Audi leads into Sebring evening

Audi is holding first and second places with its brand new R15 TDI as the Sebring 12 Hours enters its final quarter

Audi leads into Sebring evening

The #8 Peugeot had been running a mere five seconds adrift of the race-leading #2 Audi until just before the nine-hour mark, when an apparent slow puncture forced Peugeot's Sebastien Bourdais to pit ahead of schedule.

He rejoined a little over a minute behind Audi's Tom Kristensen, who now has a 19s advantage over his team-mate Mike Rockenfeller.

A caution period for a spin by the Highcroft Acura shortly after half-distance had allowed the #2 Audi to move right back onto the lead Peugeot's tail, but the 908's ability to run two stints on a set of tyres meant that Peugeot driver Stephane Sarrazin was able to move 20s clear of the Audi again in the next pit sequence.

However Dindo Capello made excellent use of his fresher tyres to hunt down the Peugeot, hounding Sarrazin relentlessly for several laps before slipping ahead into the hairpin after eight hours and 20 minutes.

Capello then pitted on the next lap and handed over to Kristensen, who was able to hold Bourdais at bay until the latter's problem.

Audi tested whether the R15 could double-stint its tyres on the #1 car, but it was rapidly passed by the #2 and could not keep up with the leaders until getting new rubber.

The De Ferran Acura had to retire from fourth place with suspension problems after eight hours, allowing the #7 Peugeot - which lost nine laps earlier while its air conditioning unit was replaced - to move back into the top four.

Despite two incidents and a hydraulic problem, the Highcroft Acura is still running in fifth, ahead of the Fernandez Acura, now the sole surviving LMP2 car following technical issues with both Dyson Lola-Mazdas.

Jan Magnussen leads GT1 ahead of Corvette team-mate Oliver Gavin, while there has been no change in the top GT2 positions. The Risi Ferrari continues to hold a one-lap advantage over the Advancing Engineering Ferrari, but the third-placed PTG Panoz is being rapidly caught by Patrick Long in the recovering #45 Flying Lizard Porsche.

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Peugeot clings on to Sebring lead

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