Aston Martin Racing reaches Le Mans halfway point in GT1 class lead

At the halfway point in the 2005 24-Hours Le Mans endurance race, the number 58 Aston Martin DBR9 had extended its lead in the GT1 class to more than 90 seconds and was seventh overall. The twelfth hour was reached with Peter Kox at the wheel.

Sister DBR9 number 59 passed the halfway mark fourth in class and twelfth overall, being driven by Darren Turner.

The team's two main class rivals, Chevrolet Corvettes numbers 64 and 63, were sandwiched between the two DBR9s.

George Howard-Chappell, Aston Martin Racing Team Principal, said: "It's close but it's fun - that's why we go racing."

Darren had earlier incurred three time penalties - the later two each of three minutes in the pits - and of these George said: "We've got to live with it now, but the car is lapping well and maybe we can catch one of the two Corvettes.

"You've got to react - we've got a great team of engineers analysing data all the time."

Number 59 driver David Brabham said: "It is a shame about the penalties, but the car's going well and we are clawing back some of the lost time."

He said that the first driving stint early in the race in a temperature of 32°C was "very hot and uncomfortable," but added: "It's obviously a little cooler at night, but the cockpit is still very hot."