LMES - Nurburgring 1000 Kms - Race Report 4
Hour 6

The Jota Zytek is the second quickest car on the track - behind Minassian - but is 36 laps down after a starter motor / solenoid problem.

#88 Audi pits for fuel, its last stop we think, and it looks as though inters are fitted. Yes, they definitely are.

The Pescarolo Courage is still beached in the gravel, and Short is catching up, lap by lap: we think there's a smile going on behind that visor.

Just after 5 Hours:
88 - 50 s
3 -2 laps
5 (stationary) -3 laps
17 (in gravel) -6 laps
6 -10 laps
7 -11 laps
59 GTS leader -13 laps
86 2nd in GTS -14 laps
13 (stationary we think) - 16 laps
93 GT leader - 16 laps
61 - 16 laps (third in GTS for a Barron Connor Ferrari)
52 - 16 laps (very good run here, fourth in GTS)
85 2nd in GT -16 laps
80 - 19 laps
77 - 20 laps
71 (in pits) - 21 laps.

GTS has been coming alive recently: Bouchut has been reeling in Bartels, who makes his last stop with about 40 minutes to go, and now has just 17 seconds on Bouchut. The Frenchman is on inters, and if the weather stays fine until the end of the race, he won't have to pit for alternative rubber.

The two 'Zyteks' are still the two quickest cars on the track, at 2:03 / 2:04, the two Audis at the front in 2:07 / 2:10. The Goh Audi returns to the race after a 17 minute stop for repairs, in fifth place, with the DBA in third and the Pescarolo, out of the gravel now, in fourth. Short is sixth (not smiling) a two lap trip to the gravel leaving him within range of the RML Lola.

Minassian pushes on with a 2:01 - while Bouchut is six seconds a lap quicker than whoever is in the Vitaphone Saleen, and takes the lead, with about half an hour left. We thought it was Bartels, but we think it is Konrad. No info in the press room, alas.

Now, what is Minassian up to? He is hauling the DBA ever closer to the second placed Audi of Davies.

McNish has reached 165 laps, 30 short of the 1000 km total, so the race will finish at 22.00. Minassian is under a minute behind Davies, and catching at four seconds per lap, with about 15 laps still to go.

Jamie Davies speeds up and sets a 2:03, which will make Minassian's task a good deal tougher.

The JWR Porsche is out of the race, damaged in the collision with Capello's Audi.

Bouchut is 25 seconds ahead of Konrad with 22 minutes to go.

Minassian sets a 1:59, and the gap is down to 45 seconds. Next lap it falls to

We've got a battle in GT too, where the gap between Cirtek and Freisinger is 33 seconds, with the Ortelli / Collard car lapping appreciably quicker. The Freisinger car then pits: we think the Cirtek car is going through to the finish.... but that's wrong.... the Cirtek car pits... and we'll catch up with this gap shortly.

The Courage is running well again at the head of LMP2, but only just ahead of the WR... San Hancock's wets are f****d.

Minassian is looking for wet patches....and the WR, that unfavoured little yellow thing, has passed the Courage, and leads LMP2. Less than 10 minutes left.

It's really hotting up in GT, Cirtek's Porsche 7.7 seconds ahead of Freisinger's Ortelli / Collard... and next time round it's 6.9. Frustratingly, we don't know who is in which car......

Gounon is in the Courage, but he's apparently in ignition trouble, and falls away to a 22 second deficit in LMP2. What a turn up in this class.

GT is the thriller though, now that Minassian can only' match Davies' pace. With four minutes or so left, the gap is only 4.5 seconds. Then it's 3.1 seconds, Cirtek to Freisinger. Two laps left for these boys to resolve it.

Gounon pits, handing the race to the WR. McNish finishes with a flourish, down into the 1:53s on inters.

Starting their last lap, the gap in GT is 2.5 seconds.

McNish takes the flag at six hours, in GTS it's Larbre, Vitaphone Saleen and GNM Saleen, the white car by just 20 seconds from the Biagi Ferrari 575.

GT is... a win for Cirtek, following the team's Ferrari win in GT last November, this time the team's RSR takes the win because... the Freisinger car (Collard we think) pitted to cross the line, out of fuel we believe.

A Veloqx 1-2 as at Monza, the DBA an excellent third. Overall, an amazing race of its type, fortunes fluctuating hroughout, with much dependent on the weather.

The WR has been excluded for an airbox infringement, so Yves Courage wins LMP2. In GT, the Freisinger Porsche seems not to have been classified, having finished the race in the pit lane, so Sebah finishes second in GT, the Choroq Porsche third.


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