Weather, Crashes, Safety Cars Highlight Le Mans 2013

By Brandon Turkus

June 24, 2013

The 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans will be remembered for a number of things. Most obvious was the death of Aston Martin Racing driver Allan Simonsen. Beyond that, the race was highlighted by unpredictable weather and the most safety cars in the race’s history.
Not surprisingly, Audi took yet another overall Le Mans victory. The four rings now have four consecutive wins, with the team of Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, and Loic Duval leading the number two Audi R18 e-tron Quattro to victory.
McNish, Kristensen, and Duval made their victory look easy, leading from the seventh hour until the end of the race, stopping only for fuel, tires, and drivers. Toyota’s two TS030 Hybrids had an impressive outing, finishing second and fourth overall, splitting the other two Audi R18s.
OAK Racing’s two entries finished first and second, while third place in LMP2 went to the G-Drive Racing Oreca. Marking the return of the Alpine name to endurance racing was the Signatech entry. Unfortunately, they finished last in LMP2.
GTE Pro and Amateur are the two classes to watch if you want to see production cars duke it out, with GTE Pro, in particular being quite a battleground. 
Porsche’s two factory entered 911 RSRs spent a fair portion of the race fighting with the Aston Martin Vantage GTEs. In the end, though, the Team Manthey 911s proved victorious. Aston Martin’s trio of Darren Turner, Peter Dumbreck, and Stefan Mücke came in third, dedicating the entire Aston Martin team’s performance to Allan Simonsen, who was tragically killed in the race’s opening laps.
The two big American teams didn’t fare so well at this year’s race. Corvette Racing had to settle for fourth and fifth in class, having been split by the two AF Corse Ferrari 458s. The return of the Viper to Le Mans was also spoiled, with the two SRT Motorsports entries finishing towards the back of the GTE Pro field.

Porsche also took the crown in GTE Am, with the IMSA Performance Matmut winning its class by a lap. Second and third place were captured by AF Corse’s Ferraris, while the American team of Dempsey Del Pierro-Proton came in fourth.