11hrs: GT class drama
The Audi Sport UK R8 driven by Guy Smith continues to lead the Le Mans 24 Hours comfortably from the similar machine of 2003 winner Tom Kristensen. But things aren't so serene down in the GT class, where long-time leader Petersen Motorsport's Porsche 911 GT3 has dropped behind Friesinger Motorsport's 911 after a long stop to replace a gear-shift cable
In the hands of Patrick Long, the Petersen machine enjoyed a two-lap class lead, but that quickly evaporated when the car was forced to pit. While changing the shifter cable, the team also took the opportunity to fit all-new brakes, with it rejoining three laps behind Ralf Kelleners in the Friesinger machine.
Another class leader to hit trouble is Bill Binnie in the Intersport Racing Lola-Judd. When the American pitted to hand over to Rick Sutherland the team discovered a problem. "We've lost a half-shaft on the right-rear," explained Sutherland. "While we're here, we're going to fix a few other things to get us in good shape for the rest of the race. It'll probably be a 35-40 minute job to get it done."
The Intersport team can afford to take its time with its repairs however, as it enjoys a 43-lap class lead on its nearest LM2 rival...
Also in the LM2 class, the Courage-JPX C65 of Sam Hancock, which had earlier led the LM2 class by a massive margin, officially retired after numerous mechanical problems.
Up front, the Pescarolo-Judd continues to run third, ahead of the Rollcentre Dallara, and the recovering Champion Audi of JJ Lehto, with the Finn completing a long triple-stint.
That was a good three-and-a-half stints, I guess," said Lehto. "I had a little problem at the end, but it was nothing major. My arm is killing me [following his early crash], so it's never easy to drive the car like that. It hurts like hell."
The Prodrive Ferrari 550 of Peter Kox continues to lead in the GTS category, three laps ahead of Jan Magnussen, who lost ground after a clash with the lead Audi. Rickard Rydell holds third in class in his Prodrive Ferrari, but lost ground after the team was forced to change a battery on his car.
Another car to spend extra time in the pits is the second Audi Sport UK machine, now being shared by Frank Biela and Pierra Kaffer following Allan McNish's heavy shunt early in the race. The R8 has had to make a couple of extra pit-stops, including a four-tyre change after Biela flat-spotted his tyres.
Davies/Herbert/Smith Audi R8 LM1 172 laps completed
Ara/Capello/Kristensen Audi R8 LM1 172 laps
Ayari/Comas/Treluyer Pescarolo-Judd LM1 167 laps
Short/Barff/Barbosa Dallara-Judd LM1 166 laps
Lehto/Werner/Pirro Audi R8 LM1 164 laps
Katoh/Michigami/Fukuda Dome-Mugen LM1 162 laps
Wallace/Brabham/Shimoda Zytek LM1 159 laps
Enge/Kox/Menu Ferrari 550 GTS 159 laps
Collard/Bourdais/Minassian Pescarolo-Judd LM1 158 laps
Gavin/Beretta/Magnussen Corvette GTS 157 laps
Andre/Leuenberger/Vanni Lola-Judd LM1 155 laps
Coronel/Wilson/Firman Dome-Judd LM1 152 laps
McRae/Rydell/Turner Ferrari 550 GTS 152 laps
Bosch/Sullivan/Biagi Ferrari 575 GTS 151 laps
Kelleners/Ortelli/Dumas Porsche GT 150 laps
Bouchut/Goueslard/Dupard Ferrari 550 GTS 149 laps
Fellows/O'Connell/Papis Corvette GTS 148 laps
Biela/Kaffer/McNish Audi R8 LM1 147 laps
Maasen/Bergmeister/Long Porsche GT 147 laps
Kurosawa/Nishizawa/Oriodo Porsche GT 146 laps
Rosa/van Merkstein/Caffi Porsche GT 146 laps
Hindery/Lieb/Rockenfeller Porsche GT 146 laps
Alphand/Laveille/Almeras Porsche GT 146 laps
Stirling/Lupberger/McGarrity Nasamax-Judd LM1 145 laps
Burgess/Collin/Bagnall Porsche GT 145 laps
Lammers/Dyson/Kaneishi Dome-Judd LM1 143 laps
Binnie/Field/Sutherland Lola-Judd LM2 142 laps
Berridge/Caine/Stockton TVR GT 142 laps
Wilson/Montain/Hugenholtz Ferrari 360 GT 142 laps
Donaldson/Fisken/Nielsen Porsche GT 142 laps
Hezemans/Deletraz/Barde Ferrari 575 GTS 141 laps
Nielsen/Elgaard/Moller Lister LM1 140 laps
Khan/Smith/Sugden Porsche GT 136 laps
Melo/Daoudi/de Fournoux Ferrari 360 GT 133 laps
Tomlinson/Greensall/Evans TVR GT 130 laps
Newton/Erdos/Kinch Lola-MG LM1 128 laps
Maurylaribiere/Boulay/Besson Reynard-Lehman LM1 122 laps
Terada/Roussel/Porta WR LM2 101 laps
Sharpe/Hyde/Cunningham Morgan 97 laps
Bouvet/Gommendy/Briere WR LM2 53 laps
Frei/Gounon/Hancock Courage-AER LM2 127 laps
Jeanette/Pickering/Derlot Courage-Willman LM2 124 laps
Belmondo/Gosselin/Saviozzi Courage-AER LM2 80 laps
Vasiliev/Fomenko/Nearn Porsche GT 65 laps
Bourdais/Blanchemain/Berville Panoz LM1 54 laps
Andrews/Lockie/Kumpen Lola-Caterpillar LM1 35 laps
Field/Dayton/Connor Lola-Judd 29 laps
Warnock/Matthews/Daniels Porsche 27 laps
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