Monday, June 24, 2013

[R]GARAGE Watches Le Mans! - Toyotas, McDreamy, and of course, RIP Allan Simonsen

The 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans Race has provided its spectators a great competition between Le Mans Prototypes and GT cars in the world's highly-regarded, historical, and wonderful French circuit of Sarthe. More than 50 cars were on the grid in this year's race, hoping that they will do their best to reach the podium, or even better; to win the race in their respective categories.

sources:  and, respectively

The competition is separated between two types of cars: LMPs, and GTs, which are separated yet again into LMP1 and LMP2, and GT Pro and GT Am(ateur) respectively. This year also marked the return of Toyota since its last Le Mans race in 1999 with its Toyota GT-ONE cars. This time, Toyota sent 2 of their new works TS030 cars to this year's Le Mans, competing with the Audi LMPs. They hoped that they could snatch Audi's dominance in the Le Mans race. Also, Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd Patrick Dempsey raced Le Mans once again, driving Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for Dempsey Del Piero-Proton racing with Patrick Long and Joe Foster, hoping that they could at least place themselves in the podium of GT Am class after their success in American Le Mans Series (and to be honest, I DO rooted them throughout the race! Because I know the leader of LMP1 class would be too mainstream to follow).

The bad thing about my watching Le Mans is that I forgot that Le Mans ran on 22nd June at 8pm Jakarta time; at that time, I went to Thamrin Street with my family to celebrate Jakarta's 486th anniversary. Due to that, streets from MH Thamrin to Monas (read: National Monument) and any streets that heads to Monas were closed; there were thousands of people flooding the street just to celebrate Jakarta's anniversary, and it became more crowded as night came in. There were lots of food sellers, toy sellers, stuff sellers, and some shows held near Monas, plus fireworks. To be honest I wanted to eat Kerak Telor (a Jakartan food that looks like an omelette) to celebrate its anniversary, but failed because there weren't Kerak Telor sellers throughout MH Thamrin and I ended up eating the fried rice with my family...

This is where it became more Le Mans-y: The next day as I woke up, I missed the 14th episode of Inazuma Eleven Go! (I was skeptical about Indonesian dubbers, but fortunately those skeptical feelings are gone thanks to their improving efforts of dubbing) and had an intention to download it, but when I open my Facebook, guess what happens:

Allan Simonsen, one of the drivers of Gulf Aston Martin Vantage V8, died of a fatal crash SEVENTEEN MINUTES after the race's start. RIP.

It was so sad because not only am I missed almost halfway of the LM race, but also didn't know how Allan crashed. (But, to this date, from the news I read, he lost control of his Aston Martin on a fast Tetre Rouge corner and broke his car in process, with medical team nearby quickly after the driver and he died just before they got to the medical center). So sad that the motorsport world has lost its another figure albeit the amount the safety technology given in Le Mans. All thoughts go to him and his family and friends.

And here is how he crashed...

It was there, the halfway of the 24 hours, that I eager to watch the whole race for three reasons:

1) Seeing how Toyota LMPs fare against the dominating Audis (Wished Toyota could win Le Mans after having a hiatus since the last time GT-ONEs were deployed in 1999)


 2) Seeing how GT Academy Nismo LMP2 (Greaves Motorsport) car Lucas Ordóñez and co. drive (I should get a PS3 and Gran Turismo 5 to be like him... orz)

source: stated /

3) And finally, the last but very important reason, McDREAMY!!! (I'm sure the moment Dempsey Del Piero won / got a podium in GT Am class, we'll expect a Le Mans reference in a Grey's Anatomy episode or two. Meredith's gonna be proud!)

source: Dempsey Racing's official site

And after lots of dramas, safety cars, pits, speedings, cornerings, crashes, and overtakes, the 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans goes to...

Audi Joest Team! Driven by Tom Kristensen and co. There's no surprise that Audi won, but to see a Danish flag rised halfway and Kristensen being emotional, this victory would mean a lot to them (especially after Kristensen lost his fellow Danish friend). Toyotas snatched second, but they've done well; their prototype program is a success despite they didn't take first. The other Audi completed the podium trio for this class.

Meanwhile, the LMP2 winner is OAK Racing's Morgan / Nissan. Well, sadly I don't follow LMP2s, but congrats anyway! Oh wait, did I forget about GT Academy team? Ordóñez and co. is *just* a little more to the podium actually, finishing fourth... :( Until one team who finished third faced disqualification after it is revealed that team broke one of the regulations...

In GT Pro class we have Porsche AG Team Manthey as the winner! Not following it sadly...

Finally, GT Am class seek IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche as the winner! Sadly, McDreamy is out of the podium as two Ferraris completed the podium of said class. However, fourth isn't bad, and Dempsey Del Piero racing, while not getting its podium, won hearts of its fans thanks to its interesting action feeds in its twitter. This is the reason why I can't miss Le Mans even though I have to follow all the action from twitter feeds. And finishing the Le Mans race is much better than to retire for this team! Plus, there's one Aston Martin standing, with Goethe and co. finally finished the race despite unable to avenge Simonsen by either winning or podium in the class. Great happy endings for both Dempsey team and Aston Martin!

I hope the competition escalates more in the next year. With Peugeot hibernating, having 908 HDI FAPs or newer would make a Toyota vs. Audi turn into a threesome fight in LMP1s, which would be cool, and McDreamy's return to the Le Mans race will definitely add a color to the race!

Merci Beaucoup Le Mans! See you next year, and remember, "Keep Allan Simonsen in your thoughts" -

EDIT: G-Drive Racing is revealed to broke a regulation, so in exchange of their disqualification, Greaves Motorsports took the podium in the final provisional results. (News from


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