The 90th anniversary of the 24h of Le Mans was overshadowed by the death of the danish sportscar driver Allan Simonsen.
It was raining and he led in the GTE Am class, going into the 2nd lap of the race. Then he turned into the Tetre Rouge corner.
He came out wide onto the run-off area and lost control of his Aston Martin Vantage V8.
He then made a big impact against the armcor barrier on the drivers side.
Allan was still responsive after the crash and then he was taken to the Medical Center, where he succumbed his injuries.
The death of Allan was officialy announced from the ACO on 18:00 o’clock/6 pm (GMT+1) during the race.
The family of Allan wanted Aston Martin Racing and Prodrive to continue the race.
It was the first death during the race of the 24h of Le Mans since 1986, were Jo Gartner died in a Porsche 962LM Group C and the first death in the 24h of Le Mans since 1997, were Sebastian Enjolras died in a Welter LMP in pre-Qualifying .
Allan Simonsen was one of the most experienced sports car drivers out there and he also drove in the Australian V8 Supercars Series for Kelly Racing.
It was he’s 7th 24h of Le Mans, he will be truly missed. He was only 34 years old.
R.I.P. Allan Simonsen.
Official Statement from the ACO:
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest, which organizes the 24 Hours of Le Mans, released the following statement:
The driver was immediately attended on the scene by the doctors from the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s Medical Service.
In a serious condition, Allan Simonsen was transferred immediately to the Circuit Medical Centre where he died soon after due to his injuries.
Allan Simonsen’s family has been informed immediately by David Richards, Principal of the Aston Martin Racing team.
Allan Simonsen, an experienced driver aged 34, had taken part in seven 24 Heures du Mans.
His team mates in the No.95 car were his fellow countrymen, Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest wishes to express its great sadness following this incident, and extends its deepest condolences to the family and those close to Allan Simonsen.
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest will make no further statement while the exact reasons for the accident are still being wholly determined.
LMP1: Audi vs Toyota and Rebellion with bad luck
Audi were the favourites for the race and nobody expected Toyota to challenge them.
But we were surprised. Toyota already showed their pace at the first lap, were Lapierre went from 4th to 2nd and nearly overtaking the #1 Audi for the lead of the race, until the Safety Car came out.
After the SC, Lapierre couldn’t drive the pace of the #1 Audi with Andre Lotterer anymore and had to settle for 2nd.
Then Lapierre swapped positions with his teammate Davidson on the 3rd hour and then both stayed on 2nd and 3rd positon until the last hour of the race.
Meanwhile the No.1 Audi with Lotterer/Treyuler/Fässler had no problems and it looked like they would run away with the win, but in the evening time the No.1 Audi had to come into the garage for a alternator change.
It costed them over 40 minutes to change it and of course it costed them the race win.
The No.3 Audi R18 with Jarvis/Di Grassi/Gene had also problems at the same time.
The car had contact with a the Labre Competition Corvette from the GTE-Am class and had a right rear tire puncture. They lost nearly 10 minutes at the pitstop.
But after that the #3 car had a awesome battle with the #7 Toyota from Lapierre/Nakajima/Wurz for 3rd position.
But the #7 eventually got 3rd position.
The No.2 Audi with McNish/Kristensen/Duval then grabbed the lead from the No.1 Audi and stayed there until the end.
They had a lead over 2 laps of the 2nd placed Toyota TS030 from Davidson/Sarrazin/Buemi.
The #7 Toyota was 3rd but lost the position when Lapierre crashed his car at the Porsche corners in rainy conditions and it was only 1 hour to go.
Lapierre brought his damaged car back to the garage and after half an hour the car was repaired, what was a great effort by Toyota Racing.
The #7 Toyota finished 4th behind the #3 Audi.
The #13 Rebellion Lotus Lola was on a incredible 5th position with Belicchi/Beche/Cheng. But Andrea Belicchi crahsed the car after the SC period hard into the barriers.
Belicchi was taken to the hospital were he broke two rips. Also the #12 Rebellion was in trouble with Jani/Prost/Heidfeld.
The car had mechanical misfortunes and finished 8th in class. Surprisingly then the Strakka HPD from Levenths/Kane/Watts won the LMP1 Privatiers battle, what wasn’t really a battle.
LMP2: OAK Racing dominance
The Morgan Nissan from OAK Racing was the fastest car out on track.
The car is 8 kph faster on the straights than for example the Oreca 03 Nissan, because the car is/was actually a LMP1 car transformed into a P2 car.
So Baguette/Nicolet made a start/finish win nearly leading every single lap in this class.
Baguette spun under heavy rain in the 23rd hour but managed to bring the car back to the track safely to win the race.
3rd was the G-Drive Racing Oreca 03 Nissan from Conway/Martin/Rusinov ahead of the Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN Nissan from Mardenborough/Ordonez/Krumm.
The two Lotus T128 Praga were 15 and 16th in class for a long time until they had both to retire because of mechanical issues in the morning of the race.
GTE-Pro and Am: Porsche vs Aston Martin, Corvette disappointment
Porsche had a great lead battle with the race win favourites Aston Martin since lap 4 of the race.
After the #97 Aston Martin from Turner/Mücke/Dumbreck drove into the pits to switch from slick to rain tires, the #91 Porsche 911 RSR from Lieb/Lietz/Dumas drove away with the win in GTE-Pro.
They landed ahead of the #92 Porsche 911 RSR from Bernhard/Pilet/Bergmeister.
AF Corse couldn’t really catch up with the pace of the Aston’s and the Porsche’s and were the best of the rest with 4th and 5th.
Corvette was surprisingly slow, only 6th was the best postion. The SRT Viper GTS-R also disappointed with 8th and 9th in class.
Porsche also won in GTE-Am with the IMSA Matmut Perfomance Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 2012 spec from Narrac/Burnet/Vernay.
Dempsey DelPiero Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with Foster/Long/Dempsey lost the good looking 3rd positon to a AF Corse Ferrari, so they finished 4th.
It was a great 24h of Le Mans 2013, despite the death of Allan Simonsen.
The next race of the WEC is on the 1st September 2013 at the 6h of Sau Paulo in Brazil.
WEC drivers Prototype Champioship standings:
|4||DI GRASSI L.||BRA||/||0||15||0||30||0||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||45|
|10||HEINEMEIER HANSSON D.||DNK||4||1||2||0||8||0||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||15|
|12||PEREZ COMPANC L.||ARG||2||0||4||1||1||0||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||8|
|18||KA TO J.||CHN||0,5||0||/||0||/||0||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||0,5|
WEC Teams GTE-Pro championship standings:
Porsche AG Team Manthey 74
Aston Martin Racing 71
AF Corse Ferrari 60
AF Corse Ferrari 56
Porsche AG Team Manthey 44
Aston Martin Racing 26
Full results (without retirements):
1. #2 Kristensen/Duval/McNish Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 * 348 laps (34 stops)
2. #8 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 hybrid LMP1 * 347 laps (30 stops)
3. #3 Gene/Di Grassi/Jarvis Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 347 laps (30 stops)
4. #7 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 hybrid LMP1 * 341 laps (29 stops)
5. #1 Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 * 338 laps (32 stops)
6. #21 Leventis/Watts/Kane Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03c LMP1 * 332 laps (29 stops)
7. #35 Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan LMP2 * 329 laps (30 stops)
8. #24 Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan LMP2 * 328 laps (31 stops)
9. #26 Rusinov/Martin/Conway G-Drive Racing Oreca 03-Nissan LMP2 * 327 laps (32 stops)
10. #42 Mardenborough/Ordonez/Krumm Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan LMP2 327 laps (28 stops)
11. #49 Companc/Kaffer/Minassian Pecom Racing Oreca 03-Nissan LMP2 * 325 laps (29 stops)
12. #43 Gachnang/Mailleux/Lombard Morand Racing Morgan-Judd LMP2 320 laps (28 stops)
13. #48 Hartley/Patterson/Chandhock Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03-Nissan LMP2 319 laps (29 stops)
14. #38 Dolan/Turvey/Luhr Jota Sport Zytek-Nissan LMP2 319 laps (29 stops)
15. #36 Paniatici/Ragues/Gommendy Signatech Alpine Alpine-Nissan LMP2 317 laps (32 stops)
16. #92 Lieb/Lietz/Dumas Porsche AG Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR GTE-Pro * 315 laps (22 stops)
17. #91 Bernhard/Pilet/Bergmeister Porsche AG Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR GTE-Pro * 315 laps (24 stops)
18. #97 Turner/Mucke/Dumbreck Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE-Pro * 314 laps (24 stops)
19. #34 Frey/Niederhauser/Bleekemolen Race Performance Oreca 03-Judd LMP2 314 laps (32 stops)
20. #73 Garcia/Taylor/Magnussen Corvette Racing Corvette C6 ZR-1 GTE-Pro 312 laps (23 stops)
21. #71 Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GTE-Pro * 311 laps (23 stops)
22. #51 Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GTE-Pro * 311 laps (23 stops)
23. #74 Gavin/Milner/Westbrook Corvette Racing Corvette C6 ZR-1 GTE-Pro 309 laps (25 stops)
24. #41 Kimber-Smith/Lux/Rossi Greaves Motorsport Zytek Nissan LMP2 * 307 laps (31 stops)
25. #53 Farnbacher/Dalziel/Goossens SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R GTE-Pro 306 laps (28 stops)
26. #76 Narac/Bourret/Vernay IMSA Performance MATMUT Porsche 911 GT3 RSR GTE-Am * 306 laps (23 stops)
27. #55 Perazzini/Case/O’Young AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GTE-Am 305 laps (24 stops)
28. #61 Gerber/Griffin/Cioci AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GTE-Am * 305 laps (23 stops)
29. #77 Dempsey/Foster/Long Dempsey Del Piero-Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR GTE-Am 305 laps (24 stops)
30. #50 Bornhauser/Canal/Taylor Larbre Competition Corvette C6 ZR-1 GTE-Am * 302 laps (25 stops)
31. #96 Goethe/Hall/Campbell-Walter Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE-Am * 301 laps (26 stops)
32. #93 Bomarito/Kendall/Wittmer SRT Motorsport Viper GTS-R GTE-Pro 301 laps (26 stops)
33. #40 Downs/Dagonneau/Younessi Boutsen Ginion Racing Oreca 03-Nissan LMP2 300 laps (29 stops)
34. #67 Gibon/Milesi/Henzler IMSA Performance MATMUT Porsche 911 GT3 RSR GTE-Am 300 laps (22 stops)
35. #66 Bertolini/Alfaisal/Qubaisi JMW Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GTE-Pro 300 laps (26 stops)
36. #88 Ried/Roda/Ruberti Proton Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR GTE-Am * 300 laps (23 stops)
37. #75 Collard/Crubile/Perrodo Prospeed Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR GTE-Am * 298 laps (23 stops)
38. #81 Pottolicchio/Aguas/Bright 8 Star Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GTE-Am * 294 laps (25 stops)
39. #39 Porta/Raffin/Brandela DKR Engineering Lola B11/40-Judd LMP2 280 laps (31 stops)
40. #12 Prost/Jani/Heidfeld Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60-Toyota LMP1 * 275 laps (26 stops)
Birmingham’s son, Graeme Murray Walker
Is a legend of sorts and a real slick talker
I’ve listened to Murray, most of my life
I’ve spent more time with him, than I have with my wife
From lands afar to our home Grand Prix
For the BBC and ITV
On race day Sundays, he would appease
He held our attention with class and ease
With a friendly voice and a friendly smile
With brilliant diction in his own style
Finding a way, to make us chuckle
A simple comment causing knees to buckle
His “Walkerisms” are world renowned
His effect on our sport has been profound
He is the voice of Formula One
He may be ill, but he’s not done
Join me please, in wishing him well
And a quick recovery, from this rough spell
While he rests, we’ll reminisce
View original post 164 more words
All these crashes are not fatal, so don’t wonder why the 1955 crash or other famous fatal crahses at Le Mans are not included.
5th: Mike Rockenfeller 24h of Le Mans 2011 (Audi R18 TDI LMP1)
Rockenfeller had contact with the Ferrari F458 Italia from Robert Kaufmann (LMGTE Am) at a speed of 307 kph.
It happend in the near of Indianapolis corner. Rockenfeller was brought to Hospital shortly after the crash. Because of this accident he cancelled the DTM race at the Lausitzring and the 24h of the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Rockenfeller isn’t attempting Le Mans this year, he said he will fully concentrate on his DTM programm with Audi, he’s currently leading the championship.
4th: Anthony Davidson 24h of Le Mans 2012 (Toyota TS030 Hybrid LMP1)
As the No.1 Toyota battled with the Audi for the lead of the race, Davidson in the No.2 Toyota crashed heavily at the end of the Mulsanne straight in the 5th hour of the race.
He collided with the LMGTE Am AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia from Piergiuseppe Perazzini at high speed.
Davidson was later transferred to hospital where he was later diagnosed with fractures to the eleventh and twelfth thoracic vertebrae of his back.
He recovered from it, and competed the next WEC 2012 race at the 6h of Sau Paulo (Brazil).
3rd: Peter Dumbreck, 24h of Le Mans 1999 (Mercedes CLR LMGTP)
Peter Dumbreck was following a Toyota GT-One for the lead of the race.
His Mercedes CLR became air under it by following the Toyota and as Dumbreck hit the curb at the 3rd Mulsanne straight his car flow up in the air at a speed of 300 kph.
He made four 360’s in the air and crashed outside of the track against a tree.
He came completley uninjured from this crash and became world famous.
Because Mark Webber suffered similar crashes in Thursday night practice and Warm up, the remaining #6 car was retired immediately, and the team withdrew from all other planned entries in endurance racing and the ALMS.
Mercedes since then never returned to Le Mans again.
Dumbreck later drove in the DTM for Mercedes and Opel. He suffered another horrific crash at Zandvoort 2004 with a Opel Vectra V8 Coupe DTM, he later retired from the series.
Now he’s driving the LMGTE-Pro Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage build by Prodrive in the WEC 2013.
2nd: Allan McNish, 24h of Le Mans 2011 (Audi R18 TDI LMP1)
Less than a hour into the race, McNish was going to pass the No.2 Audi for the lead.
By passing the car he collided with the Luxury Racing Ferrari F458 Italia in the Dunlop chicane and crashed in spectacualer style, nearly flying over the tire wall and into the crowd.
McNish was unhurt. It was cleary the fault from McNish who had a small error there.
These small errors also costed him the last years win when he crashed out only 3 hours away from the finish.
1st: John Sheldon, 24h of Le Mans 1984 (Nimrod C2B Aston Martin Group C)
John Sheldon had huge crash at the 3rd Mulsanne straight at the right hand kink.
He lost control of his car at a speed of 322 kph (200 mph) and collided with his teammate Drake Olson.
The marshal Jake Loiseau was killed by the flying parts of the Nimrod and another marshal Andre-Guy Lefebvre was seriously injured, also because of the flying parts.
Sheldon was was severely burned, and the Nimrod’s explosive impact against the Armco barriers was so violent, that some of the trees next to the track where the impact took place had been set on fire.
The race was not stopped immediately, only that section of the straight was under caution, to protect the marshals and firefighters cleaning up the accident. Soon after, four pace cars were brought out under a full course caution, which lasted for 1 hour.
Sheldon was driving from 1983-1985 in the FIA WEC.
Then it was renamed into the World Sports-Prototype Championship in 1986 and he also participated there till 1992.
He was driving in the IMSA GTU Championship 1992.
It’s the 9oth annerversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the biggest motor race in the world and the 3rd round of the FIA World Endurance Championship 2013.
I’m now going to talk about the 4 classes that are going to compete in the race: LMP1, LMP2, LMGTE Pro and Am.
Overall there are 56 cars in the field. There isn’t going to be a experimental car like last year with the Nissan Delta Wing, the GreenGT pulled out of the race after their first tests.
Audi Joest Racing
Audi goes as the favourites for the win.
They won the first two rounds of the WEC at Silverstone and Spa and managed to keep the Toyota’s way behind.
Audi is going with three R18 e-tron quattros to La Sarthe.
With the 24LM winners from 2011 and 2012 Fässler/Treyuler/Lotterer and also with McNish/Kristensen/Duval and Jarvis/Di Grassi/Gene.
So Audi has already a huge advantage over Toyota, who are only bringing two cars.
But Toyota becomes three litre more fuel, so they can drive longer, what means they can drive later into the pits and don’t have to save so much fuel as Audi.
Because, as you know, the Audi drivers are bit more aggressive than the the Toyota in traffic, what could result into crashes/incidents. That nearly cost Audi the win in 2011.
But i really think Audi is going to dominate the race and win the 24LM for the 12th time, but which of the three Audis is another question…
Toyota Racing TMG
Toyota’s last year’s perfomance at the 24LM was impressive but short.
Davidson had a huge crash and the 2nd car retired after a technical failure.
So now Toyota is coming with much more experience to their 2nd 24LM.
Toyota brings two brand new TS030 Hybirds to the race with Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima and Sarrazin/Davidson/Buemi, all drivers expect of Lapierre and Sarrazin are former F1 drivers if you didn’t know.
Toyota has a disadvantage over Audi, only having two cars isn’t the big problem, the actual problem is there race pace.
The car isn’t fast enough in the corners and has a lower topspeed, even in the Le Mans coniguration.
So i think one of the Toyota’s could come into the top three, but only with luck or a crash from a Audi.
And Rebellion is also fast so watchout for them.
You can say that they’ve already won it before the race has even began.
They’ve zero competition, only the Strakka HPD, which is two seconds of the Rebellion race pace. But why is the Rebellion so fast?
Well that’s easy, it’s because of the Toyota engine, which is similar to the one in the TS030.
The Lola B12/60 Coupe, isn’t really good (as shown by Dyson in the ALMS), that why it can’t go over 6th in LMP1.
The drivers are Heidfeld/Jani/Prost and Beche/Belicci/Cheng.
The HPD ARX-03a is a good car. Muscle Milk Pikket Racing won the ALMS in 2012 with this car and they can compete with Rebellion for wins.
So the car isn’t the problem, they could be a real challenger for Rebellion, the probelm is the driver lineup.
Levenths/Kane/Watts, they aren’t really good, as shown at Silverstone for example.
They’re entering only one car, so they couldn’t challenge Rebellion anyway. That was the 8th and last car in the LMP1 class.
Because there are 21 cars (!) entered in the LMP2 class, i will show the Top 3 favourites for the win there.
OAK Racing (Morgan-Nissan)
ADR-Delta (Oreca 03-Nissan)
Sigantech Alpine Renault (Oreca 03-Nissan)
But of course Jota Sport, Greaves Motorsport and TDS Racing have also chances to win in this class.
It will be intereting to see how Level 5 from the ALMS will perform, as they’re the only one to use the HPD ARX 03b.
GTE-Pro and Am
We’re going to have a amazing battle in GTE-Pro.
AF Corse is entering two Ferrari F458 Italia, SRT and Corvette coming with their cars, Aston Martin even with three cars and Porsche with a works team and two brand new 911 RSR.
I see Corvette as a winner, because of their experience there, AF Corse won last year there and Aston Martin won in Silverstone and got the two Poles in the WEC. So really can’t wait to see this battle.
In GTE-Am meanwhile i think Aston will also do it there, but don’t count out the Ferraris from AF Corse and 8 Star Motorsports.
And of course everybody is excited how actor Patrick Dempsey will do in his debut at the 24h of Le Mans.
He will be driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR entered by his own team Dempsey Racing, who are also competing in the ALMS in the GTC class.
Circuit Preview: Circuit de la Sarthe
Length: 13,629 km
Lap record: 3.19,074 (Loic Duval, Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 HDI FAP 2010)
Location: Le Mans, France
Race start: 15:00 p.m. (CEST) (GMT+1)
Race end: 15:00 p.m.
Facebook page: 24 Heures du Mans
Live stream (also TV broadcasted by Eurosport in Europe and by SPEED in North America)
Radio stream: radiolemans.com
All winners (from 2000):
2000 – Biela/Kristensen/Pirro (Audi)
2001 – Biela/Kristensen/Pirro (Audi)
2002 – Biela/Kristensen/Pirro (Audi)
2003 – Kristensen/Capello/Smith (Bentley)
2004 – Ara/Capello/Kristensen (Audi)
2005 – Kristensen/Lehto/Werner (Audi)
2006 – Biela/Pirro/Werner (Audi)
2007 – Biela/Pirro/Werner (Audi)
2008 – Capello/Kristense/McNish (Audi)
2009 – Brabham/Gene/Wurz (Peugeot)
2010 – Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller (Audi)
2011 – Fässler/Lotterer/Treluyer (Audi)
2012 – Fässler/Lotterer/Treluyer (Audi)
Here the highlights of the 24H of Le Mans 2012 for a quick recap of what happend last year:
Full entry list: