Tag Archives: Nissan

Signatech Alpine get’s first ELMS win at the Hungaroring

The Oreca 03 from Signatech Alpine won the 3h of the Hungaroring ahead of the Murphy Prototypes from Hartley/Hirschi. The LMP2 championship leaders TDS Racing were having a awful race, with many incidents ending up 6th in class. The Jota Sport Zytek from Dolan/Turvey were having a battle with Hartley/Hirschi for 2nd, but they had a puncture in the 2nd hour and had to pit. 30 minutes later they got passed by the Oreca 03 from Hartley/Hirschi, but due a late pitstop they lost 2nd position again. So Dolan/Turvey were 3rd. The Race Perfomance Oreca 03 retired after having two spins.

In LMPC, the #49 Team Endurance Challenge car won the category

The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR from Proton Competition won in GTE ahead of he RAM Racing Ferrari and the AF Corse Ferrari. The IMSA Matmut Perfomance was leading the LMGTE class in the first half an hour but they got a stop and go penalty for leavng the engine on during the pitstop. So the Proton Porsche was leading the race until the end.

SMP Racing Ferrari won in GTC, their 3rd win in a row. GTC championship leaders Ecurie Ecosse with their BMW Z4 GT3 were having a solid race until 20 minutes till the end were they had contact with #56 AF Corse Ferrar 458 LMGTE car. So they ended up being 5th in class.

The next race of the European Le Mans Series will be in two weeks time at the Paul Ricard Circuit in Le Castellet, France. All championships will be decided at this race.

Advertisements

ELMS 3H of Red Bull Ring Review

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.

q_38_jan1757

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

b6dpbn

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.

BLANCPAIN-ENDURANCE-SERIES-FERRARI-SMP_Racing-600x399

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.

24h of Le Mans 2013 Review

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.

5285-allan_simonsen_verstorben

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

Le-Mans-2013-Tom-Kristensen-Audi-R18-E-Tron-Quattro-Nr2-Sieg-Zielflagge (1)

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.

1371947821

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

1372001893

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.

s1_18940

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

Le_Mans_2013_Porsche_911_RSR__Porsche_AG_Team_Manthey_Marc_Lieb__Richard_Lietz__Romain_Dumas_M13_1563_fine

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.

1371971118

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:

1 MCNISH A. GBR 25 0 18 0 50 1 94
1 DUVAL L. FRA 25 0 18 0 50 1 94
1 KRISTENSEN T. DNK 25 0 18 0 50 1 94
2 LOTTERER A. DEU 18 0 25 1 20 0 64
2 TRÉLUYER B. FRA 18 0 25 1 20 0 64
2 FÄSSLER M. CHE 18 0 25 1 20 0 64
3 DAVIDSON A. GBR 15 0 12 0 36 0 63
3 BUEMI S. CHE 15 0 12 0 36 0 63
3 SARRAZIN S. FRA 15 0 12 0 36 0 63
4 DI GRASSI L. BRA / 0 15 0 30 0 45
4 GENÉ M. ESP / 0 15 0 30 0 45
4 JARVIS O. GBR / 0 15 0 30 0 45
5 WURZ A. AUT 12 1 * 0 24 0 37
5 LAPIERRE N. FRA 12 1 * 0 24 0 37
6 NAKAJIMA K. JPN / 0 * 0 24 0 24
7 WATTS D. GBR * 0 6 0 16 0 22
7 KANE J. GBR * 0 6 0 16 0 22
7 LEVENTIS N. GBR * 0 6 0 16 0 22
8 JANI N. CHE 10 0 10 0 1 0 21
8 HEIDFELD N. DEU 10 0 10 0 1 0 21
8 PROST N. FRA 10 0 10 0 1 0 21
9 BELICCHI A. ITA 8 0 8 0 1 0 17
9 CHENG C. CHN 8 0 8 0 1 0 17
9 BECHE M. CHE 8 0 8 0 1 0 17
10 BRUNDLE A. GBR 4 1 2 0 8 0 15
10 HEINEMEIER HANSSON D. DNK 4 1 2 0 8 0 15
10 PLA O. FRA 4 1 2 0 8 0 15
11 BAGUETTE B. BEL 1 0 1 0 12 0 14
11 PLOWMAN M. GBR 1 0 1 0 12 0 14
11 GONZALEZ R. MEX 1 0 1 0 12 0 14
12 PEREZ COMPANC L. ARG 2 0 4 1 1 0 8
12 MINASSIAN N. FRA 2 0 4 1 1 0 8
12 KAFFER P. DEU 2 0 4 1 1 0 8
13 PIZZONIA A. BRA 6 0 * 0 / 0 6
13 WALKER J. GBR 6 0 * 0 / 0 6
13 GRAVES T. GBR 6 0 * 0 * 0 6
14 MARTIN J. AUS 0,5 0 0,5 0 4 0 5
14 CONWAY M. GBR 0,5 0 0,5 0 4 0 5
14 RUSINOV R. RUS 0,5 0 0,5 0 4 0 5
15 MARDENBOROUGH J. GBR / 0 / 0 2 0 2
15 ORDOÑEZ L. ESP / 0 / 0 2 0 2
15 KRUMM M. DEU / 0 / 0 2 0 2
16 KIMBER-SMITH T. GBR 0,5 0 / 0 1 0 1,5
17 ROSSI A. USA / 0 / 0 1 0 1
17 LUX E. USA / 0 / 0 1 0 1
17 NICOLET J. FRA 0,5 0 0,5 0 * 0 1
17 MERLIN J. FRA 0,5 0 0,5 0 * 0 1
18 IMPERATORI A. CHE 0,5 0 / 0 * 0 0,5
18 DYSON C. USA 0,5 0 / 0 / 0 0,5
18 KRAIHAMER D. AUT * 0 0,5 0 * 0 0,5
18 GIROIX F. FRA / 0 0,5 0 * 0 0,5
18 FATIEN F. CIV / 0 0,5 0 / 0 0,5
18 ROSSITER J. GBR / 0 0,5 0 * 0 0,5
18 CHAROUZ J. CZE * 0 0,5 0 * 0 0,5
18 KA TO J. CHN 0,5 0 / 0 / 0 0,5
18 IHARA K. JPN / 0 0,5 0 * 0 0,5
18 WEEDA K. USA * 0 0,5 0 * 0 0,5
18 HOWSON M. GBR 0,5 0 / 0 * 0 0,5
18 MARSAL M. USA 0,5 0 / 0 / 0 0,5
18 HOLZER T. DEU * 0 0,5 0 * 0 0,5
18 LIUZZI V. ITA * 0 0,5 0 / 0 0,5
19 HAMILTON A. GBR / 0 / 0 * 0 0
19 BOUCHUT C. FRA * 0 / 0 * 0 0
19 HAEZEBROUCK P. FRA / 0 / 0 * 0 0
19 MONDOLOT P. FRA / 0 / 0 * 0 0
19 NAKANO S. JPN / 0 / 0 * 0 0

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)

24h of Le Mans 2013 Preview

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.

LMP1-Works:

Audi Joest Racing

1368518916

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

toyotatest

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.

LMP1-Privatiers

Rebellion-Lotus Racing

2013LM24_RebellionTestDay

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.

Strakka Racing

1003956_180936928737067_248153667_n

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.

LMP2

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)

LM2013TEST104-1024x682

ADR-Delta (Oreca 03-Nissan)

oreca_2013_1

Sigantech Alpine Renault (Oreca 03-Nissan)

Alpine-N35-(2)

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

aston-martin-during-official-testing-for-2013s-24-hours-of-le-mans_100430113_l

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.

ProSpeed_LeMans24h_75Porsche911GT3RSR_LMGTEam_2

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

circuit-de-la-sarthe_168127

Opened: 1923

Length: 13,629 km

Turns: 38

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

Twitter: @24hoursoflemans

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:

                                                                                                 LMP1

1  DEU Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro M Germany André Lotterer France Benoît Tréluyer Switzerland Marcel Fässler
2  DEU Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro M Denmark Tom Kristensen United Kingdom Allan McNish France Loïc Duval
3  DEU Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro M Spain Marc Gené United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis Brazil Lucas di Grassi
7  JPN Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 Hybrid M Austria Alexander Wurz France Nicolas Lapierre Japan Kazuki Nakajima
8  JPN Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 Hybrid M United Kingdom Anthony Davidson France Stéphane Sarrazin Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
12  CHE Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60Toyota M France Nicolas Prost Switzerland Neel Jani Germany Nick Heidfeld
13  CHE Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60Toyota M Switzerland Mathias Beche Italy Andrea Belicchi China Congfu Cheng
21  GBR Strakka Racing HPD ARX-03cHonda M United Kingdom Nick Leventis United Kingdom Jonny Kane United Kingdom Danny Watts
LMP2
24  FRA OAK Racing Morgan LMP2Nissan D France Olivier Pla United Kingdom Alex Brundle Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
25  GBR DeltaADR Oreca 03Nissan D Thailand Tor Graves United Kingdom Archie Hamilton Japan Shinji Nakano
26  RUS G-Drive Racing Oreca 03Nissan D Russia Roman Rusinov Australia John Martin United Kingdom Mike Conway
28  ARE Gulf Racing Middle East Lola B12/80Nissan D France Fabien Giroix Ivory Coast Frédéric Fatien Japan Keiko Ihara
30  CAN HVM Status GP Lola B12/80Judd D United Kingdom Johnny Mowlem Canada Tony Burgess Switzerland Jonathan Hirschi
31  CZE Lotus Lotus T128Praga D United States Kevin Weeda United Kingdom James Rossiter France Christophe Bouchut
32  CZE Lotus Lotus T128Praga D Germany Thomas Holzer Austria Dominik Kraihamer Czech Republic Jan Charouz
33  USA Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-03bHonda M United States Scott Tucker United Kingdom Marino Franchitti Australia Ryan Briscoe
34  CHE Race Performance Oreca 03Judd D Switzerland Michel Frey Switzerland Patric Niederhauser Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
35  FRA OAK Racing Morgan LMP2Nissan D Belgium Bertrand Baguette United Kingdom Martin Plowman Mexico Ricardo González
36  FRA Signatech Alpine Alpine A450Nissan M France Pierre Ragues France Nelson Panciatici France Tristan Gommendy
38  GBR Jota Sport Zytek Z11SN-Nissan D United Kingdom Simon Dolan United Kingdom Oliver Turvey Germany Lucas Luhr
39  LUX DKR Engineering Lola B11/40Judd D France Olivier Porta France Romain Brandela Belgium Stéphane Lémeret
40  BEL Boutsen Ginion Racing Oreca 03Nissan D France Thomas Dagoneau United States Matt Downs United States Rodin Younessi
41  GBR Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN-Nissan D United States Alexander Rossi United Kingdom Tom Kimber-Smith United States Eric Lux
42  GBR Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN-Nissan D Germany Michael Krumm United Kingdom Jann Mardenborough Spain Lucas Ordóñez
43  CHE Morand Racing Morgan LMP2Judd D Switzerland Natacha Gachnang France Franck Mailleux France Olivier Lombard
45  FRA OAK Racing Morgan LMP2Nissan D France Jacques Nicolet France Jean-Marc Merlin France Philippe Mondolot
46  FRA Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca 03Nissan D France Pierre Thiriet France Ludovic Badey Belgium Maxime Martin
47  CHN KCMG Morgan LMP2Nissan M Switzerland Alexandre Imperatori United Kingdom Matt Howson China Ho-Pin Tung
48  IRL Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03Nissan D New Zealand Brendon Hartley India Karun Chandhok United States Mark Patterson
49  ARG Pecom Racing Oreca 03Nissan M Argentina Luís Pérez Companc Germany Pierre Kaffer France Nicolas Minassian
LMGTE Pro
51  ITA AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M Italy Gianmaria Bruni Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Matteo Malucelli
53  USA SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R M Germany Dominik Farnbacher Belgium Marc Goossens United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
66  GBR JMW Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 D Italy Andrea Bertolini Saudi Arabia Abdulaziz al Faisal United Arab Emirates Khaled al Qubaisi
71  ITA AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M Monaco Olivier Beretta Japan Kamui Kobayashi Finland Toni Vilander
73  USA Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6.R M Spain Antonio García Denmark Jan Magnussen United States Jordan Taylor
74  USA Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6.R M United Kingdom Oliver Gavin United States Tommy Milner United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
91  DEU Porsche AG Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR M Germany Jörg Bergmeister France Patrick Pilet Germany Timo Bernhard
92  DEU Porsche AG Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR M Germany Marc Lieb Austria Richard Lietz France Romain Dumas
93  USA SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R M Canada Kuno Wittmer United States Tommy Kendall United States Jonathan Bomarito
97  GBR Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE M Germany Stefan Mücke United Kingdom Darren Turner United Kingdom Peter Dumbreck
98  GBR Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE M Canada Paul Dalla Lana Portugal Pedro Lamy United States Bill Auberlen
99  GBR Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE M France Frederic Makowiecki Brazil Bruno Senna United Kingdom Rob Bell
LMGTE Am
50  FRA Larbre Compétition Chevrolet Corvette C6.R M France Patrick Bornhauser France Julien Canal United States Ricky Taylor
54  ITA AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M France Yannick Mallégol France Jean-Marc Bachelier United States Howard Blank
55  ITA AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M Italy Piergiuseppe Perazzini Hong Kong Darryl O’Young Italy Lorenzo Casè
57  USA Krohn Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M United States Tracy Krohn Sweden Niclas Jönsson Italy Maurizio Mediani
61  ITA AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M South Africa Jack Gerber Republic of Ireland Matt Griffin Italy Marco Cioci
67  FRA IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 997 GT3-RSR M France Pascal Gibon France Patrice Milesi Germany Wolf Henzler
70  FRA Larbre Compétition Chevrolet Corvette C6.R M United States Cooper MacNeil France Manuel Rodrigues France Philippe Dumas
75  BEL Prospeed Competition Porsche 997 GT3-RSR M France Emmanuel Collard France François Perrodo France Sebastien Crubilé
76  FRA IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 997 GT3-RSR M France Raymond Narac France Jean-Karl Vernay France Christophe Bourret
77  USA Dempsey RacingProton Porsche 997 GT3-RSR M United States Patrick Dempsey United States Joe Foster United States Patrick Long
81  USA 8Star Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M Venezuela Enzo Potolicchio Portugal Rui Águas Australia Jason Bright
88  DEU Proton Competition Porsche 997 GT3-RSR M Germany Christian Ried Italy Gianluca Roda Italy Paolo Ruberti
95  GBR Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE M Denmark Allan Simonsen Denmark Christoffer Nygaard Denmark Kristian Poulsen
96  GBR Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage GTE M Germany Roald Goethe United Kingdom Jamie Campbell-Walter United Kingdom Stuart Hall

FIA GT Series: Sandström/Stippler won the Championship Race at Nogaro

Loeb controlled the race at the start

20130329182917-75f7b9b1-600x399

Qualifying race winner Sebastian Loeb started from pole and controlled the race.

But the WRT Audi from Mayr-Melnhof catched up the SLR McLaren MP4-12C, so it all came down from 3 seconds to nearly under a second.

Loebs little mistake in the pits, with catastrophic consequences

1364758197

But then the pitstop window was open and everybody had to get in.

The WRT Audi was the the first of the front runners to arrive, Mayr-Melnhof changed with Rene Rast.

A lap later the SLR McLaren from Sebastian Loeb arrived for a driver change with Alvaro Parente.

But Loeb unlocked his seatbelts before the pitstop, it’s forbidden to do that.

Loeb/Parente got a drive through penalty, but before that, he had a intense battle with Rast for the lead after the pitstop.

Parente was all over his place. But then Rast was going wide, Parente looked for an overtake, but Rast closed the door at the exit of the corner and they touched.

Rast spun and Parente was driving away with the lead.

But they soon swapped positions due the penalty from Parente.

Parente was ending at 6th place after the drive through and he stayed there until the end.

Great battle for 3rd until the last lap

file12699420130401_FIAGT_Nogaro_11_a188

Edward Sandström in the 2nd WRT-Audi was passing the Charouz-Mercedes SLS AMG from Alon Day for 2nd position.

Then in the last lap Laurens Vanthoor overtoke the SLR Mclaren from Alvaro Parente and then overtoke later in the lap the Mercedes from Day, what was a quite impressive run.

Eventually Rast won the first round of the FIA GT Series.

But Rast/Mayr-Melnhof  were penalised due to an engine cutoff infraction during a pitstop.

So Sandström/Stippler handed the victory.

After six hours after the race end, the race stewards decided to penalise Loeb/Parente again, this time because of the collision between Parente and Rast for the lead.

They eventually ended on a disappointing 12th position.

Taking maximum points in the Gentlemens Trophy was the SOFREV Ferrari 458 Italia of Fabien Barthez and Gerard. The pair took the double after claiming the win in yesterday’s sprint race.

The tense battle between multiple supercar brands continues in three weeks’ time when the FIA GT Series re-convenes at Zolder in Belgium on the weekend of 20-21 April.

Full Results of the FIA GT Series championship race at Nogaro:

1 13 PRO F.Stippler/E.Sandstrom Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS  35 1:00:25.029 126.4 22 1:37.559 134.2
2 11 PRO S.Ortelli/L.Vanthoor Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS        35 1:00:33.070 8.041 126.1 24 1:37.213 134.6
3 1 PRO M.Buhk/A.Day HTP Gravity Charouz Mercedes SLS AMG GT3                 35 1:00:33.979 8.950 126.1 15 1:38.435 133.0
4 5 PRO A.Kumpen/E.Ide Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS                                              35 1:00:35.114 10.085 126.0 23 1:37.815 133.8
5 14 PAM C.Viera/C.Campanico Novadriver Audi R8 LMS                                          35 1:00:40.277 15.248 125.9 23 1:38.166 133.3
6 12 PAM N.Mayr-Melnhof/R.Rast Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS 35 1:00:43.079 18.050 125.8 25 1:37.630 134.1
7 35 PAM L.Ordonez/A.Buncombe Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 35 1:00:43.666 18.637 125.7 20 1:37.689 134.0
8 25 PAM D.Baumann/H.Proczyk GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini LP560-4           35    1:00:56.467 31.438 125.3 26 1:37.992 133.6
9 0 PRO C.Bueno/A.Khodair BMW Team Brazil BMW E89 Z4                                                      35 1:00:59.628 34.599 125.2 25 1:38.919 132.3
10 28 PRO K.Chandhok/J.Seyffarth SMS Seyffarth Motorsport Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 35 1:01:00.085 35.056 125.2 23 1:37.972 133.6
11 10 PRO A.Zuber/M.Parisy Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren MP4-12C                         35   1:01:01.436 36.407 125.1 26 1:38.867 132.4
12 9 PRO S.Loeb/A.Parente Sebastien Loeb Racing McLaren MP4-12C                           35  1:01:06.064 41.035 125.0 6 1:37.872 133.7
13 21 PRO R.Zonta/S.Jimenez BMW Team Brazil BMW E89 Z4                    35    1:01:18.610 53.581 124.5 33 1:39.185 132.0
14 32 PAM W.Reip/M.Shulzhitskiy Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 35     1:01:33.540 1:08.511 124.0 34 1:39.421 131.7
15 7 PAM M.Stumpf/C.Ricci ACL by Rodrive Competicoes Ford GT                  35 1:01:40.189 1:15.160 123.8 25 1:39.303 131.8
16 2 PAM S.Afanasiev/A.Simonsen HTP Gravity Charouz Mercedes SLS AMG GT3            35 1:01:48.699 1:23.670 123.5 24 1:38.510 132.9
17 16 PRO D.Keilwitz/N.Kentenich Doerr Motorsport McLaren MP4-12C               35 1:01:49.422 1:24.393 123.5 23 1:39.533 131.5
18 6 PAM A.Ebrahim/J.Jousse Team India by BMW Team India BMW E89 Z4                    34 1:00:22.755 1 LAP 122.8 17 1:39.825 131.1
19 30 PAM J.Beaubelique/S.Ayari SOFREV ASP by Jean-Luc Beaubelique Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 34 1:00:26.548 1 LAP 122.7 21 1:39.311 131.8
20 31 GTR G.Tonelli/F.Barthez SOFREV ASP by Jerome Policand Ferrari 458 Italia GT3            34 1:01:13.411 1 LAP 121.2 31 1:41.183 129.4
21 3 GTR P.Charouz/J.Stovicek HTP Gravity Charouz Mercedes SLS AMG GT3                   33 1:00:22.509 2LAPS 119.2 9 1:41.619 128.8
22 8 GTR R.Mascarello/F.Tozzo ACL by Rodrive Competicoes Ford GT                            33 1:01:42.159 2LAPS 116.7 32 1:40.633 130.1