Le Mans 24 Hours 2013

Who else is going to watch this?

Is that this weekend?

Yup. Starts at 15.00 CET Saturday. The last qualifying session ended a few hours ago.

Industrial strength Visine! No-Doze by the gross! Clearing off the DVR in case I nod off (orders more No-Doze). Setting recording now…holy shit! Looks like 21.5 hours of coverage of actual racing this year. Two hours of Nascar and a half-hour Speed Center break. Coverage starts 5:30 AM Left Coast Time.

They’re off. Toyota puts pressure on the Audi’s in the front. This is not according to plan. The Toyota’s are supposed to be slower, but win it back on longer stints (meaning fewer pit stops).

Aston Martin #95 crashes hard and is out after just 10 minutes. This car was the top favourite in the GTE Am category. The team is naturally devastated. No words on the health of the driver yet. The safety car is out, eliminating the short gaps created during the first laps.

Can I stay up for 36 hours? Doubtful but I’ll give it another go this year. I think I made it through last year or nearly made it through.

Ha! It’s been ages since I could stay awake for that long. I always have big plans to stay awake for the whole thing, but end up getting about 8 hours sleep total.

Uhh why do you need to stay up for 36 hours when its a 24 hour race?

Since I haven’t gone to sleep yet.

After an hours worth of repairing the Aston Martin shaped dent in the guardrail, the safety car pull in and the race is back on. The Aston Martin driver is said to be fairly OK.

Is it now?

Yes, it’s now - in other words, I got up at 6:30 instead of 5:30, and have finally FF through all the commercial breaks and up to real time, and can look at the computer safely knowing that I won’t read about something before it happens on screen. Toyota 7 having some electrical (?) problems. But other than that they have been fairly racey.

This just in: The driver of the crashed Aston Martin #95, Allan Simonsen (Denmark) has died from his injuries.

I backspaced over my question about his status, having never heard an update on it, but then noticed you said he was fairly okay just above my message. They have not announced it on Speed (in commercial break).

Edit in: Confirmed on Speed’s web site, but link to article is a (pardon the phrase) dead end. Still nothing on actual coverage unless I had walked out o the room for a moment and missed it.

Edit in again: Link now works on Speed’s site. Confirmed. Bummer. It’s been a long time since there was a fatality during the race.

Yeah. First indications were that he was conscious which is usually a good sign, but his death has been confirmed officially.

And now confirmed on Speed’s live coverage. Very somber. That I wasn’t hearing anything at all so many hours afterwards was not a good sign, and I started to suspect he was in surgery.

Dashcam video of the fatal Aston Martin crash

With a little over 5 hours of racing and a dry circuit, the overall picture is a little clearer.

Audi is showing a little edge over Toyota in LMP1 with the rest of the small LMP1 field distanced as expected.

LMP2 is led by the favourite Morgan-Nissan #24, with a handful of cars fairly close. As expected, it’s a competition between Nissan powered cars.

GTE Pro has the two factory Aston Martins leading the two factory Porsche’s, with Ferrari and especially Corvette struggling to keep up.

GTE Am is still a very close race with both Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Marting being competitive.

Audi #3 running 3rd has a puncture, a small spin and has to limp back to the pit on three wheels and a bare rim. Unfortunately, the mishap took place in the Dunlop Corner, just after the pit, so the driver has a 13 km long struggle to bring the car back to the pit.

The leading car, Audi #1 is in the garage with technical trouble. The mechanics are frantically rocking the entire car, apparently trying to wriggle some stuck component loose in the engine/gearbox area. There’s only one Audi left ahead of the Toyotas now, the #2 car.

Audi #1 is back on the track, but 12 laps down. It was apparently an electrical problem.