Audi extend Le Mans domination with 12th victory

Le Mans 24 Hours

Allan McNish / Loic Duval / Tom Kristensen Audi R18 e-tron quattro, Le Mans, 2013Audi vanquished Toyota for the second year in a row to claim their 12th victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

But the race was overshadowed by a crash in the early stages which claimed the life of Aston Martin driver Allan Simonsen.

Simonsen’s fellow Dane Tom Kristenson was part of the driving trio on the number two Audi R18 e-tron quattro, increasing his record of Le Mans triumphs to nine. Allan McNish and Loic Duval shared the winning car.

Audi had the legs of the pursuing Toyotas for much of the race. But early setbacks for cars one and three left number two on its own in the lead.

The number eight Toyota of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin led the chase, seldom much more than a lap behind the lead car. Buemi temporarily unlapped himself from the winner in the closing stages as the last in a series of showers hit the race.

The second Toyota came in fourth having spent half an hour in the pits on Sunday morning after hitting the barriers. The fifth-place Audi also had a lengthy spell in the pits on Saturday due to a failed crankshaft sensor.

The LMP2 and GTE Pro classes saw one-two finishes for OAK Racing and Porsche respectively. Porsche also won the amateur category.

Bertrand Baguette, Ricardo Gonzalez and Martin Plowman claimed victroy in LMP2, completing a lap more than team mates Olivier Pla, Alex Brundle and David Heinemeier Hansson.

Following the tragic loss of Simonsen, Aston Martin remained in close contention for Pro honours. With an hour to go there was little over a second between Porsche and Aston Martin in the Pro category. But a series of pit stops by Stefan Mucke in the rain-hit closing stages saw them fall out of contention.

That left two Porsche 911s at the head of the field, with victory taken by Richard Lietz, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas. Jean-Karl Vernay, Raymond Narac and Christophe Bourret won the amateur category.

But after the events of Saturday the sense of loss hung heavily over the race. A moment’s reflection and round of applause for Simonsen’s memory was held before the podium ceremony began. Kristensen dedicated his victory to the man he called “a great fellow Dane”.

Image ?? Audi

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43 comments on Audi extend Le Mans domination with 12th victory

  1. invisiblekid said on 24th June 2013, 22:45

    It goes without saying that the tragic death of Allan Simonsen was terrible and having happened so early in the race did cast a shadow for the rest of the race.

    But I did enjoy the race and the weather added to the tension of “could the No.2 Audi loose it and Toyota win the Le Mans 2013?!” Sadly not, as the Audi team are just sublime in their competence, organisation and TBO driver skills. I would love to see Ant D win, so maybe next year. The they did push the Audi’s very hard, I forget the cars, but I think it was the No2 Toyota was matching Audi No2 lap for lap at one point to one thousandth of a second! Brilliant stuff.

    It was clear the Toyota’s need a quicker car, but then what happens to the (little) fuel advantage? The extra fuel they were allowed seemed to make little difference, only magnified by the fact the Audi’s seemed to get a lap more than expected. I think it proves someone forgot to think Audi would be working on improving MPG.

    Le Mans is such a spectacle that whilst Audi’s domination is all but clear, it’s not quite getting boring just yet. Here’s hoping Porsche and hit the ground running.

    What amazed me was the GT class. So exciting and I so want Aston Martin to get the win, but as mentioned, the rain and pit stop sent them back. Were it not for that, I think they could have taken the Porsche team. As always, the Corvettes sounded just Biblical. I went for the first time in 2011 and I will take the sound of those cars to my death. I cannot wait to go again soon and witness them again.

    Now the one big dampener (sorry), was the safety car. I realise it is surely needed for some accidents, but this year is was painful to watch. It’s over 8miles long, sure parading the cars around it for hours at a ago its a little OTT no? I think something like a new flag or triple yellows or something meaning dead slow near the incident would be enough? Then again, where do you set the green flag after and would it mean doing that lap after lap and having the drivers do restarts lap after lap? Maybe it’s not the answer and maybe we have to have the safety car. The nature of the track I suppose just means we have to put up with it.

    Lastly, I have the night section recorded as I cannot fathom how the hell they drive the cars (P1’s to GT’s) so fast hitting the brake points lap after lap at 200mph is crazy. If I wore a hat, I’d be doffing it to them.

    Roll on next year, where hope beyond hope, I’ll be there in person.

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