A chink in Audi armor as Le Mans starts

A chink in Audi armor as Le Mans starts

The green flag had not waved yet when the first chink appeared in the armor of the dominant Audi team. Michael Krumm, driving the ...

The green flag had not waved yet when the first chink appeared in the armor of the dominant Audi team.

Michael Krumm, driving the #3 Audi R8, encountered debris on the formation lap, and had to pull into the pits for a complete tire change as the rest of the field took the green flag.

While the #2 and #1 Audis, piloted by Johnny Herbert and Frank Biela, took off into the distance, Krumm lost precious time sitting in the Audi pits.

First lap: Michael Krumm.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.

Even though 24 hours is a very long time, seconds can still count even at the end - and Krumm lost over a minute in the pits. Fighting back after getting fresh rubber, the German-Japanese driver clawed his way back to 45th in the first lap, and to 20th by the end of five laps.

However, with the heavy LM GTS and LMP 675 traffic, Krumm's lap times suffered as well, dropping him some 1:43 back by the five-lap mark. And there still hangs the question of damage to the undertray while he was driving back to the pits with a puncture.

At the front, Herbert and Biela pulled away steadily, lapping five seconds fasters than Jan Lammers' Dome-Judd, but with nary a second gap between the two Audis.

The Dome is currently closely followed by the top MG of Mark Blundell, the #14 Oreca Dallara-Judd (Stephane Sarrazin), and JJ Lehto's Cadillac; Blundell having made a clean pass on Sarrazin on the 7th lap.

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers Jan Lammers , Johnny Herbert , Frank Biela , Michael Krumm , Mark Blundell , Stéphane Sarrazin , Eric Gilbert , JJ Lehto