Hour 16: McNish gets on it!

Battle for the lead

Hour 16: McNish gets on it!

Like a small, wiry terrier, Allan McNish only needs the merest whiff of his quarry to get a second wind. While the Scot dashed in for fuel only, the lead car was stationery for two and a half minutes - its longest stop of the race - to change brake discs and drivers. Emanuele Pirro got out, Frank Biela got in, and Allan McNish got on it.
How much on it? Well, enough to record the fastest lap of the race, a 3m37.359s effort just after seven o'clock, and enough to start taking chunks of between eight and 10 seconds off Biela's lead every single lap. He hadn't quite got his target in his sights, but being back on the lead lap was one big incentive.

It isn't over yet...

In the other Audi, Michele Alboreto handed over to Christian Abt. It's fair to say that unless a major disaster befalls both of the cars ahead, Albo and co are looking destined for the lower step of the podium only.

The Courage-Peugeot C52 continued to impress in fifth, setting its fastest lap of the race just moments before McNish's quick one.

Oh, and more maladies for Panoz. The 22 car's all-Japanese line-up took their turn at being frustrated by an enforced gearbox change and dropped out of the top 10 as a result.


GTS ORECA Vipers in eighth, ninth and 10th, with Archer/Duez/Huisman leading the way. Lead LMP 675 goes down the escape road, but holds on to its lead. GT class remains the domain of the Dick Barbour Racing Porsche GT3R.


After a very promising first afternoon and evening, the LMP 900 BMW of Bscher/Gounon/Lees calls it a day due to accumulated damage and lost time. Jean Marc Gounon is called in for an early bath.


Pos No Drivers Car Class Laps/Time
8, F Biela, T Kristensen, E Pirro, Audi R8 (900), 244 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
3, E Bernard, E Collard, F Montagny, Cadillac LMP (900), + 8 laps
16, S Bourdais, O Grouillard, E Clerico, C Peugeot (900), + 16 laps
12, H Katoh, J O'Connell, P H Raphanel, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), + 18 laps
23, T Suzuki, M Kageyama, M Kageyama, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), +22 laps 52, T Archer, M Duez, P Huisman, Oreca Viper (GTS), + 23 laps
51, O Beretta, K Wendlinger, D Dupuy, Oreca Viper (GTS), + 23 laps
53, D Donohue, N Amorim, A Beltoise, Oreca Viper (GTS), + 24 laps

Class No Driver Car Time
900 9, A McNish Audi R8 3m37.359s


Class No Drivers Car Class Time
32, S Maxwell, J Graham, G Wilkins, Lola Nissan 2K/40, + 71 laps
52, T Archer, M Duez, P Huisman, Oreca Viper (GTS), + 23 laps
83, D Muller, L Luhr, B Wollek, Porsche GT3R, + 32 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, 38 laps
33, J D Deletraz, R Kelleners, D Terrien, ROC VW (675), engine, 44 laps
77, C Bouchut, J Chereau, P Gouselard, Porsche GT3-R (GT), 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 (900), engine, 126 laps
21, M Schiattarella, D de Radigues, E Naspetti, Lola Judd B2K/10 (900), stopped, 154 laps
15, T Bscher, J M Gounon, G Lees, BMW LMP (900), retired, 180 laps

For a full list of race positions at the 15-hour mark click here.


shares
comments
Hour 15: Audi leads. The sun also rises.

Previous article

Hour 15: Audi leads. The sun also rises.

Next article

Hour 17: Close but no cigar for Super Nish

Hour 17: Close but no cigar for Super Nish
Load comments
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Plus

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year

WEC
Jul 24, 2021
How glitches left Toyota 'worried' about losing unbeaten WEC streak Plus

How glitches left Toyota 'worried' about losing unbeaten WEC streak

The World Endurance Championship's long-awaited return to Monza posed the sternest test yet for Toyota's new hypercar. Although the Japanese marque's GR010 HYBRID remains unbeaten, the victory for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi was far from plain sailing

WEC
Jul 19, 2021
How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts Plus

How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts

OPINION: Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 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
Jun 23, 2021
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge helped Toyota to keep clear Plus

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge helped Toyota to keep clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Toyota hits the ton — charting 100 world championship sportscar starts Plus

Toyota hits the ton — charting 100 world championship sportscar starts

The Japanese manufacturer is celebrating its 100th world championship prototype start in this weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the World Endurance Championship. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021