A fine rain was falling on the Bugatti layout – a permanent circuit inside the Le Mans 24 Hours track – when the lights went green this morning at 09h00. This failed to dissuade six cars from taking to the track immediately in view of the race on 22-23 June. They were: the three Audi R18 e-tron quattros driven by Benoît Tréluyer, Loïc Duval and Lucas di Grassi, the no. 36 Alpine-Nissan with Pierre Ragues at the wheel, the no. 33 Honda Performance Development entered by Level 5 Motorsports with Ryan Briscoe and the no. 76 IMSA Matmut Performance Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with none other than Jacques Laffite in the cockpit!
Laffite will not start the Le Mans 24 Hours in which he has already raced on nine occasions: he was there to prepare for reports on Eurosport for which he will be a consultant during the event.
The same cars continued running after the lunch break from 14h00-14h30 although only a singleton Audi R18 e-tron quarto ventured out.
No times were recorded during these sessions which went off without incident.
Preparations are on-going for the race. At 18h30 the Le Mans Municipal orchestra will also take to the track to rehearse the Marseillaise, which it will play before the start on 22nd June.
What lies ahead for the teams!
The next step for the entrants in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours is on Sunday 16th June. At 14h30 the 56 cars will go through scrutineering and admin. checks one after another on Place de la République in the centre of Le Mans. These will continue the next day, Monday, until the evening. The first team to be checked by the eagle-eyed scrutineers will be the IMSA Matmut Performance squad with its two Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs (nos 67 and 76). Scrutineering will end with the passage of another Porsche, the no. 75 ProSpeed Racing 911 RSR.
Checks will restart the next day at 10h00 with the no. 39 Lola B11/40-Judd entered by DKR Engineering, and will close at 17h30 with the no. 92 Porsche entered by the German works team.
On Tuesday 18th June the drivers will meet the spectators for an autograph session from 17h00 to 18h30 on the pit lane. The first practice session kicks off on Wednesday 19th June with a free 4 hours’ running between 16h00 and 20h00 followed by the first qualifying session the same day between 22h00 and midnight. This will continue on Thursday 20th June with qualifying between 19h00 and 21h00 and 22h00 and midnight.