Toyota announced today, that they will only run one TS030 Hybrid LMP1 (the #7 with Sarrazin, Davidson and Buemi) for the rest of the 2013 WEC season.
Expect of the 6h of Fuji were they, obviously, bring a two car entry there, because it’s their home race (and with Nakajima a local hero).
That means we’re only going to see four LMP1 cars, two Audi’s, one Toyota and one Rebellion-Lola (see last sports car racing post), what is quite poor for a World Endurance Championship.
To this time last year, we had 7 LMP1 cars, one of them included the JRM HPD entry who are now in the Blaincpain Endurance Series with the Nissan GT-R GT3 car and another HPD from Strakka who retired from this season, despite their LMP1 privatiers win at Le Mans.
And all these withdrawals happen because of the preperation for next year with the new cars.
But why didn’t ACO/FIA said that the teams could run this years cars also next year?
I mean it worked out in 2011, were some of the teams were racing the 2010 machines, back then we had nearly 13-15 LMP1 cars through the ILMC season.
So Wurz and Lapierre will do the simulator and test work with the 2014 car and Nakajima will drive in Super GT and the Super Formula.
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)