Hour 19: The grind goes on

It looks as though once again we may have to rely on the GT category to provide close racing in the final stages. The battle between the Porsche 911s continues to swing back and forth. In the latest act, the #93 Alex Job Racing machine spent enough time in its garage sorting a technical problem that the #87 car closed to 40 seconds.

Hour 19: The grind goes on

In a race of high attrition where few have run smoothly, cars are beginning to look very beaten about, including Bentley's number eight which has a bandage on the front bodywork. Now into the latter stages, with the temperature on the rise and a virtual rally-stage worth of gravel off line in some places, mistakes are all the more likely. After all, even the experienced Jan Lammers recently succumbed to a spin.

Stalemate appears to reign with the Courages unable to do better than match the laptimes of the tantalizingly close to the Panoz, which will equal its best ever Le Mans result if it remains in its current fifth place.

Otherwise, the hour has only been enlivened by a brief spell of raciness between the green Bentleys amongst slower traffic, in the course of which Mark Blundell's #8 car briefly unlapped itself. It made for excellent viewing, but the lap times have since stabilized in the low 3m40s for both cars.

Kristensen/Capello/Smith Bentley 300 laps
Brabham/Herbert/Blundell Bentley 298 laps
Pirro/Lehto/Johansson Audi 296 laps
Ara/Magnussen/Werner Audi 293 laps
Beretta/Jeannette/Papis Panoz 285 laps
Cochet/Gounon/Gregoire Courage-Judd 285 laps
Helary/Ayari/Minassian Courage-Peugeot 284 laps
Lammers/Bosch/Wallace Dome-Judd 284 laps
Boullion/Lagorce/Sarrazin Courage-Peugeot 282 laps
Kox/Enge/Davies Ferrari 550 273 laps*

* GTS class

Kox/Enge/Davies Ferrari 550 273 laps
Gavin/Pilgrim/Collins Corvette 257 laps
Fellows/O Connell/Freon Corvette 257 laps

Andre/Maury-Laribiere/Pillon Reynard-Lehmann 259 laps
Nielsen/Shimoda/Elgaard DBA-Zytek 221 laps
Terada/Porta/Pickering WR 170 laps

Luhr/Maassen/Collard Porsche 252 laps
Hindery/Baron/Lieb Porsche 249 laps
Neugarten/Smith/Khan Porsche 245 laps

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Guy Smith race diary: 10am

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