Le Mans at Hour 14
ITS AUDI, TOYOTA, TOYOTA IN LE MANS LMP1 AT 14 HOURS
LE MANS, FRANCE -RIS- With approximately ten hours left in the most famous annual 24-hour endurance sports car race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the race is turning into a battle between powerhouse Audi Sport Team Joest and Toyota Racing.
At present, the #2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro leads the two Toyota TS030-Hybrids, #8 and #7, by less than a lap in the LMP1 category.
The Audi is being driven by eight-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, Loic Duval and Allan McNish.
The #8 Toyota is currently being driven by Sebastien Buemi. His co-drivers are Anthony Davidson and Stephane Sarrazin.
The #7 Toyota co-drivers are Alexander Wurz, Nicholas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima.
Martin Plowman is currently leading the LMP2 category in the Oak Racing Morgan-Nissan #35.
The #92 Porsche 911 RSR of Team Manthey currently leads the LM GTE Pro class.
The Porsche 911 GT3 RIS of IMSA Performance Matmut, #76, leads the LM GTE Am class.
The day began in tragedy.
Ten minutes into the event, the #95 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, driven by Allan Simonsen, swerved as it exited Tertre Rouge and merged onto the Mulsanne Straight. The car overcorrected and hit the outside retaining barrier.
Simonsen was mortally injured in the accident, succumbing to his injuries in the circuit medical center.
Morning skies are just beginning to dawn over the Circuit de la Sarthe, and the rugged morning driving stints are just beginning.
Has been a contributor to RIS since 1992. He was invited to join the staff as a full-time reporter/editor in 1995. Tom has reported on IndyCar, Formula 1, NASCAR and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In addition to his RIS work, Tom has been a contributor for General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and the ACO.