Davies leads opening laps of 24H for Audi

Davies leads opening laps of 24H for Audi

Jamie Davies held on to pole position to lead the opening laps of the 24 Heures du Mans 2004. The Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx driver was under immense pressure from the sister car of Allan McNish during the opening lap but put in some fastest laps...

Jamie Davies held on to pole position to lead the opening laps of the 24 Heures du Mans 2004. The Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx driver was under immense pressure from the sister car of Allan McNish during the opening lap but put in some fastest laps to build up a five second lead by lap seven.

Start: #88 Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx Audi R8: Jamie Davies, Johnny Herbert, Guy Smith, and #8 Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx Audi R8: Frank Biela, Pierre Kaffer, Allan McNish battle for the lead.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
The cars entered the pit straight with headlights ablaze and McNish pulled almost alongside Davies as the pair approached the Dunlop corner. Davies stayed ahead but McNish remained stuck to his gearbox for the whole of the first lap as the pair gradually pulled away from the battle behind.

Andy Wallace in the Zytec initially held on to third but soon lost out to both JJ Lehto and Rinaldo Capello in their Champion Racing and Team Goh Audi R8s respectively, and then fell down to sixth behind the fast-starting Jan Lammers in the Racing for Holland #15 Racing For Holland Dome Judd.

#5 Audi Sport Japan Team Goh Audi R8: Seiji Ara, Rinaldo Capello, Tom Kristensen.
Photo by Tom Haapanen.
Lammers unfortunately slowed on lap three and dropped down the field but picked up pace a couple of laps later and he set about making up the lost places. On lap seven Capello spun into the gravel at the first corner - he rejoined but down in 24th place overall.

Jean Marc Gounon led the LM P2 class in the Courage Competition AER comfortably ahead of the Paul Belmondo Racing Courage AER of Paul Belmondo. Sascha Maasen led the LM GT Class in the Petersen/White Lightening Porsche 911 GT3 RSR ahead of Orbit Racing.s Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with Marc Lieb at the wheel.

Peter Kox led the LM GTS class in the Prodrive Racing Ferrari 550 Maranello but behind him there was an immense battle for second place. Oliver Gavin, in third, was all over the back of Darren Turner who sliding all over the place to defend his position and this allowed Kox some breathing space.

The Chamberlain Synergy Motorsport TVR Tuscan of Nigel Greensall toured round on the second lap and coasted to the pitlane. The JMB Racing Ferrari 360 Modena of Jamie Melo, which qualified second in the LM GT class, was pushed off the grid with a suspected gearbox problem and joined the race four laps down.

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