Hour 18: Bentley has more battery bother

The second-place Bentley driven by David Brabham has had to make a further unscheduled pit stop to replace a second faulty battery, losing the machine further time to its race-leading sister car that continues to run as reliably as the Energiser Bunny

Hour 18: Bentley has more battery bother

The number 8 Bentley was forced to make a stop in the 14th hour of the race to change a battery, and has now had to stop again for exactly the same problem just four hours later. Given the normal durability of the race car batteries, it could be a sign that the Bentley is suffering from some more general electrical problem.

However, the chasing Champion Racing Audi was unable to capitalise on the Bentleys drama, as J.J Lehto lost a further lap to the British cars when he spun off the track.

The troubled race of the Saelens/Maxwell/Leuenberger Panoz Elan appears to be over. Saelens ran the car off the road several times on a number of occasions before finally crashing out for good.

The sole remaining Veloqx Prodrive Ferrari continues to lead the GTS class, and has been given some extra breathing space by the Gavin/Pilgrims/Collins Chevrolet Corvette. The American machine has had to stop to change a gearbox, a job that will take at least 30 minutes.

"We had to change the bettery, which is likely to drop us down the order a bit," said driver Oliver Gavin. "We're going to see how it works out, but we know that we won't be able to catch the Prodrive Ferrari on speed. We're just going to run to the finish now."

The Noel del Bello Racing Reynard-Lehmann continues to blitz the LMP675 class and is now over 30 laps clear of its nearest rival. By contrast, the GT class continues to be a real dogfight, with the Alex Job Racing Porsche currently holding the advantage.

Kristensen/Capello/Smith Bentley 284 laps
Brabham/Herbert/Blundell Bentley 282 laps
Pirro/Lehto/Johansson Audi 281 laps
Ara/Magnussen/Werner Audi 277 laps
Lammers/Bosch/Wallace Dome-Judd 271 laps
Beretta/Jeannette/Papis Panoz 270 laps
Cochet/Gounon/Gregoire Courage-Judd 270 laps
Helary/Ayari/Minassian Courage-Peugeot 269 laps
Boullion/Lagorce/Sarrazin Courage-Peugeot 267 laps
Kox/Enge/Davies Ferrari 550 259 laps*

* GTS class

Kox/Enge/Davies Ferrari 550 259 laps
Gavin/Pilgrim/Collins Corvette 244 laps
Fellows/O Connell/Freon Corvette 243 laps

Andre/Maury-Laribiere/Pillon Reynard-Lehmann 245 laps
Nielsen/Shimoda/Elgaard DBA-Zytek 207 laps
Briere/Daoudi/Defournoux WR 176 laps

Luhr/Maassen/Collard Porsche 239 laps
Hindery/Baron/Lieb Porsche 238 laps
Neugarten/Smith/Khan Porsche 232 laps

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