Hour 11: Audis 7,8,9 change round again

Battle for the lead

Hour 11: Audis 7,8,9 change round again

"You never really want to wish anybody else bad luck, but mechanical failure for the Audis is our best bet of a podium," said Don Panoz cautiously half way through the 11th hour of Le Mans 2000.
Only 15 minutes later the Panoz team was presented with just such an opportunity as Christian Abt in the leading Audi came in after yet another puncture, at which point the Joest run team made a precautionary gearbox change. The American team boss clearly tempted fate as the Brabham/Magnussen/Andretti car was on the point of taking second place when they themselves had to pit to change the gearbox.

"The drivers had been complaining of a crunchy 4th gear," explained team spokesperson Fiona Miller. "In the last few laps 5th started to go as well so we decided to change the gear cluster."

The lengthy job allowed the second Panoz of Katoh/O'Connel/Raphanel to go through into fourth, and the number three Cadillac into fifth. The number 11 Panoz is left to Mario Andretti to try to make up the time


The 675 LMP class is still fronted by the Terada/Balandras/Boulay WR Peugeot, despite the fact that the leaders are gaining almost 15 laps on the lighter prototype car every hour. The Beretta/Wendlinger/Dupuy Dodge Viper is consistently maintaining its position in the GTS class and has now broken into the top 10 and lies in ninth place. The Dick Barbour Porsche GT3-R is comfortably holding the lead of the GT class in 18th place.


The Audi Sport mechanics can change the complete back end of the R8, including gearbox, uprights and suspension in an impressive 3m57s.
The gear cluster change on the Panoz however, was lengthy enough for some of the mechanics to give the car a full polish.

Pos No Drivers Car Class Laps/Time

8, F Biela, T Kristensen, E Pirro, Audi R8 (900), 166 laps
9, L Aiello, A McNish, S Ortelli, Audi R8 (900), +1 lap
7, M Alboreto, C Abt, R Capello, Audi R8 (900), +2 laps
12, H Katoh, J O'Connell, P H Rapanel, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), +4 laps
11, D Brabham, J Magnussen, M Andretti, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), +6 laps
3, E Bernard, E Collard, F Montagny, Cadillac LMP (900), +2:17.113
16, S Bourdais, O Grouillard, E Clerico, C Peugeot (900), + 10 laps
23, T Suzuki, M Kageyama, M Kageyama, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), :1:21.673
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
S Maxwell, J Graham, G Wilkins, Lola Nissan 2K/40, +58 laps
51, O Beretta, K Wendlinger, D Dupuy, Oreca Viper, + 14 laps
83, D Muller, L Luhr, B Wollek, Porsche GT3R, +21 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, 72 laps
24, S Johansson, J Matthews, G Smith, Reynard Judd 2KQ, engine, 126 laps

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


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