Tag Archives: 24 hours

24 Hours of Daytona Begins Today

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The debut of the new Tudor United Sports Car Championship begins today at 2:10 pm ET with the 52nd Rolex 24 at Daytona. You can follow the action on various TV channels throughout the 24 hour event or watch online. This year’s 24 Hours of Daytona begins a new era in sports car racing as the Grand Am Series and American Le Mans Series combined to form one united series. With 65 entries, this will be one of the largest 24 Hours of Daytona ever.

The new series is comprised is four classes of cars:

Prototype (P): The prototypes are the top tier teams from both the Grand Am and American LeMans Series. Some of the cars in this class include the Nissan DeltaWing, Ford EcoBoost, and the Corvette Daytona Prototype.

Prototype Challenge (PC): PC is a spec class that is a carry over from the American Le Mans Series. The series features cars built by Oreca with engines supplied by Chevrolet and tires from Continental.

GT Le Mans (GTLM): This GT LeMans class is a direct carry over from the American Le Mans Series. Cars in this class include the Corvette C7.R, Ferrari 458, SRT Viper, Porsche 911, and BMW Z4. All cars in this class must follow the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s GTE specification.

GT Daytona (GTD): The GTD class combines the Grand-Am GT & GX classes with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars from the American Le Mans GTC class.  GTD is by far the largest class and features 29 cars.

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I am looking forward to the new series as it allows the best teams of both series to compete against each other for the same championship. For a full run down of all 65 entries, I highly recommend the article posted by RennSport which describes the new series and includes images of each car. You can also follow live scoring here.

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2013 24 Hours of Le Mans Wrap-Up

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The 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans is in the books, and it produced exciting racing right down to the final hour. The headlines going into the 24 hour race was Audi vs. Toyota in LM P1 and the return of the SRT Viper in LM GTE Pro. While the Audi vs. Toyota battles were great, the Viper story was not as great. Both Viper’s finished the race, but they finished 8th and 9th. The Vipers pitted more often than most teams leading me to believe the V10s were very thirsty. Team Corvette did not have a great day either finishing 4th and 7th.

The death of Aston Martin driver Allan Simonsen early in the race left a somber feeling in the garage area, but the race continued. Team Aston Martin did well with car #97 finishing 3rd in LM GTE Pro.

The overall winner of the race, and winners of LM P1, was the #2 Audi. This was Audi’s fourth overall win in a row and their twelfth overall win. Drivers of the #2 car were Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, and Loic Duval. The win was Kristensen’s ninth career win at Le Mans. They were followed by the #8 Toyota and #3 Audi. In LM P2, The #35 Morgan Nissan won followed by the #24 Morgan Nissan and the #26 Oreca Nissan.

In LM GTE Pro the #92 Porsche 911 RSR followed by their teammates in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR. The #97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 rounded out the top 3. And in LM GTE Am, the #76 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR won followed by the #55 Ferrari 458 Italia and the #61 Ferrari 458 Italia.

For the full results of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, click here.

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24 Hours of Le Mans Reaches Half Way

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The 81st running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans just passed 12 hours. The first half of the race has provided some great racing, and, unfortunately, tragedy. Aston Martin’s Allan Simonsen died as a result of injuries received in a crash on the fourth lap of the race. Team Aston Martin has continued to race at the request of his family. They currently lead in LM GTE Pro.

With 12 hours remaining, there is still a lot of racing to go. They are now in the night phase of the race and will have plenty of daylight tomorrow before the race is complete. The SRT and Corvette teams are struggling, but there is a long way to go. You can follow along on SPEED or access the full leader board by clicking here.

The current top 5 in each racing group are as follows:

LM P1

1. #2 Audi

2. #8 Toyota

3. #7 Toyota

4. #3 Audi

5. #13 Lola Toyota

LM P2

1. #35 Morgan – Nissan

2. #24 Morgan – Nissan

3. #38 Zytek – Nissan

4. #42 Zytek – Nissan

5. #46 Oreca – Nissan

LM GTE Pro

1. #99 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

2. #92 Porsche 911 RSR

3. #97 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

4. #91 Porsche 911 RSR

5. #51 Ferrari 458

LM GTE Am

1. #76 Porsche 911 GT3

2. #55 Ferrari 458

3. #61 Ferrari 458

4. #77 Porsche 911 GT3

5. #88 Porsche 911 GT3

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SRT Viper Returns to Le Mans

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The 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans will begin in a few hours, and for the first time in over 10 years, the SRT Viper will be part of the field. SRT Racing has entered two Viper GTS-Rs in the LM GTE Pro category. Viper fans, myself included, are hoping the Viper teams can recreate their successes at Le Mans. The Viper won its class in 1998, 1999, and 2000.

The SRT Viper GTS-R has been running in the American Le Mans Series this season and has had some success this season with the No. 91 Viper GTS-R finishing every race in the top-5. Gary Johnson, SRT racing manager has said, “Our plan is to be as competitive as we can and see what happens at the end.”

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Despite a slew of rule changes since the Viper last raced at Le Mans, expectations are high for the team. SRT has brought a talented group of drivers including Dominik Farnbacher, Ryan Dalziel, and Marc Goossens in the No. 53 Viper GTS-R. Drivers of the No. 93 Viper GTS-R are Tommy Kendall, Jonathan Bomarito, and Kuno Wittmer.

Follow SRT Racing on their website and their YouTube Channel where they produce the Beyond the Checkered Flag Series.

Coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans begins at 8:30 AM Eastern on Speed.

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24 Hours of Le Mans Spotter Guides

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The 24 Hours of Le Mans is a race that only occurs once a year, and racing enthusiasts from all over the world tune in to watch their favorite manufacturer or driver compete. The announcers for the race will talk about a number of drivers, teams, and turns in the race track. It can be hard to keep everything straight. So to help out, Andy Blackmore has released a Spotter Guide to assist those at the track  for the fans watching at home. I have included these guides in full resolution for you to follow along with the greatest endurance race in the world.

I am looking forward to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I support SRT Motorsports and their SRT Viper GTS-Rs, but I would not too upset if the Corvette took home the trophy for the LM GTE Pro class of cars. Both Corvette and Viper have faired well at Le Mans in the past, and with both competing in 2013, American engineering is well represented.

2013 24 Hours of Le Mans Spotter Guides

(Click Image for Full Size)

Track Layout

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Prototype Models

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GT Models

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Key for the Spotter’s Guide

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90th 24 Hours of Le Mans Begins Tomorrow

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The 90th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans begins tomorrow morning. The historic race brings the biggest names in the auto world and racing world to the historic Circuit de la Sarthe in France. This year Ferrari, Audi, Lotus, Aston Martin, and Corvette will be joined by two new SRT Viper GTS-Rs. The Viper has had success at the 24 Hour race in the past, but has been absent from the field for over ten years. The Viper won the GTS class in 1998, 1999, and 2000 before leaving the series. The field (pictured above) is divided into four classes: LM P1, LM P2, LM GTE Pro, and LM GTE Am. For a full list of entries, click here.

I love this race because it tests  the reliability of the racing technology used by the teams. Most race series run their equipment for 2 – 3 hours, but a 24 hour race is the ultimate test of endurance, both on equipment and personnel.

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Coverage of the ultimate endurance race will be on Speed and Speed.com. The full schedule of coverage is listed below. Note: all times are Eastern.

 

Saturday, June 22

  • Le Mans 24 Hours (Start) 8:30am-2pm (SPEED TV)
  • Le Mans 24 Hours 2-4pm (SPEED.com)
  • Le Mans 24 Hours 4pm-7pm (SPEED)
  • Le Mans 24 Hours 7-7:30pm (SPEED.com)
  • Le Mans 24 Hours 7:30pm-Midnight (SPEED)

Sunday, June 23

  • Le Mans 24 Hours (Finish) Midnight-9:30am (SPEED)

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Congratulations Team Corvette

Team Corvette has won the GTE class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.  The number 73 Corvette Racing C6.R ZR1 finished first ahead of the Ferrari 458 Italia.  Corvette 73 was driven to victory by Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner, and Antonio Garcia.  Team Corvette’s second entry, the number 74 Corvette, was forced to retire early after crashing while leading.

Congratulations to Corvette Racing!

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