H19: Audi lead by five laps

Peugeot's lack of pace in the early stages of the race was down to its drivers, says Peugeot's technical director Bruno Famin

H19: Audi lead by five laps

With Sebastien Bourdais setting the fastest lap of the race overall, the Peugeot has proven that it is capable of the speed to match the Audis in the right conditions.

However, the drivers were under strict instructions to bring their cars back in one piece in the difficult early conditions.

"We did not define the pace at the start of the race because the conditions were so difficult," said Famin. "We told the drivers; 'you know better than us how you have to drive. From one corner to another the conditions can change so be careful, bring back the car, and choose your pace.'"

Le Mans continues to be led by Audi, driven by Emanuele Pirro, with Peugeot filling second and third positions. Jacques Villeneuve has taken over the number 7 908 from Marc Gene, while Pedro Lamy continues in the number 8 car.

The pace of Pirro and Lamy continued to be quick, in the high 3:20s and the low 3:30s, while Villeneuve lapped in the 3:38 bracket.

Just before the end of the hour, Pirro pitted to hand to Marco Werner who maintains a comfortable lead. The team confirmed that a wheel nut coming loose was the cause of Capello's accident just after 7:30 am.

In Ferrari land, the Scuderia Ecosse team suffered a broken driveshaft while leading the class with Tim Mullen at the wheel. In trying to get the Ferrari back to the pits, the effort caused the Ferrari to overheat.

The Risi Competizione team, which also had taken its turn at the head of the field, was officially retired with a water pump failure.

The RML team suffered disappointment when Mike Newton brought the MG Lola back to the pits having completed almost half a lap with white smoke billowing out of the back of the car.

shares
comments
H18: Pirro leads a pair of Peugeots

Previous article

H18: Pirro leads a pair of Peugeots

Next article

H20: Audi maintain lead

H20: Audi maintain lead
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Author Andrew Cotton
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
20h
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021
Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship Plus

Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship

Beyond the slender grid of headline-grabbing hypercars, there are numerous subplots and changes to look out for in the new season of the WEC, which gets underway at Spa this weekend. Here's the seven key things you need to know about

WEC
Apr 30, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Plus

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Plus

How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no works Aston Martins in the GTE-Pro class. As its new era in Formula 1 begins, Aston leaves behind a legacy of success courtesy of its Prodrive-run factory programme that was a hit from the word go in 2005

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021