Audi, Morgan and Porsche emerge victorious at Le Mans in a race marred by a fatal accident

Tom Kristensen increased his record number of wins to nine! He was close to tears when he dedicated this win to his fellow-countryman who died on Saturday.

Audi, Morgan and Porsche emerge victorious at Le Mans in a race marred by a fatal accident

Unfortunately, the 2013 event will be remembered because of a tragic accident on Saturday 22nd June at 15 h 09. Motor racing lost a great driver, Allan Simonsen. Nonetheless, the event held in front of 245 000 spectators, continued and saw the victory of the no. 2 Audi driven by Loïc Duval, Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen. The Dane increased his record number of wins to nine! He was close to tears when he dedicated this win to his fellow-countryman who died on Saturday.

LM P1 – Audi racks up victory no. 12!

The eagerly-awaited duel between Audi and Toyota took place in the top category (LM P1). Right from the start of the race the two manufacturers went at it hammer and tongs as the drivers representing the Japanese company took the fight to Audi.

Despite the complications due to the numerous interruptions of the race, the R18 e-tron quattros got the upper hand and the German cars filled the first three places on Saturday afternoon.

The winning #2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, Loic Duval
The winning #2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, Loic Duval

Photo by: James M. Holland

But the first twist occurred just as night was falling when, in less than five minutes the no. 1 Audi (Lotterer-Fässler-Tréluyer), after being refuelled, was pushed into its garage with an alternator problem; and at almost the same moment the no.3 R18 e-tron quattro (Gene-Di Grassi-Jarvis) suffered a puncture. Oliver Jarvis took a big risk coming back to his pit at a spanking pace in his damaged car!

After a wheel change he rejoined in fourth place in LM P1. The nos 8 (Davidson-Buemi-Sarrazin) and 7 (Wurz-Lapierre-Nakajima) Toyotas took over second and third places in that order behind the no.2 Audi in the lead.

Toyota made the best tyre choices to cope with the wet track conditions caused by the showers that fell during the night and reduced the gap to the Audi to two minutes, which varied depending on the intensity of the rain.

The two Toyotas showed stunning pace allied to surprising reliability as neither car ran into mechanical problems. There were more twists in the closing stages of the race. Nicolas Lapierre went off in the rain losing third place, while the no. 8 TS030 Hybrid did its best to catch the leader – but in vain!

Thus, Loïc Duval scored his first victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours, Allan McNish his third and Tom Kristensen his ninth In tears the Dane dedicated his victory to his friend and fellow-countryman, Allan Simonsen, who died on Saturday afternoon due to the sequels of his accident. It was Audi’s twelfth victory in the Sarthe.

In the privateer LM P1 category, the win went to the Strakka Racing HPD (Honda Performance Development) in the hands of Leventis, Watts and Kane from the two Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyotas after several leadership changes.

LM P2 – Double for Morgan-Nissan

The nos 35 (Baguette-Gonzalez-Plowman) and 24 (Pla-Heinemeier Hanson-Brundle) Oak Racing Morgan-Nissans, demonstrated exemplary consistency and reliability in LM P2 racking up the laps in almost identical times from the start of the race. They took over first and second places in that order in the category in the eighth hour, where they stayed till the chequered flag.

#35 OAK Racing Morgan LMP2 Nissan: Bertrand Baguette, Ricardo Gonzalez, Martin Plowman
#35 OAK Racing Morgan LMP2 Nissan: Bertrand Baguette, Ricardo Gonzalez, Martin Plowman

Photo by: James M. Holland

Behind the French team’s cars came the no. 26 Oreca 03-Nissan (Rusinov-Martin-Conway) entered by G-Drive Racing in third place and the no. 42 Greaves Motosport Zytek-Nissan (Mardenborough-Ordonez-Krumm) fourth. Only two laps covered the first four after 24 hours’ racing!

Unfortunately, the third works Morgan-Nissan no. 45 (Nicolet-Merlin-Mondolot), which the public loved because of its art car livery ran into too many problems to score a good result and finally retired.

The hopes of the French make, Alpine, making its Le Mans return with the no. 36 A450 (Panciatici-Ragues-Gommendy), were dashed. Its race turned into a nightmare, mainly because of two offs in thirty minutes! The pretty blue car finished ninth in its category

LM GTE Pro – Porsche, a victorious return!

In the LM GTE Pro category the race quickly turned into a ding-dong battle between four works cars: the nos 99 (Bell-Makowiecki-Senna) and 97 (Dumbreck-Mücke-Turner) Aston Martins and the nos 92 (Lieb-Lietz-Dumas) and 91 (Bergmeister-Pilet-Bernhard) Porsches. Around 10 h 00 on Sunday morning the no. 99 Aston Martin leading the category went off and had to retire.

#92 Porsche AG Team Manthey Porsche 991 RSR: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas
#92 Porsche AG Team Manthey Porsche 991 RSR: Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Romain Dumas

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

The British team was visibly deeply shaken by this incident, as they were all dreaming of dedicating this victory to Allan Simonsen. The no. 92 Porsche took the lead from the no. 97Aston Martin and the other 911, no. 91. Which finished in front of the English car giving the German make a double.

The AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italias, which were among the favourites, were never in a position to pose a threat to the leaders: it was the same story for the works Corvettes, and the Vipers that showed great promise for a car that made its debut a year ago.

LM GTE Am – Porsche holds off Ferrari

The IMSA Performance Matmut team, which had not met with much success in the Le Mans 24 Hours in the past several years, was back in the winners’ circle with the no. 76 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Narac-Bourret-Vernay), scoring its first victory since 2007!

Into second and third came the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italias, no. 55 (Perazzini-Case-O’Young) and 61 (Gerber-Griffin-Cioci) saving the Prancing Horse’s honour in the LM GTE category.

#76 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 911 GT3-RSR: Raymond Narac, Jean-Karl Vernay, Christophe Bourret
#76 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 911 GT3-RSR: Raymond Narac, Jean-Karl Vernay, Christophe Bourret

Photo by: James M. Holland

Actor Patrick Dempsey, the centre of attention since the start of the Le Mans 24-Hours week, saw the flag in 30th place overall and fourth in the GTE Am category in the no. 77 Porsche he shared with Joe Foster and Patrick Long out of the 11 classified finishers. The car actually led the category!

After the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship Duval, Kristensen, McNish now lead the drivers’ classification. Audi has consolidated its place at the head of the manufacturers’ title chase.

The Porsche and Morgan-Nissan drivers and the respective makes now lead their championships as double points were awarded for this event. The next round will take place in Sao Paulo on 1st September 2013.

ACO

shares
comments
Toyota Racing earns Le Mans podium

Previous article

Toyota Racing earns Le Mans podium

Next article

Dempsey Del Piero-Proton and Corvette Racing nearly nab class podiums

Dempsey Del Piero-Proton and Corvette Racing nearly nab class podiums
Load comments
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans Prime

How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans

It's one of the great what-if stories in Le Mans history. Paul Newman finished second in the 24 Hours in 1979, but it could easily have been a famous victory were it not for the resourcefulness of the late Manfred Kremer.

Le Mans
Apr 13, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

General
Dec 26, 2020
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Prime

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other.

Le Mans
Dec 16, 2020
How Tom Kristensen forged his ‘Mr Le Mans’ legend Prime

How Tom Kristensen forged his ‘Mr Le Mans’ legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot…

Le Mans
Dec 7, 2020