timing points, here we have nearly 50. Additionally, there are 60 highly professional teams taking part who all need to be supplied with very accurate information. Everything at Le Mans is on a giant scale’, says the CEO of Al Kamel Systems, José Luis García. This is backed up by the figures; it is estimated that during the 24 Hours alone there are between 1.2 and 1.5 million pulse signals in the timing system. If you add to that the support categories—Aston Martin Racing Le Mans Festival and Road to Le Mans—the figure rises to 2.5 million.
Every one of the 60 cars taking part in the race is fitted with a transponder that sends, virtually in real time, all the information that appears on the monitors. During the competition around 4.5 million messages can be sent, including all kinds of information: the car’s positon in the race, its speed, the cockpit temperature, the noise level, the weather on a certain section of the circuit, the turbo pressure, and the fuel consumption, amongst others.
Eight years of involvement and experience in the 24 Hours of Le Mans have enabled Al Kamel Systems to grow and excel as one of the leading companies in the sector. Thanks to this mutually beneficial association, the iconic race has been able to equip itself with the most cutting-edge technology on the market. ‘Our evolution is determined by the improvements in the technology we use. In addition, we have motivated the circuit into improving its permanent network systems, which had become obsolete’, says the founder of the Barcelona-based company, José Luis García.
Al Kamel Systems is currently responsible for the timekeeping, TV graphics and infrastructures of high-capacity wireless and communications networks for such prestigious international competitions as FIA WEC, Formula E, the European Le Mans Series and Ferrari Challenge. It also provides coverage for the competitions organised by IMSA in the United States, including the 24 Hours of Daytona, and works with Peter Auto and the Barcelona-Catalunya and Spa-Francorchamps circuits, amongst others.
‘Because of our passion for the world of motorsport, we feel very proud to have been chosen to time the 24 Hours of Le Mans’, acknowledges José Luis García. ‘At a technological level, too, it’s a privileged showcase in which to demonstrate everything we’re capable of doing in the world of electronic timekeeping.’