AUDI WINS 2013 24 HEURES DU MANS…
Heavy favorites Audi have secured the overall win at the 24 hours of Le Mans, holding back a strong challenge from the factory Toyotas in second and fourth. “Mister Le Mans” Tom Kristensen won his ninth Le Mans crown.
Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval shared the driving duties in the winning Audi at Le Mans, racing around the clock on the famous Circuit de la Sarthe.
Kristensen drove a tricky last stint, complicated by late rainfall at the stage when endurance racers typically like to nurse the car home if possible, maintaining his comfortable one-lap advantage over the chasing Toyota with ex-F1 driver Sebastian Buemi at the wheel in the closing stages.
Kristensen, already the most successful Le Mans driver of all time, added his ninth career win at the legendary endurance event. The No. 2 Audi completed 348 laps in the 24-hour race.
The other works Audis finished third and fifth overall, cementing their clear favorites’ status to retain their 2012 crown. The second works Toyota, boasting two ex-Williams F1 drivers in Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima, finished fourth overall.
The Oak Racing Morgan-Nissan carrying number 35 won the LM P2 class, and the number 76 car – a Porsche 911 run by Imsa Performance Matmut – sealed the lowest LM GTE amateur class.
The third-tier LM GTE pro class was comfortably claimed by German outfit Manthey Racing based near the Nürburgring. The two Manthey Porsche 911 RSR’s finished first and second in the class, 16th and 17th overall, a lap ahead of the closest challenger from Aston Martin.
The British team had to make do with a podium finish in a tragic weekend. Allan Simonsen, a 34-year-old Dane racing for Aston Martin, crashed in the opening laps of the race. He died from his injuries at the circuit medical center shortly after the incident. Six-time Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx spoke in Simonsen’s memory from the podium before the drivers’ celebrations, inviting supporters to observe a moment’s silence to remember the driver.