H23: ORECA Peugeot retires as well

The last vestiges of a fight for the podium positions between Audi and Peugeot ended in the 23rd hour of Le Mans as the ORECA 908 HDi FAP appeared to suffer the same fate as the #1 and #2 factory cars while hunting Rinaldo Capello's third-placed Audi

H23: ORECA Peugeot retires as well

Loic Duval had closed to within 10 seconds of the R15 TDI Plus before pitting out of sequence. But shortly after resuming his pursuit a sheet of flame tore from the right underside of the car as it approached Indianapolis, signalling a massive oil fire and a final retirement for the French manufacturer with just 70 minutes to go.

This development means that Audi is now left to run unchallenged to the flag as it seeks an unlikely clean sweep of the podium.

Timo Bernhard took over from Mike Rockenfeller in the lead #9 car and commands a lap advantage over Benoit Treluyer, who looks set for his best finish at La Sarthe one year after his horrifying accident in the Pescarolo Peugeot.

Capello, who had been gearing up for a nerve-jangling climax to the race, now has an 11-lap cushion to Sam Hancock in the Aston Martin - which is set to equal its best finish from last year.

Didier Andre runs fifth in the ORECA-Aim while LMP2 leader Danny Watts is sixth for Strakka.

Marc Lieb remains in control of GT2 having extended his lead slightly over the Farnbacher Ferrari driven by Allan Simonsen. Richard Westbrook runs third in class BMS Porsche six laps ahead of the AF Corse Ferrari piloted by former F1 stars Jean Alesi and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Gabriele Gardel's Saleen is now just one hour away from becoming the last car to win a GT1 race at Le Mans as he retains a five lap lead over the Luc Alphand Corvette.

shares
comments
Rockenfeller happy despite tyre issue

Previous article

Rockenfeller happy despite tyre issue

Next article

H24: Audi cruises to victory

H24: Audi cruises to victory
Load comments
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Plus

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Plus

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness

WEC
Aug 22, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Plus

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Plus

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans Plus

The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans

The rising HubAuto team steps up to GTE Pro at Le Mans this year for an ambitious bid to take on the three works giants – and has every reason to be optimistic of achieving its goal in becoming the first privateer on the podium since 2016

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021