2013 Le Mans 24 Hrs (Jun 23, Audi Wins and Podium Presentations)

We all know car racing is a dangerous sport. We were reminded of how dangerous this sport can be with the passing of the Danish Aston Martin driver, Allan Simonsen, due to injuries he sustained when his Number 95 car crashed at Tertre Rouge early into the race on Saturday afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends. At the request of his family, the Aston Martin team continued to race to honor Allan Simonsen.

The race winners were

  • LMP1 –  Audi R18 e-tron quattro (Audi Sport Team Joest) Number 2 driven by Tom Kristensen (DNK), Allan McNish (GBR), and Loic Duval (FRA). It was Audi’s twelfth win in 14 years, and Tom Kristensen’s record setting ninth victory
  • LMP2 – Morgan-Nissan (Oak Racing) Number 35 driven by Bertrand Baguette (BEL), Ricardo Gonzalez (MEX), and Martin Plowman (GBR)
  • LM GTE Pro – Porsche 911 RSR (Porsche AG Team Manthey) Number 92 driven by Romain Dumas (FRA), Marc Lieb (DEU), and Richard Lietz (AUT)
  • LM GTE AM – Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (IMSA Performance Matmut) Number 76 driven by Christophe Bourret (FRA), Raymond Narac (FRA), and Jean-Karl Vernay (FRA)

After the podium ceremonies, left the track and took the tram back to the Le Mans train station, then caught the 6.23 pm TGV back to Paris. As soon as I got into the train seat, I fell asleep, and about an hour later woke up when the TGV arrived at the Monparnasse train station in Paris. By the time I got back to the hotel and bed, I had been up for about 40 hours, with little sleep. It was a “marathon” photography adventure and a great experience, that I would do again in a “heart beat”.

2013_Le Mans (HC7A5096)Audi wins and Toyota second. Start/Finish line on front straight shot from ACO Stand 18 near top of stand at furtherest position on right of stand at 3 pm Sunday afternoon (Canon 5D Mark III, 300mm f2.8L IS II with 1.4x extender III, 420mm, f/4, 1/1000, ISO 500)

2013_Le Mans (HC7A5101)The Aston Martin Vantage GTE Number 96 (LM GTE AM class) was driven past the finish line to honor Allan Simonsen with the LMP1 class race winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro Number 2 (Audi Sport Team Joest) and second place Toyota TS030 (Toyota Racing) Number 7. Shot taken from ACO Stand 18 (Canon 5D Mark III, 300mm f2.8L IS II with 1.4x extender III, 420mm, f/4, 1/1000, ISO 640)

2013_Le Mans (IMG_1117)The crowd assembles for the podium ceremonies. Shot taken from ACO Stand 18 (Canon SL1, 40mm f2.8L, 64mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO 100)

2013_Le Mans (HC7A5161)Spectators hold Danish flags to honor Allan Simonsen. Shot taken from ACO Stand 18 (Canon 5D Mark III, 300mm f2.8L IS II with 1.4x extender III, 420mm, f/4, 1/1000, ISO 320)

2013_Le Mans (HC7A5158)LMP1 class Audi Number 2 first, Toyota Number 7 second, and Audi Number 3 third. Shot taken from ACO Stand 18 (Canon 5D Mark III, 300mm f2.8L IS II with 1.4x extender III, 420mm, f/4.5, 1/1000, ISO 320)

2013_Le Mans (HC7A5184)LM GTE Pro class Porsche AG Team Manthey Number 15 first, Number 16 second, and Aston Martin Racing Number 17 third. The Aston Martin team held the Danish flag to honor Allan Simonsen. Shot taken from ACO Stand 18 (Canon 5D Mark III, 300mm f2.8L IS II with 1.4x extender III, 420mm, f/4, 1/1000, ISO 640)

2013_Le Mans (HC7A5198)LM GTE AM class IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche Number 25 first, AF Corse Ferrari 458 second, and 27 third. Shot taken from ACO Stand 18 (Canon 5D Mark III, 300mm f2.8L IS II with 1.4x extender III, 420mm, f/4.5, 1/1000, ISO 640)

2013 Le Mans (IMG_3535)My TGV train ride from Le Mans to Paris (iPhone 4, 3.8mm, 35mm, f2.8, f/17, ISO 200)

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