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H14: Pagenaud and Peugeot take lead

Simon Pagenaud, PeugeotThe 14th hour of the 2011 Le Mans was one of the most absorbing yet as the lead swung backwards and forwards between Audi and Peugeot through the pit cycle.

By the end of the hour Simon Pagenaud had got the #9 Peugeot into the lead by dint of the fact that Marcel Fassler pitted with 20 minutes to go.

But while the Audi would inherit a comfortable lead whenever the Peugeots pitted, when the situation reversed Fassler found himself under immense pressure from Anthony Davidson in the third placed #7 Pug.

The Briton set a new fastest lap in his ferocious pursuit of the Audi and in the end he got his man down the Mulsanne straight to run second. Fassler came back at him, but he was cut off by Rui Aguas in the Waltrip Ferrari through the second chicane on the following lap, allowing Davidson to escape.

Nicolas Minassian got back in the #8 Peugeot to run fourth, but still the French Peugeot circulated a distant 2m20s away from the leader. That car's cause was not helped by being caught behind the second safety car.

Emmanuel Collard ensured that Pescarolo remained in the top five and first of the petrol runners as Neel Jani's Rebellion Lola pursued in sixth - a lap back.

Just at the turn of the hour the safety car came out for a third time in the race to recover Jean-Christophe Boullion's sister Rebellion Lola, which crashed at the Porsche Curves

LMP2 was similarly enthralling as Tom Kimber-Smith, in the Greaves Zytek, and David Hallyday's Oreca swapped the lead through the stops. When the race was frozen there was only 3s between them.

Richard Westbrook continued to keep the #74 in charge of the GTE Pro class, while Darren Law lead the Amateur class for the Flying Lizard team.

NOTES:

- Jean-Christophe Boullion crashed the Rebellion Lola-Toyota in the 14th hour at the Porsche Curves. He had been running eighth at the time of the shunt.

- Mike Rockenfeller was taken to hospital following a frightening accident that totally destroyed the #1 Audi in the seventh hour of the race. The German had been running third when he made contact with a GTE Ferrari at kink after Mulsanne. Audi later confirmed that the German would be kept in overnight for observation but that he was okay.

- The #3 Audi of Allan McNish crashed out of the race in the first hour having just taken second position. The Scot collected the #58 Luxury Racing Ferrari in the right-hander after the Dunlop Bridge. The heavy impact destroyed the car and McNish was taken to hospital for precautionary checks, but was later released with an all-clear.

- Both Aston Martin AMR Ones ran into trouble on the first lap of the race. Darren Turner spinning with mechanical trouble and Adrian Fernandez stopping out on the Mulsanne. The #007 car of Turner was recovered to the pits where it was discovered an alternator belt tensioner was to blame.

POSITIONS AFTER 14 HOURS

Pos  Car            Team                      Class   Gap
 1.  #9  Peugeot    Team Peugeot Total        (LMP1)  
 2.  #7  Peugeot    Peugeot Sport Total       (LMP1)  +   23.699
 3.  #2  Audi       Audi Sport Team Joest     (LMP1)  +   27.654
 4.  #8  Peugeot    Peugeot Sport Total       (LMP1)  +    1 Lap
 5.  #16 Pescarolo  Pescarolo Team            (LMP1)  +   6 Laps
 6.  #12 Lola       Rebellion Racing          (LMP1)  +   8 Laps
 7.  #13 Lola       Rebellion Racing          (LMP1)  +   9 Laps
 8.  #10 Peugeot    Team Oreca-Matmut         (LMP1)  +   9 Laps
 9.  #22 Lola       Kronos Racing             (LMP1)  +  12 Laps
10.  #41 Zytek      Greaves Motorsport        (LMP2)  +  14 Laps
11.  #48 Oreca      Team Oreca-Matmut         (LMP2)  +  14 Laps
12.  #33 Lola       Level 5 Motorsports       (LMP2)  +  16 Laps
13.  #26 Oreca      Signatech Nissan          (LMP2)  +  16 Laps
14.  #49 OAK        OAK Racing                (LMP2)  +  17 Laps
15.  #74 Corvette   Corvette Racing           (GTEP)  +  20 Laps
16.  #35 OAK        OAK Racing                (LMP2)  +  21 Laps
17.  #51 Ferrari    AF Corse                  (GTEP)  +  21 Laps
18.  #75 Porsche    Prospeed Competition      (GTEP)  +  21 Laps
19.  #59 Ferrari    Luxury Racing             (GTEP)  +  21 Laps
20.  #73 Corvette   Corvette Racing           (GTEP)  +  22 Laps
21.  #80 Porsche    Flying Lizard Motorsports (GTEP)  +  22 Laps
22.  #55 BMW        BMW Motorsport            (GTEP)  +  23 Laps
23.  #76 Porsche    IMSA Performance Matmut   (GTEP)  +  23 Laps
24.  #56 BMW        BMW Motorsport            (GTEP)  +  23 Laps
25.  #77 Porsche    Team Felbermayr-Proton    (GTEP)  +  24 Laps
26.  #36 HPD        RML                       (LMP2)  +  25 Laps
27.  #81 Porsche    Flying Lizard Motorsports (GTEA)  +  27 Laps
28.  #50 Corvette   Larbre Competition        (GTEA)  +  27 Laps
29.  #61 Ferrari    AF Corse                  (GTEA)  +  27 Laps
30.  #70 Porsche    Larbre Competition        (GTEA)  +  27 Laps
31.  #40 Oreca      Race Performance          (LMP2)  +  28 Laps
32.  #71 Ferrari    AF Corse                  (GTEP)  +  29 Laps
33.  #63 Porsche    Proton Competition        (GTEA)  +  32 Laps
34.  #65 Lotus      Lotus Jetalliance         (GTEP)  +  32 Laps
35.  #83 Ferrari    JMB Racing                (GTEA)  +  33 Laps
36.  #68 Ford       Robertson Racing          (GTEA)  +  38 Laps
37.  #66 Ferrari    JMW Motorsport            (GTEP)  +  40 Laps
38.  #88 Porsche    Team Felbermayr-Proton    (GTEP)  +  47 Laps
39.  #44 Norma      Extr                      (LMP2)  +  69 Laps
40.  #58 Ferrari    Luxury Racing             (GTEP)  +  76 Laps
41.  #5  Oreca      Hope Racing               (LMP1)  +  84 Laps
42.  #42 HPD        Strakka Racing            (LMP2)  Retired
43.  #60 Aston      Gulf AMR Middle East      (GTEA)  +  58 Laps
44.  #39 Lola       PeCom Racing              (LMP2)  Retired
45.  #89 Ferrari    Hankook Team Farnbacher   (GTEP)  +  62 Laps
46.  #64 Lotus      Lotus Jetalliance         (GTEP)  +  73 Laps
47.  #57 Ferrari    Krohn Racing              (GTEA)  Retired
48.  #24 OAK        OAK Racing                (LMP1)  Retired
49.  #1  Audi       Audi Sport Team Joest     (LMP1)  Retired
50.  #62 Ferrari    CRS Racing                (GTEA)  Retired
51.  #15 OAK        OAK Racing                (LMP1)  Retired
52.  #79 Aston      Jota                      (GTEP)  Retired
53.  #20 Zytek      Quifel-ASM Team           (LMP1)  Retired
54.  #3  Audi       Audi Sport North America  (LMP1)  Retired
55.  #007  AMR-One  Aston Martin Racing       (LMP1)  Retired
56.  #009  AMR-One  Aston Martin Racing       (LMP1)  Retired
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