LMP1: Luhr/Graf with a perfect race
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.
LMP2, LMPC: Cracking battles in both classes
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.
GT,GTC: Vette vs. Viper, Top 3 battle in GTC
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.
LMP2: TDS wins, Jota again with bad luck
TDS Racing wins the 3H of Red Bull Ring with Beche/Thiriet ahead of Signatech Alpine and Morand Racing.
It’s their 2nd win of the season.
The Zytek Z11SN Nissan from Jota Sport with Turvey/Dolan was on pole after the actual pole time from the Signatech Alpine was cancelled because it was set under yellow flags.
So Sigantech Alpine had to start from the back of the LMP2 class.
Jota Sport had great start with Oliver Turvey dominating the race.
But when Turvey was coming to his first pitstop, he was to fast on the pit straight and got a 30 seconds stop & go penalty.
Turvey was on P4 and then came for a driver change with Simon Dolan, who then made a spin on his outlap.
Dolan had then a great battle for P3 afterwards with the Race Perfomance Oreca 03 from Michel Frey.
Dolan came then for his final pitstop coming in for fuel and then had to settle for 4th.
TDS Racing however wasn’t the fastest on the track, but the consistent.
Despite of small problem at their 2nd pitstop the Oreca 03 Nissan didn’t had any problems and Thiriet was running away with the win.
Boutson Ginion Racing who were the favourites of the race with WEC Lotus LMP2 drivers Holzer/Kraihamer had problems with their Oreca 03 and finished on a disappointing 8th in class.
Also Murphy Prototypes with Hirschi/Hartley had early problems with their Oreca 03 Nissan, they had to retire.
The No. 48 Team Endurance Challenge Oreca FLM 09 with Paul-Loup Chatin and Gary Hirsch took victory in the LMPC class, with
Hirsch holding off a charging Nicolas Verdonck in the final laps for the win ahead of the Algarve Pro Racing PC car.
GTE, GTC: Ferrari all the way
RAM Racing won with Ferrari F458 Italia GTE car, even making a 1-2 ahead other Ferrari from JMW.
The Porsche’s however from Proton Competition, Prospeed and IMSA Perfomance Matmut couldn’t go the pace of the Ferrari’s and were lacking topspeed.
In GTC, we had a great battle between SMP Racing and AF Corse (both Ferrari) in the first hour.
But after a pitstop problem from the AF Corse Ferrari, SMP Racing made a 1-2 win in GTC.
3rd was Ecurie Ecosse Team with the BMW Z4 GT3, maintaining a 100% podium record this year.
The next race of the European Le Mans Series is going to be the 3H of Hungaroring in Hungary at the 14th of September.
Porsche just started their LMP1 test programm for the WEC in 2014, were they’re making a two car entry for the whole WEC season, including the 24h of Le Mans.
But when it comes to private teams and Porsche LMP’s, than Penske Racing is coming to our mind.
Penske Racing was using the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 car for the American Le Mans Series from 2005-2008, winning many races including the 12h of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
However Penske chief Roger Penske said that they would like to comeback to endurance racing, but they just don’t have time to build up a LMP programm for next year, USCR or WEC. Penske could comeback with Porsche in 2015.
But if the WEC is too expensive for them, than the USCR (United Sports Car Racing) is another option.
The problem is that LMP1 cars aren’t allowed in the USCR, the Prototype class there will be with Daytona Prototypes, LMP2’s and the Delta Wing. But Porsche has no interest in building a LMP2 or a DP.
As Penske doesn’t want to do a GT programm, they will have to look for another manufactuer. Audi maybe? As Penske has 32 station were they’re selling Audi’s roadcars and Audi has an interes to build an engine for the DP’s or even a brand new DP.
But for now we’re only going to see Penske Racing in Indycar and NASCAR.
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: