LM24 H12: Allan McNish keeps Audi in control at half distance

Allan McNish tightened Audi's grip at the front of the field at the halfway point of the 81st Le Mans 24 Hours

LM24 H12: Allan McNish keeps Audi in control at half distance

The two-time Le Mans winner continued to edge away from Toyota, which in turn saw its hold on second and third weakened as Oliver Jarvis moved the #3 R18 onto the same lap.

The Briton dived past Davidson on the outside of the Porsche Curves to effectively unlap himself and gain parity with the second TS030.

He now trails Nicolas Lapierre in the #7 HYBRID by just under two minutes, with Davidson effectively one lap up the road.

Audi's resurgence also extended to the #1 machine, with Andre Lotterer also able to scythe his way past the Toyotas and regain one of the laps lost due to an alternator issue in the seventh hour.

Lotterer still remains someway off the front however, currently trailing McNish by 10 laps and the two Toyotas by nine.

The on-track battle between Davidson, Lotterer and Jarvis - the first true fight between the marques since the first hour - came after a lengthy safety car brought about by a massive crash for Tony Burgess in the #30 Status Lola.

Burgess speared off at the Porsche Curves, the impact ripping out his gearbox and demolishing the rear of his car. Burgess was able to walk from the crash, but was taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

The full course caution, which lasted for around half an hour, did not affect the battle for LMP2 class honours, which continues to be waged between OAK's sister Morgan-Nissans.

Alex Brundle returned the #24 car to the front of the field as the pitstops cycled through, but once back in sequence found himself one minute down on Martin Plowman in the #35 machine.

Oliver Turvey stayed third in the #38 Jota Zytek-Nissan, with ahead of Michael Krumm in the Greaves-run counterpart machine.

The #26 G-Drive and #46 TDS ORECA-Nissans remain in podium contention, the latter thanks largely to a magnificent stint from Maxime Martin. He has now handed over to Pierre Thiriet.

The GTE Pro class lead changed hands twice as the pitstops cycled, with first Marc Lieb and then Darren Turner moving to the front once Frederic Makowiecki pitted in the lead #99 Aston Martin.

Lieb swapped for Romain Dumas and returned in second, while Turner pitted one lap later and handed over to Stefan Mucke.

The team will have to stop again shortly however to repair a damaged car number of the illuminated panel of the #97 Vantage.

The #76 Imsa Porsche continues to lead in GTE Am, with Christophe Bourret now at the wheel.

AF Corse's #61 and #56 458s remain Bourret's closest challengers.

POSITIONS AFTER 12 HOURS

Pos Cl      Car       Drivers                         Laps  Gap
 1. P1  #2  Audi      Kristensen/McNish/Duval         180   
 2. P1  #8  Toyota    Davidson/Sarrazin/Buemi         179   +     1 Lap
 3. P1  #7  Toyota    Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima          178   +    2 Laps
 4. P1  #3  Audi      Gene/Jarvis/di Grassi           178   + 2m23.823s
 5. P1  #13 Lola      Beche/Belicchi/Cheng            175   +    5 Laps
 6. P1  #12 Lola      Prost/Jani/Heidfeld             172   +    8 Laps
 7. P1  #21 HPD       Leventis/Kane/Watts             172   + 1m15.835s
 8. P2  #35 Morgan    Baguette/Plowman/Gonzalez       169   +   11 Laps
 9. P1  #1  Audi      Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler       169   + 1m14.281s
10. P2  #24 Morgan    Pla/Brundle/H Hansson           169   + 1m38.192s
11. P2  #38 Zytek     Dolan/Turvey/Luhr               168   +   12 Laps
12. P2  #42 Zytek     Krumm/Mardenborough/Ordonez     168   +   21.187s
13. P2  #46 Oreca     Thiriet/Badey/Martin            168   + 1m40.600s
14. P2  #26 Oreca     Rusinov/Martin/Conway           168   + 2m16.195s
15. P2  #49 Oreca     P-Companc/Kaffer/Minassian      167   +   13 Laps
16. P2  #43 Morgan    Gachnang/Mailleux/Lombard       166   +   14 Laps
17. P2  #47 Morgan    Imperatori/Howson/Tung          164   +   16 Laps
18. P2  #32 Lotus     Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz        164   +   23.692s
19. P2  #33 HPD       Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe       163   +   17 Laps
20. GTP #99 Aston     Makowiecki/Senna/Bell           163   + 3m20.069s
21. GTP #97 Aston     Mucke/Turner/Dumbreck           162   +   18 Laps
22. GTP #92 Porsche   Lieb/Richard Lietz/Dumas        162   + 1m19.311s
23. GTP #91 Porsche   Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard      162   + 2m15.443s
24. P2  #48 Oreca     Hartley/Chandhok/Patterson      161   +   19 Laps
25. GTP #51 Ferrari   Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli      161   + 1m51.234s
26. GTP #71 Ferrari   Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander      160   +   20 Laps
27. GTP #74 Corvette  Gavin/Milner/Westbrook          160   + 2m37.280s
28. GTP #73 Corvette  Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor         159   +   21 Laps
29. GTP #98 Aston     Dalla Lana/Lamy/Auberlen        159   +   21.991s
30. P2  #34 Oreca     Frey/Niederhauser/Bleekemolen   159   + 1m48.308s
31. P2  #36 Alpine    Ragues/Panciatici/Gommendy      159   + 1m52.736s
32. P2  #41 Zytek     Rossi/K-Smith/Lux               159   + 3m13.181s
33. P2  #45 Morgan    Nicolet/Merlin/Mondolot         158   +   22 Laps
34. GTA #76 Porsche   Narac/Vernay/Bourret            157   +   23 Laps
35. GTP #93 SRT       Wittmer/Kendall/Bomarito        157   + 1m29.077s
36. GTA #55 Ferrari   Perazzini/O'Young/Case          157   + 2m00.878s
37. GTA #61 Ferrari   Gerber/Griffin/Cioci            156   +   24 Laps
38. GTA #77 Porsche   Dempsey/Foster/Long             156   +   13.539s
39. GTA #88 Porsche   Ried/Roda/Ruberti               156   + 2m11.797s
40. P2  #40 Oreca     Dagoneau/Downs/Younessi         155   +   25 Laps
41. GTP #53 SRT       Farnbacher/Goossens/Dalziel     155   +    5.771s
42. GTA #96 Aston     Goethe/Campbell-Walter/Hall     155   + 1m22.665s
43. GTA #50 Corvette  Bornhauser/Canal/Taylor         155   + 2m58.992s
44. GTA #75 Porsche   Collard/Perrodo/Crubile         155   + 3m03.510s
45. GTA #67 Porsche   Gibon/Milesi/Henzler            154   +   26 Laps
46. GTP #66 Ferrari   Bertolini/Faisal/Qubaisi        154   + 1m41.387s
47. GTA #54 Ferrari   Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank        146   +   34 Laps
48. GTA #81 Ferrari   Potolicchio/Aguas/Bright        145   +   35 Laps
49. P2  #39 Lola      Porta/Brandela/Raffin           140   +   40 Laps
50. GTA #70 Corvette  MacNeil/Rodrigues/Dumas         132   +   48 Laps
51. P2  #30 Lola      Mowlem/Burgess/Hirschi          153       Retired
52. GTA #57 Ferrari   Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani           111       Retired
53. P2  #25 Oreca     Graves/Hamilton/Nakano          101       Retired
54. P2  #28 Lola      Giroix/Haezebrouck/Ihara        22        Retired
55. P2  #31 Lotus     Weeda/Rossiter/Bouchut          17        Retired
56. GTA #95 Aston     Simonsen/Nygaard/Poulsen        2         Retired
shares
comments
LM24 H11: Allan McNish resumes, Audi remains in control
Previous article

LM24 H11: Allan McNish resumes, Audi remains in control

Next article

LM24 H13: Toyota closes back in on Audi under cautions

LM24 H13: Toyota closes back in on Audi under cautions
Why the WEC should make space for modern garagistes in 2023 Plus

Why the WEC should make space for modern garagistes in 2023

OPINION: There is plenty of excitement over the glut of manufacturers tackling the Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship this season. The selection committee is set to face headaches over who it decides to admit and who gets turned away from the 2023 entry list, but history tells us that the smaller entrants have a place

WEC
Jan 9, 2023
Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022 Plus

Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022

The season just gone was a memorable one for many of our staff writers, who are fortunate enough to cover motorsport around the world. Here are our picks of the best (and in some cases, most eventful) from 2022

Formula 1
Dec 31, 2022
Is Qatar the price motorsport fans have to pay? Plus

Is Qatar the price motorsport fans have to pay?

OPINION: Fresh from hosting a controversial 2022 football World Cup, Qatar has added its name to the 2024 World Endurance Championship calendar. Although questions may be asked about its presence on the calendar, is it simply the price to pay for having a healthy racing championship?

WEC
Dec 21, 2022
How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title Plus

How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title

Toyota #8 trio Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa outscored their rivals in the last season before the World Endurance Championship’s top class gets ultra-competitive. Here's how their Hypercar battle with Alpine and the remaining class tussles played out in LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am

WEC
Dec 5, 2022
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Plus

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Plus

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, were voted as Autosport's greatest sportscar in 2020 - here's why

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Plus

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022