Hour 14: Audis lead, the sun also rises

A total of 27 of the original 48 cars in the 69th 24 Hours of Le Mans have made it through the night as dawn breaks over La Sarthe. Despite the number two works Audi R8 swapping drivers after a tough stint by Dindo Capello, the German cars continue to lap with almost identical times, albeit that the second Audi is two laps down

Hour 14: Audis lead, the sun also rises

In the number two Audi, Capello completed his three-hour stint 20 minutes into the session. Christian Pescatrori took over from his compatriot with great efficiency, getting the car back on track with an admirable urgency despite the Audis looking pretty unbeatable at the moment.

With the cars seemingly in total control of the race, Audi sport boss Dr Wolfgang Ulrich warned against complacency, saying that this year's Le Mans is not being dominated in the same way as Audi did in 2000. "Every race is very different and every race is a new challenge," said the German.

Bentley is still looking good, with Butch Leitzinger driving his EXP Speed 8 beautifully out on his own, 11 laps down from the leaders. There is a closer battle further back between the Dams Cadillac piloted by Max Angelelli and the Chrysler of Portuguese Pedro Lamy. The pair are on the same lap in fourth and fifth respectively. Lamy's chances of taking fourth were heightened when Angelelli made an unscheduled pit stop that was totally unexpected by his crew.

As the mechanics rushed to attend his car, he complained that the balance of the front wheels wasn't correct, causing excess vibration the cara. And to confound his problems, his radio wasn't working properly, hence the team's surprise when he pitted.

The Reynard-Lehman continues to impress in sixth, followed by the leading GTS runner, the number 63 Corvette.



Can nothing stop the ROC Reynard? It's still running steadily in sixth place overall and 16 laps behind the head of the field. Philippe Farbre took the car over at 0515 and took fuel, coolant but no tyres in a scheduled stop just before dawn.

The only class challenger remains the Welter Gerard car driven by de Fournoux/Daoudi/Terada over 30 laps behind as the ROC car continues to mix it with the big boys.

Johnny O'Connell took the wheel of the GTS class-leading Corvette and went out again on slick tyres in an effort to extend his three-lap lead over the sister car of Pilgrim/Collins/Freon. The Borcheller/Gavin/Konrad Saleen S7 is still third in class, a further lap adrift.

In GT, the class-leading Porsche 911 GT3 pitted routinely at 0545 and Gunnar Jeannette took the wheel. The car is a lap ahead of the Luc Alphand 911.

1 (900) F.Biela/T.Kristensen/E.Pirro, Audi R8, Joest Audi Sport, 183 laps
2 (900) R Capello/L Aiello/C Pescatori, Audi R8, Joest Audi Sport, 180 laps
8 (GTP) A.Wallace/B.Leitzinger/E.Vande Poele, Bentley EXP Speed 8, Team Bentley, 173 laps
16 (900) O.Beretta/K.Wendlinger/P.Lamy, Chrysler-Mopar LMP, Team Playstation, 168 laps
6 (900) W.Taylor/M.Angelelli/C.Tinseau, Cadillac Northstar LMP, DAMS, 167 laps
38 (675) J.D. Deletraz/P.Farbe/J.Gene Reynard-Lehmann 01Q ROC Competition, +7.405
63 (GTS) R.Fellows/J.O'Connell/S.Pruett, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Corvette Racing, 166 laps
17 (GTP) J C Boullion/S Bourdais/L Redon, Courage Peugeot, Pescarolo Sport, 163 laps
62 (GTS) I.McKellar/B.Lambert/J.Mowlem, Saleen-Ford S7R, Ray Mallock Limited, +1:22.209
60 (GTS) T Borcheller/O Gavin/F Konrad, Saleen-Ford S7R, Saleen Allen Speedlab, 162 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, +16 laps
63 (GTS) R.Fellows/J.O'Connell/S.Pruett,
Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Corvette Racing, +17 laps
83 (GT) G.Rosa/F.Babini/L.Drudi, Porsche 911
GT3-RS, Seikel Motorsport, + 24 laps

15 (900) Y.Dalmas/F.Montagny/S.Sarrazin, Chrysler-Mopar LMP, ORECA Chrysler, engine
B Mazzuccola/V Rice/C Wagner, Callaway Corvette, Aspen Knolls,
36 (675) D.de Radigues/S.Maassen/H.Matsuda, Reynard-Judd 01Q, Dick Barbour Racing, unknown
c Hurtgen/R Fairbanks/C Gleason, Lola Nissan, Roock-Knighthawk Racing,
K McGarrity/M Blundell/J Bailey, MG, MG Sport,
11 (900) K.Graf/J.Davies/G.Formato, Panoz LMP 07, Panoz Motorsports, engine
12 (900) D.Brabham/J.Magnussen/F.Lagorce, Panoz LMP 07, Panoz Motorsports, unknown
3 (900) J.Herbert/R.Kelleners/D.Theys, Audi R8, Champion Racing, engine
10 (900) J.Nielsen/H.Katoh/C.Elgaard, Dome-Judd S101, Den Bla Avis, engine
55 (GTS) V.Vosse/C.Rosenblad/V.Ickx, Chrysler Viper GTS-R Paul Belmondo Racing, accident
(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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