H17: Audi takes control

Audi has taken control of the 78th Le Mans 24 Hours after a dramatic twist in the 17th hour of the race

H17: Audi takes control

Franck Montagny pulled the leading #2 Peugeot off at Tertre Rouge with flames shooting from the right exhaust, shortly after a routine fuel stop at the beginning of the hour.

With the leading Peugeot out of the race with suspected engine failure, Audi has moved to the top of the pile for the first time with the #9 R15 plus of Timo Bernhard, Mike Rockenfeller and Romain Dumas taking the lead and the #8 Audi of Benoit Treluyer, Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler moving up to second.

Peugeot's hopes of a second consecutive Le Mans 24 Hours win now rest with the third placed #1 908 HDI of Marc Gene, Anthony Davidson and Alexander Wurz, which is recovering well after an alternator failure in the eighth hour, but still lies two laps adrift of the leading Audi.

A similarly catastrophic engine failure for the #63 Chevrolet Corvette early in the 17th hour means the American marque's hopes of taking GT2 honours now rest solely with the leading #64 car.

Antonio Garcia pulled off shortly after Montagny's Peugeot did, promoting the #77 Felbermayer Porsche to second in class.

The #007 Lola Aston Martin lies sixth overall and continues to hold sway in the unofficial race for petrol honours. Harold Primat has taken over from rapid Mexican Adrian Fernandez and is lapping faster than the #009 car, driven by Sam Hancock.

Danny Watts has taken over Strakka Racing's LMP2 class-leading HPD ARX-01c from Johnny Kane and continues to consolidate a lead of more than two laps over the similar car of Highcroft Racing, despite a strong stint by Highcroft's David Brabham.

The #50 Larbre Saleen S7R continues to lead the way in GT1, holding on to a two-lap advantage over the #73 Luc Alphand Chevrolet Corvette.

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Audi: Victory is in our hands
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