16hrs: Team Goh leads!
Le Mans 2004 has burst back into life, with a change of a lead setting up a brilliant fight between Team Goh and Audi UK. A delay in the pits has put the Goh car in front and sparked a monumental lap time war in the early morning cool.
The Audi UK car that has led from the start had been struggling with rear suspension problems, so early in this hour the car stood in the pits for seven minutes as repairs were made. This was the break that the Goh car had been searching for all night: it now found itself over a lap ahead.
Then the times began to tumble as Jamie Davies began to storm the Sarthe circuit in the newly-healthy Audi UK car. He put in a string of laps in the mid 3m30s, including the fastest of the race at 3m34.2s. Leader Rinaldo Capello has also upped his game. His times dropped to around 3m38s, but he could not prevent Davies from taking a chunk of time on every lap.
This fascinating duel was not all that went on in the hour. Davies' sister car got itself into the tyres at Indianapolis in the hands of Frank Biela. It was still outside the top ten following yesterday's crash. But the car was extricated and continues to run at a pace almost as quick as Davies, proving that no lasting damage was done.
There was also a sad end to the brave Rollcentre Dallara-Judd run. Martin Short made contact with the second Pescarolo-Judd driven by Sebastien Bourdais and spun at the Esses. After a stop for a check-up Short was out again, having relinquished fourth to the Champion Audi. But shortly afterwards the suspension appeared to break, which pitched Short into the wall at the high-speed Porsche Curves.
The third-placed Pescarolo has not been left out of the money as far as stunning lap times were concerned. Eric Comas took it round in 3m39.2s, the best lap for the car in the race, as it tries to fight off the charging Champion Audi.
There have been no major developments in the other classes, except that the second of the Prodrive Ferraris spent some time stationary at Mulsanne corner. With Colin McRae now in the car it is fourth in category.
Ara/Capello/Kristensen Audi R8 LM1 250 laps
Davies/Herbert/Smith Audi R8 LM1 249 laps completed
Ayari/Comas/Treluyer Pescarolo-Judd LM1 243 laps
Lehto/Werner/Pirro Audi R8 LM1 241 laps
Collard/Bourdais/Minassian Pescarolo-Judd LM1 234 laps
Enge/Kox/Menu Ferrari 550 GTS 232 laps
Short/Barff/Barbosa Dallara-Judd LM1 230 laps
Gavin/Beretta/Magnussen Corvette GTS 226 laps
Coronel/Wilson/Firman Dome-Judd LM1 226 laps
Andre/Leuenberger/Vanni Lola-Judd LM1 226 laps
Biela/Kaffer/McNish Audi R8 LM1 221 laps
Fellows/O'Connell/Papis Corvette GTS 220 laps
Kelleners/Ortelli/Dumas Porsche GT 218 laps
Lammers/Dyson/Kaneishi Dome-Judd LM1 216 laps
Stirling/Lupberger/McGarrity Nasamax-Judd LM1 216 laps
Hindery/Lieb/Rockenfeller Porsche GT 216 laps
Maasen/Bergmeister/Long Porsche GT 215 laps
Kurosawa/Nishizawa/Oriodo Porsche GT 214 laps
Bouchut/Goueslard/Dupard Ferrari 550 GTS 212 laps
McRae/Rydell/Turner Ferrari 550 GTS 212 laps
Burgess/Collin/Bagnall Porsche GT 209 laps
Alphand/Laveille/Almeras Porsche GT 208 laps
Wilson/Montain/Hugenholtz Ferrari 360 GT 208 laps
Donaldson/Fisken/Nielsen Porsche GT 207 laps
Katoh/Michigami/Fukuda Dome-Mugen LM1 206 laps
Nielsen/Elgaard/Moller Lister LM1 206 laps
Berridge/Caine/Stockton TVR GT 203 laps
Khan/Smith/Sugden Porsche GT 199 laps
Newton/Erdos/Kinch Lola-MG LM1 198 laps
Hezemans/Deletraz/Barde Ferrari 575 GTS 186 laps
Tomlinson/Greensall/Evans TVR GT 195 laps
Binnie/Field/Sutherland Lola-Judd LM2 185 laps
Terada/Roussel/Porta WR LM2 165 laps
Bosch/Sullivan/Biagi Ferrari 575 GTS 163 laps
Sharpe/Hyde/Cunningham Morgan GT 148 laps
Bouvet/Gommendy/Briere WR LM2 110 laps
Wallace/Brabham/Shimoda Zytek LM1 167 laps
Rosa/van Merkstein/Caffi Porsche GT 146 laps
Melo/Daoudi/de Fournoux Ferrari 360 GT 133 laps
Frei/Gounon/Hancock Courage-AER LM2 127 laps
Jeanette/Pickering/Derlot Courage-Willman LM2 124 laps
Maurylaribiere/Boulay/Besson Reynard-Lehman LM1 122 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 LM1 29 laps
Warnock/Matthews/Daniels Porsche 27 laps
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