Hour 2: Short Jumps to Third

Jean-Christophe Boullion is still in front after the end of the second hour of this year's Le Mans 24 Hours

Hour 2: Short Jumps to Third

It's not all plain sailing for Pescarolo Sport's blue, white and green cars as the sister car damaged its front bodywork and perhaps a steering arm when it came into contact with a GT2 Panoz, dropping it to seventh as it lost close on two laps while the repairs were carried out and Eric Helary slotted onboard for the first of his driving stints.

As at the end of the opening hour, the best-placed of the Audis is the number 3 Champion Racing R8 with Emanuele Pirro at the wheel, albeit 2m32s behind Boullion.

Rollcentre Racing continue to have a race of opposites as their Judd-powered Dallara rose as high as second as it picked off the Audis when they pitted, with Portuguese driver Joao Barbosa at the wheel. He pitted from second moments before the end of the second hour, and this dropped him back to fifth as Martin Short took over.

On the other hand, Rollcentre's Nissan-powered sister car managed to sneak out to start its race just before the first hour was over, thus avoiding being disqualified. But Michael Krumm did one slow lap before returning to the pits to have a crank sensor problem checked, something that may require the engine to be dropped out so that it can be fixed.

With two hours gone, Audi are also third and fourth, with the Oreca R8 running third for Franck Montagny and JJ Lehto pedalling the second Champion Racing R8 around 14 seconds further back.

Creation Autosportif's run in the top-six has been thwarted for now as a paddleshift problem was followed after an hour and three-quarters when driver Jamie Campbell-Walter returned to the pits with high water temperature.

Jan Lammers was lapping pretty much as fast as anyone bar the Pescarolos as he powered his way up through the top-10 in his Racing for Holland Dome, climbing to eighth by the two-hour mark, with Elton Julian having taken over from Lammers.

LMP2 honours are being held by Kruse Motorsport, their Courage already three laps down on the race-leading Pescarolo, with Ian Mitchellhaving taken over from Phil Bennett. Rick Sutherland isn't far behind in the number 37 Paul Belmondo Racing Courage, the one that wasn't pushed off the grid to take the race start from the pitlane.

The second hour was notable for several cars challenging for class honours hitting trouble. First to suffer was Robin Liddell who had just taken over the GT2 class-leading Panoz Esperante from Bill Auberlen when he had to come straight back in to the pits to have the crew try to fix its undertray back into position, handing the class advantage to the Alex Job Racing Porsche driven by Marc Lieb.

Moments later, Oliver Gavin's GT1 Corvette C6.R was afflicted by a puncture to its left rear tyre, forcing him to limp back to the pits, something that took an age as the tyre started losing pressure after the first chicane and he had to drop his speed to 60mph to ensure that some rubber was kept on the rim for the return journey to the pits. There was brief concern as the car appeared to spring a leak as the new rubber was fitted. And all of this helped Aston Martin to improve its position at the head of GT1.

However, Aston Martin's Darren Turner was given a second stop-go penalty, for hitting a cone when he outbraked himself and ran through the gravel trap at the Ford Chicane, and this spiked his gun somewhat just after he'd worked his way back from an earlier stop-go penalty to lead the class, handing the GT1 lead to team-mate Peter Kox as he had to sit static for three minutes. Kox has recvently handed over to Tomas Enge who is up to 10th overall.

Stefan Eriksson was in the wars in the Cirtek Motorsport Ferrari 360 Modena when he spun right in front of a pack of cars and narrowly escaped being tail-ended as he spun back onto the circuit. Moments later, Patrick Bourdais found his works Panoz Esperante being nudged towards the tyre wall at Arnage by Ayari's second-placed Pescarolo. Foirtunately, Bourdais just avoided going in nose-first. Then the drama kept coming as the number 24 WR with Yojiro Terada at the wheel appeared to spin on its own oil before continuing in very smokey form to the pits. Minutes after that, Bourdais's day turned from bad to worse as he spun at the first chicane along the Mulsanne and had to be towed out of the gravel trap.

So, GT2 is being controlled by Alex Job Racing, although their advantage might be whittled down as Leo Hindery, by far the slowest of their drivers, has just taken over from Mike Rockenfeller.

Pos # Drivers Make Class On Hour 0
1 16 Collard, Boullion, Comas Pescarolo Judd LM P1
2 17 Loeb, Helary, Ayari Pescarolo Judd LM P1
3 2 Biela, Pirro, McNish Audi R8 LM P1
4 5 Michigami, Ara, Kaneishi Dome Mugen LM P1
5 4 Montagny, Gounon, Ortelli Audi R8 LM P1
6 13 Cochet, Nakano, Jouanny Courage Judd LM P1
7 7 Minassian, CampbellW., Wallace DBA Judd LM P1
8 3 Lehto, Werner, Kristensen Audi R8 LM P1
9 18 Short, Barbosa, Ickx Dallara Judd LM P1
10 9 Hignett, Stack, Kurosawa Zytek 04S LM P1
11 10 Lammers, Julian, Bosch Dome Judd LM P1
12 37 Belmondo, Andre, Sutherland Courage C65 Ford LM P2
13 12 Schwager, Frei, Vann Courage Judd LM P1
14 8 Verdon Roe, Krumm, Primat Dallara Nissan LM P1
15 32 Fisken, Halliday, Hancock Lola AER LM P2
16 25 Erdos, Newton, Hughes Lola MG LM P2
17 58 Enge, Kox, Lamy Aston Martin DBR9 LM GT1
18 34 Macaluso, James, Lally Courage AER LM P2
19 30 Bennett, Mitchell, Mullen Courage Judd LM P2
20 59 Brabham, Sarrazin, Turner Aston Martin DBR9 LM GT1
21 33 Zlobin, Briere, Barazi Courage AER LM P2
22 64 Gavin, Beretta, Magnussen Corvette C6-R LM GT1
23 31 Amorim, Iannetta, Pillon Courage - CG LM P2
24 36 Gosselin, Ojjeh, Sharpe Courage C65 Ford LM P2
25 61 Fomenko, Vasiliev, Bouchut Ferrari 550 Maranello LM GT1
26 39 Evans, Berridge, Owen Lola AER LM P2
27 63 Fellows, O'Connell, Papis Corvette C6-R LM GT1
28 50 Goueslard, Dupard, Vosse Ferrari 550 Maranello LM GT1
29 20 Rostan, Haezebrou., Bruneau Pilbeam JPX LM P2
30 51 Pescatori, Gollin, Ramos Ferrari 550 Maranello LM GT1
31 24 Terada, Roussel, Binnie WR Peugeot LM P2
32 52 Bartyan, Malucelli, Seiler Ferrari 550 Maranello LM GT1
33 71 Hindery, Rockenfell., Lieb Porsche 911 GT3 RSR LM GT2
34 23 Bouvet, Boulay, Julien WR LM P2
35 80 Overbeek, Pechnick, Neiman Porsche 911 GT3 RSR LM GT2
36 76 Dumas, Dumez, Narac Porsche 911 GT3 RSR LM GT2
37 77 Auberlen, Liddell, Maxwell Panoz Elan LM GT2
38 69 Fournoux, Daoudi, Matthews Ferrari 575 GTC LM GT1
39 78 Sellers, Franchitti, Bourdais Panoz Elan LM GT2
40 90 Bergmeist., Long, Bernhard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR LM GT2
41 91 Pompidou, Blanchema., Yamagishi Porsche 911 GT3 RS LM GT2
42 72 Policand, Campbell, Alphand Porsche 911 GT3 RS LM GT2
43 93 Kinch, Kirkaldy, Reid Ferrari 360 Modena LM GT2
44 89 Nielsen, Thyrring, Ehret Porsche 911 GT3 RSR LM GT2
45 92 Macari, Eriksson, Wilson Ferrari 360 Mo. GTC LM GT2
46 95 Hartshorne, Stanton, Johnson TVR Tuscan 400 R LM GT2
47 83 Collin, Felbermayr, Shep Porsche 911 GT3 RSR LM GT2
48 35 Hillebrand, Hahn, Pickering Courage C65 Judd LM P2
49 85 Coronel, Crevels, Merksteijn Spyker C8 Spyder LM GT2
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