Hour 3: More rain brings out safety car

Battle for the lead

Hour 3: More rain brings out safety car

Rain has hit the Le Mans 24 Hour race once more and currently the field is running behind the Safety Car, led by the Audi of Tom Kristensen. A huge thunderstorm has soaked the circuit and brought the race to nothing more than a crawl.
Virtually the whole field pitted for wet tyres at the same time, but fortunately this fell into the pitstop window for Bentley's lead car, driven now by Guy Smith who took over from Martin Brundle. The green machine is now second ahead of Rinaldo Capello's works Audi.

Aiello didn't help matters for Capello, however, when he nearly spun in the pitlane and took out the tyres waiting to be fitted to the two privateer Audis.

The Champion Audi, now driven by Johnny Herbert, is fifth and before the rain was embroiled in a battle with the fourth-placed Bentley of Eric van de Poele. The last of the Audis, driven by Stefan Johansson, has stopped on the Mulsanne Straight but has not yet officially retired.

All three factory Chryslers are in the top ten spilt only by the interloping Courage driven by Jean-Christophe Boullion.

At the moment the Safety Car remains on track and the rain is still falling heavily.



The Le Mans weather struck again in the third hour and the second bout of torrential rain once again shook up the battle for the class leads. With cars pouring into the pits for new tyres, keeping track of positions became something of a lottery.

The rhythm of the ROC Competion Reynard was finally disrupted and it had to concede the 675 lead to the number 33 MG which had been taken over by Kevin McGarrity. The Irishman lies 11th overall with his closest class rival the Dick Barbour Reynard of Didier de Radigues, Sacha Maassen and H Matsuda, three places back.

The GTS battle remains a close affair with the top three all running in consecutive overall places from 17th through to 19th. After relinquishing the lead in the last hour, the Ron Fellows Corvette moved back out front with Johnny O'Connell at the wheel.

The Gunnar Jeannette Porsche took the GT Class lead ahead of the Luc Alphand 911 GT3-RS in the GT class.


1 (900) F.Biela/T.Kristensen/E.Pirro, Audi R8, Joest Audi Sport, 40 laps
7 (GTP) M.Brundle/S.Ortelli/G.Smith, Bentley EXP Speed 8, Team Bentley, +l lap
2 (900) R Capello/L Aiello/C Pescatori, Audi R8, Joest Audi Sport, +1 lap
8 (GTP) A.Wallace/B.Leitzinger/E.Vande Poele, Bentley EXP Speed 8, Team Bentley, +1 lap
3 (900) J.Herbert/R.Kelleners/D.Theys, Audi R8, Champion Racing, +1 lap
15 (900) Y.Dalmas/F.Montagny/S.Sarrazin, Chrysler-Mopar LMP, ORECA Chrysler, +1 lap
17 (900) J C. Boullion/S.Bourdais/L.Redon, Courage-Peugeot C60, Pescarolo Sport, +1 lap
16 (900) O.Beretta/K.Wendlinger/P.Lamy, Chrysler-Mopar LMP, Team Playstation, +1 lap
14 (900) S.Ara/N.Amorim/M.Kondo, Chrysler-Mopar LMP, ORECA Chrysler, +1 lap
36 (675) D.de Radigues/S.Maassen/H.Matsuda, Reynard-Judd 01Q, Dick Barbour, +1 lap
10 (900) J.Nielsen/H.Katoh/C.Elgaard, Dome-Judd S101, Den Bla Avis, +1 lap


(Class), No, Driver, Car, Team, Time
(900) 2 L Aiello, Audi R8, Team Joest Audi Sport, 3m39.046s


No, Drivers, Car, Team, Time

33 (675) K.McGarrity/M.Blundell/J.Bailey, MG-Lola EX257, MG Sport, +2 laps

63 (GTS) R.Fellows/J.O'Connell/S.Pruett, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Corvette Racing, +3 laps

77 (GT) G.Jeannette/R.Dumas/P.Haezebrouck, Porsche 911 GT3-RS, Freisinger Motorsport, +5 laps


(Class), No, Drivers, Car, Laps, Reason
35 (675) W.Carway/M.O'Connell/F.Migault, Pilbeam-Nissan MP84, Rowan Racing, accident - 5 laps

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