72nd Le Mans 24 Hours - Hours 13, 14 & 15
Martin Short: “We
needed some oil in the car at Joao’s schedule stop but we
had a case of confused hand signals and Joao took off with the oil
line still on the car. It is the only mistake the boys have made
all night though.” The extra stop has cost the team about
forty seconds and Treluyer is on a real charge as well which makes
things a bit worse for Shorty.
Andy Wallace: “The
car was obviously going well but sometimes it is not your day, with
the two punctures already… but then mine… I was very
lucky to get away with it at 200mph. We could easily be ahead of
the Audis on a circuit without long straights. This is our worst
circuit and Monza is our second worst and we were even competitive
there. The last three ELMS races will suit the car much better but
unfortunately I can’t make it because of Grand Am and ALMS
Hayanari Shimoda –
any warning? “The car was fine until I backed off into the
Porsche curves, accelerator flat down on the exit and bang.”
was knocked off by another car and went into the gravel so came
in to change tyres. He has never driven a GT3 before and is doing
so well. Now we need to stay ahead and push very hard.”
The Freisinger RSR is
still three laps ahead.
The 65 Ferrari
is in the midst of gear selector problems, and it could be that
the team will have to change the gearbox.
200 laps are
completed by the leader - still the 88 Audi, at 12 Hours and 48
minutes. Heading for 380 laps?
GT is becoming
a real old thrash: Freisinger and friends lead 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 by two laps, but Patrick
Long is gaining on Stephane Ortelli, best lap by the Westward Ho
Casino/ MMPIE/ PAWS etc. etc. a 4:08.476.
gone for an hour and it doesn't look very different," says
Gary Horrocks. There are subtle changes: the Dallara is being caught
all the time by the Champion Audi, the gap at almost 05.00 being
almost exactly three minutes. Marco Werner and Seiji Ara are consistently
the fastest men on the track.
5 :00 am: Tom
Coronel has brought the 16 Dome back into the top 10 at the expense
of the Taurus Lola Judd.
The 64 Corvette
rejoins after a 15 minute stop, now down to 11th overall, six laps
down on the class leading GTS car, the Enge-driven Ferrari.
By 05.30, the
Champion Audi is just half a minute behind the Dallara, and it looks
as though only the 18 Pescarolo can prevent an Audi 1-2-3.
Biela and Kaffer
are up to 12th in the 8 Audi.
and Rockenfeller are gving it everything in GT. Maassen a 4:08.377
at 05.30, Rockenfeller a 4:07.227, fastest GT lap of the race -
and it is barely light at all. Next laps: Maassen 4:09.242, Rockenfeller
4:07.241. 'Rocky' is 71 seconds behind. The top thee entries are
filling the top three places.
next lap is also a 4:07.
Pirro is about
to pass the Dallara for fourth (but pits before he can do so), while
the 17 Courage is rught with Enge, preparing to take eighth overall.
The 66 and 64
GTS leaders are eighth and ninth, but six laps apart.
Nasamax and the Lister are 16th and 20th. The Nasamax has had a
misfire for many hours, but the decison has been taken to grin and
bear it. Pirro finally passes the Dallaa for fourth, next target
Ayari, two laps ahead.
Biela laps in
3:35.490, first man into the 35s, while Rockenfeller is now in the
06.30 and the
Advan Dome has been marooned in its pit for half an hour, after
failing to start up at its routine pit stop.
at the front, Capello unable to gain any appreciable time on Herbert.
The latter, incidentally, completed a quadruple stint last night,
from 20.28 until 00.19, nearly four hours in the 88 race leader.
the Nasamax's best race lap just before 06.30, a 3:43.627. Andre
sets a 3:49, best lap for the Taurus Lola Judd, running in tenth.
A glimmer of
hope for the non Audi Brigade. For the first time since the Audi
Porsche Curves debacle, an R8 loses a place: Martin Short takes
over from Rob Barff and puts a lap on the stationary Champion R8,
which loses eight minutes with a disc change.
At 06.45, the
Advan Dome is still stationary, and about to slip out of the top
ten, behind the Wilson RfH Dome. The sister car eases in to the
top 16, a lap behind the flying Rockenfeller.
In the three
classes that are still genuine races, Herbert leads Capello by less
than a lap, Menu leads Beretta by six, and Dumas leads Lieb by three.
Drama for M Short. He's pushed off the road at the foot of the the
new sweeper after Dunlop, by the 17 Courage of Bourdais. He's beached,
then dragged out of the gravel... The Dallara is undamaged, but
Pirro gets ahead again.
88 235 laps
the 8 Audi into the gravel, then Herbert pits, for a driver change
to Davies... and an adjustment to the rear suspension... which allows
Capello to take the lead for the first time. Is this the first time
a non-Veloqx car has led the race?
The Veloqx mechanics
use an angle grinder to 'adjust' the rear suspension - a stop of
seven minutes. Davies will be over a lap in arrears. Understeer
McRae has stopped
at Mulsanne Corner, in no 65 Ferrari 550.