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: