Le Mans 2014: Wednesday wrap-up

Below is a summary of all that took place at Le Mans Wednesday.

Le Mans 2014: Wednesday wrap-up

The action at Le Mans kicked off in a big way yesterday. Loic Duval was involved in a horrifying accident. He was promptly extracted from the No. 1 Audi and transported to a local hospital via ambulance.

In the end, he only suffered cuts and bruises on his legs and arms, but the ACO and doctors are not allowing him to race. JOTA Sport's Marc Gene, who won this race for Peugeot back in 2009, has been selected as his replacement. Oliver Turvey will fill the gap in the No. 38 JOTA Sport LMP2 entry.

Ambulance carrying Loic Duval after his crash during Wednesday practice
Ambulance carrying Loic Duval after his crash during Wednesday practice

Photo by: James Holland

Toyota's Anthony Davidson would post the fastest time in that practice session, ahead of Marcel Fassler in the No. 2 Audi and teammate Kazuki Nakajima in the No. 7 Toyota. LMP2 was led by Oak Racing's Jann Mardenborough in the new Ligier JSP2 Coupe prototype. As for the GTE divisions, the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari held the quickest team in the professional class, with Nicki Thiim setting GTE Am pace in the No. 95 Aston Martin.

#8 Toyota Racing Toyota TS 040 - Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre, Sébastien Buemi
#8 Toyota Racing Toyota TS 040 - Hybrid: Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre, Sébastien Buemi

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

In qualifying, there was a big change at the top of the leaderboard. Porsche went 1-2 after failing to match any of their main rivals during practice. Sandbagging perhaps? Currently, it's Brendon Hartley in the No. 20 Porsche that holds the provisional pole over teammate Neel Jani, who was piloting the No. 14. They were followed by the Toyota duo, who were over two seconds adrift of the Porsches. The No. 2 Audi rounded out the top five. Obviously, the sister Audi of Kristensen, Di Grassi, and Gene did not take part.

In LMP2, Oliver Pla put the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Morgan-Nissan on the top spot for now. Ferrari is in control of both GTE classes at the moment. The AF Corse team is leading the way in GTE Pro with Gianmaria Bruni behind the wheel of the No. 52 machine. In GTE Am, it's SMP Racing's Andrea Bertolini who was able to outpace all others in the No. 72 car.

#20 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley
#20 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid: Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Both practice and qualifying were marred by a number of these...

Red flag
Red flag

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

And if you believe the old superstition surrounding full moons and auto races, the chaos on Wednesday could then be attributed to this...

Full moon at Le Mans on Wednesday, along with a few red flags
Full moon at Le Mans on Wednesday, along with a few red flags

Photo by: James Holland

Now, here's a montage of Motorsport.com photos capturing all of the mishaps and off road excursions during yesterday's sessions.

Aftermath of the crash #99 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8: Alex MacDowall, Darryl O'Young, Fernando Rees
Aftermath of the crash #99 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8: Alex MacDowall, Darryl O'Young, Fernando Rees

Photo by: James Holland

#37 SMP Racing Oreca 03 - Nissan: Kirill Ladygin, Nicolas Minassian, Maurizio Mediani crash during Wednesday qualifying at the entrance to Porsche curve
#37 SMP Racing Oreca 03 - Nissan: Kirill Ladygin, Nicolas Minassian, Maurizio Mediani crash during Wednesday qualifying at the entrance to Porsche curve

Photo by: James Holland

Aftermath of the crash #99 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8: Alex MacDowall, Darryl O'Young, Fernando Rees
Aftermath of the crash #99 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8: Alex MacDowall, Darryl O'Young, Fernando Rees

Photo by: James Holland

Crash for #67 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997): Erik Marris, Jean-Marc Merlin, Eric Helary
Crash for #67 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997): Erik Marris, Jean-Marc Merlin, Eric Helary

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Crash for #67 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997): Erik Marris, Jean-Marc Merlin, Eric Helary
Crash for #67 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (997): Erik Marris, Jean-Marc Merlin, Eric Helary

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

The crashed #1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro back to the Audi compound after Loic Duval massive accident
The crashed #1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro back to the Audi compound after Loic Duval massive accident

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

The crashed #1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro back to the Audi compound after Loic Duval massive accident
The crashed #1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro back to the Audi compound after Loic Duval massive accident

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

The No. 99 Craft-Bamboo Racing Aston Martin, which can be seen in two photos above, has since withdrawn from the race. This brings the field down to 54 entries, the lowest it's been since 2006. Audi has built a brand new No. 1 Audi, completing its construction within 24 hours of the accident. They will take part in qualifying later today. The team also sent out this message to their friend Loic Duval...

Get well message to Loic Duval from Filipe Albuquerque, Marco Bonanomi, Oliver Jarvis, Lucas Di Grassi, Marc Gene, Tom Kristensen, Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
Get well message to Loic Duval from Filipe Albuquerque, Marco Bonanomi, Oliver Jarvis, Lucas Di Grassi, Marc Gene, Tom Kristensen, Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

To see detailed reports from Wednesday's action, check out all the links below.

Duval suffers horrifying crash during Le Mans practice

Audi building new car after crash

Official statement from the ACO regarding Duval's accident

Le Mans Wednesday practice report

Le Mans Wednesday qualifying report

Duval will not be allowed to race this weekend at Le Mans

Turvey gets the call from JOTA after Gene gets the call from Audi

Craft-Bamboo Racing forced to withdraw from Le Mans

Duval Crash Scene Video One

Duval Crash Scene Video Two

Le Mans Complete Video Gallery

Le Mans Photo Gallery

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