72nd Le Mans 24 Hours - Hours 10, 11 & 12

Jamie Davies had a stop and go penalty just before the contact with Magnussen, allegedly for overtaking under yellow flags. The gap between the 88 and Goh Audis is less than a lap as a result of the penalty and the collision (and stop for a check) for Davies: it's 2 mins 40 at 01.35.

Kristensen is in no 5, and the only man under 3:40. With the Davies incident, all four Audis have now had incidents.

Magnussen has slipped to tenth (from sixth), five laps behind Alain Menu in the GTS race-leading Care Racing prodrive Ferrari.

Janos Wimpffen made the point an hour or so ago that we could still have an Audi 1-2-3: Lehto is two laps behind Short and three behind Comas. The Courage and Dallara drivers are in the 3:50s, Lehto is lapping in 3:40.

Lammers' and Dyson's dream is all but over: the most recent fail-to start problem dropped the Dome to 31st place, 28 laps down.

Paul Slinger’s Pit Lane Update (in association with Westward Ho Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS/ mail2web.com/ Hella/ Justice Brothers/ BBS/ Michelin/ Premier SportsCar Services/ AVID Design, Inc./ Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR)
Morgan: Birthday Boy (June 12) Neil Cunningham has trotted into the press room to explain the earlier dramas for the Morgan.

“As I came past the pits the fuel lights came on and I knew I was in trouble: there should have been 20 minutes running left before a fuel stop. It turned out to be air in the fuel system. It died completely at Indianapolis and I got pushed behind the wall.

“It was crazy, I pushed it to level ground and then I pushed it into a farmyard so the rear was lower than the front to try to get some fuel pick-up. Nothing!

“Some of the mechanics came out and I got out the toolkit we keep in the car: a small hammer, some pliers and a screwdriver. The lads were calling out instructions and the marshals were fantastic. Someone was shining a torch to help me and they told me I could take off my helmet – I thought you couldn’t, as at Spa if you remove your helmet you’re out of the race.

“We were just about to give up when Darryl Dixon, who helped us out at Bathurst, told me to check a final union – I heard the air escaping immediately and she fired up straight away after that.

“I got back in, forgot to turn on the auxiliaries and nearly clouted the farmyard wall! After that I just had to drive back to the pits to get the car filled up. And I thought I was a lucky dog this morning with the Hawaiian Tropic girls!”

01.55: the 66 Ferrari is in its garage, the crew trying to fix a misfire - and the 64 Corvette is four laps behind.

As Menu leaves his pit, the gap is down to approx. two and a half laps.

Ten hours gone and Brabham is eighth, two minutes behind Menu, who was stationary for approx seven minutes.

Kristensen is 95 secs behind Davies, having just lapped in 3:37.5.

Courage bothers: Gounon's car is stationary, five laps behind Clint Field's unique Lola-Judd, and just after 02.00, the Epsilon Courage has apparently stopped at post 83.

Well into the eleventh hour, Kristensen and Brabham are both lapping in 3:37 and a bit, Brabham only a lap behind the 66 Ferrari, which was passed by the Kondo Dome when the 550 stopped to cure its misfire... which was caused by a ball of rubber lodged in a restrictor.

GT Drama: the Westward Ho Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS/ mail2web.com/ Hella/ Justice Brothers/ BBS/ Michelin/ Premier SportsCar Services/ AVID Design, Inc./ Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR is in trouble with its sequential gearbox.

The team with the sportscar pros., Freisinger Motorsport, duly takes the lead of GT at approx. 02.35, in 15th overall. The Westward Ho Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS/ mail2web.com/ Hella/ Justice Brothers/ BBS/ Michelin/ Premier SportsCar Services/ AVID Design, Inc./ Petersen Motorsports/ White Lightning Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR resumes three to four laps down.

At the same time, Kristensen, with a pit stop to make (the Goh car has been on a slightly later schedule than the 88 since the start of the race, thanks to spending a lap in the gravel), is 42 seconds behind Guy Smith.

The Zytek has had a longish stop, with the rear bodywork off, then back on and back out.

Bill Binnie is being pushed down the pit lane in the class-leading Intersport Lola: we're off to find out what's wrong.... as 11 hours elapsed approaches.

Chris Stockton is impressing again in the 89 TVR, improving the car's best time to a 4:16.640 and taking 28th place overall from the Cirtek Ferrari in the process. A 4:15.907 is then good enough to see the car rise a further place up the order.

03:22 - Kelleners slows dramatically at the Dunlop chicane in the GT class leading 85 Freisinger Porsche. He stops beyond the bridge but immediately restarts - Electrical?

The 29 Noel del Bello Reynard has retired - a 4 year run of class wins has ended for the two litre turbo powered Reynard - Does anyone notice? - Does anyone care? David Addison says that he does - His long suffering partner would no doubt retort (as she so often does) "Why am I with you?"

Barbosa sets the fastest lap of the race so far for the Rollcentre Dallara, a 3:39.148.

The Zytek then pits with a small fire under the engine cover. There is a pool of fluid underneath the car as the fire marshals extinguish the flames and the Safety Car is on course. The TV feed shows the 22 car's engine grenading in the biggest possible way. There must surely be copious quantities of ex-Zytek bodily fluids spread through the Porsche Curves where the blow up occurred.

The Team Goh Audi squad is taking advantage of the Safety car period to attend to a misfire, which the car has been suffering for the past two hours.

The Lister has suffered with an electronic gearchange problem, but approaching half way is still running well.

The Epsilon Courage retired at 02.00 on Mulsanne, Gunnar Jeannette at the wheel. Engine. His mum explained that it conveniently stopped in the driveway of the chateau where the Jeannettes are staying.

Intersport Lola B2K / 40. Bill Binnie was in the Porsche Curves when he felt a wriggle from the rear end (!) and lost all drive. He managed to coast all the way into the pit lane. "When i was 17 I broke down on the top of the Hartford Bridge, on Christmas Eve, in a car I'd just bought - which had no licence and no tax. I rolled down the bridge, and at the bottom I found a party full of mechanics, who got me going again. This felt rather like that...

"Then there was the time I ran out of fuel on the Tibetan Plateau in my 1928 Bentley. I coasted three or four thousand feet downhill, to somewhere that had some fuel."

With all three Courage C65s out of the race, the only LMP2 rivals left are the WRs, and with them some way behind, the Intersport crew is replacing both driveshafts and giving the B2K / 40 a full brake service. Clint is still smiling.

Almost half way... and the 61 Barron Connor Ferrari pits with the left front brake disc (and the right) so hot that it (they) repeatedly catch(es) fire, despite many doses of extinguishant.

12 Hours
88 188 laps
5 187
18 182
6 181
2 179
9 176
66 173
17 172
64 170
4 169
22 167 (rtd.)
16 167
65 165
61 163
85 163 (1st. in GT)
69 162
8 162
63 162
90 160 (2nd. in GT)
87
77
14.

Fastest lap of the race - officially - is the 61 Ferrari, with an absolutely stunning 3:24.522. No wonder the brakes caught fire.

Official "abandons" are
22 Zytek - engine
83 Seikel Porsche - engine
70 JMB Ferrari - transmission
31 Courage AER - engine
31 Courage IES - engine
29 Reynard-Lehmann - accident
37 Courage AER - accident
86 Freisinger Porsche - accident
11 Panoz - clutch
10 Lola Caterpillar - gearbox
27 Intersport Lola- suspension / accident / overheating
78 PK Sport Porsche - engine.

 

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