With only two hours remaining, Tom Kristensen and Audi are in control of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, holding a two-minute plus lead over the No. 7 Team Peugeot Total HDi-FAP of Marc Gene. The 8.5-mile Circuit de La Sarthe has dried up, and the remaining 36 competitors have all switched to slick tires as the battle for the win is on.
Kristensen hopped into the No. 2 Audi Sport Team Joest R10 TDI with three hours remaining, taking the helm from co-driver Dindo Capello. However, "Mr. Le Mans" had a brief scare towards the end of hour 22 when Juan Barazi in the No. 32 Barazi Epsilon Zytek 07S spun Kristensen in the Dunlop Chicane. Luckily, the Audi came away unscathed and only lost a small amount of time was lost.
But there was drama for the No. 3 Audi of Lucas Luhr as the car was wheeled to the garage for a brief visit. It was the same case for the No. 8 Peugeot, which was in the garage to clean its radiators. Shortly after that visit though, Pedro Lamy went off at Arnage, causing minor damage to the car. The team elected to replace the rear deck cover and wing - moving it back into its race-starting aero specification.
In LM P2, the No. 34 Van Merksteijn Motorpsort Porsche RS Spyder leads the way, with Jeroen Bleekamolen holding a nine-lap advantage over the No. 31 Team Essex Porsche of Casper Elgaard. The two RS Spyders have run 1-2 for nearly the entire race. The John Nielsen-owned operation retook the second position after the No. 35 Saulnier Racing Pescarolo Judd suffered rear-end damage in a late-race accident.
Darren Turner paces LM GT1 in the No. 009 Aston Martin Racing DBR9, one lap ahead of the No. 63 Corvette C6.R of Ron Fellows, with Oliver Gavin in the sister No. 64 machine in third. While this category had rarely been featured on the video feed, it deserves a big mention as both of the factory outfits have been in a big fight all race.
Risi Competizione is on their way to the LM GT2 class win, as Jamie Melo now holds a comfortable seven-lap advantage over the new second-placed BMS Scuederia Italia Ferrari of Matteo Malucelli. Virgo Motorsport's Ferrari, which had run in a solid second for much of the race, suffered an engine failure with less than three hours remaining - a bitter blow to the British team.
Teams are now focused on getting their machines to the end of the race - a grueling race that has taken a toll on every competitor one way or another.