H20: Battle heats up at the front
|By Kevin Turner||Sunday, June 15th 2008, 09:04 GMT|
The No.2 Audi of Rinaldo Capello, Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen maintained its one-lap advantage during the 20th hour of this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Peugeot's Nicolas Minassian had unlapped himself by passing Capello, but the two cars then pitted together. Both changed to a new set of wet tyres, but the Peugeot squad elected to change drivers - Jacques Villeneuve climbing aboard - and thus dropped more than a lap behind the No.2 Audi once more.
Villeneuve nevertheless closed on Capello and passed the leader just before the end of the hour, and is now running one lap behind.
Christian Klien's No.9 Peugeot has been one of the fastest cars during the hour and is now in a secure third place.
The other two Audis gambled by changing into intermediate tyres as the track gradually dries. Alexandre Premat's No.3 Audi became the fastest car on track once he had put heat into the tyres, but Marco Werner spun the No.1 car across the final chicane.
After a slow lap, Werner brought the car in with a suspected clutch problem. The car is still in the pits, allowing the No.8 Peugeot and petrol-leading No.17 Pescarolo to close in on fifth place.
LMP2 is still in the hands of the Van Mersteijn Porsche RS Spyder, despite a spin halfway through the hour. It now lies ninth overall
The Antonio Garcia/Darren Turner/David Brabham Aston Martin continues to head GT1, while Mika Salo, Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni lead the GT2 category by almost two laps in their Risi Ferrari from the Virgo Motorsport entry.