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 
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LM24 H11: Allan McNish resumes, Audi remains in control

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Series WEC
Drivers Weiron Tan
Author Sam Tremayne
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