It was one of the most chaotic ALMS races i’ve ever experienced.
It wasn’t even a endurance race, it was more a crashfest.
Everything began at the start, were the Dyson Lola from Chris Dsyon jumped the start.
Klaus Graf bracked to signal a wave off for a restart. Tucker, who was behind Graf didn’t see that one coming and was hard on the brakes. Lazarro couldn’t do anything and touched Tucker at the rear.
Tucker spun and was in the middle of the track, in opposite direction.
The Falken Tire Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR from Wolf Henzler made an big frontal impact with the #551 Level 5 HPD from Tucker in 4th gear.
Then it became full chaos and suddenly 8 cars were involved in the crash, including the Paul Miller Racing and Core Autosport Porsche 911 GT cars, one Risi Ferrari 458, #93 SRT Viper and a LMPC car.
The GTC field had luck that they weren’t involved. Also the GT front runners, especially the RLL BMW’s were pretty lucky to escape from that one.
After half an hour of cleaning up all that mess, restart was attended from the drivers.
And again the Dsyon car jumped the start, so let’s try again folks! Eventually, a clean restart was made and everybody was coming unscafed through Turn 1, but Green flag only lasted for 3 turns.
The #2 ESM HPD from Lazarro spun the RSR PC car into the tire wall at Turn 4, another full cause caution.
So we already lost an hour of the race and not a single lap was made, pathetic isn’t it? Finally we hade our 4th restart of the day and everything went fine now.
Another full cause yellow, the rear bumper from Maxime Martin was in the middle of the cricuit. Then the 5th restart was made and there only 25 minutes to go.
After the restart, the #552 Level 5 HPD entry from Guy Cosmo made a driver change with Marino Franchitti.
Franchitti was on cold tires, slid off and ran into a tire bundle at chicane on the start/finish straight.
So the BMW Z4 from Dirk Müller had to brake hard as he saw the crashing Level 5 LMP2 machine and got overtaken by the two Corvettes.
Magnussen/Garcia won for the first time the Baltimore GP in the GT class.
But there was also action in the LMP1 class, as Guy Smith in the Dsyon Lola suddenly overtook Lucas Luhr for the lead. Luhr had some sort of a problem, but got the 1st position back, 3 minutes until the end.
The chicane is an issue that needs to be under investigation for the next years event.
It doens’t make it safer to drive on these railways, it makes it even more dangerous.
The next race of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron will be at the 21st to 22nd September at the Circuit of the Americas, making a Super Enduance Weekend with the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Full results of the GP of Baltimore presented by SRT:
Luhr/Graf were the fastest through the 2 hours and 45 minutes of the Road America race, the 7th round of the American Le Mans Series 2013 presented by Tequila Patron. The Dyson Lola of Burgess/McMurry came into 2nd, they were quite unobtrusive allong the way.
But the Delta Wing of Legge/Meyrick was the most impressive.
Delta Wing had a good strategy and lead the race for a while until the Muscle Milk HPD from Klaus Graf was catching up and overtook the Delta Wing for 1st. Legge/Meyrick showed the real pace of the car and what it’s cappable of.
And that was actually the first finish of the Delta Wing since Petit Le Mans 2012.
Tucker/Pagenaud were battling with the ESM car of Cosmo/Sharp for the P2 lead and no this time the Dsyon Lola was actually ahead of the P2 cars (not like CTMP).
However it was nearly a Level 5 1-2 as Franchitti/Gonzales made their last pitstop, the #01 ESM car of Cosmo/Sharp overtook them for 2nd position, and kept that till the last full cause caution.
In LMPC Ende/Junqueira won in class and were even 3rd overall (!).
Duncan Ende again showed fantastic pace, but this time he had no bad luck and secured the well deserved win for RSR Racing.
The #93 Viper of Bomarito/Wittmer was starting on pole for the 2nd in a row, but then lost the lead due pit strategy.
But the #91 Viper of Farnbacher/Gossens was making progress from 8th on the starting grid and overtoake the #93 Viper in the early stages of the race.
Then the two Corvettes of Milner/Gavin and Garcia/Magnussen were catching up and finally overtoke the #91 Viper after these guys made their last pitstop. But #91 Viper came back and overtoke both of the Corvettes to get the lead back.
The the RLL BMW team who were the favourites for the GT win there (they won 3 times in Road America since 2009) but the #56 BMW Z4 of Auberlen/Martin had early trouble in the race.
The Paul Miller Porsche of Miller/Holzer was trying to avoid the spinning RSR PC car and then also spun.
The #56 BMW the also tried to avoid the Paul Miller Porsche and onto the grass and made four 360’s.
The Flying Lizard Porsche of Canache/Pumpelly won in GTC after a great battle with the AJR Porsche of MacNeil/Bleekemon.
The race was finished under yellow flags because 9 minutes before the end of the race a GTC car crashed at Turn 1, there’s no Green-White-Checkered in the ALMS.
Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park GP 6 laps ahead of the Dyson Racing Lola Mazda from Tony Burgess and Chris McMurry, who were driving this car for the first time under race conditions.
The Delta Wing however from Andy Meyrick and Katherine Legge was on a surprising P2 on the starting grid.
The car was staying there in the first half an hour of the race but then electrical problems stopped the experimantel car and they had to retire.
So Luhr/Graf were having a perfect race, with no competition at all.
In LMP2, the two Level 5 HPD’s battled with the ESM HPD from Cosmo/Sharp for the first three postions through the whole race.
Cosmo and Conway were battling 45 minutes long for the lead until their first pitstop.
After the driver changes were done by ESM and Level 5, Franchitti passed his teammate Tucker at the end of the race.
Sharp also passed Tucker for 2nd and then closed the gap to Franchitti to 2 seconds at the last lap.
Franchitti/Tucker won in LMP2 and they’re leading the championship standings.
In LMPC, it looked like a win from RSR Racing until they made their last pitstop, were they had problems with the starter and had to retire.
So Colin Braun and CORE Autosport won in PC.
Van der Zande and Marcelli were battling for 2nd until the last lap, Van der Zande was 2nd then, Marcelli 3rd.
The SRT Viper from Wittmer/Bomarito was on a fantastic pole and lead the race in GT, but then they became a penalty for speeding in the pitlane and finished 3rd.
The teammates however Farnbacher/Gossens were hunting down the #3 Corvette from Gavin/Milner for the win of the race.
Farnbacher then had a cracking battle with Milner in the last 20 minutes and it nearly became a photo finish.
Milner won the first race for Corvette in the 2013 ALMS season since the Sebring 12h.
SRT Motorsports got a 2nd and 3rd, what is the best result for the Viper since it’s return in GT compettion at Mid-Ohio last year.
In GTC, Pumpelly was chasing Edwards for 2nd in class.
Then Edwards got spun by the Falken Tire Porsche 911 GT from Bryan Sellers, who got a 30 seconds stop & go penalty for that.
Pumpelly then got 2nd and tried to overtake the leading AJR Porsche from Bleekemolen at the last lap, but Bleekemolen hold on and won in GTC.
The next round of the American Le Mans Series is on the 11th of August at Road America.
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.
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.
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.
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)