Hour six: Ingolstadt marque remains untouchable

Battle for the lead

Hour six: Ingolstadt marque remains untouchable

The Audis refuse to be ousted from the top three positions and remain unthreatened at the sharp end with a quarter of the race gone. Emanule Pirro finally got to open his 68th Le Mans account after taking the wheel of the number eight car on lap 88. The Italian was as calm as one would expect an ex-F1 star to be before beginning his first stint.
"I will be trying to catch up," said Pirro. "We are behind after we had a problem with a tyre and also the pace car. Now we have to get closer to our team-mates.

The competition between the trio of R8's could yet hot up and with only six hours gone it is of course somewhat early - nevertheless, the issue of team orders looms.

The Mario legend continues to suffer as the Italian is set to stay in the Panoz LMP for a double stint, despite lapping at up to nine seconds off the Panoz pace. The number 11 car remains unchallenged in fourth but is no longer on the same lap as the Audis.

On Lap 79 of the leaders, the number one Cadillac returned to the race after a mammoth 44 minute pit-stop with Andy Wallace at the Helm. The 4.0 litre V8 Cadillac suffered a puncture while running in 18th place in the hands of Franck Lagorce. The Frenchman limped the car back to the pits where the mechanics had to rebuild the rear suspension which was broken by tyre damage. Three laps previously, the sister Cadillac had also returned to the action after a similarly lengthy stop, driven by Wayne Taylor.


The 675LMP class is lead by the Lola B2KJ40 of the Canadian Multimatic team yet is behind some seven GTS cars including the class leading 51 car of Beretta/Wendlinger/Dupuy which is creeping up on a top 10 spot in 13th position. The 675 leaders are also being put to shame by the leading GT3 Dick Barbour Porsche which is snapping at the heels of the Multimatic Lola in 22nd place.


The Audi R8's are capable of running one extra lap from a full tank of fuel than the Panoz cars, which over the course of the entire race means the Ingolstadt cars can make up to two fewer pit-stops - a definite strategic advantage.
The final Chrysler Mopar number six car run by the Oreca outfit came to stop out on the circuit. The team must now decide how to get the car back to the pits and back on the track.

Pos No Drivers Car Class Laps/Time

9, L Aiello, A McNish, S Ortelli, Audi R8 (900), 87 laps
7, M Alboreto, C Abt, R Capello, Audi R8 (900), +12.400
8, F Biela, T Kristensen, E Pirro, Audi R8 (900), +1:58.645
11, D Brabham, J Magnussen, M Andretti, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), +1 lap
12, H Katoh, J O'Connell, P H Rapanel, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), +2 laps
21, M Schiattarella, D de Radiguez, E Naspetti, Lola-Judd B2K (900), + 3 laps
3, E Bernard, E Collard, F Montagny, Cadillac LMP (900) + 3 laps
24, S Johansson, J Matthews, G Smith, Reynard-Judd 2KQ (900), + 3 laps
15, T Bscher, J M Gounon, G Lees, BMW LMP (900), + 4 laps
22, K Tsuchiya, M Kondo, A Iida, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), + 4 laps


Class No Driver Car Time
900 8, T Kristensen Audi R8 3m38.184s


Class No Drivers Car Class Time
32, S Maxwell, J Graham, G Wilkins, Lola-Nissan B2K/40, 10 laps
51, O Beretta, K Wendlinger, D Dupuy, Oreca Viper, 8 laps
83, D Muller, L Luhr, B Wollek, Porsche GT3R, 11 laps


No Drivers Car Laps Reason
4, M Goossens, C Tinseau, K Kolby, DAM'S Cadillac LMP (900), fire - 5 laps
5, Y Dalmas, N Minassian, J P Belloc, ORECA Reynard-Mopar 2KQ (900), oil pressure - 1 lap
20, J Lammers, P Kox, T Coronel, Konrad Lola B2K/10 (900), retired
33, J D Deletraz, R Kelleners, D Terrien, ROC VW (675), engine,
77, C Bouchut, J Chereau, P Gouselard, Porsche GT3-R, accident, 34 laps

For a list of race positions at the six-hour mark click here.

shares
comments
Hour six: Ingolstadt marque remains untouchable

Previous article

Hour six: Ingolstadt marque remains untouchable

Next article

Hour seven: a chink in the Audi armour?

Hour seven: a chink in the Audi armour?
Load comments
The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership Plus

The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership

This weekend’s British GT finale will be a tense title showdown for some but, for those not in the championship fight, it’s a chance to end a challenging year on a high. In the latter camp is Paddock Motorsport's team owner Martin Plowman, whose 2021 season has been a rollercoaster ride of non-stop learning

The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion Plus

The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion

It has won most of the big prizes in endurance racing across its six years in service, but the BMW M6 GT3's key weaknesses meant only a devoted few teams persisted with running it. As it prepares to bow out at season's end, the teams and drivers involved in its story share the secrets of an unpopular winner

GT
Oct 7, 2021
The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever Plus

The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever

Had FIA GT boss Stephane Ratel had his way, the Maserati MC12 would never have been allowed to set foot in his series. It duly proved the class of the field that most had expected, but the Balance of Performance that its superiority spawned would keep GT1 battles tight and bring long-term benefits that sportscar racing enjoys today

GT
Sep 21, 2021
Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage Plus

Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage

The E-Type may be the most famous of all road-going Jaguars, but that didn't always translate into success on the track. After winning on its competition debut in 1961, motorsport success seemed an inevitability, but things didn’t turn out to be quite that straightforward

GT
Aug 6, 2021
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

GT
Jul 31, 2021
The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat Plus

The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat

It's a significant achievement to win one 24-hour race in a year, let alone two, and with different manufacturers, but that's exactly what ROWE Racing did in 2020 at the Nurburgring and Spa. This weekend's German classic offers the DTM newcomer a chance of another unique double to add to its growing collection of accolades

GT
Jun 3, 2021
The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story Plus

The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story

The manufacturers were unconvinced – and even hostile – when Stephane Ratel launched GT3 in 2006. Now, 15 years on from its debut, they’ve sold more than 2000 cars and counting, but its continued expansion puts the increasingly globalised category at risk of losing its roots

GT
May 25, 2021
The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT Plus

The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT

With the Silver pairings that dominated 2020 now banned, Mercedes pair Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie could be in the box seat after winning last year's Pro-Am crown. But a swarm of Lamborghinis, with the defending outright champion among them, will ensure they face tough opposition

GT
May 21, 2021