18.06.2012: Audi’s 11th victory will go down in history from several points of view! With four cars the German manufacturer
Audi’s 11th victory will go down in history from several points of view! With four cars the German manufacturer was the logical favourite for a follow-on win after its 2011 success. However, the road that led to this fresh success in the great endurance classic was a much tougher one than expected for the four driver line-ups as there were so many pitfalls along the way.
The firm from Ingolstadt finally achieved its goal in front of some 240 000 spectators in what was an extremely exciting weekend. Lotterer-Tréluyer-Fässler at the wheel of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro continued where they had left off in 2011 and scored the first win by a hybrid car in the history of the race!
LM P1: Toyota gives Audi a scare!
After André Lotterer beat all his rivals to pole with a time that was almost two seconds quicker than last year, Audi could look forward to this race with a certain serenity, as with four tried and tested driver line-ups and cars the German manufacturer enjoyed numerical superiority over its new rival in the Sarthe – Toyota!
The Japanese manufacturer did not disappoint on its return to top-level racing. After a promising performance in practice the Toyota TS030 hybrids revealed encouraging potential and took the lead in the early evening. But it was just at that exhilarating moment that the Japanese team’s race from hell began!
Anthony Davidson’s terrifying accident when overtaking a Ferrari caused a long neutralisation period after which the second Toyota driven by Kazuki Nakajima dashed Toyota’s hopes by tagging the innovative Nissan DeltaWing. After these two retirements it looked like a doddle for Audi.
But this was without taking into account numerous twists: no. 3’s off in the evening, the clash between no. 1 and one of the Corvettes on Sunday morning, no. 4’s electrical glitches and no.2’s violent collision with the guardrail around midday when it was in the lead - none of the German cars was spared.
Thanks to the skills of its mechanics the Ingolstadt team managed to overcome all these obstacles and André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer and Marcel Fässler spent the least time at their pit of the four crews.
The three drivers, who had come first in last-year’s contest after a thrilling battle with Peugeot, showed that it is possible to win a race averaging almost 230 km/h while respecting the environment thanks to using a certain amount of non-polluting energy.
The Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota came home first of the petrol-engined runners in fourth place overall after a fault-free race.
LM P2: On its Le Mans debut Starworks Motorsport gives Honda victory!
Starworks Motorsport, a newcomer to the Endurance scene, did not really imagine winning on its Le Mans debut! In a category where suspense reigned, the first third of the race was dominated by the Sarthe-based team, Oak Racing, with the no. 24 Morgan. After that things turned in favour of the American team Starworks, which was spared the misfortune that hit its French rival, in particular a large number of punctures.
Starworks took up the lead in LM P2 in the tenth hour where it stayed till the finish. Vincente Potolicchio, Ryan Dalziel and Tom Kimber-Smith at the wheel of their Honda Performance Development managed to avoid all the pitfalls of a race in which the casualty rate among the baby prototypes was the highest in all categories this year.
French constructor Oreca had the most entries in LM P2 and its three cars filled the next four places behind the winning HPD.
LM GTE Pro: Ferrari dominates Corvette and Porsche
The LM GTE Pro category always leads to a closely-fought battle because of the top-class quality of the teams and mainly professional drivers, and this year was no exception. Four manufacturers Porsche, Aston Martin, Corvette and Ferrari all entered works cars to win this prestigious category.
After the start of the race in which the AF Corse driver line-up of Fisichella-Bruni-Vilander fought off the attacks of the Corvette, victorious in 2011, in the hands of Gavin-Milner-Westbrook, the latter took over first place in the early evening. It looked like the Anglo-American squad was heading for victory, but this was without counting a few misadventures during the night: the loss of a wheel followed by an off at Mulsanne and then a series of pit stops for various repairs.
While Porsche had a fraught race in the category, and Aston Martin put on an encouraging performance, Ferrari reaped the benefits of its rivals’ mishaps and filled the first two places in the category just before half distance with the no. 51 AF Corse Ferrari in the lead followed by the no. 59 Luxury Racing F458 Italia.
Ex-F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella teamed up with Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander and gave Amato Ferrari’s team sweet revenge on its previous year’s misfortune in the Sarthe when the Italian squad came close to victory.
LM GTE Am: Larbre Competition wins an all-French duel!
The battle in the 80th Le Mans 24 Hours went down to the wire in this category. The no. 79 Flying Lizard Porsche led in the opening stages until an off in the early evening dashed the American team’s hopes. Battle was then joined between the two French squads Larbre Competition with the no. 50 Corvette and IMSA Performance’s no. 67 Porsche.
It lasted almost 20 hours, and just a few kilometers from the chequered flag Pedro Lamy in his Corvette overtook Anthony Pons and the ex-F1 Portuguese driver, who teamed up with Patrick Bornhauser and Julian Canal, finally scored his first Le Mans victory on his 13th outing in the Sarthe!
Bornhauser, and Canal (from Le Mans), who were both in the winning Corvette last year, gave Jack Leconte’s squad its third win on the trot after that of the Saleen in 2010. This was the cherry on the cake for the team based at the Val de Vienne circuit.
IMSA Performance victorious in 2007 put on a creditable performance, but as always in motor racing there was only one winner and perhaps a problem with a defective light bulb stymied the team from Normandy’s chances.
WEC: battles at every level
The 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours was the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Double points were awarded to the teams in a race four times the duration of the others. While Audi and Ferrari strengthened their lead in LM P1 and LM GTE Pro respectively, the battle for the drivers’ title is hotting up.
Fässler, Tréluyer and Lotterer are now dead-heating for second place only 6.5 points behind the leaders, Capello, Kristensen and McNish. Rebellion Racing (LM P1), Starworks Motorsport (LM P2), AF Corse (LM GTE Pro) and Larbre Competition (LM GTE Am) are in first place in the respective teams’ classifications.
The fourth round of the championship will take place at Silverstone on 26th August.
Suspense was the watchword for the 80th Le Mans 24 Hours and the race lived up to its promise. Despite uncertain weather conditions some 240 000 spectators flocked to the world endurance capital to see a battle that many will remember for ever because of the multiple twists and turns.
The large number of sideshows put on by the ACO this year like the successful Shaka Ponk concert (over 12 000 spectators), attracted a crowd of motor sport fans to enjoy an event that is more varied and entertaining than ever.
caption: Anthony DavidsonDuring the Le Mans 24 Hours, TOYOTA Racing’s Anthony Davidson suffered a heavy accident at the wheel of the #8 TS030 HYBRID when he was hit by a lapped car. He will remain in hospital until Wednesday to weiter >>
Insgesamt elfter Erfolg für Audi bei den 24 Stunden von Le Mans- Audi R18 ultra komplettiert Dreifachsieg des Audi Sport Team Joest
Der AUDI AG ist ein weiterer technologischer Meilenstein im Motorsport gelungen: Bei der 80 weiter >>
Um exakt 6.55 Uhr Ortszeit war am Sonntagmorgen für Dominik Kraihamer der Traum von der ersten Zielankunft bei den 24 Stunden von Le Mans vorbei: Ein kapitaler Motorschaden bedeutete das Aus für den OAK Pescarolo-Judd mit der Startnummer 15. Wäh weiter >>
TOYOTA Racing experienced thrilling highs and extreme lows during an eventful Le Mans 24 Hours which ended in the 11th hour.
An impressive start to the team’s first race saw the TS030 HYBRIDs fighting at the front, reaching a pinnacle when Nicolas Lapierr weiter >>
24 Hours of Le MansThe No. 57 Krohn Racing Ferrari F458 continues to soldier on in the 80th annual 24 Hours of Le Mans race at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Team owner/driver Tracy W. Krohn and co-drivers Nic Jönsson and M weiter >>
Le Mans 24 Hours - Morning updateAs the 80th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours moves towards its final quarter Larbre Competition remain firmly in contention for victory with their #50 Corvette C6.R running second in a tight GTE Am class battle weiter >>
24 Heures du Mans 2012 - Apres 4 heures de courseLarbre Compétition a rapidement progressé vers la tête du classement de sa catégorie après seulement quatre heures de course. Depuis le départ de la 80&egrav weiter >>
Anthony Davidson was taken to the circuit medical centre following his accident during the Le Mans 24 Hours. Doctors at the circuit have confirmed that Anthony is suffering from shock and back pain, however there are no signs of any injuries and he is walking and talking with no problems. He will be taken to a local hospital for precautionary checks but the t weiter >>
Opening Segment Features Fierce Fight Between Corvette, Aston Martin, and FerrariCorvette Racing led the GTE Pro class at the six-hour mark in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The No. 74 Compuware Corvet weiter >>
World Endurance Championship, 3. Lauf, 24 Stunden von Le MansDie Porsche 911 GT3 RSR sind gut in die 24 Stunden von Le Mans gestartet. Nach den ersten fünf Stunden des Langstreckenklassikers auf dem Circuit des 24 Heures in der franz&o weiter >>
24h LE MANS 201220:02:35 : No 8 Toyota (Davidson as driver) at that moment on 3 - into barriers at Mulsanne after hitting Ferrari No 81 AF Corse driven by Perazzini at that moment on 4120:06:59 : No 16 Pescarolo 2nd official retirement1 7 Run LM P1 TOYOT weiter >>
Less than a day is left to the start of the eightieth edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Drivers and team reached the French circuit last Sunday and after sportive verifications, official pictures and autograph sessions, they eventually got on track for the first time on Wednes weiter >>
24 Stunden von Le Mans 2012
World Endurance Championship, 3. Lauf,Der Porsche 911 GT3 RSR von Flying Lizard Motorsports startet am Samstag um 15.00 Uhr von der Spitze der Klasse GTE Am zu den 24 Stunden von Le Mans. weiter >>
TOYOTA Racing will start the Le Mans 24 Hours - its first race - from an impressive third and fifth on the grid after the final qualifying sessions at the La Sarthe circuit on Thursday night. On the second evening of action, the team’s weiter >>
24 HEURES DU MANS - ESSAIS QUALIFICATIFS : 15 JUIN 2012C'est sur le circuit du Mans, dans sa version 24 Heures, ces deux derniers jours que l'équipe G-Drive Racing by SIGNATECH-NISSAN avait rendez-vous pour les essais qualificatifs de l'épre weiter >>
24 HEURES DU MANS - ESSAIS QUALIFICATIFS Pour sa quatrième participation aux 24 Heures du Mans, SIGNATECH-NISSAN et l'ORECA 03 #23 concluaient les trois séances d'essais qualificatives en 13ème position LMP2, après avoir été handicapés lors de la première séance de mercredi par un changement weiter >>
OAK Racing will start this year’s 80th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours from the front row of the LMP2 class field on Saturday after the #24 Onroak Automotive designed and built Morgan-Judd 2012 LMP2, driven by Olivier Pla, weiter >>
JRM Racing will start its first-ever Le Mans 24 Hours from 11th position. The team will field a Honda HPD ARX-03a in the top LMP1 class with David Brabham, Peter Dumbreck and Karun Chandhok as its driving line-up. The team m weiter >>
Team Focuses on Final Preparations in Four Hours of QualifyingWhen the clock struck midnight at Le Mans, the field was set for the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Corvette Racing's Compu weiter >>
• Allan Simonsen fährt drittschnellste Zeit in der GTE-Am-Klasse • Gute Fortschritte mit dem Aston Martin Vantage V8 im Training• Kombinierter Einsatz in Le Mans mit Werksteam Aston Martin Racing weiter >>
24h Le Mans - 14 June 2012 QUALIFYING Another slice of history was made at Le Mans, with a hybrid car claiming pole position for the first time. 2011 winners Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoit Tr weiter >>
Provisional Classification80º Edition des 24 Heures du Mans1 1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 3:25.453 28 3:24.997 4 3:23.787 3 3:23.7872 3 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 Ultra LMP1 3:26.694 23 3:24.078 23 3:27.578 29 3:24.078 +0.2913 8 Toyota Racing Toyota TS 030 - Hybrid LMP1 3:28.295 21 3:26 weiter >>
80º Edition des 24 Heures du MansFIA WEC Qualifying PracticeLMP11 1 Audi Sport Team Joest M. Fässler / A. Lotterer / B. Treluyer 3:25.453 28 3:24.997 4 3:23.787 3 3:23.7872 3 Audi Sport Team Joest R. Dumas / L. Duval / M. Gené 3:26.694 23 3:24.078 23 3:27.578 29 3:24.078 +0.2913 8 Toy weiter >>
In homage to Michel Z. Lecomte, who died last September, an exhibition of some of his most exciting paintings is on show in the 24-Hours press room during race week. Michel-Zacharie Lecomte, official Le Mans 24-Hours painter, died suddenly on 11 weiter >>
Point d’orgue de la saison Endurance internationale, les 24 Heures du Mans qui se déroulent ce week-end (16 & 17 juin) compteront quinze écuries de l’European Le Mans Series sur la grille de départ. Ainsi, dix équipes weiter >>
Surfers can follow the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours on a brand-new Web TV launched specially for the 80th race thanks to the backing of Rolex - lemans-tv.com After successful tests of live broadcasts on the Internet of certain of its 2011 events (24 Hours for Bikes, Karts, rounds of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, etc) the Automobile Club de l’Ouest has weiter >>
24 HOURS OF LE MANSFor the third consecutive time, ProSpeed Competition was present for the traditional scrutineering for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Now fully immersed in this the cream of all endurance events, as shown by the weiter >>
Leichtbau als künftiger Megatrend in der Automobilindustrie Vorbereitung für Le Mans 2012 Ingenieure und Elektronik-Spezialisten der MVI Group versehen das Oreca-Rennfahrzeug von Race Performance mit Sensoren und überw weiter >>