Halfway at Le Mans: Audi on the move

Halfway at Le Mans: Audi on the move

With half of the 24 hours of Le Mans completed, Audi continues its climb to the top. While the Peugeots have been the faster cars all week long, the reliability of the Audis seem to be of a higher value. Night lights at Le Mans. Photo...

With half of the 24 hours of Le Mans completed, Audi continues its climb to the top. While the Peugeots have been the faster cars all week long, the reliability of the Audis seem to be of a higher value.

Night lights at Le Mans.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.

After the No. 3 Peugeot retired very early in the race with a suspension failure and the No. 1 Peugeot lost a lot of time while changing the alternator, just before the halfway mark the No. 4 Peugeot 908 also had to be pushed into the Team Oreca pitbox for extensive repairs. The right rear suspension had to be replaced, which caused the car to lose 13 minutes on the leading No. 2 Peugeot.

The problems with the No. 4 was good news for the Audi team. While the R15 Plus is missing the outright speed to threaten Peugeot, the car has proved in the first half of the race to be very reliable. None of the three R15's have encountered any major technical difficulties, and are slowly climbing to the podium, while the Peugeots drop away, one by one.

Just before the No. 4 Peugeot would enter the pit for repairs, Team Oreca also had to do vast repairs to its second car, the No. 6 Oreca 01. Remarkably also this car also had a failure on the right rear of the car -- in this case the right rear axle had to be replaced, which dropped the car out of the top 10.

In LMP2 the gap between the Strakka and Highcroft cars grew with one lap when Marino Franchitti got a puncture in the first sector of the track. Highcroft lost a couple of minutes due to this puncture, but the gap with the in third place running no. 35 OAK Racing car was large enough to stay in second place.

The GT1-leading No. 60 Ford GT and No. 72 Corvette both suffered technical difficulties, which gave the lead surprisingly to the No. 50 Labre Competition Saleen. Corvette still leads the GT2 class with their No. 64 and 63 cars, while Team Felbermayr-Proton was on the final podium position at the halfway mark.

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