Maserati lead into the night
|By Steven English||Sunday, August 3rd 2008, 00:46 GMT|
Maserati have taken over at the front of the 24 Hours of Spa and are in a dominant position as the race goes into the night.
The two Vitaphone cars are three laps clear of their closest opposition, with the No.1 car nearly a lap ahead of the No.2. The Gigawave Aston Martin currently holds third with Spartak Racing's Lamborghini Murcielago fourth.
There had been a close battle at the head of the field throughout most of the evening with the two Vitaphone Maseratis, the two Phoenix Corvettes, and the Jetalliance and Gigawave Astons all in the hunt.
But several of the contenders dropped by the wayside during the night. Two were removed in one go when Karl Wendlinger crashed the Jetalliance Aston at Les Combes. He struck the barrier and bounced back across the track, collecting Mike Hezemans in the No.6 Phoenix Corvette.
Wendlinger was eliminated on the spot and the No.6 car is now seven laps down after touring back to the pits for repairs.
The sister Phoenix Corvette retired completely soon after when Alex Margaritis spun into the barrier. He tried to recover the car to the pits but it caught fire on the way and he was forced to park it.
Stephane Sarrazin currently leads in the No.1 car, during a Safety Car period, with Alessandro Pier Guidi aboard the No.2 Maserati in second place. Darren Turner is aboard the Gigawave Aston, but three laps behind the leaders, with Peter Kox fourth in the Lamborghini.
Marco Malucelli is leading the GT2 class in the BMW Scuderia Italia Ferrari, but Richard Westbrook is less than a minute behind in the No.61 Prospeed Porsche. Jaime Melo is two laps down on the pair in the first of the AF Corse Ferraris.
Pos Drivers Car Gap 1. Bertolini/Bartels/Sarrazin/van der Poele Maserati 240 laps 2. Negrao/Ramos/Pier Guidi/Lemeret Maserati +2:57.320 3. Simonsen/Peter/Turner/Thompson Aston Martin +3 laps 4. Kox/Rusinov/Lammers/Enge Lamborghini +5 laps 5. Fassler/Hezemans/Gollin/Deletraz Corvette +7 laps 6. Kumpen/Longin/Mollekens/Bouvy Saleen +9 laps 7. Aucott/Ferte/Daoudi Maserati +9 laps 8. Malucelli/Ruberti/Camathias/Rigon Ferrari +10 laps 9. Collard/Westbrook/Lieb Porsche +10 laps 10. Bruni/Vilander/Melo/Salo Ferrari +12 laps 11. Biagi/Montanari/Farnbacher/Russo Ferrari +14 laps 12. Mullen/Piccini/Niarchos/Shedden Ferrari +15 laps 13. Moser/del Monte/Vannelet/Palma Ferrari +17 laps 14. Bermes/Thomas/Basseng/Hemroulle Porsche +21 laps 15. Juniper/Twigg/Baird/Forbes Porsche +21 laps 16. Plati/Basso/Tenchini/Baguette Ferrari +21 laps 17. Jakubowski/Campbell/Barde/Zangarelli Ferrari +22 laps 18. Heylen/Loix/Dermont/Lamot Porsche +22 laps 19. Babini/Davies/Monfardini Ferrari +23 laps 20. Bell/Kirkaldy/Muller/Sutton Ferrari +24 laps 21. Williams/Sugden/Pompidou/Ashburn Porsche +24 laps 22. Jordan/Jones/Jones Ascari +25 laps 23. Duval/Kelders/Greisch/Kerkhove Porsche +25 laps 24. Duez/Sougnez/Wauters/Muytjens Porsche +26 laps 31. Huisman/Voerman/Khan/van Splunteren Porsche +29 laps 33. Chaillet/Geofroy/Galand/Rosoux Dodge +29 laps 29. Coens/Fumal/Schroyen/Faggionato Ferrari +35 laps 9. Lietz/Long/Narac Porsche +43 laps 37. Ballay/Scheier Ferrari +52 laps 35. Brouard/Noziere/Stepec/Samon Porsche +53 laps 13. Forsten/Palttala/Henzler/Horion Porsche +57 laps 39. Kuzminykh/Knauss/Kraihamer/Rich Lamborghini +75 laps 38. Lesoudier/Brandela/Peyroles/Lester Ferrari +88 laps 2. Wendlinger/Sharp/Muller/Litchner-Hoyer Aston Martin +89 laps 27. Leinders/Kuppens/Martin Gillet +95 laps 5. Margaritis/Alzen/Menten/Schlunssen Corvette +100 laps 32. Kaufmann/Talkanitsa/Ullmann/Heyer Porsche +113 laps 36. Renard/Hissom/Wasover/Thirion Ferrari +118 laps 34. Baron/Fournet/Corbel/Ferreira Porsche +148 laps 40. Helary/Radermecker/Desbrueres/Desbrueres Ferrari +209 laps