Racing: 2013 81st 24 Hours of Le Mans How to Watch and Hear It All

 

It’s that time of year when we cling to our couches and do all we can to watch and listen to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But this year it’s a bit different, since it’s the 90th anniversary/81st running of the famous endurance event.

If you’re like me -no hiding, I know you are- you love endurance racing. Whether it’s the Daytona 24, 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of the Nürburgring, and especially the 24 Hours of Le Mans, you’re glued to the television and your laptop to follow all of the action.

Well here’s a list of websites where you can obtain every fact you’ll need for race time this year.

First off, the best to check out for every bit of information you can find on this year’s 81st running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is Reilly Brennan’s website. Reilly has compiled every and any possible website that’s covering anything of the race.

You can watch the coverage for all 24 hours of SPEED, and at times on SPEED.com. Here are the show times:

  • 08:30AM – 02:00PM Speed TV broadcast
  • 02:00PM – 04:00PM Speedtv.com
  • 04:00PM – 07:00PM Speed TV broadcast
  • 07:00PM – 07:30PM Speedtv.com
  • 07:30PM – 09:30AM Speed TV broadcast

But of course, the absolute best way to know what’s going on is to listen to Radio Le Mans, duh.

Here are a list of the entrants from the ACO, and here are images and .PDFs of spotter’s guides.

There are literally so many other ways to follow all of the action, so definitely head over to Reilly’s for literally every piece of info you’ll find.

Before you watch and listen to the race coverage though, you should know some of the notable entries this year, such as the Corvette team searching for their eighth class victory since 2001; Audi looking for their twelfth overall victory; SRT’s new Viper GT3-R for GT Championship; Porsche’s new RSR; and Aston Martin putting out five cars (3 GTE-Pro cars with 2 GTE-Am cars), including a Vantage with none other than Bill Auberlen. That’s right, our friend and man in a racing suit.

I should note that Aston Martin have already placed a double pole in both GTE classes… Impressive, Aston. Most impressive.

Don’t forget to check out /DRIVE’s latest video interview with Allan McNish while he was between stuff at Le Mans:

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Oh, and /DRIVE’s walk-through of Aston Martin Racing and ProDrive’s facilities just before they left for Le Mans:

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Below are press releases and pictures of some of the more popular team information.

Aston Martin:

ASTON MARTIN RACING UNVEILS WINNING LE MANS GULF LIVERY

Le Mans, 18 June 2013 – Aston Martin Racing and Gulf have unveiled the winner of their livery design competition.

The design, inspired by the change in atmosphere as day gives way to night during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was created by Jonathan Wesley from Kettering in the UK and will adorn the #97 Vantage GTE throughout race week.

Darren Turner (GB), Stefan Mücke (D) and Peter Dumbreck (GB), drivers of the #97 Vantage GTE, selected Jonathan’s design from the hundreds of entries received. He will now attend the race weekend as a VIP guest of Gulf to see his winning design compete in the 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“I have been excited ever since I got the news that my design had been chosen,” comments Jonathan. “I loved the chance of being able to design a Gulf Aston Martin, but it’s already such a classic livery that I was wondering what I could do.

“I was just sketching a few thoughts out and I liked the idea of the car being a different colour on both sides. I thought about the Gulf corporate colours – dark blue, light blue, orange and white – and I came up with the idea of ‘daylight to dusk’, which to me is the most exciting part of the race.

“So it moves from the white with the broad orange stripe dividing things to the dark blue of the night. The orange and blue lines represent the streaks that you often see in photos of the cars at night and the whole design sort of summed up the essence of Le Mans to me.”

Gulf, which has partnered Aston Martin Racing for five years and has signed a further three-year deal, ran the livery competition to allow fans to participate in the team’s most ambitious Le Mans campaign, marking the centenary year of Aston Martin.

Sam Cork, Global Brand Manager at Gulf explained: “Gulf has been responsible for some extremely iconic motorsport liveries and we wanted to give fans the opportunity to play their part. To design the livery for a Gulf Aston Martin, racing at Le Mans in the brand’s centenary year, is really something quite special.

“This livery will enter Gulf and Aston Martin Racing’s history books and Jonathan should be extremely proud to be the winner, as we had hundreds of entries from all over the world. The design is excellent. It is everything we hoped for. We can’t wait to see it take to the track for the most exciting endurance race of the year.”

The #97 car is one of five Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTEs competing in the 24-hour race, but the only one to carry the competition-winning design. The car will first be seen on the Circuit de la Sarthe at the first free practice session on Wednesday 19 June at 16:00 hrs.

Double Pole for Aston Martin at Le Mans

Le Mans, 21 June 2013 – Aston Martin Racing has qualified on pole for the 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans with its #99 Vantage GTE, as well as securing pole position in the GTE Am class with the #95 car to continue the team’s 100 per cent pole success rate in the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season.

The fastest GTE lap time of the three qualifying sessions – 3:54.635 – was set by Frédéric Makowiecki (FR) in the final moments of the third qualifying session, following a close battle with team-mate Stefan Mücke in the #97 machine who took second position. The #99 Vantage GTE, which the Frenchman will compete in for this race with Bruno Senna (BR) and Rob Bell (GB), will start from the front of the grid of 26 GT cars for the legendary 24-hour endurance race.

In the GTE Am class, Allan Simonsen (DN) put the #95 car at the top of the timesheets at the start of qualifying one, a position that the car held right until the end of session three when Simonsen bettered his time to a 3:57.776.

The #96 Vantage GTE Am car driven by Jamie Campbell-Walter clinched third place when the British driver put in a lap of 3:59.805 towards the end of the session.

The #98 Pro car will start from strong position of fifth overall on the grid. Pedro Lamy (PT) set the time in the first qualifying session and thereafter the team focused on maximising driver time in the fragmented sessions.

Aston Martin Racing Team Principal John Gaw comments: “We came here with the aim of qualifying on pole in both classes, so we are pleased to have started off our 24 Hours of Le Mans campaign so positively. The qualifying sessions were a little frustrating because of the rain and red flags meaning little changed position-wise until the final 15 minutes. We did well to firmly secure both pole positions in the dying minutes.

“We all know, however, that in a 24-hour race, starting positions aren’t too important. We need to ensure we continue the reliability that we demonstrated at Silverstone and Spa to get all our cars to the end of the race safely and without issues.”

Makowiecki comments: “It’s a nice feeling because I waited a long time to work with Aston Martin Racing. For me it’s a great pleasure to get a good result for the team. It’s the first step towards winning the race this weekend.”

Simonsen adds: “It was tricky at the start with the changing conditions and it was a typical Le Mans last lap dash. To start the 24 Hours of Le Mans on pole is fantastic. We’re all looking forward to the race.”

Qualifying positions:

GTE Pro
1st – Bruno Senna (BR), Fred Makowiecki (FR) and Rob Bell (GB) #99
2nd – Darren Turner (GB), Stefan Mücke (D) and Peter Dumbreck (GB) #97
5th – Pedro Lamy (PT), Paul Dalla Lana (CN) and Bill Auberlen (USA) #98

GTE Am
1st – Allan Simonsen (DN), Kristian Poulsen (DN) and Christoffer Nygaard (DN) #95
3rd – Jamie Campbell-Walter (GB), Stuart Hall (GB) and Roald Goethe (D) #96

The 90th Edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans starts on 22 June at 15:00 hrs CET. Follow the team’s progress at www.astonmartin.com/racing on Facebook www.facebook.com/astonmartinracing and on Twitter using @AMR_Official.

Porsche:

First qualifying in Le Mans for Porsche 911 RSR 6/9/2013
Stuttgart. Porsche AG Team Manthey used the first qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hours on Wednesday primarily to work on the set-up of the new Porsche 911 RSR for its first outing at the world’s most famous long distance race. The 911 RSR with the starting number 92, shared by Porsche works drivers Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria), performed impressively in free practice by setting the best time in the GTE-Pro class, and went on to post the fifth quickest time during the first qualifying held in the night. At the wheel of the second 911 RSR with the starting number 91, their works driver colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Patrick Pilet (France) were clocked as seventh fastest.

The best Porsche in the GTE-Am class was the 911 GT3 RSR run by Proton Competition on second place. Christian Ried (Germany) and his Italian teammates Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti share the cockpit. The IMSA Performance Matmut 911 with Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany) clinched the third quickest time. In the 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Dempsey Del Piero Proton squad, the all-American line-up of Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey, Porsche works driver Patrick Long and Joe Foster secured the seventh spot.

Quotes after the first qualifying
Joerg Bergmeister (# 91): “My main priority was to turn my mandatory laps. I was driving on used tyres and everything went really smoothly. As a driver you’re never really satisfied but I think that as far as the race is concerned we are on the right track.”
Patrick Pilet (# 91): “The balance of the car was okay. On the fastest lap I encountered a lot of traffic which cost me some time. For tomorrow we have to keep working on the balance.”
Timo Bernhard (# 91): “Today wasn’t really a labour-intensive day. In free practice I turned three laps before the session was red-flagged. When I wanted to climb in the car for my last qualifying stint the red flag came out again and after that it was no longer possible to do anything. Now I hope that I get to drive a bit longer tomorrow.”
Marc Lieb (# 92): “The qualifying was quite good. I went out on used tyres and that worked well. I’m happy with the car’s balance. Of course we have to tweak the set-up but I think that we’ll manage that before the race. Compared to Spa and Silverstone we’ve made great strides.”
Richard Lietz (# 92): “My first lap was really good, but I spun in the second. Luckily nothing happened and I then had no problems on the second set of tyres.”
Romain Dumas (# 92): “Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to drive during qualifying. I drove a couple of laps in free practice during the afternoon. It was great fun to be out on this track in a GT car.”
Wolf Henzler (#67): “Today was my first time with the car on new tyres. The balance is still not quite perfect. I hope that we can attack it again tomorrow.”
Jean-Karl Vernay (#76): “We have made progress in all areas since the last race in Spa. On the straights we are still a little slower but we are closing in on our competitors. I’m getting to know the circuit better with every lap I drive.”
Patrick Long (#77): “I initially went out on used tyres to get a feel for the car. When I then tried to go for a good qualifying time with soft tyres the yellow flag came out at the first corner. Afterwards I only had time to turn the required mandatory laps for the night qualifying.”
Patrick Dempsey (#77): “I’m very pleased to compete in Le Mans with Porsche. This is really a fantastic experience. Of course there are still some things that need improving but it’s been quite a long time since I’ve driven laps at night on this difficult track. The Porsche is great fun to drive. I’ve learned a lot and I’m feeling confident that we’ll improve even more until the race.”
Paolo Ruberti (#88): “I was almost a second quicker than in free practice. In the first chicane I was a little too quick and I lost the rear. Luckily I didn’t hit anything.”

Result 1st qualifying
GTE-Pro class
1. Bell/Makowiecki/Senna (GB/F/BRA), Aston Martin, 3:55.658 minutes
2. Fisichella/Bruni/Malucelli (I/I/I), Ferrari F458 Italia, 3:55.909
3. Dumbreck/Mücke/Turner (GB/D/GB), Aston Martin, 3:56.004
5. Dumas/Lieb/Lietz (F/D/A), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:56.457
7. Bergmeister/Bernhard/Pilet (D/D/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:56.573

GTE-AM class
1. Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen (DK/DK/DK), Aston Martin, 3:58.661 minutes
2. Ried/Roda/Ruberti (D/I/I), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 3:59.246
3. Henzler/Gibon/Milesi (D/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:00.053
5. Narrac/Bourret/Vernay (F/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:01.713
7. Dempsey/Long/Foster (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 4:03.378

Patrick Dempsey plays star role in Porsche films
Stuttgart. Hollywood star Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”) plays himself in the new motorsport film from Porsche. At the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR the avid race driver contests the 24 Hours of Le Mans this coming weekend for the Dempsey Del Piero-Proton team. The first of a series of films featuring Dempsey is available on Porsche’s Facebook page and on the Porsche YouTube channel.

“It’s nice to say that you are in the Porsche family,” says Dempsey. “It’s an incredible family, a talented family with a lot of depth when it comes to technology, engineering and design. It fills me with pride to now be a part of this family.”

The first movie is entitled “Porsche Motorsport: Growing the family with Patrick Dempsey” and was filmed at the American Le Mans Series race on the street circuit in Long Beach (USA). In the GTC class, Dempsey contests the entire season of the U.S. race series with his teammates Andy Lally and Joe Foster in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup fielded by the Dempsey Del Piero Racing squad. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Dempsey and Foster join forces with Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA).

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Audi:

Audi aims for twelfth victory at Le Mans
– Three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars at season’s top event for sports cars
– Eleven Audi victories clinched at 24 Hours in France
– Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: Challenge is particularly high this year
On June 22/23, Audi will be competing at the classic 24-hour race at Le Mans for the 15th time. On the 90th anniversary of the world’s most important endurance race, the challenge is particularly great for the brand with the four rings, following the most recent changes in the regulations.

Le Mans 2013 will be a year of historic dimensions. The inaugural event of the endurance race was held 90 years ago. Audi is now competing for the 15th time. The current World Endurance Champions Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F) will enter the race in the number ‘1’ Audi R18 e-tron quattro. If successful, the three drivers, following two consecutive victories, could manage a hat-trick at La Sarthe. This was last achieved by another Audi trio: In 2000, 2001 and 2002, Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro/Tom Kristensen (D/I/DK) remained unbeaten three times in succession.

Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen (eight wins) expects to be in contention for a top result with his current team-mates Loïc Duval (F) and Allan McNish (GB) as well. In April, the trio won the season opener of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Silverstone. A year ago, Kristensen and McNish finished as the runners-up at Le Mans.

The driver line-up of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro designated as car number ‘3’ is aiming for the trophy as well: Marc Gené (E) was the overall winner at Le Mans in 2009. Oliver Jarvis (GB) was on podium at Le Mans for the first time last year and in March won the 12-hour race at Sebring (USA) in the R18 e-tron quattro. Lucas di Grassi (BR) is experiencing a premiere. The Brazilian is contesting his first Le Mans race and since making his WEC debut with Audi last September has finished his three races to date on the podium. In doing so, he continually benefited from the wealth of experience of his team-mates in the Audi driver squad that boasts an amazing combined tally of 17 Le Mans victories.

On the technology side, the team of Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich and Chris Reinke, Head of LMP, has rigorously prepared for the toughest race of the season as well. The Audi R18 e-tron quattro has been thoroughly revised with respect to the engine, the hybrid system, its ultra-lightweight design and in other areas. Furthermore, the diesel hybrid sports car will be running with optimized aerodynamics at Le Mans.

Audi is underscoring its role as a technology pioneer with the high-performance LED headlights featuring matrix-beam technology, the digital rear-view mirror with an AMOLED display and other forward-thinking detailed solutions. Audi has been transferring a wealth of innovations from motorsport to its products for more than 30 years. Customers profit from ideas such as quattro four-wheel drive and leading-edge TDI and TFSI engines as well as the most recent innovations in the field of active safety.

The score in the duel between FIA Endurance World Champion Audi and challenger Toyota is currently at 5-3. But although Audi has been unbeaten this year in sports prototype racing to date and set the best time on the test day on June 9, a question mark remains: More than ever before, it is uncertain whether the rating of diesel and gasoline engines is sufficiently balanced to ensure fair relative strengths over the distance. Since January, diesel sports cars have progressively been subjected to more severe restrictions.

Viewers can watch the race live on Eurosport and numerous other TV stations worldwide and on the internet at www.audi-motorsport.com – including onboard footage and telemetry data of the three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars. A live ticker is available on the Audi Sport app and Twitter. Audi provides background information on Facebook as well.

Topics of the weekend

-How will the changes to the regulations affect the competition at the front of the field?
-Will Audi manage to clinch its twelfth victory on its 15th run at Le Mans?
-Which of the three driver teams will be the best Audi squad in the end?
-Who will be leading the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) after Le Mans?

Quotes by the officials

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport: “This year, Le Mans will be a particularly great challenge for us. There have been various changes made to the regulations in recent months. This has put us in a position that will make it difficult for us to decide the competition in our favor based on our racing performance. But we’re going to focus on our strengths as a team, which we’ve demonstrated on numerous occasions. It’s about doing a one-hundred-percent perfect job. We’ve got to reduce the stopping times in the pits to a minimum and, that way, try to compensate for the restrictions which the regulations have imposed on us.”

Chris Reinke, Head of LMP: “We thoroughly prepared for the most important race of the year with the entire team and, as is typical for Audi, are again entering the race with a number of innovations this year. On the test day a week ago, we didn’t learn a lot yet about how the relative strengths pan out this year. The first two WEC races haven’t been representative either. We’re eager to see how the race week will develop and whether the type of battle will be possible that the audience and we all greatly wish to see – a balanced competition for overall victory. We’ve done everything we could on our part to make this happen.”

Ralf Jüttner, Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest: “We’re very much hoping to see a classic race at Le Mans this year that won’t make things too easy for anybody. Maybe we’ll get an idea of absolute lap times in qualifying. But we’ll probably only be able to tell during the course of the race what effects the most recent changes in the regulations will have. Only then will we be able to finalize our strategy. I’m expecting an intense battle.”

Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers

Marcel Fässler (37/CH), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-In 2011, was the first Swiss to win the Le Mans 24 Hours
-Most recently won at Spa with André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer
“I look forward to Le Mans every year because it’s a fantastic challenge. We’ve got strong rivals, but we’re very motivated and have got a good car in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. We know what the entire team is capable of achieving and will go all out in order to win.”

André Lotterer (31/D), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-Has clinched two victories at Le Mans in four runs so far
-Is leading the World Championship with his two team-mates
“I’m traveling to Le Mans with a good feeling. The two victories in recent years are great and give us self-confidence, and of course we’re competing to win. But we should simply ignore these two wins and concentrate on this year. Finishing – hopefully without any problems – has to be our first objective. Then we’ll see what the outcome will be because at Le Mans anything can happen.”

Benoît Tréluyer (36/F), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-The winner of the past two years is experiencing his home race at Le Mans
-This year, has won the Sebring 12 Hours and the Spa 6 Hours
“Finally, we’re returning to Le Mans and I can run on this track in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro again. After Spa, I drove the car once more on the test day at Le Mans. That was good practice. A home round is always something very special. Many fans and friends will come to the event to support me. That’s a nice feeling.”

Loïc Duval (31/F), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-Drove the fastest race lap last year and set the absolute best time in 2010
-Achieved the fastest time at Le Mans a week ago on the test day
“Le Mans is an amazing event. For me, it’s almost a home around because I’m from Chartres. For a year, I’ve been waiting to return to La Sarthe. At that time, things weren’t going as well for us as they should have. Now I’m hoping for a particularly good result and can hardly wait for the race week to finally start.”

Tom Kristensen (45/DK), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-As an eight-time winner, is holding the record at Le Mans
-Won the opening event at Silverstone with his team-mates
“There’s no other race you’ve got to prepare for in such detail. We haven’t been on this track for a year, that’s why the test day last Sunday was so valuable. Audi has continually improved the R18 e-tron quattro and taken care of a lot of details. The battle this year will again be very close and tough. Top performance is equally important as consistency. And on a personal note, Allan McNish and I’ll be driving without Dindo Capello as our team-mate for the first time in seven years at Le Mans. Our new colleague Loïc Duval is quick and loaded with motivation. The three of us have established excellent rapport.”

Allan McNish (43/GB), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-Has won the Le Mans 24 Hours twice before
-Is only trailing the leaders of the WEC standings by one point
“Le Mans with its unique character is like a world soccer championship in a way. You absolutely want to win the biggest race of the year, but even if you’re on podium in second or third place it’s a great feeling. I’ve been on podium there eight times before, and twice as a winner. This year, I’d like to mount the very top again. You can never afford to rest at this race. Emotionally, the 24 Hours cost me more energy than the physical strength you’ve got to exert as a race driver.”

Marc Gené (39/E), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #3 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-Won the classic race at Le Mans in 2009
-Is running with two new Audi team-mates this year
“We’re working for a whole year toward this one race. We’re well prepared, as we’ve previously shown at Silverstone and Spa. I’m expecting us to be in contention for victory. I’m running at Le Mans for the seventh time and have never had as good a feeling before the race as this year.”

Lucas di Grassi (28/BR), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #3 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-Is the only Audi driver who has never run at Le Mans before
-Achieved second place at the Sebring 12 Hours with Audi
“My first race at Le Mans will be a great experience at which I’ll be learning a lot. In our team, we’ve got legends like Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish. It’s a privilege to belong to such a squad. Finishing the race, learning and being as good as possible – these are my aims.”

Oliver Jarvis (29/GB), Audi R18 e-tron quattro #3 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
-Won the GT class at Daytona 24 Hours with Audi
-Celebrated his first sports car victory at the Sebring 12 Hours
“After third place last year, I’d obviously like to move up on the podium. But first, you’ve got to finish on podium to begin with. Anything’s possible at what is arguably the world’s toughest race. I believe in our competitiveness – in the battle with our team colleagues, as well as with Toyota.”

The Audi drivers at Le Mans

Loïc Duval (F): * June 12, 1982 in Chartres (F); residence: Tokyo (J); single (partner Gaëlle), one son (Hugo); height: 1.78 m; weight: 70 kg; Audi driver since 2012; Le Mans victories: 0; WEC races: 5; WEC victories: 1; WEC pole positions: 0; fastest WEC laps: 1; best result Le Mans 24 Hours: 5

Marcel Fässler (CH): * May 27, 1976 in Einsiedeln (CH); residence: Gross (CH); married to Isabel, four daughters (Shana, Elin, Yael and Delia); height: 1.78 m; weight: 78 kg; Audi driver since 2008; Le Mans victories: 2; WEC races: 10; WEC victories: 4; WEC pole positions: 1; fastest WEC laps: 1; best result Le Mans 24 Hours: 1

Marc Gené (E): * March 03, 1974 in Sabadell (E); residence: Barcelona (E); single, one son (Patrick) and one daughter (Sienna); height: 1.73 m; weight: 69 kg; Audi driver since 2012; Le Mans victories: 1; WEC races: 3; WEC victories: 1; WEC pole positions: 0; fastest WEC laps: 0; best result Le Mans 24 Hours: 1

Lucas di Grassi (BR): * August 11, 1984 in São Paulo (BR); residence: Monaco (MC); single; height: 1.79 m; weight: 75 kg; Audi driver since 2012; Le Mans victories: 0; WEC races: 2; WEC victories: 0; WEC pole positions: 0; fastest WEC laps: 1; best result Le Mans 24 Hours: –

Oliver Jarvis (GB): * January 09, 1984 in Burwell (GB); residence: Burwell (GB); single; height: 1.80 m; weight: 70 kg; Audi driver since 2008; Le Mans victories: 0; WEC races: 3; WEC victories: 0; WEC pole positions: 0; fastest WEC laps: 0; best result Le Mans 24 Hours: 3

Tom Kristensen (DK): * July 07, 1967 in Hobro (DK); residence: Hobro (DK); single (partner: Hanne), two sons (Oliver and Oswald), one daughter (Carla Marlou); height: 1.74 m; weight: 72 kg; Audi driver since 2000, Le Mans victories: 8; WEC races: 10; WEC victories: 2; WEC pole positions: 0; fastest WEC laps: 1; best result Le Mans 24 Hours: 1

André Lotterer (D): * November 19, 1981 in Duisburg (D); residence: Tokyo (J); single; height: 1.84 m; weight: 74 kg; Audi driver since 2010; Le Mans victories: 2; WEC races: 10; WEC victories: 4; WEC pole positions: 3; fastest WEC laps: 1; best result Le Mans 24 Hours: 1

Allan McNish (GB): * December 29, 1969 in Dumfries (GB); residence: Monaco (MC); married to Kelly, one son (Finlay), one daughter (Charlotte Amelie); height: 1.65 m; weight: 60 kg; Audi driver in 2000, since 2004; Le Mans victories: 2; WEC races: 10; WEC victories: 2; WEC pole positions: 2; fastest WEC laps: 1; best result Le Mans 24 Hours: 1

Benoît Tréluyer (F): * December 07, 1976 in Alençon (F); residence: Gordes (F); married to Melanie, one son (Jules); height: 1.78 m; weight: 68 kg; Audi driver since 2010; Le Mans victories: 2; WEC races: 10; WEC victories: 4; WEC pole positions: 1; fastest WEC laps: 0; best result Le Mans 24 Hours: 1

All Le Mans winners (since 2000)

2000 Biela/Kristensen/Pirro (Audi)
2001 Biela/Kristensen/Pirro (Audi)
2002 Biela/Kristensen/Pirro (Audi)
2003 Capello/Kristensen/Smith (Bentley)
2004 Ara/Capello/Kristensen (Audi)
2005 Kristensen/Lehto/Werner (Audi)
2006 Biela/Pirro/Werner (Audi)
2007 Biela/Pirro/Werner (Audi)
2008 Capello/Kristensen/McNish (Audi)
2009 Brabham/Gené/Wurz (Peugeot)
2010 Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller (Audi)
2011 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi)
2012 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi)

Track info

Track length: 13.629 km
Race duration: 24 hours
Qualifying record on this track: Stéphane Sarrazin, Peugeot, 3m 18.513s = 247.159 km/h (Jun 11, 2008)
Race record on this track: Loïc Duval, Peugeot, 3m 19.074s = 246.463 km/h (Jun 13, 2010)
Pole position 2012: André Lotterer, Audi R18 e-tron quattro, 3m 23.787s = 240.763 km/h (Jun 15, 2012)
Fastest lap 2012: Loïc Duval, Audi R18 ultra, 3m 24.189s = 240.289 km/h (Jun 16, 2012)

Oliver Jarvis about the track at Le Mans

“Le Mans is unique and at night it’s even more challenging. We brake hard into the first chicane. In traffic, you lose a lot of time there. We take the S-turns with a lot of momentum. Then we’ve got to run through Tertre Rouge. This fast turn takes us onto the Hunaudières straight. You brake hard from high speed into the two chicanes on the long straight and the power has to start flowing at the exit. The area where you brake in front of the Mulsanne corner is located in a bend. After a straight section, the Indianapolis double-turn follows. Indianapolis 1 is very fast, part 2 a slow left-hand bend. The tightest corner is Arnage. Then the Porsche corners follow, which arguably are the nicest part of the track. But you’ve got to watch out as it’s easy to lose four or five seconds in traffic there. Finally, there is a chicane before the start and finish straight. It’s a brilliant circuit.”

Timetable

Wednesday, June 19
16:00–20:00 Free practice
22:00–00:00 Qualifying 1

Thursday, June 20
19:00–21:00 Qualifying 2
22:00–00:00 Qualifying 3

Friday, June 21
14:00 Audi press conference

Saturday, June 22
09:00–09:45 Warm-up
15:00 24-hour race

Corvette:

Corvette Racing Returns for Le Mans Glory

Team goes for eighth class victory since 2001 at 24 Hours

LE MANS, France (June 17, 2013) – Each year in the middle of June, the road-racing universe turns its eyes to the Sarthe region of France for the world’s most famous endurance event. Corvette Racing is back at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in search of its eighth class victory since 2001.

The two velocity yellow Compuware Corvette C6.R race cars undertook a successful test at Le Mans on Sunday, June 9. Jan Magnussen in the No. 73 Corvette set the team’s best time in of 3:59.491 (127.3 mph) to rank fifth in the GTE Pro class. The top six cars in the class were less than a second apart, a preview of how close and competitive things will be for the June 22-23 race.

Magnussen partners with full-season American Le Mans Series teammate Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor (endurance races). Magnussen and Garcia took a trip to victory lane at Laguna Seca in early May. Meanwhile, in the No. 74 Corvette C6.R, defending ALMS GT champions Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner team with Richard Westbrook for the prestigious race. The trio already scored victory together this season at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring to open the season.

“The test day confirmed what we already knew,” said Mark Kent, Director of Racing – Chevrolet. “This year’s GTE Pro class will be the deepest and most competitive in which we have competed. As always, we welcome the monumental challenge that only Le Mans can provide. Experience has taught us that it takes an exceptionally well-coordinated effort from everyone on our team to succeed. We demonstrated that skill and commitment at both Sebring and Laguna Seca and I am confident our guys can deliver again on the biggest stage here in France.”

Corvette Racing is a seven-time winner at Le Mans having won in 2001-02, 2004-06, 2009 and 2011. This year’s race begins at 3 p.m. CET/9 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 22 with live coverage on SPEED and SPEED.com.

Le Mans 24 Hours (all times CET)

· Practice/qualifying: 4-8 p.m., 10 p.m.-midnight, Wednesday

· Qualifying: 7-9 p.m., 10 p.m.-midnight, Thursday

· Warm-up: 9-9:45 a.m., Saturday

· Race: 3 p.m. Saturday-3 p.m., Sunday

Le Mans: Watch It!

Saturday, June 22-Sunday, June 23 (all times EDT)

· SPEED: 8:30 a.m-2 p.m., Saturday; 4-7 p.m., Saturday; 7:30 p.m., Saturday-9:30 a.m., Sunday

· SPEED.com: 2-4 p.m., Saturday; 7-7:30 p.m., Saturday

· Corvette 24-Hour Live Stream: 9 a.m. Saturday-9 a.m. Sunday

JAN MAGNUSSEN, NO. 73 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R

This is your 10th Le Mans appearance with Corvette Racing. Have the keys to success changed over time?

“My whole year is based around doing well at Le Mans because we are always there with a chance to win. We have three golden rules that Doug Fehan pounds into us every chance he gets: Don’t hit anything, don’t break anything and stay on the track. They are three pretty good rules because it seems like every time we’ve run – apart from one or two – that’s been the case. Obviously the competition is very tough so we have to push. Le Mans is very different now than it was 10 years ago in terms of how you treat the car and approach the race. You can take a little more time when you fight with another GT car as pit stops come into play. But if you gotta go, then you gotta go and take chances. I’ll bet good money that the car that wins isn’t necessarily the fastest car but the one that makes the fewest mistakes.”

ANTONIO GARCIA, NO. 73 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R

Where do you think the main competition will emerge for this race?

“The good thing about GT now is that there is not just one big manufacturer to fight against. Aston Martin looks very strong, just as they did last year. Porsche and Viper have new cars, and Ferrari won the race last year. I hope the No. 74 Corvette will be the other strongest car in the field. We hope to fight with them for a 1-2 finish. I believe Corvette Racing is the most prepared team at Le Mans. We are the main competitors for everyone. But we don’t know where everyone will stand during the race. Most of the teams are running ELMS, some in the FIA WEC. But we will find out soon where everyone will stand. But in my mind, Corvette Racing has the top two cars in the class.”

JORDAN TAYLOR, NO. 73 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R

What is the biggest challenge of Le Mans?

“Le Mans is definitely a unique place because half of it is race track and the other half is public roads. It’s very spread out so you don’t have to learn where you’re going. It’s a lot of driving in a straight line but when you do get to those corners, they are massively important because they lead on to long straights. The whole week is very busy and you’re not expecting it for a whole event. Driving is almost the last thing you’re thinking about, but when you get in the car you have to switch your head around immediately and be fully focused. But at the end of the day, that is the most important part of the event.”

OLIVER GAVIN, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R

“Looking back over the last few years, our car has been good enough to win the race every year. I’m confident we are going to go there with just as much potential. The competition level is higher than ever before. It’s an unbelievably strong year. I feel as always that I feel we have the best team at Corvette Racing and I feel I’ve got the best teammates to execute and win the race. So yes, I’m confident.”

TOMMY MILNER, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R

Is there anything you learned from winning in 2011 that you can apply this year?

“In many ways, you put past experiences behind you. You can’t rely on them to pull you through in a new year. But each race I do, I learn something new. In 2011, the important lesson was that you don’t have to have the fastest car or try and make up that difference if the car isn’t perfect. What mattered the most that year was having a clean race and not making any mistakes. If you can do that, you’ll be there at the end. Obviously you’d love to have the fastest car and that in some ways can make life easier. But that’s not the end game. That is part of Le Mans and what makes it special.”

On being an American driving an American car at such an international race?

“Le Mans for me is the biggest race in the world. Representing a brand, a team and the history that Corvette has at Le Mans is incredible. Being an American driver only adds to that. Whether you’re Jan from Denmark or Oliver from the UK – the fans are so into the car and the sound it makes. All the fans appreciate the race, the history and what makes Corvette special. It’s an honor for our guys to be there and compete every year. Their passion for the race and what we do shines through. For me, it’s special be part of that team.”

RICHARD WESTBROOK, NO. 74 COMPUWARE CORVETTE C6.R

“Le Mans is a funny thing. Some people find it incredibly difficult. A lot of people get caught out with a sense of the occasion because Le Mans is Le Mans. But it’s important to treat it like any other track. Things are pretty straightforward until you get to the Porsche Curves. Then things get hairy. You need bags of confidence through there, and if don’t then you’re going to be slow and that’s a lot (of extra time) on the stopwatch. You can never overstate it enough – I don’t come to Le Mans to finish second. I’ve been on the podium but not on the top step. I want to win, and I want to win in a Corvette.”

In addition, here is social media information, and boilerplate that needs to go on the bottom like is on the Team Chevy template:

Connect with Corvette Racing and Team Chevy on social media. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TeamChevy, follow us on Twitter @CorvetteRacing and @TeamChevy, and add +TeamChevy into your Google+ circles.

About Chevrolet?Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

SRT Viper GT3-R:

New SRT Viper GT3-R Readies for Worldwide GT Competition

Latest purpose-built SRT Viper developed in collaboration with Riley Technologies

June 20, 2013 , Le Mans, France – The new face of GT Class racing is here. It’s the SRT Viper GT3-R, a new V-10 powered thoroughbred ready for world-class competition.

The SRT Viper GT3-R is the latest generation of the successful Viper GTS-R, designed and developed by Chrysler Group’s SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports team. The similarities between the SRT Viper street car and the non-street legal GT3-R are deliberate.

And according to Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, the Viper GT3-R is a culmination of nearly two decades of racing development making for a robust sports car that is at home at tracks all over the world.

“The SRT Viper GT3-R is the next logical progression of our successful Viper GTS-R, a championship-proven formula that has captured some of the world’s most prestigious races,” Gilles said. “Like every Viper race car, the GT3-R is a direct descendant of the SRT Viper street car. There is no mistaking the similarities between the two which is a key component of this class of sports car racing. The GT3-R stays true to the visceral appeal of the Viper and has been carefully evolved for the demands of racing at a world class level.”

The new SRT Viper GT3-R is a collaboration led by Riley Technologies in Mooresville, N.C. with SRT Motorsports. Riley Technologies specializes in the design, manufacturer and support of winning race cars. Riley has built racing-winning cars from Daytona prototype endurance cars to GT competition cars. Their resume includes multiple U.S. endurance championships race wins – including the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona for nine consecutive years – and multiple GT Class championships.

The SRT Viper GT3-R is the direct descendent of the high performance GTS-R campaigned by SRT Motorsports in the LM GTE Pro Class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The technology developed by the Chrysler Group for the factory GTS-R for engine, chassis, suspension, electronics and aerodynamics is incorporated into every Viper GT3-R.

The chassis has been equipped with a highly-efficient aerodynamic package to optimize handling. Other features include Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission with paddle shifters, six-piston front brake calipers with four-piston rears, lightweight wheels and a multi-disc race clutch for maximum performance from the V-10 engine.

Viper’s legacy began in December 1991 when the first production Viper rolled off Detroit’s New Mack Avenue assembly line. In 1996, the Viper GTS coupe made its debut as did the Viper GTS-R race car.

In 1996, from the work of the same dedicated team of Viper engineers and car enthusiasts came the Viper GTS coupe. It was destined to be raced on the biggest stage. And so it was in 1996 that the Viper GTS-R race car made its debut. Viper GTS-Rs would go on to post three consecutive 1-2 class finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, win overall at the 24 Hours of Daytona, capture multiple international endurance titles, five FIA titles and 16 national GT championships. To extend this same racing pedigree to private customers, the Viper Competition Coupe was introduced in 2003 and developed further for its GT3 class debut in 2005.

Highlighting its numerous victories around the world are two national GT3 championships and a World Challenge GT title. The die had been cast then for what we now have today: the SRT Viper GT3-R.

Orders are now being taken for late 2013 delivery. The price of the new SRT Viper GT3-R is estimated at $459,000 USD.

SRT Motorsports – 24 Hours of Le Mans Race Advance
June 18, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – VIPER RETURNS TO LE MANS

SRT Motorsports will field two SRT Viper GTS-Rs in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the first factory supported Viper effort at the race since 2000. SRT Motorsports also competes full-time in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with a two-car team.
The driver lineup for Le Mans: Tommy Kendall, Kuno Wittmer and Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R; Marc Goossens, Dominik Farnbacher and Ryan Dalziel in the No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R.

SRT VIPER RACING HERITAGE

In 1996, the Viper GTS-R made its debut and competed in a limited schedule in the GT1 class of the European and Asian BPR Global GT Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Finished 1-2 at 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTS class for three consecutive years (1998-2000).
Five international GT championships.
Three-consecutive FIA GT championships (1997-1999).
Won the ALMS GTS class, manufacturer’s and driver’s championship in 2000.
In 2000, became the first production-based American car to capture the overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
Retired from ALMS factory-backed competition in 2001.
Returned to ALMS for four races in 2012.

DRIVER QUOTES:

“Le Mans is a big deal because it has such a great history, the first endurance race in the world. The whole world is watching. It’s not only France or a particular country; the whole world watches that race. The crowds there are outstanding.”

–Dominik Farnbacher – No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R

“I’ve had the opportunity to race there 11 times. Every time I go to Le Mans and get out on the track the first time, I get goose bumps. The return of the Viper makes it a unique situation for us. Fans worldwide will be watching us closely. We’re looking forward to being a part of Viper’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

–Marc Goossens – No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R

“Le Mans is just an amazing place with an electric atmosphere, something I had never experienced in any racing paddock. It reminded me of world championship soccer matches in Europe, you know, an atmosphere where you can’t hear yourself think. I said after the first time there in 2010 that it’s my goal every year to make sure I go there.”

–Ryan Dalziel – No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R

“To me personally, it’s a dream come true to race at Le Mans. To be teamed up with Jonathan (Bomarito) and Tommy (Kendall) is very good. It’s a level of confidence for me going to Le Mans that we have teammates and team guys that have been there and know what to expect.

–Kuno Wittmer – No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

“For me Le Mans is the last frontier. It’s the biggest sports car race on the planet and it’s different than any other race in that you’ve got the long track and there aren’t that many cars for that much room. You go through long stints during the race without seeing another car. You can have a lap where you might see one other car.”

–Tommy Kendall – No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

“It’s a dream come true to be racing at Le Mans and as a race car driver that’s at the top of everybody’s list. When you look back all the winners and manufacturer support over 81 years, the history of the race is just incredible.”

–Jonathan Bomarito – No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“The return to Le Mans has happened faster than we expected but always engineered with that in mind. Clearly the fond memories – a lot of people on the team were here back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I still remember the excitement and euphoria and spill-off effect of having been in the 24 Hours of Le Mans before. We had a fantastic platform for the car and our No. 1 goal was to get back into racing and Le Mans was on the radar.”

–Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Brand and Motorsports

“SRT is still trying to be recognized by the public as a brand – although we’ve been around – we’re still educating people what the letters SRT (Street and Racing Technology) are. So it’s a great opportunity to be in front of people who will help us tell our story.”

–Beth Paretta, Director – SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Brand and Motorsports Marketing and Operations

FROM THE TEAM LEADERS

“I think it’s a dream come true for anybody that’s been involved in motorsports. Le Mans is really the pinnacle of sports car racing. To be invited is a real honor. I hope that we do well there and keep our Viper fans behind us and cheering us on. We want to make sure that they see a good race. Le Mans is really the thing that we’ve been targeting this year. All of our focus has been on that. We know that because our fans have been really anxious. I’ve been having dreams about Le Mans since we were invited. It’s just one dream that keeps repeating in my head.”

–Gary Johnson, SRT Motorsports Racing Manager

“It’s a huge honor to be involved in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in any way, shape or form and represent SRT with the Viper on its return. I love the facility, I love the race and I love the history. Being an American going across the ocean to race in Europe, that’s special. Everyone brings their A-game to Le Mans, so that’s special also.”

— Bill Riley, VP and Chief Engineer, Riley Technologies

TOMMY KENDALL

No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

Birthdate: 10/17/1966

Hometown: Santa Monica, Calif.

Highlights:

Four-time Trans Am champion; dominated the series in the 1990s including 1997 when he won all but one race on the schedule
Five-time IMSA champion
Invited to participate in IROC Series six times
24 Hours of Daytona class winner in 1995, teaming with Mark Martin and Paul Newman

KUNO WITTMER

No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

Birthdate: 06/09/1982

Hometown: Montreal, Canada

Highlights:

In 2000, he became the youngest driver to compete in the Toyota Atlanta Championship when he was just 17 years old
Scored six wins competing in the SCCA World Challenge GT Class
Broke single-lap record at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah in 2011

JONATHAN BOMARITO

No. 93 SRT Viper GTS-R

Birthdate: 01/23/1982

Hometown: Monterey, Calif.

Highlights:

2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona winner in the Grand-Am GT class
Scored GT class wins at New Jersey (2011) and Barber Motorsports Park (2012)
Captured 2003 Formula Ford championship with five wins

DOMINIK FARNBACHER

No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R

Birthdate: 09/26/1984

Hometown: Ansbach, Germany

Highlights:

Four career ALMS wins (St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca)
Has eight career starts in the Rolex 24 at Daytona
Won 2005 Rolex 24 at Daytona GT class alongside co-drivers Wolf Henzler, Shawn Price and Pierre Ehret

MARC GOOSSENS

No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R

Birthdate: 11/30/1969

Hometown: Geel, Belgium

Highlights:

Has 11 starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1996-2003, 2008, 2010-2011)
Won 24 Hours of Zolder four times (1997,1998, 2005 and 2007)
Competed in FIA GT series from 2002 through 2005

RYAN DALZIEL

No. 53 SRT Viper GTS-R

Birthdate: 04/12/1982

Hometown: Glasgow, Scotland

Highlights:

Won 2012 LMP2 class at 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship plus three ALMS races – Petit Le Mans, Long Beach and Baltimore.
Has 16 starts in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series

THE PARTNERS

Riley Technologies
Mopar
Magneti Marelli
Sabelt
Roush Industries
Pennzoil Ultra
Michelin
HP
Motegi Racing
Hot Wheels

DID YOU KNOW?

Production SRT Vipers are built at the Chrysler Group’s Connor Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit.

[Source: Aston Martin, Audi, Chevrolet, SRT, Porsche]

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