Hour 4: Oil on the track

As the teams settle down and try to keep up the pressure without getting into trouble, it's still Bentley first and second, Audi third and fourth, with the Racing for Holland Dome Judd of Lammers, Bosch and Wallace in fifth place

Hour 4: Oil on the track

"There's very little grip out there, which is the same for everyone, but we're also down on power," explained Wallace. " We have a new engine in the car and we're hoping it's just that it's a bit tight. It makes it a bit of a struggle to pass people but if it is tightness things should get better as we go through the evening. Traffic is still a problem, I think I've had one clear lap in three stints, but we'll just keep on pedalling as hard as we can."

The hour was marked by a slightly safety car period, due to oil on the track, from an unidentified car. This brought a flurry of pitstops and closed up the field. Leader Tom Kristensen benefited by just over a minute from the situation, as the group behind the leading safety car - of which there were three - was released first. Mark Blundell in the #8 Bentley lost out however, as Marco Werner (#5 Audi) closed up on him.

"I don't know what happened out there," said Kristensen's team-mate Guy Smith, "but the safety car definately helped us out. It's strange, it looks like someone blew up out there, but there's nothing to see."

The other, and only remaining customer Audi, was running almost a minute behind the leaders as the race got underway again. Battle also re-commenced between Andy Wallace and Max Papis - Dome vs Panoz - for fifth.

"We're very happy," said Papis. "We've managed to get three stints out of our Michelin tyres, which is really helping us, but the track has definately lost grip in comparison to practice. I'm looking forward to the night-time shift."

Kristensen/Capello/Smith Bentley 63 laps
Brabhan/Herbert/Blundell Bentley 62
Ara/Magnussen/Werner Audi 62
Pirro/Lehto/Johansson Audi 61
Lammers/Bosch/Wallace Dome Judd 60
Beretta/Jeannette/Papis Panoz 60
Cochet/Gounon/Gregoire Courage-Judd 59
Helary/Ayari/Minassian Courage-Peugeot 59
Saelens/Maxwell/Leuenberger Panoz-Elan 58
Goossens/Matthews/Tinseau 57

Andre/Maury-Laribiere/Pillon Reynard-Lehmann 56 laps
Field/Dayton/Sutherland Lola-MG 53
Terada/Porta/Pickering WR 52

Kox/Enge/Davies Ferrari 550 Maranello 57 laps
Burt/Davidson/Turner Ferrari 550 Maranello 56
Policand/Alphand/Dor Ferrari 550 Maranello 56

Buckler/Bergmeister/Bernhard Porsche 911 53
Luhr/Maasen/Collard Porsche 911 53
Yogo/Nishizawa/Iida Porsche 911 53


Next article

Montagny Set for Le Mans Return

Montagny Set for Le Mans Return
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC