LM24 H7: Benoit Treluyer's leading Audi hits trouble, Duval leads

Audi's stranglehold on the Le Mans 24 Hours finally broke in the race's seventh hour, as its lead #1 R18 and the sister #3 e-tron quattros both hit problems

LM24 H7: Benoit Treluyer's leading Audi hits trouble, Duval leads

Loic Duval now leads the race in the German manufacturer's #2 machine, but Toyota's two TS030s occupy second and third, both of them moving to within three minutes of the outright lead.

The pattern of the race swung dramatically in the final 20 minutes of the hour, as leader Benoit Treluyer headed in for his ninth stop of the race.

Problems pulling away meant he lost around 30s to the field, but worse was to come as he headed straight back in and was wheeled into the Audi garage, with problems that were quickly traced to a motor generator in the car.

Ten minutes of frantic activity failed to put last year's winners back on track, with the #1 Audi ending the seventh hour sixth - and falling as it sat in the pits - four laps behind Duval.

At the same time Oliver Jarvis also hit problems when contact coming through traffic led to a right-rear puncture that caused him to spin at the Dunlop chicane.

The carcass fell away as he fought his way back onto the circuit, and he was forced to limp through the remainder of the lap back to the pits. Amazingly no repairs were needed and, after a stop for fuel and tyres, co-driver Marc Gene resumed in fourth overall.

Audi's drama was Toyota's gain, with Stephane Sarrazin - taking over from Sebastien Buemi in the #8 TS030 HYBRID - now second.

Kazuki Nakajima meanwhile took over in the sister #7 car and sits third, 55s down on Sarrazin.

John Martin continues to lead LMP2 in the #26 G-Drive/Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan, ahead of Bertrand Baguette in the #35 OAK Morgan-Nissan and Simon Dolan in the #38 Jota Zytek-Nissan.

Behind them a four-way fight for fourth raged for much of the hour, with Pierre Kaffer in the #49 Pecom ORECA-Nissan ending the seventh hour on top.

Jann Mardenborough remains in the hunt despite a late off when he clouted the kerbs exiting the second Mulsanne chicane, his Greaves Zytek-Nissan becoming briefly airborne.

Bruno Senna managed to distance himself from the chasing pack in GTE Pro, ekeing out a 7s advantage in the #99 Aston Martin.

Richard Lietz meanwhile moved his #92 Manthey-run works Porsche into second, passing Peter Dumbreck in the #97 Aston.

Dumbreck continues to hound Lietz, with just over 4s separating the pair.

World Touring Car racer Darryl O'Young meanwhile took over at the front of the GTE Am field, the driver of the #55 AF Corse Ferrari driver building a 30s advantage over the chasing #76 Imsa Porsche.

POSITIONS AFTER 7 HOURS Pos Cl Car Drivers Laps Gap 1. P1 #2 Audi Kristensen/McNish/Duval 104 2. P1 #8 Toyota Davidson/Sarrazin/Buemi 104 + 3m05.463s 3. P1 #7 Toyota Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima 103 + 1 Lap 4. P1 #3 Audi Gene/Jarvis/di Grassi 103 + 54.275s 5. P1 #13 Lola Beche/Belicchi/Cheng 101 + 3 Laps 6. P1 #21 HPD Leventis/Kane/Watts 101 + 2m21.461s 7. P1 #1 Audi Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler 100 + 4 Laps 8. P1 #12 Lola Prost/Jani/Heidfeld 100 + 13m01.152s 9. P2 #26 Oreca Rusinov/Martin/Conway 98 + 6 Laps 10. P2 #35 Morgan Baguette/Plowman/Gonzalez 98 + 1m24.499s 11. P2 #38 Zytek Dolan/Turvey/Luhr 98 + 2m45.552s 12. P2 #49 Oreca P-Companc/Kaffer/Minassian 97 + 7 Laps 13. P2 #46 Oreca Thiriet/Badey/Martin 97 + 3.134s 14. P2 #24 Morgan Pla/Brundle/H Hansson 97 + 22.775s 15. P2 #42 Zytek Krumm/Mardenborough/Ordonez 97 + 24.343s 16. P2 #34 Oreca Frey/Niederhauser/Bleekemolen 96 + 8 Laps 17. P2 #43 Morgan Gachnang/Mailleux/Lombard 96 + 23.005s 18. P2 #32 Lotus Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz 96 + 1m39.550s 19. P2 #33 HPD Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe 95 + 9 Laps 20. GTP #99 Aston Makowiecki/Senna/Bell 95 + 25.137s 21. GTP #92 Porsche Lieb/Richard Lietz/Dumas 95 + 37.003s 22. GTP #97 Aston Mucke/Turner/Dumbreck 94 + 10 Laps 23. GTP #91 Porsche Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard 94 + 2m17.754s 24. P2 #47 Morgan Imperatori/Howson/Tung 93 + 11 Laps 25. P2 #30 Lola Mowlem/Burgess/Hirschi 93 + 1m31.643s 26. GTP #71 Ferrari Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander 93 + 2m52.333s 27. GTP #51 Ferrari Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli 93 + 3m01.251s 28. GTP #74 Corvette Gavin/Milner/Westbrook 93 + 3m05.731s 29. GTP #73 Corvette Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor 93 + 3m08.736s 30. P2 #48 Oreca Hartley/Chandhok/Patterson 93 + 3m16.625s 31. GTP #98 Aston Dalla Lana/Lamy/Auberlen 93 + 3m20.257s 32. P2 #45 Morgan Nicolet/Merlin/Mondolot 92 + 12 Laps 33. P2 #41 Zytek Rossi/K-Smith/Lux 92 + 40.831s 34. GTA #88 Porsche Ried/Roda/Ruberti 91 + 13 Laps 35. GTA #55 Ferrari Perazzini/O'Young/Case 91 + 47.818s 36. GTA #76 Porsche Narac/Vernay/Bourret 91 + 1m06.724s 37. GTA #77 Porsche Dempsey/Foster/Long 91 + 1m37.082s 38. GTP #93 SRT Wittmer/Kendall/Bomarito 91 + 1m42.232s 39. GTP #53 SRT Farnbacher/Goossens/Dalziel 90 + 14 Laps 40. GTA #61 Ferrari Gerber/Griffin/Cioci 90 + 40.189s 41. GTA #50 Corvette Bornhauser/Canal/Taylor 90 + 59.372s 42. P2 #40 Oreca Dagoneau/Downs/Younessi 90 + 1m13.891s 43. GTA #67 Porsche Gibon/Milesi/Henzler 90 + 2m27.906s 44. GTA #75 Porsche Collard/Perrodo/Crubile 89 + 15 Laps 45. GTA #96 Aston Goethe/Campbell-Walter/Hall 89 + 1m20.365s 46. P2 #25 Oreca Graves/Hamilton/Nakano 89 + 1m23.700s 47. P2 #36 Alpine Ragues/Panciatici/Gommendy 89 + 2m24.501s 48. GTP #66 Ferrari Bertolini/Faisal/Qubaisi 89 + 3m02.026s 49. P2 #39 Lola Porta/Brandela/Raffin 88 + 16 Laps 50. GTA #70 Corvette MacNeil/Rodrigues/Dumas 88 + 3m00.481s 51. GTA #57 Ferrari Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani 87 + 17 Laps 52. GTA #54 Ferrari Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank 85 + 19 Laps 53. GTA #81 Ferrari Potolicchio/Aguas/Bright 80 + 24 Laps 54. P2 #28 Lola Giroix/Haezebrouck/Ihara 20 + 84 Laps 55. P2 #31 Lotus Weeda/Rossiter/Bouchut 17 Retired 56. GTA #95 Aston Simonsen/Nygaard/Poulsen 2 Retired 
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LM24 Hour 6: Treluyer and Duval continue tense battle

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Series WEC
Drivers Loic Duval
Author Sam Tremayne
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