#76 Porsche still in the victory hunt despite a testing night
The second third of this year's Le Mans 24 Hours has proven less straight forward for the IMSA Performance Matmut team. Third after the opening eight hours, the Normandy-based squad has dropped down one further position during the night to fourth in GT2 as morning breaks over La Sarthe. With eight hours to go until the finish, Patrick Long, Raymond Narac and Patrick Pilet are three laps behind the class-leading car. For the three men, hopes of victory have not disappeared entirely, although their cause remains hampered by the #76 997 GT3 RSR Porsche's continuing clutch problem which has forced the trio to be extra cautious with the gearbox. At this stage of the race, only two Porsches remain classified, with all hopes now pinned on the #76 to break Ferrari's stranglehold at the front. The team's second car (#70) is still to make its way back to the pits. Only then will accurate conclusions be drawn as to the reason for its retirement.
"We raced through the night without major dramas, although the remaining car is still suffering from a minor clutch problem. There is a loss of pressure in the clutch system which is forcing us to breath it at every second stop. This is necessary as without it, we risk creating further, significant damage to the gearbox. Despite this, Patrick Pilet was still able to complete a very good double stint this morning. Before the race, we knew that any small hick-ups would have severe consequences thanks to the ultra competitive nature of the GT2 class. It will be difficult to win, that is certain, but anything can still happen, especially when you consider that we've got 30% of the race still left to run. We will of course do everything to try and secure at least a place on the podium."