LM24 H8: Kristensen leads under caution as night descends

Audi's Tom Kristensen assumed the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours as night descended on La Sarthe and a fourth safety-car period interrupted proceedings

LM24 H8: Kristensen leads under caution as night descends

The advantage held by Kristensen's #2 R18 e-tron quattro advantage over the second-placed #8 Toyota of Stephane Sarrazin was reduced to around 2m40s when Kristensen took over driving duties from Loic Duval.

With the Audi able to routinely lap quicker than the TS030 HYBRID, however, he was able to increase the margin to 3m07s; a gap he retained when Sarrazin was then caught behind a different safety car and was unable to close in.

Kazuki Nakajima, driving the #7 Toyota that was earlier delayed by an electrical glitch and falling fuel pressure on an in-lap, continues to hold third.

He was maintaining a two-minute advantage over Marc Gene before the Spaniard's machine was wheeled into the garage with a technical problem at the end of the hour.

Mathias Beche has taken over the best of the non-hybrid LMP1s and is fifth in his #13 Rebellion Lola-Toyota.

The #1 Audi, which had led the race until developing a problem with a motor generator in the seventh hour, resumed the race in 24th place after 43 minutes in the garage. At the eight-hour mark, Marcel Fassler had moved the car up to 21st.

The #26 G-Drive/Delta-ADR entry that had led LMP2 by over 50s has dropped back to fifth in the baby prototype category after John Martin lost nearly two laps while pitting to have damaged bodywork replaced.

The Australian's misfortune handed the lead to the #35 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan, now with former IndyCar racer Bertrand Baguette driving.

Baguette leads Simon Dolan's Jota Zytek-Nissan by three minutes while Olivier Pla has driven brilliantly to bring the #24 OAK machine up from sixth to third.

Bruno Senna continues to lead GTE Pro in the #99 Aston Martin that was brought to the front earlier in the race by Frederic Makowiecki.

But Richard Lietz is keeping the pressure on the Brazilian and was less than two seconds behind when the safety car came out to allow debris scattered at the Porsche curves by Tor Graves' spinning ORECA-Nissan to be cleared up.

Paolo Ruberti put in a storming stint to take the lead of GTE Am in the #88 Proton Porsche.

Pat Long and Raymond Narac made it an all-Porsche top-three as Darryl O'Young dropped back in the #55 AF Corse Ferrari.

POSITIONS AFTER EIGHT HOURS Pos Cl Car Drivers Laps Gap 1. P1 #2 Audi Kristensen/McNish/Duval 119 2. P1 #8 Toyota Davidson/Sarrazin/Buemi 118 + 1 Lap 3. P1 #7 Toyota Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima 118 + 3m13.789s 4. P1 #3 Audi Gene/Jarvis/di Grassi 118 + 3m27.492s 5. P1 #13 Lola Beche/Belicchi/Cheng 116 + 3 Laps 6. P1 #21 HPD Leventis/Kane/Watts 114 + 5 Laps 7. P1 #12 Lola Prost/Jani/Heidfeld 113 + 6 Laps 8. P2 #35 Morgan Baguette/Plowman/Gonzalez 112 + 7 Laps 9. P2 #38 Zytek Dolan/Turvey/Luhr 111 + 8 Laps 10. P2 #24 Morgan Pla/Brundle/H Hansson 111 + 16.296s 11. P2 #42 Zytek Krumm/Mardenborough/Ordonez 111 + 17.439s 12. P2 #46 Oreca Thiriet/Badey/Martin 111 + 2m58.837s 13. P2 #26 Oreca Rusinov/Martin/Conway 111 + 3m01.478s 14. P2 #49 Oreca P-Companc/Kaffer/Minassian 110 + 9 Laps 15. P2 #43 Morgan Gachnang/Mailleux/Lombard 110 + 4m07.645s 16. P2 #34 Oreca Frey/Niederhauser/Bleekemolen 110 + 6m31.316s 17. P2 #32 Lotus Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz 109 + 10 Laps 18. GTP #99 Aston Makowiecki/Senna/Bell 108 + 11 Laps 19. GTP #92 Porsche Lieb/Richard Lietz/Dumas 108 + 2.921s 20. GTP #97 Aston Mucke/Turner/Dumbreck 108 + 11.033s 21. P2 #33 HPD Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe 107 + 12 Laps 22. P1 #1 Audi Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler 107 + 3m38.854s 23. GTP #91 Porsche Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard 107 + 4m02.481s 24. P2 #47 Morgan Imperatori/Howson/Tung 107 + 4m02.989s 25. P2 #30 Lola Mowlem/Burgess/Hirschi 106 + 13 Laps 26. P2 #48 Oreca Hartley/Chandhok/Patterson 106 + 4m21.766s 27. GTP #71 Ferrari Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander 106 + 4m30.591s 28. GTP #51 Ferrari Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli 106 + 4m37.070s 29. GTP #74 Corvette Gavin/Milner/Westbrook 106 + 4m41.005s 30. GTP #98 Aston Dalla Lana/Lamy/Auberlen 106 + 4m45.123s 31. GTP #73 Corvette Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor 105 + 14 Laps 32. P2 #41 Zytek Rossi/K-Smith/Lux 105 + 2.266s 33. P2 #45 Morgan Nicolet/Merlin/Mondolot 105 + 14.960s 34. GTA #88 Porsche Ried/Roda/Ruberti 104 + 15 Laps 35. GTA #55 Ferrari Perazzini/O'Young/Case 104 + 0.706s 36. GTA #77 Porsche Dempsey/Foster/Long 104 + 45.914s 37. GTP #93 SRT Wittmer/Kendall/Bomarito 104 + 3m26.032s 38. GTA #76 Porsche Narac/Vernay/Bourret 104 + 3m26.854s 39. GTA #61 Ferrari Gerber/Griffin/Cioci 103 + 16 Laps 40. P2 #40 Oreca Dagoneau/Downs/Younessi 103 + 3m06.893s 41. GTP #53 SRT Farnbacher/Goossens/Dalziel 103 + 3m15.795s 42. GTA #50 Corvette Bornhauser/Canal/Taylor 103 + 5m58.832s 43. GTA #75 Porsche Collard/Perrodo/Crubile 102 + 17 Laps 44. P2 #36 Alpine Ragues/Panciatici/Gommendy 102 + 5.499s 45. GTA #67 Porsche Gibon/Milesi/Henzler 102 + 3m11.324s 46. P2 #25 Oreca Graves/Hamilton/Nakano 101 + 18 Laps 47. GTA #96 Aston Goethe/Campbell-Walter/Hall 101 + 6m18.711s 48. GTP #66 Ferrari Bertolini/Faisal/Qubaisi 101 + 6m21.891s 49. P2 #39 Lola Porta/Brandela/Raffin 101 + 12m28.826s 50. GTA #70 Corvette MacNeil/Rodrigues/Dumas 100 + 19 Laps 51. GTA #57 Ferrari Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani 100 + 3.919s 52. GTA #54 Ferrari Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank 97 + 22 Laps 53. GTA #81 Ferrari Potolicchio/Aguas/Bright 93 + 26 Laps 54. P2 #28 Lola Giroix/Haezebrouck/Ihara 20 + 99 Laps 55. P2 #31 Lotus Weeda/Rossiter/Bouchut 17 Retired 56. GTA #95 Aston Simonsen/Nygaard/Poulsen 2 Retired 
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Series WEC
Author Jamie O'Leary
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