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Crash.Net Le Mans News

Audi heads red-flagged practice

19 June 2013

Audi led the way in practice for the Le Mans 24 Hours following a truncated four hour practice session at the Circuit de la Sarthe – which was brought to a premature conclusion following a heavy accident for the Ferrari of Tracy Krohn.

Loic Duval ultimately set the quickest time amongst the three Audis as the German marque led the way through the session, with the Frenchman posting a time of 3mins 25.415secs in the car he will share with Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish.

Defending champions Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer were six-tenths of a second back in second spot with the third R18 e-tron Quattro of Marc Gene, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis third.

Jarvis was amongst the drivers to be caught out by tricky conditions caused by earlier rain early in the session, with a spin shortly after leaving the pits.

The two Toyota slotted into fourth and fifth, with Nick Heidfeld fastest of the privateer brigade in sixth in the first of the two Rebellion Racing Lolas.

LMP2 was a close-run affair with Bertrand Baguette fastest in the #35 OAK Racing Morgan ahead of the Thiriet by TDS Oreca in the hands of Maxine Martin – the two split by nearly a second on the times – with the G-Drive Racing Oreca in third.

A number of drivers would suffer spins during the session, including Keiko Ihara in the Gulf Racing Middle East Lola and Rodin Younessi in the Boutsen Ginion Oreca. However, it was Eric Lux who suffered the biggest incident amongst the LMP2 brigade after hitting the barrier on the approach to the second Mulsanne chicane in the opening hour, resulting in the session being halted to allow the barriers to be repaired.

A closely-fought battle in GTE-Pro saw the Porsche of Richard Lietz post the best time ahead of Kamui Kobayashi's AF Corse-run Ferrari, while the #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 topped GTE-Am.

Two of the GTE runners found themselves in the ways however with Abdulaziz Al Faisal going off into the tyres at the Ford Chicane in the GTE-Pro JMW Motorsport Ferrari before Krohn's accident with just over half an hour to go.

Heading through the Dunlop Esses, his Ferrari went into a spin that resulted in heavy contact with the barriers, launching the car into the air before it returned to the ground on all four wheels.

While Krohn was able to get out of the car unaided, the damage to the tyre wall was enough to see the session halted early to allow repairs to be carried out ahead of this evening's opening qualifying session.

To view practice times, CLICK HERE.


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