Hour 9: Keeping the pressure up

The run up to 01:00 hrs was relatively incident free. The order at the top remained the same, although leader Dindo Capello managed to halt the advance of the #8 Bentley - a driver change from Johnny Herbert to David Brabham being the only change in the second placed car.

Hour 9: Keeping the pressure up

Capello has put in a triple stint in the sauna like conditions of the Bentley cab. It's very hot and humid tonight, and even the moving air offers little respite.

The Audis are running 45-seconds apart, with the Lehto/Johanssen/Pirro R8 still leading the Magnussen/Ara/Werner machine, both cars finding it increasingly difficult to hang onto the Bentleys.

Pitstops have swapped the Lammers/Bosch/Wallace Dome and the Beretta/Papis/Jeanette Panoz in fifth and sixth, respectively. On lap 132 Jan Lammers managed to nick 4.2s off Olivier Beretta, but there was unexpected trouble in store for Beretta who tossed the car into the cat litter after running over debris.

"My tyre exploded at 300kph," exclaimed the excited Monegasque. "I was very lucky to get back to the pits. It was a big moment."

There have been six retirements from the race so far but there will doubtless be more before the sun comes up. As this story is published, news is coming through of an off for the #4 Riley Scott car in eighth.

Kristensen/Capello/Smith Bentley 142 laps
Brabham/Herbert/Blundell Bentley 141 laps
Pirro/Lehto/Johansson Audi 140 laps
Ara/Magnussen/Werner Audi 140 laps
Lammers/Bosch/Wallace Dome-Judd 135 laps
Beretta/Jeannette/Papis Panoz 135 laps
Cochet/Gounon/Gregoire Courage-Judd 134 laps
Saelens/Maxwell/Leuenberger Panoz 133 laps
Helary/Ayari/Minassian Courage-Peugeot 133 laps
Goossens/Matthews/Tinseau Riley & Scott 133 laps

Andre/Maury-Laribiere/Pillon Reynard-Lehman 123 laps
Terada/Porta/Pickering WR Peugeot 118 laps
Briere/Daoudi/Defournoux 114 laps

Kox/Enge/Davies Ferrari 550 129 laps
Burt/Davidson/Turner Ferrari 550 128 laps
Policand/Alphand/Dor Ferrari 550 126 laps

Luhr/Maasen/Collard Porsche 911 121 laps
Yogo/Nishizawa/Iida Porsche 911 120 laps
Mowlem/Lewis/Leitzinger Porsche 911 119 laps

shares
comments
Hour 8: dropping like flies

Previous article

Hour 8: dropping like flies

Next article

Hour 10: Porsche punishment

Hour 10: Porsche punishment
Load comments
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Plus

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year

WEC
Jul 24, 2021
How glitches left Toyota 'worried' about losing unbeaten WEC streak Plus

How glitches left Toyota 'worried' about losing unbeaten WEC streak

The World Endurance Championship's long-awaited return to Monza posed the sternest test yet for Toyota's new hypercar. Although the Japanese marque's GR010 HYBRID remains unbeaten, the victory for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi was far from plain sailing

WEC
Jul 19, 2021
How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts Plus

How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts

OPINION: Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Plus

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness

WEC
Jun 23, 2021
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge helped Toyota to keep clear Plus

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge helped Toyota to keep clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Toyota hits the ton — charting 100 world championship sportscar starts Plus

Toyota hits the ton — charting 100 world championship sportscar starts

The Japanese manufacturer is celebrating its 100th world championship prototype start in this weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the World Endurance Championship. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021