Le Mans 24 Hours: Audi moves ahead in battle with Porsche

Audi led the Le Mans 24 Hours at the top of the seventh hour, as two of its cars continued to fight with the #17 Porsche at the front of the field

Le Mans 24 Hours: Audi moves ahead in battle with Porsche

The Porsche, driven by Mark Webber, came under fire from the #7 Audi of Marcel Fassler, which closed to just 10 seconds behind before both cars stopped in quick succession.

A quicker stop for Webber enabled him to extend that gap to around 18s when the cars rejoined, assuming positions two and three as local time reached 10pm.

Their stops allowed the #9 Audi, which Filipe Albuquerque handed over to Rene Rast, to take the lead, having been more than half a minute adrift of their fight before the top two pitted.

Romain Dumas and Nico Hulkenberg kept the other two Porsches in contention, separated by just a few seconds on track to round out the top five.

LMP2

KCMG leads LMP2 by nearly two minutes, but ended the hour with a pitstop under investigation by stewards.

Matt Howson continued the car's impressive run, extending its advantage by 10s to 1m51s and putting a lap on the third-placed Signatech Alpine.

However it was announced that its pitstop during the hour was under investigation for an unspecified, possible breach.

TDS Racing remains second, with Pierre Thiriet behind the wheel, ahead of Signatech's Vincent Capillaire.

Sam Bird is back up to fourth in the #26 G-Drive OAK, while Nathanael Berthon is aboard the sixth-placed Murphy Prototypes entry again.

Jota Sport is now eighth in the class, albeit three laps down, while Greaves Motorsport has retired its Gibson, which ran in second before stopping at the Esses with a battery failure.

Driver Gary Hirsch and mechanics attempted to substitute one of the car's auxiliary batteries for the failed primary unit, but to no avail.

GTE

Corvette reclaimed the GTE Pro advantage in a see-sawing battle with Aston Martin.

Thanks to the need for the triple-stinting #99 and #97 Vantages to change drivers, after Tommy Milner had already made way for Jordan Taylor in the C7.R in the previous hour, the Chevrolet squad assumed a decent lead at the head of the pack.

Alex MacDowall was unable to maintain team-mate Fernando Rees's form in the #99 Aston, which meant he slipped back from Taylor and into the clutches of Rob Bell, in for Darren Turner in the #97.

Porsche holds a comfortable fourth place, though its pursuer is now the #51 Ferrari, which has made its way back onto the class lead lap.

It has taken the place of the sister #71 AF Corse 458 Italia, which spent five laps in the pits with an unknown mechanical problem.

Aston Martin's lead in the GTE Am class is now substantial for the #98 car.

The #72 SMP Ferrari, which was trading the class advantage with the Vantage, has now dropped back into a battle with the #83 sister AF Corse car.

POSITIONS AFTER SEVEN HOURS

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #9 Audi Albuquerque, Bonanomi, Rast 110
2 LMP1 #17 Porsche Bernhard, Webber, Hartley 110 + 14.453s
3 LMP1 #7 Audi Fassler, Lotterer, Treluyer 110 + 33.014s
4 LMP1 #18 Porsche Dumas, Jani, Lieb 110 + 44.737s
5 LMP1 #19 Porsche Hulkenberg, Bamber, Tandy 110 + 45.162s
6 LMP1 #8 Audi Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis 109 + 1 Lap
7 LMP1 #2 Toyota Wurz, Sarrazin, Conway 108 + 2 Laps
8 LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost, Heidfeld, Beche 105 + 5 Laps
9 LMP1 #1 Toyota Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima 105 + 12.842s
10 LMP1 #13 Rebellion Imperatori, Kraihamer, Abt 102 + 8 Laps
11 LMP2 #47 Oreca Howson, Bradley, Lapierre 101 + 9 Laps
12 LMP2 #46 Oreca Thiriet, Badey, Gommendy 100 + 10 Laps
13 LMP2 #36 Alpine Panciatici, Chatin, Capillaire 100 + 2m05.412s
14 LMP2 #26 Ligier Rusinov, Canal, Bird 100 + 3m02.452s
15 LMP2 #43 Morgan Ragues, Webb, Amberg 99 + 11 Laps
16 LMP2 #48 Oreca Chandhok, Patterson, Berthon 99 + 32.202s
17 LMP2 #28 Ligier Yacaman, Derani, Gonzalez 99 + 2m25.312s
18 LMP2 #38 Gibson Dolan, Evans, Turvey 98 + 12 Laps
19 LMP2 #42 Dome Leventis, Watts, Kane 98 + 51.308s
20 LMP1 #22 Nissan Tincknell, Krumm, Buncombe 98 + 53.220s
21 LMP2 #34 Ligier Cumming, Vanthoor, Estre 98 + 1m22.365s
22 LMP2 #27 BR Mediani, Markozov, Minassian 97 + 13 Laps
23 LMP2 #40 Ligier Krohn, Jonsson, Barbosa 96 + 14 Laps
24 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Taylor 95 + 15 Laps
25 GTE Pro #99 Aston Rees, Macdowall, Stanaway 95 + 11.124s
26 LMP2 #45 Oreca Ibanez, Perret, Bellarosa 95 + 13.246s
27 GTE Pro #97 Aston Turner, Mucke, Bell 95 + 13.808s
28 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Christensen, Bergmeister 95 + 2m35.347s
29 LMP2 #31 Ligier Brown, Van Overbeek, Fogarty 94 + 16 Laps
30 LMP2 #35 Ligier Nicolet, Merlin, Maris 94 + 12.871s
31 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Bruni, Vilander, Fisichella 94 + 46.836s
32 LMP2 #29 Morgan Roussel, Tung, Cheng 94 + 1m00.662s
33 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 94 + 1m22.891s
34 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Aguas 94 + 2m40.429s
35 GTE Am #72 Ferrari Shaytar, Bertolini, Basov 94 + 3m14.556s
36 GTE Am #77 Porsche Dempsey, Long, Seefried 93 + 17 Laps
37 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Sweedler, Bell, Segal 93 + 4.483s
38 LMP1 #21 Nissan Matsuda, Shulzhitskiy, Ordonez 92 + 18 Laps
39 GTE Am #53 Dodge Bleekemolen, Keating, Miller 92 + 12.756s
40 LMP1 #23 Nissan Pla, Mardenborough, Chilton 92 + 18.956s
41 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Griffin, Mortimer 92 + 40.865s
42 GTE Am #66 Ferrari Al Faisal, Giermaziak, Avenatti 91 + 19 Laps
43 LMP2 #30 Ligier Sharp, Dalziel, Heinemeier Hansson 91 + 2m00.748s
44 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Calado, Beretta 91 + 2m25.160s
45 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Nygaard 91 + 3m26.979s
46 GTE Am #68 Porsche Chen, Vannelet, Parisy 90 + 20 Laps
47 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mann, Giammaria, Cressoni 90 + 1m16.496s
48 GTE Am #67 Porsche Chen, Kapadia, Maassen 89 + 21 Laps
49 GTE Am #50 Chevrolet Roda, Ruberti, Poulsen 83 + 27 Laps
50 LMP2 #37 BR Aleshin, Ladygin, Ladygin 79 + 31 Laps
51 LMP2 #41 Gibson Hirsch, Paletou, Lancaster 71 + 39 Laps
52 LMP1 #4 CLM Trummer, Kaffer, Monteiro 66 + 44 Laps
53 GTE Am #96 Aston Goethe, Hall, Castellacci 57 + 53 Laps
54 GTE Am #88 Porsche Ried, Al Qubaisi, Bachler 44 Retired
55 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Pilet, Makowiecki, Henzler 14 Retired
shares
comments
Le Mans 24 Hours: Mark Webber keeps Porsche in front of Audi

Previous article

Le Mans 24 Hours: Mark Webber keeps Porsche in front of Audi

Next article

Le Mans 24 Hours: Safety car closes up Audi/Porsche lead battle

Le Mans 24 Hours: Safety car closes up Audi/Porsche lead battle
Load comments
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Plus

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity

Le Mans
Aug 24, 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
Aug 22, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Plus

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Plus

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans Plus

The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans

The rising HubAuto team steps up to GTE Pro at Le Mans this year for an ambitious bid to take on the three works giants – and has every reason to be optimistic of achieving its goal in becoming the first privateer on the podium since 2016

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Plus

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and were considered heavy favourites to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen

Le Mans
Aug 14, 2021