3hrs: TK hunts Smith
Last year's Le Mans winner Guy Smith has taken over in the cockpit of the Veloqx Audi R8 that currently leads Le Mans after three hours of racing. The pressure dropped off the British run car after the sister Veloqx R8 and the Champion Audi crashed into the Porsche curves at the end of the previous hour
Meanwhile the Team Goh R8 has recovered from its early 'off' and has worked its way back up to second place with five-time winner Tom Kristensen at the wheel, but it is a full lap behind race leader Smith. The Dane is absolutely flying as he tries to make up the ground to the Herbert/Smith/Davies car.
The Kondo Dome has inherited third overall with Ryo Michigama at the wheel. The Japanese run car, which is powered by a Mugen engine, has not had any problems and is running on the same lap as Kristensen. Which is more than can be said for Justin Wilson's Dome.
The British F1 refugee did a fantastic job in the Racing For Holland car that he shares with Tom Coronel and Ralph Firman, getting it up to third before a gearbox problem hit the team. The team changed the entire 'box cluster but was told by race officials that this was against the regulations so they were forced to change back to the hastily-repaired old one.
Eric Comas is running fourth in the Pescarolo ahead of Martin Short in the remarkable Rollcentre Racing Dallara. Katsumoto Kaneishi is sixth in the sister Racing For Home Dome.
Sam Hancock has taken over duties in the Courage that leads LM2 and is seventh overall, one place ahead of the leading GTS car, the Corvette being driven by Olivier Beretta. The Monegasque only holds a slender 13s lead over the pursuing Prodrive Ferrari being driven by Rickard Rydell. Sascha Maassen still leads the GT class, and is 16th overall in the White Lightning Porsche.
Drivers to hit trouble in this hour included David Brabham who sustained bodywork damage to his Zytek from a puncture at Indianapolis and John Field who went off in his Lola at the second Mulsanne Chicane.
As for the two broken Audis... the Champion R8 returned to the track at the half hour mark having lost nine laps and is currently 37th in the hands Marco Werner. The Veloqx car is still being rebuilt but the team has not given up and Allan McNish, who is en route to the medical centre to check for concussion, has told his wife to stay behind in the pits to let him know if the car will be ready for him to drive when he returns to the circuit!
Davies/Herbert/Smith Audi R8 LM1 46 laps completed
Ara/Capello/Kristensen Audi R8 LM1 45 laps
Katoh/Michigami/Fukuda Dome-Mugen LM1 45 laps
Ayari/Comas/Treluyer Pescarolo-Judd LM1 45 laps
Short/Barff/Barbosa Dallara-Judd LM1 45 laps
Lammers/Dyson/Kaneishi Dome-Judd LM1 45 laps
Frei/Gounon/Hancock Courage-AER LM2 44 laps
Gavin/Beretta/Magnussen Corvette GTS 43 laps
McRae/Rydell/Turner Ferrari 550 GTS 43 laps
Enge/Kox/Menu Ferrari 550 GTS 43 laps
Nielsen/Elgaard/Moller Lister LM1 43 laps
Coronel/Wilson/Firman Dome-Judd LM1 42 laps
Bouchut/Goueslard/Dupard Ferrari 550 GTS 42 laps
Andre/Leuenberger/Vanni Lola-Judd LM1 42 laps
Bourdais/Blanchemain/Berville Panoz LM1 41 laps
Maasen/Bergmeister/Long Porsche GT 41 laps
Hezemans/Deletraz/Barde Ferrari 575 GTS 41 laps
Kelleners/Ortelli/Dumas Porsche GT 40 laps
Newton/Erdos/Kinch Lola-MG LM1 40 laps
Terada/Roussel/Porta WR LM2 40 laps
Bosch/Sullivan/Biagi Ferrari 575 GTS 40 laps
Rosa/van Merkstein/Caffi Porsche GT 40 laps
Binnie/Field/Sutherland Lola-Judd LM2 40 laps
Collard/Bourdais/Minassian Pescarolo-Judd LM1 40 laps
Vasiliev/Fomenko/Nearn Porsche GT 39 laps
Alphand/Laveille/Almeras Porsche GT 39 laps
Jeanette/Pickering/Derlot Courage-Willman LM2 39 laps
Berridge/Caine/Stockton TVR GT 39 laps
Hindery/Lieb/Rockenfeller Porsche GT 39 laps
Wilson/Montain/Hugenholtz Ferrari 360 GT 39 laps
Melo/Daoudi/de Fournoux Ferrari 360 GT 39 laps
Burgess/Collin/Bagnalli Porsche GT 39 laps
Kurosawa/Nishizawa/Oriodo Porsche GT 38 laps
Donaldson/Fisken/Nielsen Porsche GT 38 laps
Fellows/O'Connell/Papis Corvette GTS 38 laps
Lehto/Werner/Pirro Audi R8 LM1 37 laps
Sharpe/Hyde/Cunningham Morgan 37 laps
Bouvet/Gommendy/Briere WR LM2 36 laps
Maurylaribiere/Boulay/Besson Reynard-Lehman LM1 35 laps
Andrews/Lockie/Kumpen Lola-Caterpillar LM1 35 laps
Wallace/Brabham/Shimoda Zytek Audi R8 LM1 35 laps
Khan/Smith/Sugden Porsche GT 34 laps
Tomlinson/Greensall/Evans TVR GT 31 laps
Biela/Kaffer/McNish Audi R8 LM1 30 laps
Field/Dayton/Connor Lola-Judd 29 laps
Warnock/Matthews/Daniels Porsche 27 laps
Stirling/Lupberger/McGarrity Nasamax-Judd LM1 26 laps
Belmondo/Gosselin/Saviozzi Courage-AER LM2 26 laps