Hour 22: Andretti hits the barrier

Battle for the lead

Hour 22: Andretti hits the barrier

Mario Andretti in the 14th placed Panoz, span off into the barrier on the approach to the Indianapolis corner, an incident that could potentially be a sad end to the racing Legend's Le Mans career. Magnussen got into the car and patiently waited while the mechanics set to work.
The lead R8, meanwhile, consistently lapped up to two seconds quicker than its Ingolstadt rivals, as the Biela/Kristensen/Pirro car continues to put itself further out of reach. At the 22nd hour mark, time is running out for the number nine and seven Audi's to catch the front-running car as the end of the race looms.

The gaps between the trio of Audis remain constant as the cars continue to religiously come in and out of the pits every 10 to 13 laps. McNish took over from Aiello and was immediately on the pace. Heat permitting, the Scotsman could take the car to the finish.

The DAMS Cadillac car rejoined the race on lap 332 after a puncture had ripped the rear bodywork and suspension to shreds some 20 laps earlier. Unfortunately the renewed optimism was short-lived as the car returned to the pits three laps later.

DAMS boss Jean-Paul Driot disconsolately described the situation: "We tried to fix the suspension but there are still problems with the car and I will not send out a driver in a car with a bad set-up. So we will finish at five to four." The car will therefore make a grandstand finish at the end of the race.


Andy Pilgrim gave up his seat in the number 63 Corvette C5-R which remains six laps behind the class-leading 51 Viper. Pilgrim had an enticing battle with the 51 Viper but maintained there was no real fight.

Pilgrim said: "We weren't trying to battle with anyone. At this stage we just want to run the race to the end. We'll do single stints from now on because it's just too hot to do doubles."

The number 83 Dick Barbour Porsche GT3-R remains untouchable at the head of the GT class while managing to maintain 15th place overall.


The Canadian Multimatic team, whose number 32 car leads the 675 LMP class, only took delivery of it's Lola chassis three weeks before this race. It is also the team's first outing at Le Mans making its performance so far, very impressive.
The gloves used by Mario Andretti during this year's race have just been sold for $1400 (US) on Radio Le Mans. Proceeds go to Jim Martin who was injured at Silvertsone earlier this year

Pos No Drivers Car Class Laps/Time
8, F Biela, T Kristensen, E Pirro, Audi R8 (900), 338 laps
9, L Aiello, A McNish, S Ortelli, Audi R8 (900), +1 lap
7, M Alboreto, C Abt, R Capello, Audi R8 (900), +3 laps
16, S Bourdais, O Grouillard, E Clerico, C Peugeot (900), +22 laps
23, T Suzuki, M Kageyama, M Kageyama, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), +25 laps
12, H Katoh, J O'Connell, P H Raphanel, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), +26 laps
51, O Beretta, K Wendlinger, D Dupuy, Oreca Viper (GTS), +31 laps
3, E Bernard, E Collard, F Montagny, Cadillac LMP (900), +36 laps
53, D Donohue, N Amorim, A Beltoise, Dodge Viper (GTS), +36.816s
, 64, A Pilgrim, K Collins, F Freon, Corvette (GTS), +37 laps


Class No Driver Car Time
900 9, A McNish Audi R8 3:37.359


Class No Drivers Car Class Time
32, S Maxwell, J Graham, G Wilkins, Lola Nissan 2K/40, +88 laps
51, O Beretta, K Wendlinger, D Dupuy, Oreca Viper, +31 laps
83, D Muller, L Luhr, B Wollek, Porsche GT3R, +45 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, 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, engine, 126 laps
21, M Schiattarella, D de Radigues, E Naspetti, Lola Judd B2K/10, stopped, 154 laps
54, G Martinolle, J C Lagnez, B Derichebourg, Dodge Viper, engine, 180 laps
56, M Hezemans, D Hart, N Hugenholz, Dodge Viper, accident, 210 laps
17, P Gache, G Formato, D Cottaz, Courage Peugeot, engine, 219 laps

For a full list of race positions at the 21-hour mark click here.


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Hour 21: Audi maintains pace as heat rises

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