Hour 10: Abt is still hanging on in there

Battle for the lead

Hour 10: Abt is still hanging on in there

Christian Abt still leads the Le Mans 24 Hours for Audi, and is setting a strong pace. He is ahead of the Biela/Kristensen/Pirro R8 by 2m24.521s at the 10-hour mark.

Jan Magnussen is in third place in the number one Panoz Spyder., two laps adrift, thanks to a mammoth quadruple stint by the Danish hotshoe. The number nine R8 has slipped to fourth - just 23.943s behind Magnussen. And in fifth is the Katoh/O'Connell/Raphanel Panoz.

The story of the past hour has been suspected diffuser problems on the hitherto unstoppable Audis. Stephane Ortelli was forced to pit and have a new diffuser fitted at 0115. He pitted again 10 minutes later - and that allowed Magnussen though into third.

Thereafter the Audi mechanics examined the diffuser on each of their cars when they pitted. "We lost the diffuser on the number nine car out on the track and the problem is that we also lost our telemetry transponder, which is fitted to it," said team boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "That's why we are checking the diffusers on all three of our cars."

The frontrunners are pretty-well spread out and invariably rejoin the race in the same position from which they pitted.



The P675 class is being led by the Multimatic Lola B2K/40, which is in 34th place overall and 58 laps behind.
The Beretta/Wendlinger/Archer Dodge Viper has broken into the top 10 and still leads the GTS class from the sister car driven by Archer/Duez/Huisman by a lap.
The Dick Barbour Porsche GT3-R is running like clockwork in the GT class, but has dropped a place to 19th overall, 20 laps behind.


Jean-Marc Gounon spun out of contention at Indianapolis at 0125, possibly as a result of component failure or a puncture. He returned to the pits and remains in the race but in 19th place.
The engine of Stefan Johansson's Reynard Judd grenaded at 0130 and he was forced to park out on the track and retire. Team boss John Wickham said: "The engine lost oil pressure on the start-finish straight and lasted for another half a lap before it gave up."


Pos No Drivers Car Class Laps/Time

7, M Alboreto, C Abt, R Capello, Audi R8 (900), 155 laps
8, F Biela, T Kristensen, E Pirro, Audi R8 (900), + 1 lap
11, D Brabham, J Magnussen, M Andretti, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), + 2 laps
9, L Aiello, A McNish, S Ortelli, Audi R8 (900), +2 laps
12, H Katoh, J O'Connell, P H Rapanel, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), +4 laps
3, E Bernard, E Collard, F Montagny, Cadillac LMP (900), +6 laps
16, S Bourdais, O Grouillard, E Clerico, C Peugeot (900), + 9 laps
23, T Suzuki, M Kageyama, M Kageyama, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), + 11 laps
51, O Beretta, K Wendlinger, D Dupuy, Oreca Viper (GTS) , + 14 laps
52, M Duez, P Huisman, T Archer, Oreca Viper (GTS), + 15 laps


Class No Driver Car Time
900 9, A McNish Audi R8 3m37.877s


Class No Drivers Car Class Time
36, S Boulay, Y Terada, R Balandras, WR Peugeot (675), + 55 laps
51, O Beretta, K Wendlinger, D Dupuy, Oreca Viper, + 14 laps
83, D Muller, L Luhr, B Wollek, Porsche GT3R, + 20 laps


No Drivers Car Laps Reason
4, M Goossens, C Tinseau, K Kolby, DAM'S Cadillac LMP (900), fire - 5 laps
5, Y Dalmas, N Minassian, J P Belloc, ORECA Reynard-Mopar 2KQ (900), oil pressure - 1 lap
20, J Lammers, P Kox, T Coronel, Konrad Lola B2K/10 (900), retired
33, J D Deletraz, R Kelleners, D Terrien, ROC VW (675), engine,
77, C Bouchut, J Chereau, P Gouselard, Porsche GT3-R, accident, 34 laps
34, J-C Boullion, J Gene, G Policand, Reynard Volkswagen (675), engine

For a full list of race positions at the nine-hour mark click here.

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Hour nine: Audi procession…momentarily

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