The #1 Audi of Andre Lotterer continues to dominate the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the second hour as racing resumed following the accident and safety car period in the first hour as a result of Allan Simonsens Aston Martin hitting the barriers.
Eight minutes in to the second hour the safety cars came in and racing resumed, Lotterer took immediate advantage on the restart, gaining a second advantage over the chasing Toyota’s. Early pace-setter Lapierre dropped back behind team-mate Davidson before losing out to the two Audis of McNish and Di Grassi, the Frenchman reporting back to his Japanese team that he was hearing ‘Weird engine noises’.
McNish was the first to pit as the Audi team looked to maximize the pit lane space, not wanting to risk bringing in all three cars on the same lap; a lap later the other two Audi’s would come in to the pits with Lotterer pushing hard.
With the Audi’s making scheduled stops the Toyota’s had their moment of glory at the front of the pack with Davidson leading the way. The Toyota would last 2 laps longer that their Audi counterparts before having to come in for fuel, Lapiere would also pit during this phase. As things panned out Lotterer pulled out a 18 second advantage over his squabbling team-mates; McNish would gain the upper hand as he found his way around team-mate di Grassi.
Rebellion Racing remain the best of the non-factory teams with the #12 Nick Heidfeld driven Lola-Toyota holding the advantage over team-mate Bellichi. Strakka Racing round out the top eight.
In the LMP2 class Jota Sport hold the advantage over the two OAK racing cars. The KCMG Morgan lost out following their earlier impressive pace with Alexandre Imperatori sampling some of the French countryside and beaching his car at one point. The #31 Lotus-Praga of Christophe Bouchut also lost a lot of time during this hour following investigations for a burning smell. The other LMP2 team to lose out during this hour was the Gulf Lola as the team worked on the front end of the car.
Top of the GTE Pro class remained the #97 Aston Martin only briefly losing the lead while they came in for fuel; The Porsche of Marc Lieb would lead this brief period before pitting himself. As the end of the hour closed in, the battle between Lieb and Bell in the second Aston Martin was hotting up, at one point crossing the line with just a tenth of a second between the two. by the end of the hour Lieb had managed to open the gap to 0.439 seconds. The biggest drama of the hour for the Pro class was when Toni Vilander and Jorg Bergmeister collided in the pitlane after the AF Corse Ferrari was released unsafely.
In GTE Am the #61 AF Corse Ferrari leads the class ahead of the #67 IMSA Porsche and #55 AF Corse Ferrari. Incidents during this hour included a spin from the #81 8Star Ferrari and a spin from the #70 Larbre Chevrolet.
2013 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 1 hour
1 – #1 Audi Sport Team Joest – Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer
2 – #7 Toyota Racing – Lapierre/Nakajima/Wurz
3 – #8 Toyota Racing – Buemi/Davidson/Sarrazin
1 – #38 Jota – Dolan/Luhr/Turvey
2 – #35 OAK Racing – Baguette / Gonzalez / Plowman
3 – #24 OAK Racing – Brundle/Heinemeier Hansson/Pla
1 – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Dumbreck/Mucke/Turner
2 – #92 Porsche AG Team Manthey – Dumas/Lieb/Lietz
3 – #99 Aston Martin Racing – Bell/Makowiecki/Senna
1 – #61 AF Corse – Cioci/Gerber/Griffin
2 – #67 IMSA Performance Matmut – Gibon/Henzler/Milesi
3 – #55 AF Corse – Perazzini / Case / O’Young