LM24 H13: Fassler responds to McNish pressure in battle for lead between Audis

Marcel Fassler responded to a charge from Allan McNish as the two Audi e-tron quattros pulled clear in the fight for the lead of the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours

LM24 H13: Fassler responds to McNish pressure in battle for lead between Audis

McNish, taking over in the #2 R18 despite Dindo Capello originally being slated for the stint, regularly dipped below the 3m30s mark as he brought the gap to Fassler down below 80 seconds.

Fassler however improved his own pace in response to the McNish pressure, stabilising the gap somewhat at the close of the 13th hour.

The #R18 ultra also remains in the hunt, Oliver Jarvis keeping within two laps of Fassler.

The sister #3 ultra meanwhile managed to move up into fifth and split the two Rebellion Lolas. Neel Jani remained fourth in the #12 B12, while Jeroen Bleekemolen was fifth at the wheel of the sister #13.

The pace continues to be furious across in LMP2, with three cars - the Starworks Motorsport HPD and Pecom and Signature ORECA-Nissans - currently above the JRM and Strakka LMP1 entries.

Tom Kimber-Smith leads the class in the #44 HPD, ahead of Soheil Ayari and Roman Rusinov.

Ferrari's progress at the head of the GTE Pro field has been aided by a cocktail of maladies for Corvette, with the #73 suffering a 25-minute stop and the #74 - which had led for much of the first half - still yet to go out.

AF Corse's Toni Vilander currently holds a two minute advantage over Jaime Melo in the Luxury Racing 458, with Wolf Henzler and Darren Turner regularly swapping third in class in their respective Felbermayr Porsche and Aston Martin Vantage.

Turner has already stopped 15 times in the race, four more than Vilander.

GTE Am continues to be dominated by the IMSA Porsche 911 and Larbre Corvette. Raymond Narac in the #67 machine heads Pedro Lamy by just over two minutes.

NOTES

- Dumas tipped into a spin while passing traffic at Ford chicane

- Davidson confirms he sustained a broken back as a result of huge earlier crash

- Westbrook loses a wheel, and with it the lead of the GTE Pro class

- Peter Dumbreck suffers blow-out in the #22 JRM HPD

- Spin at Ford chicane for #21 Strakka HPD

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

- #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 13 HOURS Pos Car Drivers Class Laps Gap 1. #1 Audi Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer LMP1 204 2. #2 Audi McNish/Capello/Kristensen LMP1 204 + 2m16.644s 3. #4 Audi Jarvis/Bonanomi/Rockenfeller LMP1 202 + 2 Laps 4. #12 Lola Prost/Heidfeld/Jani LMP1 198 + 6 Laps 5. #3 Audi Gene/Dumas/Duval LMP1 195 + 9 Laps 6. #13 Lola Belicchi/Bleekemolen/Primat LMP1 195 + 45.637s 7. #44 HPD Potolicchio/Dalziel/K-Smith LMP2 191 + 13 Laps 8. #49 Oreca Perez Companc/Kaffer/Ayari LMP2 190 + 14 Laps 9. #26 Oreca Ragues/Panciatici/Rusinov LMP2 190 + 26.326s 10. #22 HPD Brabham/Dumbreck/Chandhok LMP1 190 + 49.807s 11. #21 HPD Leventis/Kane/Watts LMP1 190 + 1m23.683s 12. #46 Oreca Thiriet/Beche/Tinseau LMP2 189 + 15 Laps 13. #23 Oreca Tresson/Mailleux/Lombard LMP2 189 + 1m54.110s 14. #48 Oreca Firth/Hartley/Hughes LMP2 189 + 2m58.520s 15. #33 HPD Tucker/Bouchut/Diaz LMP2 188 + 16 Laps 16. #41 Zytek Zugel/Julian/Gonzalez LMP2 188 + 1m03.488s 17. #25 Oreca Martin/Charouz/Graves LMP2 187 + 17 Laps 18. #42 Zytek Brundle/Brundle/Ordonez LMP2 186 + 18 Laps 19. #38 Zytek Hancock/Dolan/Kurosawa LMP2 183 + 21 Laps 20. #45 Oreca Briere/Nakano/Petersen LMP2 183 + 6m46.100s 21. #35 Morgan H Hansson/Leinders/Martin LMP2 182 + 22 Laps 22. #51 Ferrari Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander GTEP 181 + 23 Laps 23. #59 Ferrari Makowiecki/Melo/Farnbacher GTEP 181 + 2m10.687s 24. #97 Aston Mucke/Fernandez/Turner GTEP 180 + 24 Laps 25. #77 Porsche Lietz/Lieb/Henzler GTEP 180 + 36.080s 26. #15 OAK Montagny/Kraihamer/Baguette LMP1 179 + 25 Laps 27. #30 Lola Sims/Buurman/Iannetta LMP2 178 + 26 Laps 28. #71 Ferrari Bertolini/Beretta/Cioci GTEP 177 + 27 Laps 29. #67 Porsche Pons/Armindo/Narac GTEA 177 + 2m27.641s 30. #50 Corvette Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy GTEA 176 + 28 Laps 31. #66 Ferrari Walker/Cocker/Wills GTEP 176 + 2m57.752s 32. #73 Corvette Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor GTEP 175 + 29 Laps 33. #57 Ferrari Krohn/Jonsson/Rugolo GTEA 174 + 30 Laps 34. #17 Dome Minassian/Bourdais/Ara LMP1 173 + 31 Laps 35. #61 Ferrari Kauffman/Aguas/Vickers GTEA 173 + 14.211s 36. #88 Porsche Ried/Roda/Ruberti GTEA 171 + 33 Laps 37. #40 Oreca Frey/Hirschi/Meichtry LMP2 170 + 34 Laps 38. #75 Porsche al Faisal/Curtis/Edwards GTEA 169 + 35 Laps 39. #70 Corvette Bourret/Gibon/Belloc GTEA 168 + 36 Laps 40. #55 Porsche Daniels/Palttala/Camathias GTEA 163 + 41 Laps 41. #43 Norma Rosier/Haezebrouck/Thirion LMP2 163 + 22.394s 42. #79 Porsche Neiman/Pumpelly/Pilet GTEA 162 + 42 Laps 43. #74 Corvette Gavin/Westbrook/Milner GTEP 156 + 48 Laps 44. #31 Lola Holzer/Schultis/Moro LMP2 155 + 49 Laps 45. #83 Ferrari Rodrigues/Illiano/Ferte GTEA 151 + 53 Laps 46. #58 Ferrari Ehret/Jeannette/Montecalvo GTEA 146 + 58 Laps 47. #24 Morgan Nicolet/Lahaye/Pla LMP2 139 + 65 Laps 48. #7 Toyota Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima LMP1 134 + 70 Laps 49. #80 Porsche Bergmeister/Long/Holzer GTEP 114 + 90 Laps 50. #28 Lola Giroix/Badey/Johansson LMP2 92 + 112 Laps 51. #8 Toyota Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin  LMP1 82 + 122 Laps 52. #0 DeltaWing Franchitti/Krumm/Motoyama CDNT 75 + 129 Laps 53. #81 Ferrari Perazzini/Cadei/Griffin GTEA 70 + 134 Laps 54. #99 Aston Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen GTEA 31 + 173 Laps 55. #16 Pescarolo Collard/Bouillon/Hall LMP1 20 + 184 Laps 56. #29 Lola Ihara/Deletraz/Rostan LMP2 17 + 187 Laps 
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Le Mans 24 Hours twelfth hour: Fassler still leads in #1 Audi, although Kristensen closes

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Series WEC
Drivers Marcel Fassler
Author Sam Tremayne
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