Audi ahead as Pescarolo fight back

Audi ahead as Pescarolo fight back

Champion Racing remained in the first two places of Le Mans 24 Hours after twelve hours with the ...

Champion Racing remained in the first two places of Le Mans 24 Hours after twelve hours with the #3 car of Marco Werner half a lap ahead of the #2 car of Allan McNish. Both cars continued to run smoothly at a consistent pace without any obvious problems and completed 181 laps over the first half of the race.

Katsutomo Kaneichi put in the Jim Gainer International Dome Mugen's fastest laps of the race as he tried to pull away from Eric Comas in the #16 Pescarolo Sport. Ryo Michigami then took over the Dome as Comas worked hard on trying to close the gap, on average closing up a couple of seconds per lap over the course of an hour. Comas was further helped when Michigami pitted with a technical problem shortly before 4am that delayed him for ten minutes and allowed Comas into third pace.

#58 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin DBR9: Tomas Enge, Peter Kox, Pedro Lamy.
Photo by Tom Haapanen.

Pedro Lamy set the #58 Aston Martin Racing's fastest lap of the race on lap 142 while leading the GT1 class before making a routine pitstop and rejoining still in the lead. The Corvette Racing C6R pair of Jan Magnussen and Max Papis were just over a minute behind and, impressively, Lamy was running in seventh place overall. The sister #59 Aston Martin was lapping very quickly at the hands of Darren Turner has he tried to make up the two lap gap to the Corvette. Lamy then handed over to Peter Kox who ran quickly, but slightly erratically in terms of lap time, at the front of the class.

The #24 Rachel Welter WR Peugeot drove into the pitlane minus a rear wing after an incident in the Mulsanne area of the circuit. The pit crew managed to repair the damage and the Patrice Roussel returned the car to the circuit 35 minutes later in sixth place at the back of the LM2 class. The car subsequently returned to the pits several times as it continued its troubled race having had two off-track excursions, a petrol tank leak, a spin and a puncture.

#16 Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo Judd: Emmanuel Collard, Jean-Christophe Boullion, Erik Comas.
Photo by Tom Haapanen.

Sebastien Loeb, at the wheel of the #17 Pescarolo Sport Judd, gradually closed on the Rollcentre Racing Judd of Joao Barbosa that was a few seconds in front of him on the track. Barbosa then had a long pit stop to remove gravel from the car after an excursion through a gravel trap and this moved Loeb up a place and to within a lap of the Creation Autosportif DBA Judd of Jamie Campbell-Walker that was in seventh place.

Mike Rockenfeller put in an extremely strong stint at the head of the GT2 class in his Alex Rob Racing Porsche GT3-RSR buy lapping up to four seconds a lap faster than the pursuing Patrick Long in the White Lightning Racing Porsche GT3-RSR although Long was setting times among White Lightning Racing's fastest laps. The #95 Racesport Peninsula TVR Tuscan of Piers Johnson was making up for lost time while lapping at the car's quickest pace of the race despite being 55 laps behind the GT2 class leader after seven pit stops including two of nearly an hour.

The #34 Miracle Motorsports Courage AER was excluded from the race for reversing in the pitlane costing the team a potential third place in the LM P2 class.

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers Tomas Enge , Jan Magnussen , Allan McNish , Max Papis , Darren Turner , Emmanuel Collard , Pedro Lamy , Sébastien Loeb , Peter Kox , Jean-Christophe Boullion , Joao Barbosa , Patrick Long , Marco Werner , Ryo Michigami , Erik Comas , Piers Johnson , Patrice Roussel , Mike Rockenfeller
Teams Aston Martin Racing , Corvette Racing , Gainer