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WEC NEWS 

H9: Minassian takes over leading Peugeot

Nicolas Minassian has taken over behind the wheel of the No.7 Peugeot and the car continues to lead the race.

The car survived a brief scare when Marc Gene ran off the road on the way into the pit lane, but Allan McNish is just over a minute behind in second place as Audi continue to stay in contention for victory.

Franck Montagny has just replaced Ricardo Zonta in the No.9 car in third place, which is now over two minutes adrift of the No.2 Audi.

Lucas Luhr has pulled out a 30-second advantage over Emanuele Pirro as second and third Audis remain in order.

The progress of the No.8 Peugeot's comeback drive has plateaued in sixth place as Alexander Wurz now lies four laps behind the fifth-placed Audi.

The No.5 Courage Oreca is increasing its lead of the unofficial petrol class and Loic Duval posted the car's fastest lap of the race in the dark shortly after 11pm.

The LMP2 class has become more spread out and Jos Verstappen has managed to put a lap on the Team Essex Porsche as Van Merksteijn now lead comfortably.

Darren Turner is now at the wheel of the No.009 Aston Martin and is nearly a minute ahead of Ron Fellows' No.63 Corvette at the front of the GT1 class.

Andrea Piccini brought the No.007 Aston within 30 seconds of Fellows and Heinz-Harald Frentzen is now behind the wheel and chasing the Corvette.

The comeback of the No.64 Corvette was delayed when it lost time in the pits. The car was dropped off the jack before the right rear wheel was fitted, and lost several more seconds before rejoining.

Mika Salo is now well clear at the head of GT2 in the Risi Competizione Ferrari and has a lap in hand over Tim Mullen in the Virgo Motorsport car.

The competition at the front of the class thinned further with the No.77 Felbermayr Porsche stuck in its pit garage with a gearbox problem.

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