72nd Le Mans 24 Hours - Hours 16, 17 & 18
blamed Martin Short for holding him up, and refused to take any
blame for shoving him off.
got worse for Martin Short, much worse, at 07.20: the right rear
suspension appeared to give way under him through the Porsche Curves,
and he spun and hit the wall very hard. That shook the driver up
badly, and eliminated the Dallara on the spot.
of the race in two of the classes is suddenly rather different.
Davies is chasing Capello for the lead, but has well over a lap
to make up - but is lapping in under 3:40, say a second and a half
quicker than Capello. No, more than that: Davies sets a 3:35.643
In GT, Freisinger
and his pros. still lead, by over two laps from Marc Lieb in the
BAM! Porsche - but with Sascha Maassen now having to drive flat
out in the Petersen car, in third place, three laps down on 85,
one down on 87. Rockenfeller had set a 4:06.387 between six am and
7 am, a new race record, and faster than the qualifying record,
but Maassen beat that, just, with a 4:06.306. Last year's fastest
race lap was a 4:09.
car's original delay (gear linkage) had been followed by a stop
to replace the throttle cable - and while that was being done, the
crew changed the brake pads. Maassen / Bergmeister / Long must be
all set up for the last eight and a half hours.
Petersen car in the gravel was a signal for it to move up a place,
because the BAM! Porsche had pitted with gearbox trouble. Unable
to replace it this year, the car was out of the race.
even quicker, a 3:35.081 - then a 3:34.264 at 07.44. Pescarolo's
no 18 has a two lap lead over Champion, but Pirro has lapped in
3:35.981. Then it's a distant Bourdais Pescarolo in fifth, Menu
in sixth, Magnussen seventh.
At just about
08.00, Pirro goes straight on at Mulsanne Corner, burying the Champion
R8 in the gravel. He's pulled out, pours gravel all over the place
on the way to Indianapolis, and pits for Lehto to take over for
a charge. The Finn sets the car's best lap of the race, a 3:35.419,
as he attempts to close a two lap margin to the 18 Pescarolo car
pace is having an effect on all three Audis amonng the top four.
Capello misses out a Mulsanne chicane and pits for Kritstensen to
charge - and hold off Davies. It's stalematey again, the pace of
each of them not different enough to alter the gaps enough to make
a place change occur.
gaps in GT don't look as though they'll change unless someone makes
a mistake or has a problem.
The 62 Barron
Connor Ferrari has stopped at the entrance to the Porsche Curves.
The Kondo Dome still hasn't left its pit, and apparently has a clutch
hangs onto third, despite a trip into the gravel - and then appears
in second in GT, ahead of the BAM! Porsche.
09.00, and the completion of 17 hours of racing, Kristensen is almost
exactly a lap ahead of Herbert - who has taken over from Jamie Davies,
missing Guy Smith out of the rotation.
ahead until he pits a couple of laps later, which leaves a lead
of about 2 mins 40 secs.
As we grind
- and doze - through Sunday morning, we eventually arrive at the
predicted point of an Audi 1-2-3. Treluyer puts the 18 Pescrolo
into the gravel, which allows JJ to take over third spot, nine laps
down on the leader. These three, plus the ultra-delayed no 8, are
all lapping in under 3:40. Herbert is pushing Kristensen for al
he is worth, but Tom is holding off Johnny for all he is worth.
3:37s and 3:38s - fantastic speeds for lap after lap.
5 282 laps
88 281 laps
2 273 laps
18 270 laps
17 265 laps
66 261 laps
16 256 laps
64 -26.7 secs
8 253 laps
4 252 laps
63 250 laps
15 248 laps
85 245 laps
90 242 laps
65 -1m 13 secs
69 240 laps.
in GTS, and in GT. Clint's Lola has spent 3 hours in the pits, more
than the WR one place behind in 29th, but 17 laps ahead.
The RfH Domes
are in slightly more representative positions of seventh and twelfth
rather than the ninth and fourteenth, as of 8am. The black and white
Domes have been a surprise of this race, for all the wrong reasons,
The Advan Dome
joins the BAM! Porsche and Rollcentre Dallara as recent retirements,
and Martin Short visited the Pescarolo garage, to see if Sebastien
Bourdais "thought it was worth it."