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H18: Pirro leads a pair of Peugeots

Emanuele Pirro leads Le Mans by four laps in his Audi, ahead of Marc Gene's Peugeot and seven laps clear of Pedro Lamy in the third-placed 908 HDI FAP, but nothing can be taken for granted and teams still have a challenging six hours ahead of them

Despite the beautiful sunshine that greeted the teams, drivers and spectators at dawn, rain is forecast for later today and the question is when, not if, it will arrive.

There was more drama in the GT2 class when Tim Mullen stopped the class-leading Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari 430 GTC on the Mulsanne Straight. The team are still waiting for the car to get back to the pit but Mullen has more than half a lap to complete and the suspicion is that the car has a holed radiator.

That has left Richard Lietz in the IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche leading the Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GT of Tracy Krohn, Colin Braun and Nic Jonsson by six laps. Pierre Ehret lies third in the Autorlando Porsche, which lost time when a puncture destroyed the front right of the Porsche while Adrian Newey's Ferrari lies fifth, a further lap down.

Sebastien Bourdais set fastest lap of the race overall when the Frenchman lowered the lap record to 3:27.633 in the number 8 Peugeot 908 HDI FAP. A routine pit stop for the number 7 Peugeot turned into a slightly longer affair as the team again cleaned the radiators and Gene continued in second place.

David Brabham continues to lead the GT1 category by a lap, ahead of Jan Magnussen's Corvette. Canadian Ron Fellows drove the car shortly after dawn and enjoyed himself so much that he is considering returning next year despite having already announced his retirement at the end of this season. Fabrizio Gollin drives the third placed Aston Martin, ahead of Peter Kox in fourth.

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