Hour nine: Audi procession…momentarily

Battle for the lead

Hour nine: Audi procession…momentarily

No change in terms of race order at the circuit de La Sarthe. With the cars pressing on into the night, a right front puncture for Frank Biela allowed McNish in the number nine car to close up creating an R8 train for several laps. The Audi procession ended five laps later on lap 135 when the Scotsman was forced to pit for fuel and tyres.
Meanwhile Albereto pounded on, increasing the lead of the number seven car, seemingly untroubled by the problems delaying his team-mates.

Fourth and fifth places are still firmly in possession of the best-of-the-rest Panoz protoypes. A position team boss Don Panoz is not too displeased with.

"We're running fourth and fifth which isn't too bad," explained the American. "The Audis are really mega. We haven't had any bad luck, but then no real good luck either. The night is still young."


The Terada/Balandras/Boulay WR Peugeot continues to lead the 675 class, albeit 39 laps behind the leaders. The Beretta/Wendlinger/Dupuy Dodge Viper is the clear leader of the GTS class in 12th place overall. The Dick Barbour Porsche GT3-R increases metronomic tendencies with every lap and as such is three laps ahead of nearest rival, the 73 Team Taisan car.


Frank Biela added only two minutes to his usual lap time when completing a lap with a flat tyre and sparks flying.
A member of the Rafanelli team had to be sent to find Naspetti's Lola in order to instruct the driver how to remove the front bodywork as it was pushing on the wheel after a suspension failure

Pos No Drivers Car Class Laps/Time

7, M Alboreto, C Abt, R Capello, Audi R8 (900), 136 laps
8, F Biela, T Kristensen, E Pirro, Audi R8 (900), + 1 lap
9, L Aiello, A McNish, S Ortelli, Audi R8 (900), +2 laps
11, D Brabham, J Magnussen, M Andretti, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), _+ 26.048
12, H Katoh, J O'Connell, P H Rapanel, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), +4 laps
3, E Bernard, E Collard, F Montagny, Cadillac LMP (900), +5 laps
22, K Tsuchiya, M Kondo, A Iida, Panoz Spyder LMP (900), + 7 laps
16, S Bourdais, O Grouillard, E Clerico, C Peugeot (900), + 8 laps
24, S Johansson, J Matthews, G Smith, Reynard-Judd 2KQ (900), 9 laps
17, P Gache, G Formato, D Cottaz, Courage Judd, + 1:28.442


Class No Driver Car Time
900 9, A McNish Audi R8 3m37.995s


Class No Drivers Car Class Time
36, S Boulay, Y Terada, R Balandras, WR Peugeot (675), + 40 laps
51, O Beretta, K Wendlinger, D Dupuy, Oreca Viper, + 12 laps
83, D Muller, L Luhr, B Wollek, Porsche GT3R, + 17 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
33, J D Deletraz, R Kelleners, D Terrien, ROC VW (675), engine,
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

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


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