LeMans: Audi and Porsche lay down a marker!

The first official practice for the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours took place this Wednesday 19th June. There were two sessions, the first one untimed and the second one counting for the grid positions. The favorites topped the time sheets for the third round of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship as Loïc Duval set the fastest time of the day.

At 16h00 this afternoon the first car to go out was the no. 1 Audi of Treluyer, Fässler and Lotterer, sending a symbolic message to its rivals. The car driven by the 2011 and 2012 winners and 2012 World Champions laid down a marker when the first official practice session for the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours began.

There were two sessions on today’s program. The first between 16h00 and 20h00 was an untimed one in which Audi dominated with the no. 2 R18 e-tron quattro of Kristensen, McNish, Duval getting round in 3m 25.415s from nos 1 and 3. The quickest Toyota (no. 8) was over four seconds slower. The no. 35 Morgan-Nissan of Baguette, Gonsalez, Plowman topped the time sheets in the LM P2 category ahead of two Oreca-Nissans: no. 46 (Thiriet, Badey, Martin) and no. 26 (Rusinov, Martin, Conway). In LM GTE Pro, the Aston Martin domination was broken provisionally by the two works Porsches (Lieb, Lietz, Dumas in no. 92 were fastest in 3m 58.347s) with the no. 71 Ferrari 458 Italia splitting the German cars.

In GTE Am, three different manufacturers filled the first three places led by the no. 95 Aston Martin of Nygaard, Poulsen, Simonsen in front of the no. 61 Ferrari and the no. 88 Porsche entered by Proton Competition.

The first session was interrupted twice. The first time was when the no. 41 Zytek-Nissan driven by Eric Lux went off on the entry to the Michelin chicane on Les Hunaudières and then a second time when Tracy Krohn crashed his no. 57 Ferrari just after the Dunlop Footbridge. While both drivers were unhurt the latter accident led to a long intervention on the guardrail and Race Control decided to abort the session. During the break the Ferraris entered in the curtain-raiser Ferrari Challenge race had their practice run on the Le Mans 24-Hours circuit.

As night gradually closed in on the Le Mans circuit and the first concert (Sharon and Tracy in the first part before Puggy), was in full swing the cars went back out. Immediately Loïc Duval banged in a stunning lap in the no. 2 Audi in 3m22.349s, quicker than the 2012 pole position (3m 23.787s).
It was not beaten as the qualifying session was cut short when the no. 46 Oreca-Nissan went off without injury to the driver but with serious damage to the safety installations as the workers had to replace seven meters of guardrail.

The three Audis locked out the first three places with 2 in front of 3 and 1with the fastest Toyota over four seconds behind! In LM P2, the no. 26 Oreca O3-Nissan entered by G-Drive Racing was quickest in 3m 39.535s in front of the no. 43 Morand Racing Morgan-Judd. In LM GTE Pro Aston Martin was back in front with no. 99 in (3m 55.658s) Bell/Makowiecki/Senna) in front of the 2012 winners Fisichella, Bruni and Malucelli in their no. 51 Ferrari F458 Italia. In LM GTE Am, in which the Krohn Racing Ferrari did not take part Aston Martin again topped the time sheets with no. 95 in 3m 58.661s.

This shortened session should lead to some no-holds-barred battles in tomorrow’s practice.

On Thursday 20th June there will four hours qualifying divided up into two sessions : 19h00 to 21h00 and 22h00 to midnight. The concerts are: Asaf Avidan preceded by Jack Lumber starting at 20 h00.

Results of 1st Qualifying

Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time Behind
1. P1 Kristensen/McNish/Duval Audi 3m22.349s +0.000s
2. P1 di Grassi/Gene/Jarvis Audi 3m24.341s +1.992s
3. P1 Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler Audi 3m25.474s +3.125s
4. P1 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota 3m26.676s +4.327s
5. P1 Prost/Jani/Heidfeld Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m30.423s +8.074s
6. P1 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota 3m30.841s +8.492s
7. P1 Belicchi/Beche/Cheng Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m32.167s +9.818s
8. P1 Kane/Watts/Leventis Strakka HPD 3m36.547s +14.198s
9. P2 Rusinov/M.Martin/Conway Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 3m39.535s +17.186s
10. P2 Gachnang/Mailleux/Lombard Morand Morgan-Judd 3m40.741s +18.392s
11. P2 Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m40.780s +18.431s
12. P2 Graves/Nakano/Hamilton Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 3m40.925s +18.576s
13. P2 Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m42.387s +20.038s
14. P2 Perez Companc/Minassian/Kaffer Pecom ORECA-Nissan 3m43.420s +21.071s
15. P2 Thiriet/Badey/M.Martin TDS ORECA-Nissan 3m43.494s +21.145s
16. P2 Panciatici/Ragues/Gommendy Signatech ORECA-Nissan 3m43.835s +21.486s
17. P2 Hartley/Patterson/Chandhok Murphy ORECA-Nissan 3m44.538s +22.189s
18. P2 Dolan/Turvey/Luhr Jota Zytek-Nissan 3m44.835s +22.486s
19. P2 Frey/Niederhauser/Bleekemolen Race Perf' ORECA-Judd 3m45.244s +22.895s
20. P2 Imperatori/Tung/Howson KCMG Morgan-Nissan 3m45.500s +23.151s
21. P2 Weeda/Rossiter/Bouchut Lotus-Praga 3m47.920s +25.571s
22. P2 Nicolet/Merlin/Mondolot OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m48.196s +25.847s
23. P2 Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe Level 5 HPD 3m48.597s +26.248s
24. P2 Giroix/Haezebrouck/Ihara Gulf Lola-Nissan 3m49.096s +26.747s
25. P2 Mardenborough/Ordonez/Krumm Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m49.421s +27.072s
26. P2 Mowlem/Burgess/Hirschi HVM Status Lola-Judd 3m49.805s +27.456s
27. GTP Bell/Makowiecki/Senna Aston Martin 3m55.658s +33.309s
28. GTP Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli AF Corse Ferrari 3m55.909s +33.560s
29. GTP Dumbreck/Mucke/Turner Aston Martin 3m56.004s +33.655s
30. GTP Auberlen/Dalla Lana/Lamy Aston Martin 3m56.336s +33.987s
31. GTP Lieb/Lietz/Dumas Manthey Porsche 3m56.457s +34.108s
32. GTP Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 3m56.471s +34.122s
33. GTP Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard Manthey Porsche 3m56.573s +34.224s
34. P2 Porta/Raffin/Brandela DKR Lola-Judd 3m56.905s +34.556s
35. P2 Downs/Dagoneau/Younessi Boutsen ORECA-Nissan 3m57.139s +34.790s
36. GTA Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen Aston Martin 3m58.661s +36.312s
37. GTA Ried/Roda/Ruberti Proton Porsche 3m59.246s +36.897s
38. GTP Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor Corvette 3m59.526s +37.177s
39. GTP Westbrook/Gavin/Milner Corvette 3m59.860s +37.511s
40. GTA Milesi/Gibon/Henzler Imsa Porsche 4m00.503s +38.154s
41. GTA Hall/Goethe/Campbell-Walter Aston Martin 4m01.035s +38.686s
42. GTA Narac/Bourret/Vernay Imsa Porsche 4m01.713s +39.364s
43. GTA Gerber/Griffin/Cioci AF Ferrari 4m02.815s +40.466s
44. GTP Dalziel/Farnbacher/Goossens SRT Viper 4m03.127s +40.778s
45. GTA Dempsey/Foster/Long Dempsey Porsche 4m03.378s +41.029s
46. GTP Bomarito/Kendall/Wittmer SRT Viper 4m03.461s +41.112s
47. GTA Perazzini/Case/O'Young AF Corse Ferrari 4m03.966s +41.617s
48. GTA MacNeil//Rodrigues/Dumas Larbre Corvette 4m04.512s +42.163s
49. GTA Bornhauser/Canal/Taylor Larbre Corvette 4m04.873s +43.524s
50. GTA Potolicchio/Aguas/Bright 8star Ferrari 4m07.625s +45.276s
51. GTA Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank AF Ferrari 4m09.064s +46.715s
52. GTP Collard/Perrodo/Crubile Prospeed Porsche 4m11.719s +49.370s
53. P2 Gibon/Milesi/Henzler Lotus-Praga No Time No Time
54. P2 Kimber-Smith/Rossi/Lux Greaves Zytek-Nissan No Time No Time
55. GTA Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani Krohn Ferrari No Time No Time
56. GTP Bertolini/Al Faisal/Al Qubaisi JMW Ferrari No Time No Time

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