2014 24 Hours of Le Mans

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2014 24 Hours of Le Mans
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Index: Races | Winners
Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer, and Benoît Tréluyer hoist the winners trophy during the podium ceremony

The 82nd 24 Hours of Le Mans (French: 82e 24 Heures du Mans) was an automobile endurance racing event held from 11 to 15 June 2014 at the Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans, France. It was the 82nd running of the event, as organized by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) since 1923. The race was the third round and the premier event of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, with half of the race's fifty-five entries contesting the championship.

The race was won by the No. 2 Audi driven by Swiss Marcel Fässler, German André Lotterer, and Frenchman Benoît Tréluyer, who previously won Le Mans as a trio in 2011 and 2012. This victory was Audi's thirteenth since the company debuted at the race in 1999. The Audi team took the lead after the No. 7 Toyota came to a stop after leading half the race distance, but were challenged by Porsche when two Audis required turbocharger replacements. The No. 1 Audi finished in second place, three laps behind the race winners, while the No. 8 Toyota recovered from an accident in the first hour to finish in third.[1] The LMP1-L category was won by the No. 12 Rebellion Racing Rebellion-Toyota of Nick Heidfeld, Mathias Beche, and Nicolas Prost, the sole finisher in the class. The LMP2 class finished with the Jota Sport Zytek-Nissan of Simon Dolan, Oliver Turvey, and Harry Tincknell ahead of the TDS Racing Ligier-Nissan by less than a lap's distance. The No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari won the LMGTE Pro category with drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella, and Toni Vilander, while the LMGTE Am category was won by Aston Martin Racing's trio of Danish drivers: David Heinemeier Hansson, Kristian Poulsen, and Nicki Thiim.[2] Approximately 263,000 spectators attended the event, the largest crowd since 1989.[3]

Schedule[edit]

The 2014 Le Mans schedule was moved forward one week to avoid conflicts with other major motorsports series.[4] An optional eight-hour test session for all invited participants and reserves, as well as additional entries, started the 2014 event on 1 June, followed by four hours of official practice on 11 June. Three qualifying sessions, each two hours long, took place on 11 and 12 June. The race started at 15:00 Central European Summer Time on 14 June and ended 24 hours later.

Schedule[5]
Date Time (CEST) Event
Test Day
Friday, 30 May 09:00 – 18:00 Administrative checks and scrutineering
Saturday, 31 May 09:00 – 15:00
Sunday, 1 June 09:00 – 13:00 Test session
14:00 – 18:00
24 Hours of Le Mans
Sunday, 8 June 14:30 – 19:00 Administrative checks and scrutineering
Monday, 9 June 10:00 – 18:00
Wednesday, 11 June 16:00 – 20:00 Free practice
22:00 – 00:00 Qualifying
Thursday, 12 June 19:00 – 21:00
22:00 – 00:00[N 1]
Saturday, 14 June 09:00 – 09:45 Warm-up
15:00 Race start
Sunday, 15 June 15:00 Race finish

Circuit and regulation changes[edit]

Layout of the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Following the death of Allan Simonsen during the 2013 race, the ACO announced improvements to several sections of the circuit. Tertre Rouge was reprofiled and new barriers and tire walls were added at the corner's exit onto the Mulsanne Straight. Run-off areas in the Corvette corners were expanded,[7] and Tecpro barriers were added behind the tire walls at the start of the Porsche corners.[8] Large kerbs were added to the paved run-off at the second Ford chicane to deter cars from cutting the corner.[9]

A new safety system was implemented, which allows for the intervention of safety vehicles on a particular section of the circuit without the need for neutralizing the entire race with safety cars. The system, termed a slow zone, requires cars to slow and maintain a speed of 60 km/h (37 mph) within a specific zone.[10] Speeds within the zones are monitored by GPS systems now required on every car. In conjunction with the slow zone procedure an onboard marshalling system will warn drivers of the location of slow zones. New regulations require rookies, as well as drivers who have not competed at Le Mans in the past five years, to participate in a half-day simulator training course. The course includes examples of night and wet racing at Le Mans, as well as the new safety car and slow zone procedures.[11]

Entries[edit]

Automatic invitations[edit]

Automatic entry invitations are earned by teams that won their class in the previous running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, or have won Le Mans-based series such as the American Le Mans Series, European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series. Some second place finishers are also granted automatic invitations in certain series. As with the 2013 race, the American Le Mans Series was given two "at large" entries rather than entries for each class. All current FIA World Endurance Championship full-season entries also automatically earn invitations. As automatic invitations are granted to teams, the teams are allowed to change their cars from the previous year to the next, but are not allowed to change their category. However, automatic invitations in the two GTE categories are able to be swapped between the two based on the driver line-ups chosen by these teams.

On 20 December 2013, the ACO published its initial list of automatic invitations.[12] Muscle Milk Pickett Racing and Team Endurance Challenge did not take up their automatic entries; Risi Competizione also turned down its invitation, but later submitted a request for another car and was granted a reserve entry.

Reason invited LMP1 LMP2 LMGTE Pro LMGTE Am
1st in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Germany Audi Sport Team Joest France OAK Racing Germany Porsche AG Team Manthey France IMSA Performance Matmut
1st in the European Le Mans Series France Signatech Alpine United Kingdom Ram Racing
2nd in the European Le Mans Series Germany Proton Competition
American Le Mans Series at-large entries United States Muscle Milk Pickett Racing United States Risi Competizione
1st in European Le Mans Series FLM category France Team Endurance Challenge
1st in the Asian Le Mans Series France OAK Racing Italy AF Corse
2nd in the Asian Le Mans Series Hong Kong Craft Racing

Garage 56[edit]

The ACO continued the Garage 56 concept, started in 2012. Garage 56 allows a 56th entry to the race, using the rigors of the 24 Hours of Le Mans to test new technology. The ACO announced during 2013 that the Nissan Motor Company's Nismo division had been granted the Garage 56 entry for 2014.

Nissan unveiled the car, known as the ZEOD RC, during the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans weekend. The ZEOD RC was designed by Ben Bowlby, who created the 2012 Garage 56 entry DeltaWing with backing from Nissan. The ZEOD RC utilized a hybrid electric drivetrain with lithium ion battery packs in a chassis similar in design to the DeltaWing.[13] The car featured a turbocharged three-cylinder internal combustion engine and two electric drive motors. Nissan planned to attempt a full lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe under all-electric power,[14] a goal achieved during the pre-race warm-up session.[15]

Entry list[edit]

In conjunction with the announcement of entries for the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship and the 2014 European Le Mans Series, the ACO announced the full list of invitations for Le Mans, plus ten reserves.[16] In addition to the 31 guaranteed entries from the World Endurance Championship, thirteen entries came from the European Le Mans Series, five from the United SportsCar Championship, and two from the Asian Le Mans Series, while the rest of the field was filled with one-off entries competing only at Le Mans.

Following the publication of the invitations, several teams withdrew their entries. SRT Motorsports announced that its Vipers would be withdrawn, citing concentration on the United SportsCar Championship, and bringing the manufacturers in the LMGTE Pro category down to four. JMW Motorsports' and Team Taisan's Ferraris were promoted to the race entry as a result.[17] On 28 April 2014, the ACO released a revised entry list that confirmed the withdrawal of Millennium Racing's two entries, Craft Racing, and two additional Aston Martin Racing entries. Larbre Compétition, Caterham Racing, Pegasus Racing and second entries of IMSA Performance Matmut and Prospeed Competition were promoted from the reserves to the race entry.[18]

Lotus withdrew its new LMP1-L class prototype due to a delay in completion of the car, leaving only Rebellion Racing cars in the category. Millennium Racing, which had previously withdrawn due to a delay in funding, had one entry reinstated.[19] A week later Strakka Racing withdrew its Strakka Dome S103 after an accident in testing damaged the car, which had been planned to debut in the LMP2 category. Krohn Racing, who had initially withdrawn its joint entry with Risi Competizione from the reserve list, replaced the Strakka.[20] The day before the start of scrutineering, Millennium Racing was unable to secure its funding and was forced to withdraw for the second time. No replacement was found.[21]

Testing and practice[edit]

A test day was held on 1 June, two weeks prior to the race, and allowed but did not require all entrants for the race to participate in eight hours of track time divided into two sessions. Krohn Racing did not attend the test due to lack of preparation, while Prospeed Competition's second car was also not entered. Millennium Racing had its race entry plus a second car entered for the test but did not arrive.[8] AF Corse brought an additional Ferrari to allow more testing for drivers, bringing the total cars for the day to 54.[22] Toyota set the pace of the day with a 3:23.014 lap set by Sébastien Buemi in the second session, followed by the No. 7 Toyota in second. The No. 3 Audi was within a second of the top time, while the fastest Porsche was over a second and a half behind Buemi's lap. Roman Rusinov led the LMP2 class for G-Drive Racing with a 3:37.795 lap time ahead of Murphy Prototypes and Signatech Alpine. The LMGTE Pro category was led by Frédéric Makowiecki's Porsche with a 3:57.260 time,[23] while the team's second car was damaged beyond repair early in the session after becoming airborne in the gravel traps of the Ford chicane.[24] Paolo Ruberti's 8 Star Motorsports Ferrari was the fastest in LMGTE Am, and the second fastest amongst all LMGTE runners, with a 3:57.403 lap.[23] After the test several prototype teams, including all Audis, Porsches, and Toyotas, participated in an unofficial test on the shorter Bugatti Circuit.[25]

Official practice was held on 11 June with the full 54-car field on track for four hours. Toyota led from the start once again, with Anthony Davidson claiming the fastest time of the session with a 3:23.652 lap, just ahead of the No. 2 Audi. Porsche's fastest laps were nearly three seconds off the pace. Early in the session, the No. 1 Audi of Loïc Duval spun and became airborne in the Porsche Curves, impacting catch fencing above the barriers and destroying the car. Duval was able to climb from the car but was not cleared for the rest of the week while Audi was forced to bring in a spare chassis to replace the car.[26] OAK Racing's Ligier JS P2, making its racing debut, led the LMP2 category with a 3:40.611 lap time. In LMGTE, an Am class car led the field with Nicki Thiim's Aston Martin recording a 3:57.015 lap time, ahead of the LMGTE Pro AF Corse Ferrari by thirteen thousandths of a second. The experimental Nissan ZEOD RC was the only car not to set a lap time in the session after suffering mechanical failures on its first lap.[27]

Qualifying[edit]

The first qualifying session began late Wednesday night under clear conditions, as Porsche led the time sheets early on with a flying lap from Neel Jani in the No. 14 entry, followed by Brendon Hartley's 3:23.157 time a few laps later to top the session.[28] The two Toyotas stood two seconds back by the end of the session, although the No. 7 car suffered an oil leak and stopped on the side of the circuit, while the two participating Audis were three seconds adrift of the Porsches. Olivier Pla carried OAK Racing's Morgan to provisional pole in LMP2 with a time of 3:38.843 ahead of the Signatech Alpine and KCMG Oreca. Nicolas Minassian in the No. 37 SMP Racing Oreca-Nissan caused a red flag for half an hour early in the session after crashing in the Porsche Curves.[29] The Pro class of LMGTE was led by Gianmaria Bruni's AF Corse Ferrari, setting a pace of 3:54.754. Aston Martin, Porsche, and Corvette all had cars within two seconds of the Ferrari. Aston Martin's second entry, driven by Fernando Rees, crashed at the Porsche Curves, forcing the session to be ended half an hour earlier than planned in order to repair the barriers. The Aston Martin would later be withdrawn from the race due to the damage to the car.[30] At the premature end of the session, Andrea Bertolini's SMP Ferrari was at the top of the timing charts for LMGTE Am with a 3:56.787 lap time, followed by the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari and Dempsey Porsche.

The No. 7 Toyota TS040 Hybrid claimed pole position after setting a 3:21.789 lap in qualifying

Thursday's first qualifying session saw more stoppages for crashes. James Calado crashed his AF Corse Ferrari in the Porsche Curves, necessitating a half-hour red flag. This was followed by the No. 1 Audi, making some of its first laps since its accident on Wednesday, spinning at Indianapolis and damaging the car's bodywork. While driver Lucas di Grassi attempted to return to the pits he swerved in front of Leo Roussel's Pegasus Morgan, causing the LMP2 car to dart off the track and crash at the pit entrance.[31] At the same time, Bret Curtis in the No. 79 Prospeed Porsche spun at the entrance to the Dunlop Chicane and impacted the wall, knocking Curtis unconscious.[32] Following clean-up of the circuit qualifying resumed with fifteen minutes left in the session, and improvements were made by nearly every car in LMP1. Kazuki Nakajima improved provisional pole position with a 3:22.589 lap, followed by the Porsches of Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard. The fastest Audi was fourth after a lap from Oliver Jarvis. Tristan Gommendy gave the débuting Ligier of TDS Racing provisional pole in LMP2 after displacing the Murphy Oreca on the last lap of the session, setting a time of 3:38.094. In LMGTE Pro, Corvette led the session but did not improve on AF Corse's lap time from the first qualification session. Similarly the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari came within two tenths of a second of besting SMP's lead time in LMGTE Am.

With the multiple stoppages in qualifying, the third session was expanded by half an hour in order to give teams more time on the circuit. Fifteen minutes into the session Nakajima set a new fastest time of 3:21.789 and would hold the top of the time charts to take Toyota's first pole position at Le Mans since 1999.[33] Dumas improved the No. 14 Porsche's time to sit alongside the Toyota on the front row of the grid. Audi was not able to improve on their times from the second qualifying session, and settled for fifth, sixth, and seventh places on the grid. The No. 12 Rebellion, driven by Mathias Beche, won out over its sister car in the LMP1-L category but eight seconds off the overall pole position. In LMP2, OAK Racing and the Jota Zytek traded provisional pole before Gommendy reclaimed the top spot for TDS Racing and Ligier with a 3:37.609 lap time. Bruni improved on his own provisional pole time in LMGTE Pro with a 3:53.700, extending the class lead by over a second from the No. 73 Corvette in second and sole Aston Martin in third. Sam Bird earned AF Corse a second pole position by improving LMGTE Am's top time by two seconds with a 3:54.665 and setting the second fastest time of all LMGTE cars combined. Aston Martin's two entries were second and third in the class, yet a full second behind the Ferrari. The Nissan ZEOD RC, after earlier woes in the week, set a 3:50.185 lap time to place 27th overall in qualifying. The slow zone procedure was used for the first time in the third qualifying session, after Frankie Montecalvo spun the 8 Star Ferrari into the gravel in the Porsche Curves. The slow zone was required once more to finish the session after Karun Chandhok crashed the Murphy Oreca at Indianapolis. Both slow zones prevented qualifying times from being improved in the final hour of the session.

Qualifying results[edit]

Pole positions in each class are denoted in bold. The fastest time set by each entry is denoted in gray.[34]

Pos. Class No. Team Qualifying 1 Qualifying 2 Qualifying 3 Gap Grid
1 LMP1-H 7 Toyota Racing 3:25.313 3:22.589 3:21.789 1
2 LMP1-H 14 Porsche Team 3:23.928 3:22.708 3:22.146 +0.357 2
3 LMP1-H 8 Toyota Racing 3:25.410 3:23.661 3:22.523 +0.734 3
4 LMP1-H 20 Porsche Team 3:23.157 3:22.908 3:24.136 +1.119 4
5 LMP1-H 3 Audi Sport Team Joest 3:26.445 3:23.271 3:23.364 +1.482 5
6 LMP1-H 2 Audi Sport Team Joest 3:26.388 3:24.276 3:24.729 +2.487 6
7 LMP1-H 1 Audi Sport Team Joest No Time 3:26.490 3:25.814 +4.025 7
8 LMP1-L 12 Rebellion Racing 3:34.922 3:31.180 3:29.763 +7.974 8
9 LMP1-L 13 Rebellion Racing 3:33.117 3:31.608 3:33.050 +9.819 9
10 LMP2 46 Thiriet by TDS Racing 3:42.730 3:38.094 3:37.609 +15.820 10
11 LMP2 38 Jota Sport 3:45.928 3:44.482 3:37.674 +15.885 11
12 LMP2 35 OAK Racing 3:39.822 3:39.523 3:37.892 +16.103 12
13 LMP2 26 G-Drive Racing 3:38.843 3:41.446 3:38.000 +16.211 13
14 LMP2 36 Signatech Alpine 3:39.490 3:38.769 3:38.089 +16.300 14
15 LMP2 48 Murphy Prototypes 3:41.502 3:38.207 3:39.091 +16.418 15
16 LMP2 47 KCMG 3:39.586 3:40.476 3:38.689 +16.900 16
17 LMP2 43 Newblood by Morand Racing 3:46.018 3:39.135 3:41.066 +17.346 17
18 LMP2 34 Race Performance 3:39.993 3:44.486 3:40.819 +18.204 18
19 LMP2 42 Caterham Racing 3:41.847 3:47.255 3:40.035 +18.246 19
20 LMP2 24 Sébastien Loeb Racing 3:43.507 3:40.407 3:44.022 +18.618 20
21 LMP2 37 SMP Racing 3:46.940 3:44.395 3:41.297 +19.508 21
22 LMP2 27 SMP Racing 3:43.618 3:42.527 3:42.131 +20.342 22
23 LMP2 29 Pegasus Racing 3:49.046 3:42.438 No time +20.649 23
24 LMP2 33 OAK Racing-Team Asia 3:42.998 3:48.325 3:43.158 +21.199 24
25 LMP2 50 Larbre Compétition 3:53.948 3:47.015 3:43.843 +22.054 25
26 LMP2 41 Greaves Motorsport No time 3:44.293 3:44.437 +22.504 26
27 0 Nissan Motorsports Global No time 3:57.096 3:50.185 +28.396 27
28 LMGTE Pro 51 AF Corse 3:54.754 3:55.552 3:53.700 +31.911 28
29 LMGTE Am 81 AF Corse 4:02.452 3:57.665 3:54.665 +32.876 29
30 LMGTE Pro 73 Corvette Racing 3:56.443 3:55.038 3:54.777 +32.988 30
31 LMGTE Pro 97 Aston Martin Racing 3:55.067 3:56.516 3:54.891 +33.102 31
32 LMGTE Pro 74 Corvette Racing 3:59.445 3:57.160 3:55.190 +33.401 32
33 LMGTE Pro 52 Ram Racing 3:57.793 3:56.642 3:55.347 +33.558 33
34 LMGTE Pro 92 Porsche Team Manthey 3:55.516 3:57.356 3:55.694 +33.727 34
35 LMGTE Am 98 Aston Martin Racing 4:00.017 3:57.445 3:55.644 +33.855 35
36 LMGTE Pro 91 Porsche Team Manthey 3:56.584 3:57.682 3:55.745 +33.956 36
37 LMGTE Am 95 Aston Martin Racing 4:06.464 3:56.994 3:55.944 +34.155 37
38 LMGTE Am 61 AF Corse 3:56.919 3:56.917 3:55.977 +34.188 38
39 LMGTE Am 72 SMP Racing 3:56.787 3:58.778 3:56.063 +34.274 39
40 LMGTE Am 88 Proton Competition 3:59.291 3:59.920 3:56.974 +35.185 40
41 LMGTE Am 77 Dempsey Racing-Proton 3:57.004 3:58.373 3:57.230 +35.215 41
42 LMGTE Am 90 8 Star Motorsports No time No time 3:57.217 +35.428 42
43 LMGTE Pro 99 Aston Martin Racing 3:57.258 Withdrawn +35.469  –
44 LMGTE Am 60 AF Corse 4:22.744 4:01.425 3:57.274 +35.485 43
45 LMGTE Am 66 JMW Motorsport 4:05.046 3:58.512 3:57.757 +35.968 44
46 LMGTE Am 53 Ram Racing 3:59.794 4:02.175 3:57.958 +36.169 45
47 LMGTE Pro 71 AF Corse 3:58.330 3:58.086 No time +36.297 46
48 LMGTE Am 76 IMSA Performance Matmut No time 4:06.021 3:58.398 +36.609 47
49 LMGTE Pro 79 Prospeed Competition 4:01.226 3:59.012 No time +37.223 48
50 LMGTE Am 75 Prospeed Competition 3:59.394 3:59.604 4:05.147 +37.605 49
51 LMGTE Am 58 Team Sofrev ASP 3:59.837 4:07.434 4:03.947 +38.048 50
52 LMGTE Am 57 Krohn Racing 4:03.789 4:01.686 4:01.006 +39.217 51
53 LMGTE Am 70 Team Taisan 4:03.066 4:01.446 4:04.512 +39.657 52
54 LMGTE Am 67 IMSA Performance Matmut No time 4:03.903 4:03.277 +41.488 53
55 LMGTE Am 62 AF Corse 4:11.533 4:20.025 4:10.354 +48.565 54

Race[edit]

Alexander Wurz leads the field at the start

The race began at 15:00 Central European Summer Time, with two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso having the honor of waving the French Tricolour to start the race.[35] The 54-car field was led by Alexander Wurz's Toyota, who maintained the position for most of the opening hours, followed by the second Toyota and the trio of Audis; the two Porsches fell back from the leaders. The experimental Nissan ZEOD RC came to a rest on the side of the circuit on the sixth lap after suffering a failure related to its gearbox, and became the first retirement of the race after a request by the team to recover the car was rejected by the ACO.[36] Meanwhile Nicolas Lapierre in the No. 8 Toyota fell from second place after spinning exiting a Mulsanne chicane and bringing out the race's first slow zone procedure.[37] In the second hour of the race rain fell across parts of the circuit and several cars were caught out by the change in conditions. The KCMG Oreca-Nissan, which had been trading the LMP2 lead with Jota Sport, hydroplaned into the first Mulsanne chicane and impacted the tire barriers heavily, while further up the Mulsanne several contenders in multiple classes were involved in a heavy accident. A group of LMGTE cars as well as the No. 3 Audi were slow on the course when they were approached by the No. 8 Toyota of Lapierre at a high rate of speed. Aquaplaning under braking, Lapierre spun amongst the group of cars and impacted the barriers head on. This was followed by Sam Bird in the LMGTE Am-leading AF Corse Ferrari who drove into the rear of the No. 3 Audi driven by Marco Bonanomi. The accident led to a safety car intervention, during which Lapierre was able to limp the Toyota back to the pits for repairs that lasted for nearly an hour. Bonanomi and Bird were unable to get their cars moving again and retired.[38]

Rain returned to the circuit only fifteen minutes after the race resumed green flag conditions and more chaos ensued; Karun Chandhok of Murphy Prototypes and Michael Munemann of Greaves Motorsport collected one another while spinning exiting Tertre Rouge, bringing out the safety cars for the second time.[39] As the rain tapered off and racing resumed once more, the remaining Toyota and pursuing Porsches were now on different pit stop sequences, allowing Timo Bernhard and later Brendon Hartley to briefly take the overall race lead before the No. 7 reclaimed the top spot by the fourth hour.[40] Further down the field changes in lead were also happening in other categories. Wet weather tyre strategy from the Dempsey-Proton Porsche failed to pay off as the No. 98 Aston Martin took command in LMGTE Am from the slower Porsche.[41] After the damaged KCMG car relinquished the lead in LMP2, Race Performance and Signatech traded off the category lead before later joined by the No. 35 OAK Ligier.[42] The LMGTE Pro lead became a multi-car battle between representatives of each of the four manufacturers, with the lead sometimes changing several times per lap. The Porsche 919 Hybrid also suffered its first major problems as the No. 14 went to the garage with fuel pressure problems, dropping the car to 51st place before it recovered to sixth.[43]

After colliding in the rain, Michael Munemann brings the damaged Greaves Zytek down pit lane dragging a portion of the Murphy Prototypes bodywork beneath him.

As night fell on the circuit, Toyota's lead extended to over a minute from the two remaining Audis, while the OAK Ligier took over the LMP2 lead and ran away to nearly three minutes over the dueling Race Performance Oreca and Signatech Alpine. LMGTE Pro continued to be a close battle between the No. 51 Ferrari, No. 97 Aston Martin, and No. 74 Corvette, with the trio following one another nose to tail for a multitude of laps. The second Corvette dropped off the leading pace after problems with the car's air jack system required a lengthy pit stop.[44] The No. 98 and No. 95 Aston Martins continued to hold sway over the LMGTE Am class, but around midnight the No. 98 relinquished the lead it had held for 86 consecutive laps[45] when it came to the pits with smoke from the bonnet as the power steering system on the car failed.[46] The No. 1 Audi was forced to the garage to replace failed fuel injectors after the race passed half distance, while the No. 14 Porsche was forced to return to the pits on solely electrical power after suffering a second fuel pressure problem.[47] As Nakajima drove the No. 7 Toyota into its ninth hour in the race lead, the car lost drive shortly after the Arnage corner and came to a stop alongside the barriers.[48] An FIA-mandated piece of monitoring equipment had failed within the car and melted a wiring loom and was not able to be repaired by Nakajima, forcing Toyota to abandon the former race-leading car.[49] The No. 2 Audi became the new leader ahead of the No. 20 Porsche and the recovering No. 1 Audi by three laps.[50]

Over an hour after taking the race lead, the No. 2 Audi was forced to replace a failing turbocharger, sitting idle for twenty minutes and falling to third.[50] Audi No. 1 took over the top spot after passing the No. 20 Porsche and the ailing No. 2, eventually extending its lead to one lap over the Porsche. Further down the field the No. 74 Corvette was forced to drop out of the lead battle in LMGTE Pro as the alternator belt on the car failed, requiring a visit to the garage that lost the car three laps.[50] The No. 72 SMP Racing Ferrari of Viktor Shaitar had a crash in the Porsche Curves which damaged the safety barriers alongside the track and forced the retirement of the Ferrari. The safety car was deployed for two laps to move necessary equipment to the damaged area for repairs, while a slow zone was used after the safety car period for half an hour while the repairs were undertaken.[51] After green flag racing resumed, the OAK Ligier leading LMP2 was forced to the garage with engine and brake issues, eventually resuming at a slower pace. The second place TDS Ligier was also hindered after a suspension failure required repairs, and the Jota Zytek improved to within a lap of the top two in class.[52] The No. 97 Aston Martin, after continuing its close battle with the No. 51 Ferrari, succumbed to the same power steering failure that had hit the No. 98 sister car. Ferrari now enjoyed a two lap lead over the No. 92 Porsche which inherited second in class.[53]

The No. 2 Audi leads the No. 1 Audi in formation over the finish line to win Le Mans

Nearly 21 hours into the race, Tom Kristensen's No. 1 Audi slowed on course on several laps. After eventually returning to the garage Audi were forced to perform their second turbocharger replacement of the race as the No. 1 was hampered by the same issue that had stopped the No. 2's lead. This promoted the No. 20 Porsche to the race lead with the No. 2 Audi only a minute and a half behind the leader.[54] Porsche's lead lasted only an hour though as it too slowed on the course suffering from a broken anti-roll bar and was forced to the garage where it was eventually abandoned. The No. 14 Porsche came to the garage half an hour later with gearbox issues but returned to the race in the final half hour.[55] The shake-up in LMP1 promoted the No. 2 Audi to the race lead, three laps ahead of the No. 1 Audi and followed by the No. 8 Toyota, still recovering from its accident in the opening hours of the race. The attrition amongst LMP1 cars also allowed the No. 12 Rebellion Racing, the sole remaining LMP1-L car in the race, into fourth place overall.[55] The ailing OAK Ligier was also forced to abandon the LMP2 lead after being caught by the faster TDS Ligier and Jota Zytek, before eventually having a lengthy stop for more work on the troubled engine which dropped them from contention.[55]

The No. 2 Audi, driven by Marcel Fässler, Benoît Tréluyer, and André Lotterer, was able to maintain the race lead without trouble for the final two hours of the race, taking the trio's third race win in four years, and Audi's thirteenth overall. Porsche was able to repair the No. 14 car enough to return it to the track for the final lap, settling for eleventh place overall.[1] The battle in LMP2 continued into the last hour, as the Jota Zytek was able to overhaul the TDS Ligier and hold on for the class win and fifth place overall. The win was the first for Jota Sport and its drivers Simon Dolan, Oliver Turvey, and Harry Tincknell.[56] Nissan powered the top five finishers in the class. In the LMGTE Pro category, the No. 73 Corvette was able to come back against the No. 92 Porsche to claim second in class, but no one was able to challenge the lead of the AF Corse Ferrari for the remainder of the race. The No. 95 Aston Martin, which had been Allan Simonsen's entry when he was killed in an accident at Le Mans the previous year, was undaunted in LMGTE Am and maintained the first place position it had held for 205 consecutive laps. Proton Competition came in second in the class, two laps adrift of the Aston Martin.[57]

Race result[edit]

Class winners are denoted in bold. The No. 20 Porsche was not classified amongst the finishers for failing to complete the last lap of the race.[58]

Pos. Class No. Team Drivers Chassis Tyre Laps
Engine
1 LMP1-H 2 Germany Audi Sport Team Joest Germany André Lotterer
Switzerland Marcel Fässler
France Benoît Tréluyer
Audi R18 e-tron quattro M 379
Audi TDI 4.0 L Turbo V6
(Diesel)
2 LMP1-H 1 Germany Audi Sport Team Joest Denmark Tom Kristensen
Spain Marc Gené[N 2]
Brazil Lucas di Grassi
Audi R18 e-tron quattro M 376
Audi TDI 4.0 L Turbo V6
(Diesel)
3 LMP1-H 8 Japan Toyota Racing United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
France Nicolas Lapierre
Toyota TS040 Hybrid M 374
Toyota 3.7 L V8
4 LMP1-L 12 Switzerland Rebellion Racing France Nicolas Prost
Germany Nick Heidfeld
Switzerland Mathias Beche
Rebellion R-One M 360
Toyota RV8KLM 3.4 L V8
5 LMP2 38 United Kingdom Jota Sport United Kingdom Simon Dolan
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
United Kingdom Oliver Turvey[N 3]
Zytek Z11SN D 356
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
6 LMP2 46 France Thiriet by TDS Racing France Pierre Thiriet
France Ludovic Badey
France Tristan Gommendy
Ligier JS P2 D 355
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
7 LMP2 36 France Signatech Alpine France Paul-Loup Chatin
France Nelson Panciatici
United Kingdom Oliver Webb
Alpine A450b D 355
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
8 LMP2 24 France Sébastien Loeb Racing Germany René Rast
Czech Republic Jan Charouz
France Vincent Capillaire
Oreca 03R M 354
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
9 LMP2 35 France OAK Racing United Kingdom Alex Brundle
United Kingdom Jann Mardenborough
Russia Mark Shulzhitskiy
Ligier JS P2 D 354
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
10 LMP2 43 Switzerland Newblood by Morand Racing Switzerland Gary Hirsch
France Romain Brandela
Austria Christian Klien
Morgan LMP2 D 352
Judd HK 3.6 L V8
11 LMP1-H 14 Germany Porsche Team Germany Marc Lieb
France Romain Dumas
Switzerland Neel Jani
Porsche 919 Hybrid M 348
Porsche 2.0 L Turbo V4
12 LMP2 33 France OAK Racing-Team Asia China David Cheng
China Ho-Pin Tung
China Adderly Fong
Ligier JS P2 M 347
Honda HR28TT 2.8 L Turbo V6
13 LMP2 34 Switzerland Race Performance Switzerland Michel Frey
France Franck Mailleux
United Kingdom Jon Lancaster
Oreca 03R D 342
Judd HK 3.6 L V8
14 LMP2 50 France Larbre Compétition France Pierre Ragues
Japan Keiko Ihara
United States Ricky Taylor
Morgan LMP2 M 341
Judd HK 3.6 L V8
15 LMGTE
Pro
51 Italy AF Corse Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Finland Toni Vilander
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 339
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
16 LMGTE
Pro
73 United States Corvette Racing Denmark Jan Magnussen
Spain Antonio García
United States Jordan Taylor
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R M 338
Chevrolet 5.5 L V8
17 LMGTE
Pro
92 Germany Porsche Team Manthey Germany Marco Holzer
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR M 337
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
18 LMP2 29 Germany Pegasus Racing France Julien Schell
France Léo Roussel
Switzerland Nicolas Leutwiler
Morgan LMP2 D 336
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
19 LMGTE
Am
95 United Kingdom Aston Martin Racing Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
Denmark Kristian Poulsen
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE M 334
Aston Martin 4.5 L V8
20 LMGTE
Pro
74 United States Corvette Racing United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R M 333
Chevrolet 5.5 L V8
21 LMGTE
Am
88 Germany Proton Competition Germany Christian Ried
Austria Klaus Bachler
United Arab Emirates Khaled Al Qubaisi
Porsche 911 RSR M 332
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
22 LMGTE
Am
61 Italy AF Corse Argentina Luís Pérez Companc
Italy Marco Cioci
Italy Mirko Venturi
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 331
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
23 LMGTE
Am
90 United States 8 Star Motorsports United States Frankie Montecalvo
Italy Paolo Ruberti
Italy Gianluca Roda
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 330
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
24 LMGTE
Am
77 United States Dempsey Racing-Proton United States Patrick Dempsey
United States Joe Foster
United States Patrick Long
Porsche 911 RSR M 329
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
25 LMP2 42 Malaysia Caterham Racing United Kingdom Tom Kimber-Smith
United States Chris Dyson
United States Matt McMurry
Zytek Z11SN D 329
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
26 LMGTE
Am
98 United Kingdom Aston Martin Racing Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Portugal Pedro Lamy
Denmark Christoffer Nygaard
Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE M 329
Aston Martin 4.5 L V8
27 LMGTE
Am
66 United Kingdom JMW Motorsport Saudi Arabia Abdulaziz Al-Faisal
United States Seth Neiman
United States Spencer Pumpelly
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 327
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
28 LMGTE
Am
70 Japan Team Taisan Japan Shinji Nakano
United Kingdom Martin Rich
Germany Pierre Ehret
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 327
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
29 LMGTE
Am
58 France Team Sofrev ASP France Anthony Pons
France Soheil Ayari
France Fabien Barthez
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 325
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
30 LMGTE
Am
57 United States Krohn Racing United States Tracy Krohn
Sweden Niclas Jönsson
United Kingdom Ben Collins
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 324
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
31 LMGTE
Am
76 France IMSA Performance Matmut France Raymond Narac
France Nicolas Armindo
France David Hallyday
Porsche 997 GT3-RSR M 323
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
32 LMGTE
Am
53 United Kingdom Ram Racing United Kingdom Johnny Mowlem
United Kingdom Archie Hamilton
United States Mark Patterson
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 319
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
33 LMGTE
Pro
79 Belgium Prospeed Competition[N 4] Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
United States Cooper MacNeil
Porsche 997 GT3-RSR M 319
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
34 LMGTE
Am
67 France IMSA Performance Matmut France Erik Maris
France Jean-Marc Merlin
France Éric Hélary
Porsche 997 GT3-RSR M 317
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
35 LMGTE
Pro
97 United Kingdom Aston Martin Racing United Kingdom Darren Turner
Germany Stefan Mücke
Brazil Bruno Senna
Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE M 310
Aston Martin 4.5 L V8
36 LMGTE
Pro
91 Germany Porsche Team Manthey France Patrick Pilet
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
Germany Jörg Bergmeister
Porsche 911 RSR M 309
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
37 LMP2 27 Russia SMP Racing Russia Sergey Zlobin
Russia Anton Ladygin
Finland Mika Salo
Oreca 03R M 303
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
38 LMGTE
Am
62 Italy AF Corse France Yannick Mallégol
France Jean-Marc Bachelier
United States Howard Blank
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 295
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
NC LMP1-H 20 Germany Porsche Team Germany Timo Bernhard
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Australia Mark Webber
Porsche 919 Hybrid M 346
Porsche 2.0 L Turbo V4
DNF LMP1-H 7 Japan Toyota Racing Austria Alexander Wurz
France Stéphane Sarrazin
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
Toyota TS040 Hybrid M 219
Toyota 3.7 L V8
DNF LMGTE
Am
72 Russia SMP Racing Italy Andrea Bertolini
Russia Viktor Shaitar
Russia Alexsey Basov
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 196
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
DNF LMGTE
Am
75 Belgium Prospeed Competition France François Perrodo
France Emmanuel Collard
Finland Markus Palttala
Porsche 997 GT3-RSR M 194
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
DNF LMGTE
Pro
52 United Kingdom Ram Racing Republic of Ireland Matt Griffin
Portugal Álvaro Parente
Italy Federico Leo
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 140
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
DNF LMP2 26 Russia G-Drive Racing Russia Roman Rusinov
France Olivier Pla
France Julien Canal
Morgan LMP2 D 120
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
DNF LMGTE
Am
60 Italy AF Corse United States Peter Ashley Mann
Italy Lorenzo Casè
Italy Raffaele Giammaria
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 115
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
DNF LMP2 47 Hong Kong KCMG United Kingdom Matthew Howson
United Kingdom Richard Bradley
Switzerland Alexandre Imperatori
Oreca 03R M 87
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
DNF LMP1-L 13 Switzerland Rebellion Racing Italy Andrea Belicchi
Switzerland Fabio Leimer
Austria Dominik Kraihamer
Rebellion R-One M 73
Toyota RV8KLM 3.4 L V8
DNF LMP2 48 Republic of Ireland Murphy Prototypes France Nathanaël Berthon
India Karun Chandhok
Venezuela Rodolfo González
Oreca 03R D 73
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
DNF LMP2 41 United Kingdom Greaves Motorsport United Kingdom Michael Munemann
United Kingdom Alessandro Latif
United Kingdom James Winslow
Zytek Z11SN D 31
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
DNF LMGTE
Pro
71 Italy AF Corse Italy Davide Rigon
Germany Pierre Kaffer[N 5]
Monaco Olivier Beretta
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 28
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
DNF LMP1-H 3 Germany Audi Sport Team Joest Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Italy Marco Bonanomi
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
Audi R18 e-tron quattro M 25
Audi TDI 4.0 L Turbo V6
(Diesel)
DNF LMGTE
Am
81 Italy AF Corse Australia Stephen Wyatt
Italy Michele Rugolo
United Kingdom Sam Bird
Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 M 22
Ferrari 4.5 L V8
DNF LMP2 37 Russia SMP Racing Russia Kirill Ladygin
Italy Maurizio Mediani
France Nicolas Minassian
Oreca 03R M 9
Nissan VK45DE 4.5 L V8
DNF 0 Japan Nissan Motorsports Global Spain Lucas Ordóñez
Belgium Wolfgang Reip
Japan Satoshi Motoyama
Nissan ZEOD RC M 5
Nissan 1.5 L Turbo I3
WD[N 6] LMGTE
Pro
99 United Kingdom Aston Martin Racing Hong Kong Darryl O'Young
United Kingdom Alex MacDowall
Brazil Fernando Rees
Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE M  –
Aston Martin 4.5 L V8

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Qualifying 3 was extended by 30 minutes by the ACO to make up for track time that was lost to red flags in the previous two qualifying sessions. Qualifying 3 started at 21:30 instead of the originally scheduled 22:00.[6]
  2. ^ Loïc Duval was driving the No. 1 Audi when he was injured in the Wednesday practice session accident. Following Wednesday qualifying, Duval was not cleared to participate in the race and was replaced on the team by Audi reserve driver Marc Gené, who had been entered and driven in the practice session for Jota Sport.[26]
  3. ^ Marc Gené was originally scheduled to drive the No. 38 Jota Sport Zytek before being called up to replace the injured Duval in the No. 1 Audi. Jota replaced Gené with Oliver Turvey, who drove the car for the first time in Thursday qualifying.[26]
  4. ^ Bret Curtis was originally scheduled to drive the No. 79 Prospeed Porsche, but sustained a concussion after an accident during qualifying and was not cleared for the race. The team nominated Sebastien Crubilé as a replacement, but the ACO did not allow him to participate due to a lack of laps driven at night. Prospeed opted to continue with only two drivers, but were forced to switch to the LMGTE Pro category due to no longer meeting the LMGTE Am driver ranking requirements.[32]
  5. ^ James Calado was driving the No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari when he was injured in a crash in the second qualifying session. Calado was not cleared to participate in the race and was replaced by Pierre Kaffer.[59]
  6. ^ The No. 99 Aston Martin was withdrawn from the race following Wednesday qualifying. The car was damaged in a crash and not able to be repaired or replaced for the race.[60]

References[edit]

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