The 16th and 17th hours at Le Mans brought plenty of surprise and drama - the action started when the lead Audi pitted for some work on the rear suspension and then soon afterwards Martin Short had a big accident in his Dallara Judd. Emanuele Pirro then went off into the gravel in the Champion Racing Audi but rejoined soon after.
Jamie Davies pitted in the leading Audi Sports UK Team Veloqx as it was understeering and loosing time. After an extended pit stop, during which time the Audi Sport Japan Team Goh of Rinaldo Capello took the lead, Davies took to the track and lapped at a blistering pace, up to six seconds faster than before.
Eric Comas put in a very strong stint in the Pescarolo Sport Judd in third place and lowered the team's fastest lap several times before pitting for fuel. He pitted later and the team took the bodywork from the back of the car and worked on the engine. The problem was soon fixed and he was able to continue in third place.
Peter Kox was still leading the LM GTS class in the Prodrive Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello ahead of the Corvette Racing C5-R of Oliver Gavin. Stephane Ortelli led GT class in his Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR narowly from the Petersen/White Lightening car of Patrick Long who had a quick trip through the gravel.
On lap 256 the leading Audi Sport Japan Team Goh car had a massive lock up under braking for a tight chicane. Capello returned to the pits immediately and changed all the tyres and Tom Kristensen took over behind the wheel. Davies pitted on lap 259 and handed over to Johnny Herbert with fresh tyres and a full tank of fuel.