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Le Mans 24 Hours 16th hour: Lotterer's Audi e-tron storms away in lead

#1 Audi, Le Mans 2012Andre Lotterer stretched the #1 Audi e-tron's Le Mans 24 Hours lead further still as he set a rapid pace through the 16th hour.

Although pitting for tyres and fuel while the chasing #2 e-tron only took on fuel took a little out of Lotterer's advantage, his string of 3m27s laps in the early-morning sunshine meant his lead over team-mate Dindo Capello stood at over a minute and a half at the end of the hour.

Audi still continues to hunt for a top-four sweep, with the #4 Audi running solidly third and the #3 ultra taking 10s-15s per lap out of the fourth-placed Rebellion Lola-Toyota, but yet to get back on the same lap as the top LMP1 privateer.

The main incidents of the hour came in GTE Pro, where the AF Corse Ferrari's lead was bolstered by a right rear puncture for the Luxury Ferrari. Aston Martin is now out of contention after the flying Stefan Mucke, who was splitting the Ferraris, went off at Indianapolis. Although the car sustained relatively little damage considering the speed of the incident and force of image with the barriers, it still lost four laps getting repairs in the garage.

In the other classes, Pecom and Pierre Kaffer are keeping the LMP2-leading Starworks team on the its toes and Larbre's Corvette retains the GTE Am edge over the Imsa Porsche.

NOTES

- Mucke damages the #97 Aston Martin in a crash at Indianapolis, dropping it away from GTE Pro leaders

- The #48 ORECA-Nissan driven by Brendon Hartley has retired after contact with the Status Lola

- Faisal spins the #75 Porsche at Porsche Curves, hitting the wall to bring the safety car out

- Marcel Fassler spins the #1 Audi e-tron at the Porsche curves, handing the lead to McNish

- Dumas tipped into a spin while passing traffic at Ford chicane

- Davidson confirms he sustained a broken back as a result of huge earlier crash

- Westbrook loses a wheel, and with it the lead of the GTE Pro class

- Peter Dumbreck suffers blow-out in the #22 JRM HPD

- Spin at Ford chicane for #21 Strakka HPD

- Problems for the #7 Toyota following collision with DeltaWing at the restart

- #29 Gulf Racing Lola B12 the first official retirement

- #40 hit with a two-minute stop and go penalty for second pitlane speeding offence

- 30s pit stop penalties for #40 and #49 LMP2s for speeding in pitlane

- Audi hits early niggles, with Tom Kristensen the third unexpected delay for the marque across its four cars

- Early GTE Pro scrap between Corvette, Aston Martin and Ferrari

- #99 Aston Martin Vantage suffers early misfire and then retires with damage

POSITIONS AFTER 16 HOURS

Pos Car            Drivers                      Class  Laps  Gap
 1. #1  Audi       Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer    LMP1   249   
 2. #2  Audi       McNish/Capello/Kristensen    LMP1   248   +     1 Lap
 3. #4  Audi       Jarvis/Bonanomi/Rockenfeller LMP1   247   +    2 Laps
 4. #12 Lola       Prost/Heidfeld/Jani          LMP1   241   +    8 Laps
 5. #3  Audi       Gene/Dumas/Duval             LMP1   240   +    9 Laps
 6. #13 Lola       Belicchi/Bleekemolen/Primat  LMP1   235   +   14 Laps
 7. #22 HPD        Brabham/Dumbreck/Chandhok    LMP1   233   +   16 Laps
 8. #44 HPD        Potolicchio/Dalziel/K-Smith  LMP2   232   +   17 Laps
 9. #49 Oreca      Perez Companc/Kaffer/Ayari   LMP2   232   +   51.689s
10. #26 Oreca      Ragues/Panciatici/Rusinov    LMP2   232   + 2m54.414s
11. #46 Oreca      Thiriet/Beche/Tinseau        LMP2   231   +   18 Laps
12. #21 HPD        Leventis/Kane/Watts          LMP1   231   + 1m33.846s
13. #41 Zytek      Zugel/Julian/Gonzalez        LMP2   229   +   20 Laps
14. #33 HPD        Tucker/Bouchut/Diaz          LMP2   229   +   36.796s
15. #25 Oreca      Martin/Charouz/Graves        LMP2   229   +   57.625s
16. #42 Zytek      Brundle/Brundle/Ordonez      LMP2   225   +   24 Laps
17. #35 Morgan     H Hansson/Leinders/Martin    LMP2   224   +   25 Laps
18. #45 Oreca      Briere/Nakano/Petersen       LMP2   223   +   26 Laps
19. #51 Ferrari    Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander    GTEP   221   +   28 Laps
20. #15 OAK        Montagny/Kraihamer/Baguette  LMP1   219   +   30 Laps
21. #23 Oreca      Tresson/Mailleux/Lombard     LMP2   219   + 5m39.382s
22. #59 Ferrari    Makowiecki/Melo/Farnbacher   GTEP   219   + 6m04.578s
23. #30 Lola       Sims/Buurman/Iannetta        LMP2   217   +   32 Laps
24. #97 Aston      Mucke/Fernandez/Turner       GTEP   217   +   56.725s
25. #71 Ferrari    Bertolini/Beretta/Cioci      GTEP   217   + 1m31.408s
26. #67 Porsche    Pons/Armindo/Narac           GTEA   215   +   34 Laps
27. #50 Corvette   Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy        GTEA   215   +   36.599s
28. #38 Zytek      Hancock/Dolan/Kurosawa       LMP2   214   +   35 Laps
29. #73 Corvette   Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor      GTEP   214   + 3m04.266s
30. #57 Ferrari    Krohn/Jonsson/Rugolo         GTEA   212   +   37 Laps
31. #88 Porsche    Ried/Roda/Ruberti            GTEA   210   +   39 Laps
32. #66 Ferrari    Walker/Cocker/Wills          GTEP   204   +   45 Laps
33. #70 Corvette   Bourret/Gibon/Belloc         GTEA   204   + 36m02.839s
34. #40 Oreca      Frey/Hirschi/Meichtry        LMP2   204   + 36m30.890s
35. #79 Porsche    Neiman/Pumpelly/Pilet        GTEA   201   +   48 Laps
36. #55 Porsche    Daniels/Palttala/Camathias   GTEA   200   +   49 Laps
37. #43 Norma      Rosier/Haezebrouck/Thirion   LMP2   200   + 3m23.920s
38. #61 Ferrari    Kauffman/Aguas/Vickers       GTEA   199   +   50 Laps
39. #74 Corvette   Gavin/Westbrook/Milner       GTEP   186   +   63 Laps
40. #83 Ferrari    Rodrigues/Illiano/Ferte      GTEA   185   +   64 Laps
41. #17 Dome       Minassian/Bourdais/Ara       LMP1   173   +   76 Laps
42. #48 Oreca      Firth/Hartley/Hughes         LMP2   196   +   53 Laps
43. #77 Porsche    Lietz/Lieb/Henzler           GTEP   184   +   65 Laps
44. #75 Porsche    al Faisal/Curtis/Edwards     GTEA   180   +   69 Laps
45. #31 Lola       Holzer/Schultis/Moro         LMP2   155   +   94 Laps
46. #58 Ferrari    Ehret/Jeannette/Montecalvo   GTEA   146   +  103 Laps
47. #24 Morgan     Nicolet/Lahaye/Pla           LMP2   139   +  110 Laps
48. #7  Toyota     Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima       LMP1   134   +  115 Laps
49. #80 Porsche    Bergmeister/Long/Holzer      GTEP   114   +  135 Laps
50. #28 Lola       Giroix/Badey/Johansson       LMP2   92    +  157 Laps
51. #8  Toyota     Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin      LMP1   82    +  167 Laps
52. #0  DeltaWing  Franchitti/Krumm/Motoyama    CDNT   75    +  174 Laps
53. #81 Ferrari    Perazzini/Cadei/Griffin      GTEA   70    +  179 Laps
54. #99 Aston      Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen     GTEA   31    +  218 Laps
55. #16 Pescarolo  Collard/Bouillon/Hall        LMP1   20    +  229 Laps
56. #29 Lola       Ihara/Deletraz/Rostan        LMP2   17    +  232 Laps
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