Circuit de la Sarthe
BMW Motorsport runs second and third in the GTE class after one-hour safety-car period in Le Mans.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans (FR) is underway. After three hours the no. 55 BMW M3 GT with start driver Augusto Farfus (BR) at the wheel holds second place in the LM GTE class. The other car (number 56) is currently driven by Dirk Müller (DE), running in third.
Like Farfus, Andy Priaulx (GB) started the endurance classic at the “Circuit de la Sarthe” in the no. 56 car. Dirk Müller took over during a pit stop on the 14th lap. Over the course of the race, Jörg Müller (DE), Dirk Werner (DE) and Joey Hand (US) will also be on duty.
The first stage of the race was overshadowed by a spectacular accident involving the no. 3 LMP1 Audi, approximately one hour into the race. At high speed the car collided with a Ferrari when lapping it, slid through the gravel trap ,was launched into the barrier and came to a rest upside down. Fortunately Allan McNish (GB) was able to get out of the heavily damaged car on his own. Repair work on the barrier and tyre wall took until 16:55hrs, when the lights went green again after a safety-car period.
Andy Priaulx (car number 56): “It is always good to get into the car and start the race after such a busy week. The first stint showed me what a great job the boys had done on the car. It felt just as good as it did before the accident on Friday, so a big thank you to them. I know it is a well-worn phrase, but this is a long race and you are never going to win it in the first hour. As we said before, we are in a very competitive class and these opening laps showed just how strong the opposition is. However, our car has good speed and, very importantly, reliability. So far so good.”