Pescarolos Lead After Three Laps

Battle has begun and it's Jean-Christophe Boullion in the lead after three laps for Pescarolo Sport, with teammate Soheil Ayari sitting three seconds behind and the best of the rest already more than 15 seconds behind

Pescarolos Lead After Three Laps

Boullion had won the drag away from the rolling start in his pole-starting Pescarolo and led into the Dunlop Chicane for the first time from Ayari. Emanuele Pirro had hoped to be able to hold on to third place in his Champion Racing, but lost out on the sprint past the pits, with Ryo Michigami diving past into the first corner in the Jim Gainer International Dome.

The highest-placed of the junior prototype classes, LMP2, is Sam Hancock in Intersport Racing's Lola in 12th place, two positions ahead of the Paul Belmondo Racing Courage-Ford with Didier Andre at the wheel.

The GT1 class is living up to its billing as a battle between newcomers Aston Martin and Le Mans regulars Chevrolet, with Darren Turner leading the way for Aston in 13th place from teammate Peter Kox and Oliver Gavin's Corvette.

Mike Rockenfeller was the early leader in GT2 for Alex Job Racing ahead of the better of the works Panoz Esperantes piloted by Bill Auberlen, but the American worked his way into the class lead on the third lap.

Already in trouble are the number 8 Rollcentre Racing Dallara-Nissan that is still in its garage having its engine worked on, the number 36 Paul Belmondo Racing Courage that failed to fire up on the grid and had to be pushed into the pitlane with Claude-Yves Gosselin the frustrated driver at its wheel, the number 23 WR that was already planning to start from the pitlane after last-minute remedial work and the number 39 Chamberlain-Synergy Lola which came out to play two laps into the race after another race against time to get it ready for the off. Of those who started but stumbled, Jan Lammers brought the Racing for Holland in at the end of the opening lap.

With air and track temperatures soaring, there will be many a team manager wanting their drivers to keep a cool head and remember that it's an endurance race not a sprint. After all, no racing adage is more true than the one that states that to finish first, first you must finish. Indeed, Henri Pescarolo, whose cars started first and second, stated simply: "My pre-race instruction to my drivers is that the race starts after 12 hours."

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Hour 1: Boullion Leads

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