Hour 10: More niggles for Bentley

A fuel-only pitstop, followed by a spin at the Mulsanne Corner meant Laurent Aiello and the second works Audi couldn't close the gap on its race-leading sister car, despite a lengthy stop for the number 1 machine to swap drivers from Frank Biela to Emanuele Pirro

Hour 10: More niggles for Bentley

But as the Audi status quo was maintained, it was bad news for Bentley and its Le Mans roller-coaster ride when the number 8 Speed 8 was stranded in the pits for eight minutes to fix a gearbox actuator problem. That dropped the Andy Wallace-pedalled machine down to fourth overall, one place behind the impressively resilient Chrysler of Stephane Sarrazin.

Fifth overall was the second Chrysler, driven by Ni Amorim, but its seventh-placed sister car was hampered by a spin in the hands of Olivier Beretta.

Sandwiched between the lowest-placed pair of Chryslers, the Johhny O'Connell Corvette was beginning to make a relentless, albeit attrition- and pit stop sequence-assisted rise through the ranks to sixth.

But hour 10 also sadly saw the demise of both Panoz entries. The 12 car of Brabham, Magnussen and Lagorce fell victim to gearbox electrical failures, dying a lingering death. But the end when it came for the 11 car was much swifter: Klaus Graf crashed heavily before the Porsche Curves, leaving the scene shaken, but not stirred. The car wasn't so lucky and remained at the scene, too badly-damaged to continue.

The circuit is now beginning to dry, with a semblance of a line appearing at several of the circuit's corners and clear skies. The forecast, however, says that further showers are expected in the area.


In 675 the No 38 Roc Reynard has fallen back a place overall and is now in sixth. But the car is under little pressure from the its class rivals after the second-placed 675 machine, the MG EX257 had a mixed hour. In the first 30 minutes a team spokesperson said the team were 'buzzing' after their car broke the 10-hour barrier, a remarkable achievement for a car that has so little running. But shortly after, Irishman Kevin McGarrity just one lap into his stint, came back into the pits. The car has been experiencing niggling electrical faults all night after earlier rain. Mechanics first thought it was an alternator problem, but now believe it is down to water in the electronics.

In GTS, the Corvette of Fellows/O 'Connell/Pruett rose to fifth place overall. The other yellow Goodwrench Corvette of Pilgrim/Collins/Freon is 11th overall a lap behind. Oliver Gavin's Saleen, in 14th overall looked as though it was suffering tyre wear when it came in for its stop. This could be a sign that the track is drying out, but the weather, while drying, is getting cooler.

In the GT class, the No 83 Porsche of Rosa/Babini/Drudi continues to lead, currently in 13th overall. Further back in the class, the surprise polesitter, the Aspen Knolls Callaway, spent over 40 minutes in the garage in the last hour. It did go out for a few laps, however just as the hour came to a close driver Cort Wagner came back in and more work is being carried out on the Michael Colucci Racing car.

B>Top 10, Hour 10
Pos, No, (Class), Drivers, Car, Team, Time/Laps
1 (900) F.Biela/T.Kristensen/E.Pirro, Audi R8, Joest Audi Sport, 126 laps
2 (900) R Capello/L Aiello/C Pescatori, Audi R8, Joest Audi Sport, 126 laps
15 (900) Y.Dalmas/F.Montagny/S.Sarrazin, Chrysler-Mopar LMP, ORECA Chrysler, +7 laps
8 (GTP) A.Wallace/B.Leitzinger/E.Vande Poele, Bentley EXP Speed 8, Team Bentley, + 9 laps
14 (900) S.Ara/N.Amorim/M.Kondo, Chrysler-Mopar LMP, ORECA Chrysler, + 9 laps
63 (GTS) R.Fellows/J.O'Connell/S.Pruett, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Corvette Racing, + 10 laps
38 (675) J.D. Deletraz/P.Farbe/J.Gene Reynard-Lehmann 01Q ROC Competition, + 10 laps
16 (900) O.Beretta/K.Wendlinger/P.Lamy, Chrysler-Mopar LMP, Team Playstation, +10 laps
20 (900) W.Lupberger/B.Collins/H.Toivonen, Ascari-Judd A410, Team Ascari, +11 laps
17 (900) J C. Boullion/S.Bourdais/L.Redon, Courage-Peugeot C60, Pescarolo Sport, + 11 laps

Aiello/Capello, Audi R8, Team Joest Audi Sport,
3m39.046s

38 (675) J.D. Deletraz/P.Farbe/J.Gene
Reynard-Lehmann 01Q ROC Competition, +10 laps
63 (GTS) R.Fellows/J.O'Connell/S.Pruett,
Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Corvette Racing, +10 laps
83 (GT) G.Rosa/F.Babini/L.Drudi, Porsche 911
GT3-RS, Seikel Motorsport, + 13 laps



11 (900) K.Graf/J.Davies/G.Formato, Panoz LMP 07, Panoz Motorsports
12 (900) D.Brabham/J.Magnussen/F.Lagorce, Panoz LMP 07, Panoz Motorsports
3 (900) J.Herbert/R.Kelleners/D.Theys, Audi R8, Champion Racing
10 (900) J.Nielsen/H.Katoh/C.Elgaard, Dome-Judd S101, Den Bla Avis
55 (GTS) V.Vosse/C.Rosenblad/V.Ickx, Chrysler Viper GTS-R Paul Belmondo Racing
(GTP) M.Brundle/S.Ortelli/G.Smith, Bentley EXP Speed 8, Team Bentley, gearbox
(900) E.Collard/M.Goossens/E.Bernard, Cadillac Northstar LMP, DAMS, stopped
(900) S.Johansson/T.Coronel/P.Lemarie, Audi R8, Johansson Motorsport, accident damage
GT R Donovan/T Lingner/C MacAllister, Porsche 911 GT3, Racing Engineering, unknown
(675) A.Reid/W.Hughes/J.Kane, MG-Lola EX257, MG Sport, engine
(675) M.Duno/J.Graham/D.Murry, Reynard-Judd 01Q, Dick Barbour Racing, accident
(GTS) T.Seiler/W.Brun/C.Slater, Saleen-Ford S7R, Konrad Motorsport, accident
(GTS) D.Terrien/J.Cochet/J.P. Dayraut, Chrysler Viper GTS-R, Equipe de France FFSA, accident
(675) W.Carway/M.O'Connell/F.Migault, Pilbeam-Nissan MP84 Rowan Racing, accident

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Hour 9: Bentley back in the medals

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