4hrs: Kristensen closing

The Audi Sport Japan R8 has continued to close the gap to the lead Audi Sport UK R8 of Guy Smith through the fourth hour of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Smith still holds a one-lap advantage, but Tom Kristensen was closing in at the rate of four seconds a lap before handing over to team-mate Seiji Ara at the end of the hour

4hrs: Kristensen closing

While the battle between the two Audis has stabilised somewhat, the fight for the final podium spot is looking wide open. The Kondo Racing Dome-Mugen of Ryo Michigami had climbed into a strong third, but a technical problem on the far side of the circuit slowed it dramatically, and the car lost several laps undergoing repairs on its return to the pit.

This has promoted Erik Comas to third in the lead Pescarolo-Judd, ahead of the Racing for Holland Dome of Katsumoto Kaneishi. Rollcentre Racing had moved into an excellent fifth spot, but a puncture minutes after 2000 CET appears to have cost it time.

Both the Champion Audi and second Audi Sport UK entry have rejoined the race following their earlier incidents. The Champion machine has moved up to 21st overall, while the more-heavily damaged Veloqx-run R8 is down in 45th.

The GTS battle remains close, with Jan Magnussen holding a relatively slender 40-second lead in his Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. The lead Prodrive Ferrari 550 runs second in class, with former World Rally Champion Colin McRae currently enjoying his first Le Mans race stint, and gradually improving his speed. Alain Menu is just under a minute further down the road in the second Prodrive machine, but lapping faster than both cars ahead of him.

Sam Hancock continues to hold a comfortable LM2 lead in his Courage-Judd. The Briton is currently running sixth overall, and is five laps clear of his nearest class rival.

The Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 of Sascha Maassen leads the GT class, holding 2m30s advantage over Stephane Ortelli in the Freisinger machine.

Davies/Herbert/Smith Audi R8 LM1 62 laps completed
Ara/Capello/Kristensen Audi R8 LM1 61 laps
Ayari/Comas/Treluyer Pescarolo-Judd LM1 61 laps
Lammers/Dyson/Kaneishi Dome-Judd LM1 60 laps
Short/Barff/Barbosa Dallara-Judd LM1 60 laps
Frei/Gounon/Hancock Courage-AER LM2 59 laps
Gavin/Beretta/Magnussen Corvette GTS 58 laps
McRae/Rydell/Turner Ferrari 550 GTS 58 laps
Enge/Kox/Menu Ferrari 550 GTS 58 laps
Nielsen/Elgaard/Moller Lister LM1 56 laps
Andre/Leuenberger/Vanni Lola-Judd LM1 56 laps
Bouchut/Goueslard/Dupard Ferrari 550 GTS 55 laps
Collard/Bourdais/Minassian Pescarolo-Judd LM1 55 laps
Hezemans/Deletraz/Barde Ferrari 575 GTS 55 laps
Maasen/Bergmeister/Long Porsche GT 54 laps
Newton/Erdos/Kinch Lola-MG LM1 54 laps
Bourdais/Blanchemain/Berville Panoz LM1 54 laps
Kelleners/Ortelli/Dumas Porsche GT 54 laps
Bosch/Sullivan/Biagi Ferrari 575 GTS 54 laps
Jeanette/Pickering/Derlot Courage-Willman LM2 54 laps
Binnie/Field/Sutherland Lola-Judd LM2 53 laps
Rosa/van Merkstein/Caffi Porsche GT 53 laps
Katoh/Michigami/Fukuda Dome-Mugen LM1 53 laps
Lehto/Werner/Pirro Audi R8 LM1 53 laps
Fellows/O'Connell/Papis Corvette GTS 53 laps
Melo/Daoudi/de Fournoux Ferrari 360 GT 53 laps
Vasiliev/Fomenko/Nearn Porsche GT 53 laps
Hindery/Lieb/Rockenfeller Porsche GT 53 laps
Alphand/Laveille/Almeras Porsche GT 53 laps
Wilson/Montain/Hugenholtz Ferrari 360 GT 52 laps
Burgess/Collin/Bagnall Porsche GT 52 laps
Berridge/Caine/Stockton TVR GT 52 laps
Kurosawa/Nishizawa/Oriodo Porsche GT 52 laps
Donaldson/Fisken/Nielsen Porsche GT 51 laps
Wallace/Brabham/Shimoda Zytek LM1 51 laps
Coronel/Wilson/Firman Dome-Judd LM1 51 laps
Terada/Roussel/Porta WR LM2 50 laps
Bouvet/Gommendy/Briere WR LM2 50 laps
Khan/Smith/Sugden Porsche GT 48 laps
Sharpe/Hyde/Cunningham Morgan 47 laps
Tomlinson/Greensall/Evans TVR GT 44 laps
Maurylaribiere/Boulay/Besson Reynard-Lehman LM1 42 laps
Stirling/Lupberger/McGarrity Nasamax-Judd LM1 42 laps
Belmondo/Gosselin/Saviozzi Courage-AER LM2 41 laps
Biela/Kaffer/McNish Audi R8 LM1 40 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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