Aston Martin hour 18 report

After 18 hours: 009 enters final quarter of the race With 18 hours gone, the Le Mans 24 Hours is entering its final quarter with the 009 car still leading the GT1 class - but as driver Darren Turner points out, this is still a race in ...

After 18 hours: 009 enters final quarter of the race

With 18 hours gone, the Le Mans 24 Hours is entering its final quarter with the 009 car still leading the GT1 class - but as driver Darren Turner points out, this is still a race in itself.

"It's like we're starting a six-hour race now - and we all know just how much can happen in a six-hour race," he said. "We've got a lap, or just about, as a lead and that's really not very much in the overall scheme of things. Absolutely anything can happen, so it's only natural to be feeling a little nervous in this situation."

The 009 DBR9 has performed like clockwork so far, avoiding any mechanical problems or contact with other competitors. David Brabham is currently driving it, but he is having to cope with tricky wet conditions and variable levels of grip.=20

The rain that started at around 5am this morning has never properly gone away, although it has stopped intermittently. There is plenty of standing water, and knowing where the worst of it is forms part of the art of driving the La Sarthe circuit.

Following an alternator change in the early hours of the morning, the 007 DBR9 is back up to fourth place - currently in the hands of Karl Wendlinger.

"Personally I've had no problems at all during the race: it's gone really well," reported the Austrian. "I heard about the alternator change, but I don't think that will affect anything. This is the first time I will drive the car in the wet in this race, but I've already had plenty of experience of wet conditions so I really don't think that will be a problem."

The Charouz Racing system LMP1 prototype, powered by Aston Martin, is continuing to climb up the leaderboard with a solid run and is now 11th. The privately-run Team Modena DBR9 is currently still eighth in the GT1 class, with American Terry Borcheller at the wheel.

Aston Martin Racing Team Principal George Howard-Chappell commented: "So far so good, but it's really still too early to make any sort of predictions as to the race outcome. The reports say that the weather will dry up, but it seems to me that there will still be quite a lot of water for quite some time - which obviously adds another unpredictable element."

-credit: am

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers David Brabham , Terry Borcheller , George Howard-Chappell
Teams Aston Martin Racing