Loic Duval headed an all-Audi top three in a Le Mans 24 Hours practice session that was shortened due to a huge accident for GTE driver Tracy Krohn.
Frenchman Duval's 3m25.514s lap, set in the #2 R18 e-tron quattro he shares with Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen, came with less than an hour of the session remaining. It bettered the previous benchmark, set by Benoit Treluyer in the #1 car, by one second.
Marcel Fassler took over from Treluyer and improved on the #1 car's best time, but still ended up 0.645sec adrift of Duval.
Faster times looked likely heading into the final hour, but the session was halted when Krohn crashed his own team's GTE Am Ferrari heavily at the downhill Dunlop Esses. Although the American was able to walk away from the impact, the damage done to the tire barriers could not be repaired in time to stage the final 30 minutes.
There had been an earlier red flag when Eric Lux crashed Greaves Motorsport's #41 Zytek-Nissan at the second Mulsanne chicane. The car did not return to the track.
The factory Toyotas were fourth and fifth, Anthony Davidson's #8 machine faster than the #7 of Kazuki Nakajima.
Nick Heidfeld was the fastest of the LMP1 drivers without hybrid machinery. The German recovered from early contact with the spun LMP2 OAK Morgan-Nissan driven by David Heinemeier Hansson.
LMP2 was topped by Bertrand Baguette, the OAK Morgan-Nissan driver nearly a second faster than Maxime Martin's TDS ORECA-Nissan.
The lead of GTE Pro changed constantly, despite the onset of rain in the second hour. Richard Lietz ended up quickest in the factory Porsche, two tenths ahead of Kamui Kobayashi's AF Corse Ferrari.
The GTE Am class was led by the #95 Aston Martin of Christoffer Nygaard, Kristian Poulsen and Allan Simonsen.
The sister #96 Vantage, fifth in class, narrowly avoided a heavy collision with the oncoming Murphy Prototypes LMP2 machine of Mark Patterson as Roald Goethe recovered from a spin.
AUTOSPORT'S Live coverage of the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours
Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time Cl gap
1. P1 Kristensen/Duval/McNish Audi 3m25.415s
2. P1 Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler Audi 3m26.060s +0.645s
3. P1 di Grassi/Gene/Jarvis Audi 3m28.458s +3.043s
4. P1 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota 3m29.573s +4.158s
5. P1 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota 3m30.866s +5.451s
6. P1 Prost/Jani/Heidfeld Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m32.116s +6.701s
7. P1 Belicchi/Beche/Cheng Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m33.706s +8.291s
8. P1 Leventis/Watts/Kane Strakka HPD 3m39.638s +14.223s
9. P2 Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m42.813s
10. P2 Thiriet/Badey/M. Martin TDS ORECA-Nissan 3m43.503s +0.690s
11. P2 Rusinov/J. Martin/Conway Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 3m43.918s +1.105s
12. P2 Dolan/Turvey/Luhr Jota Zytek-Nissan 3m44.131s +1.318s
13. P2 Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe Level 5 HPD 3m44.756s +1.943s
14. P2 Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m45.215s +2.402s
15. P2 Perez Companc/Minassian/Kaffer Pecom ORECA-Nissan 3m45.512s +2.699s
16. P2 Panciatici/Ragues/Gommendy Alpine ORECA-Nissan 3m48.570s +5.757s
17. P2 Mardenborough/Ordonez/Krumm Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m49.160s +6.347s
18. P2 Gachnang/Mailleux/Lombard Morand Morgan-Judd 3m49.447s +6.634s
19. P2 Frey/Niederhauser/Bleekemolen Race Perf'ce ORECA-Judd 3m50.074s +7.261s
20. P2 Graves/Nakano/Hamilton Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 3m50.111s +7.298s
21. P2 Imperatori/Tung/Howson KCMG Morgan-Nissan 3m50.129s +7.316s
22. P2 Mowlem/Burgess/Hirschi Status Lola-Judd 3m50.460s +7.647s
23. P2 Hartley/Patterson/Chandhok Murphy ORECA-Nissan 3m50.554s +7.741s
24. P2 Weeda/Rossiter/Bouchut Lotus-Praga 3m51.880s +9.067s
25. P2 Giroix/Haezebrouck/Ihara Gulf Lola-Nissan 3m54.798s +11.985s
26. P2 Downs/Dagoneau/Younessi Boutsen ORECA-Nissan 3m55.078s +12.265s
27. P2 Kimber-Smith/Lux/Rossi Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m55.542s +12.729s
28. P2 Nicolet/Merlin/Mondolot OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m56.776s +13.963s
29. GTP Lieb/Lietz/R.Dumas Porsche 3m58.347s
30. GTP Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander AF Ferrari 3m58.574s +0.227s
31. GTP Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard Porsche 3m58.797s +0.450s
32. GTP Dumbreck/Mucke/Turner Aston Martin 3m59.494s +1.147s
33. GTP Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli AF Corse Ferrari 3m59.559s +1.212s
34. GTP Auberlen/dalla Lana/Lamy Aston Martin 3m59.809s +1.462s
35. GTA Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen Aston Martin 4m00.650s
36. GTA Gerber/Griffin/Cioci AF Corse Ferrari 4m01.338s +0.688s
37. GTA Ried/Roda/Ruberti Proton Porsche 4m01.583s +0.933s
38. GTP Bell/Makowiecki/Senna Aston Martin 4m02.173s +3.826s
39. GTP Dalziel/Farnbacher/Goosens SRT Viper 4m02.383s +4.036s
40. P2 Porta/Raffin/Brandela DKR Lola-Judd 4m02.429s +19.616s
41. GTA Potolicchio/Aguas/Bright 8 Star Ferrari 4m02.625s +1.975s
42. GTP Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor Corvette 4m02.918s +4.571s
43. GTA Campbell-Walter/Goethe/Hall Aston Martin 4m03.027s +2.377s
44. GTA Gibon/Milesi/Henzler IMSA Porsche 4m03.169s +2.519s
45. GTP Gavin/Milner/Westbrook Corvette 4m03.213s +4.866s
46. GTA Narac/Bourret/Vernay IMSA Porsche 4m03.323s +2.673s
47. GTA Perazzini/Case/O'Young AF Corse Ferrari 4m03.805s +3.155s
48. GTA Dempsey/Foster/Long Dempsey Porsche 4m04.987s +4.337s
49. GTP Bomarito/Kendall/Wittmer SRT Viper 4m05.973s +7.626s
50. GTA Bornhauser/Canal/Taylor Larbre Corvette 4m06.142s +5.492s
51. GTP Collard/Perrodo/Crubile Prospeed Porsche 4m06.828s +8.481s
52. GTA MacNeil/Rodrigues/P.Dumas Larbre Corvette 4m06.949s +5.492s
53. GTA Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani Krohn Ferrari 4m07.554s +6.299s
54. GTA Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank AF Corse Ferrari 4m14.112s +13.462s
55. GTP Bertolini/Al Faisal/Al Qubaisi JMW Ferrari 4m16.860s +18.513s
56. P2 Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz Lotus-Praga No time