Le Mans 24 Hours ninth hour: Lotterer leads despite slip

Audi's R18 e-tron quattros continued to head an all-Audi top three in the ninth hour at Le Mans

Le Mans 24 Hours ninth hour: Lotterer leads despite slip

Andre Lotterer continued to lead the way in the #1 machine, although his advantage was slashed after he lost time in the first sector 10 minutes before the turn of the hour.

The leading trio of Audis circulated just over a lap apart for much of the hour until making their routine stops, each seemingly driving to a target time of 3m30s. Third-placed Mike Rockenfeller was half a minute behind Allan McNish, who was in turn three minutes behind Lotterer.

The leader's progress seemed serene until he took more than a minute to complete the first sector on lap 134. Whatever mishap he suffered, it was missed by the trackside cameras.

Three laps behind Rockenfeller, Formula 1 refugee Nick Heidfeld headed the petrol-powered prototypes in the Rebellion Lola coupe with a lap in hand over team-mate Andrea Belicchi. Loic Duval ran sixth in the delayed #3 Audi R18 ultra.

The wounded #7 Toyota returned to the fray with Kazuki Nakajima at the wheel, 30 laps down and showing nothing like the pace it had demonstrated in the early phase of the race.

Warren Hughes led LMP2 in the Murphy Prototypes ORECA-Nissan that had been on the reserve list until just a few weeks ago, albeit with just a few seconds in hand over Olivier Pla's Oak Racing Morgan after making a routine pitstop.

The Starworks Motorsport HPD continued to hold third in class, one lap down, with Tom Kimber-Smith at the wheel.

In GTE Pro, the Ferrari 458's ability to run longer between fuel stops enabled Gianmaria Bruni to stay in touch with class leader Tommy Milner's Corvette. Antonio Garcia was third, a lap behind the class leaders but with over 40s in hand over Frederic Makowiecki.

Raymond Narac got back behind the wheel of the #67 IMSA Performance Porsche as the gentleman drivers of the top three took over, and in doing so moved into the class lead. Patrick Bornhauser, in for erstwhile leader Pedro Lamy in the Larbre Corvette, ran second ahead of Tracy Krohn, who took over his own car from pro driver Michele Rugolo.

NOTES

- Spin at Ford chicane for #21 Strakka HPD

- Problems for the #7 Toyota following collision with DeltaWing at the restart.

- Huge crash for Anthony Davidson in the #8 Toyota, leading to lengthy safety car period.

- #29 Gulf Racing Lola B12 the first official retirement.

- #40 hit with a two-minute stop and go penalty for second pitlane speeding offence.

- 30s pit stop penalties for #40 and #49 LMP2s for speeding in pitlane.

- Audi hits early niggles, with Tom Kristensen the third unexpected delay for the marque across its four cars.

- Early GTE Pro scrap between Corvette, Aston Martin and Ferrari.

- #99 Aston Martin Vantage suffers early misfire and then retires with damage.

POSITIONS AFTER 9 HOURS Pos Car Drivers Class Laps Gap 1. #1 Audi Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer LMP1 138 2. #2 Audi McNish/Capello/Kristensen LMP1 138 + 2m06.636s 3. #4 Audi Jarvis/Bonanomi/Rockenfeller LMP1 137 + 1 Lap 4. #12 Lola Prost/Heidfeld/Jani LMP1 134 + 4 Laps 5. #13 Lola Belicchi/Bleekemolen/Primat LMP1 133 + 5 Laps 6. #3 Audi Gene/Dumas/Duval LMP1 131 + 7 Laps 7. #48 Oreca Firth/Hartley/Hughes LMP2 130 + 8 Laps 8. #24 Morgan Nicolet/Lahaye/Pla LMP2 130 + 8.091s 9. #44 HPD Potolicchio/Dalziel/K-Smith LMP2 129 + 9 Laps 10. #26 Oreca Ragues/Panciatici/Rusinov LMP2 129 + 2m11.950s 11. #49 Oreca Perez Companc/Kaffer/Ayari LMP2 129 + 2m17.633s 12. #38 Zytek Hancock/Dolan/Kurosawa LMP2 128 + 10 Laps 13. #23 Oreca Tresson/Mailleux/Lombard LMP2 128 + 35.461s 14. #22 HPD Brabham/Dumbreck/Chandhok LMP1 128 + 50.427s 15. #30 Lola Sims/Buurman/Iannetta LMP2 128 + 2m06.576s 16. #45 Oreca Briere/Nakano/Petersen LMP2 128 + 2m37.948s 17. #46 Oreca Thiriet/Beche/Tinseau LMP2 128 + 2m58.615s 18. #33 HPD Tucker/Bouchut/Diaz LMP2 127 + 11 Laps 19. #25 Oreca Martin/Charouz/Graves LMP2 127 + 40.649s 20. #41 Zytek Zugel/Julian/Gonzalez LMP2 127 + 2m34.688s 21. #15 OAK Montagny/Kraihamer/Baguette LMP1 126 + 12 Laps 22. #21 HPD Leventis/Kane/Watts LMP1 126 +10m21.834s 23. #40 Oreca Frey/Hirschi/Meichtry LMP2 126 +11m44.824s 24. #42 Zytek Brundle/Brundle/Ordonez LMP2 126 +11m52.264s 25. #74 Corvette Gavin/Westbrook/Milner GTEP 124 + 14 Laps 26. #31 Lola Holzer/Schultis/Moro LMP2 124 + 8.021s 27. #51 Ferrari Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander GTEP 124 + 33.409s 28. #35 Morgan H Hansson/Leinders/Martin LMP2 123 + 15 Laps 29. #73 Corvette Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor GTEP 123 + 6m11.991s 30. #59 Ferrari Makowiecki/Melo/Farnbacher GTEP 123 + 6m57.073s 31. #77 Porsche Lietz/Lieb/Henzler GTEP 122 + 16 Laps 32. #97 Aston Mucke/Fernandez/Turner GTEP 122 + 1m20.239s 33. #67 Porsche Pons/Armindo/Narac GTEA 120 + 18 Laps 34. #50 Corvette Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy GTEA 120 + 9.577s 35. #66 Ferrari Walker/Cocker/Wills GTEP 120 + 2m42.209s 36. #57 Ferrari Krohn/Jonsson/Rugolo GTEA 119 + 19 Laps 37. #71 Ferrari Bertolini/Beretta/Cioci GTEP 119 + 8.436s 38. #70 Corvette Bourret/Gibon/Belloc GTEA 116 + 22 Laps 39. #61 Ferrari Kauffman/Aguas/Vickers GTEA 116 + 33.576s 40. #58 Ferrari Ehret/Jeannette/Montecalvo GTEA 116 + 1m13.917s 41. #88 Porsche Ried/Roda/Ruberti GTEA 116 + 1m30.579s 42. #43 Norma Rosier/Haezebrouck/Thirion LMP2 116 + 3m28.421s 43. #75 Porsche al Faisal/Curtis/Edwards GTEA 113 + 25 Laps 44. #80 Porsche Bergmeister/Long/Holzer GTEP 111 + 27 Laps 45. #55 Porsche Daniels/Palttala/Camathias GTEA 111 + 2m27.932s 46. #17 Dome Minassian/Bourdais/Ara LMP1 110 + 28 Laps 47. #7 Toyota Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima LMP1 109 + 29 Laps 48. #79 Porsche Neiman/Pumpelly/Pilet GTEA 106 + 32 Laps 49. #83 Ferrari Rodrigues/Illiano/Ferte GTEA 105 + 33 Laps 50. #28 Lola Giroix/Badey/Johansson LMP2 91 + 47 Laps 51. #8 Toyota Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin LMP1 82 + 56 Laps 52. #0 DeltaWing Franchitti/Krumm/Motoyama CDNT 75 + 63 Laps 53. #81 Ferrari Perazzini/Cadei/Griffin GTEA 70 + 68 Laps 54. #99 Aston Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen GTEA 31 + 107 Laps 55. #16 Pescarolo Collard/Bouillon/Hall LMP1 20 + 118 Laps 56. #29 Lola Ihara/Deletraz/Rostan LMP2 17 + 121 Laps 
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Le Mans 24 Hours eighth hour: Audi holds on as track action calms
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