Le Mans: Everything You Need to Know About 2013 Edition
The 90th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans promises to see the string of Audi dominance be tested by several teams.
With qualifying beginning on Wednesday for next Saturday's race, teams are making their final tweaks to try and gain the edge needed to dominate for 24 hours at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
Audi has won at Le Mans 11 of the last 13 years.
Whether Audi wins or not, it will be a memorable event. It always is, and there are a few extra highlights for the 90th anniversary.
As a sign of the extravagance of this event, Louis Vitton crafted this year's trophy case.
Check out all the vitals for this event, and then I'll break down three top teams.
TV Coverage: SPEED will bring coverage of this event. That begins on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET, 4 to 7 p.m. ET and 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET.
Live Stream: SPEED.com on Saturday 2-4 p.m. ET and 7-7:30 p.m. ET
Entry List: View the entire entry list on the event's official website.
Schedule of Events
*All times ET; schedule via SPEED.com.
Sunday, June 16
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.—Administrative Checks and Scrutineering (Place de la Republique)
Monday, June 17
4 to 11: 30 a.m.—Administrative Checks and Scrutineering (Place de la Republique)
Tuesday, June 18
11 a.m.—Drivers' Autograph Session (Pit Lane)
Wednesday, June 19
On-Track Activity: Practice: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Qualifying 7:10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, June 20
ACO Press Conference at 5 a.m.
On-Track Activity: Qualifying 2: 1-3 p.m., Qualifying 3: 4-8 p.m.
Friday, June 21
2 a.m. to 12 p.m.—Fan Pit Walk (Pit Lane)
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.—Drivers' Parade (City Center)
Saturday, June 22
On-Track Activity: Warmup: 3-3:45 a.m., Race: 9 a.m.
Sunday, June 23
On-Track Activity: Race Finish: 9 a.m.
Checking in with Top Teams
Audi's dominance at this event is remarkable. It's only competed 14 times, and it's won 11 of them.
Audi is showing no signs of letting up either. They've already claimed the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone.
Also, with Tom Kristensen behind the wheel of the Audi R18, this team has experience on its side. Kristensen has a world-record eight wins in this race.
Aston Martin made a return to competitive racing last year, and they are definitely attacking it. As MotorAuthority.com point out, Aston Martin will send five cars to this event.
They are all from the latest Vantage GTE model. Obviously, making this kind of commitment to the event, Aston Martin isn't out there to just put up a good showing, This team wants to win.
It's off to a good start. Along with Audi, Aston Martin has been the top team in testing.
Toyota had a solid showing in 2012's race, and this team built momentum by finishing the WEC season with three wins.
Now, they come into the Le Mans 24 with a TS030 Hybrid race car that has undergone tweaking and looks stronger than ever.
Nelson Ireson of MotorAuthority.com reports that Toyota has looked strong during testing, and this team clearly has things moving in the right direction.
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