First and Second for Chrysler Viper Team at Noon

Le Mans, June 18, 2000, at 12.00 -Karl Wendlinger, Olivier Beretta and Dominique Dupuy lead the class by five laps from Ni Amorim, David Donohue and Anthony Beltoise. Chrysler's dream of filling the top three positions in the GTS class at...

Le Mans, June 18, 2000, at 12.00 -Karl Wendlinger, Olivier Beretta and Dominique Dupuy lead the class by five laps from Ni Amorim, David Donohue and Anthony Beltoise.

Chrysler's dream of filling the top three positions in the GTS class at Le Mans will have to wait for another year. The third Chrysler Viper Team ORECA Chrysler Viper GTS R/T of Tommy Archer, Marc Duez and Patrick Huisman ran into mechanical difficulties and is currently running fifth in class.

Archer brought his car into the pits unexpectedly with a camshaft problem that forced the team to disconnect one of the engine's 10 cylinders. The American continued at an abated pace but spun off at Mulsanne Corner at 11:25. He was able to return to the pits for a quick tyre change and continue two laps behind his second-paced team-mates.

Amorim was involved in a collision with a Porsche earlier this morning, but more than made amends by passing the GM Corvette for second at 11:30, and then defended his position as the Corvette fought back. It was the battle of the race that took 20 hours to arrive but Amorim and American Andy Pilgrim put on a superb battle for position.

The Chamberlain-run Team Goh entry had the most spectacular accident of the race when a tyre blew at speed. Driver Walter Brun was lucky to escape without injury after his car slammed into the barrier. "I am just happy that he is OK," said Chamberlain, who will not have to pay for the repairs himself.

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