SUNDAY 1200: 007 SHAKEN BUT NOT STIRRED
The 009 Aston Martin DBR9 continues to lead the GT1 class in the Le Mans 24 Hours but there has been drama for the 007 car - which thankfully maintains its fourth position.
Tomas Enge in the 007 closed to within seconds of the third-placed DBR9 of Christophe Bouchut this morning, but while the duo were fighting for position Tomas had a high-speed spin into a gravel trap. The sharp flint stones cut his tyre, and he was forced to pit for a rubber change. Just one lap later, he was back in again as another stone had become wedged in a brake calliper. The problem was fixed, but then unbelievably Tomas reported an alternator failure. This again was traced to yet another stray stone that had jammed the alternator pulley. While this was being sorted out, Johnny Herbert took the wheel and after five minutes of work he was off. Two laps later 007 was back in the pits - this time to fix a broken boot pin, needed to hold the boot in place. After this catalogue of woe, Herbert is expected to hand over to Peter Kox for the final stint up to the finish at 1500.
Enge commented: "What a disaster...but it was just one of those things. I'm quite confident that we could have had third, but in every battle there is a winner and a loser and on this occasion I was the loser. That's about all I can say. "
Thankfully there were no such problems for the lead car, which continues to run reliably in the hands of Rickard Rydell. "It's the hard part now - just driving safely to the end," he said. After a double stint from Rydell, David Brabham is scheduled to take the car to the finish.
The Corvette of Ron Fellows is still second, keeping the pressure on car 009, while the AMR Larbre Competition entry numbered 008 is currently third in the hands of Casper Elgaard. The AMR BMS car maintains sixth, just one lap behind the Oreca Saleen of Nicolas Prost. Team Modena is 10th after losing time with accident damage during the night, while the final Larbre 006 car is currently 13th in class.