Lead Bentley off in the distance as sun rises

As the two Bentleys pulled away into the distance the third-placed Audi suffered a problem and was unable to exit the pit lane. The mechanics eventually got the car going and Pirro returned to the race. As the day dawned some drivers started...

As the two Bentleys pulled away into the distance the third-placed Audi suffered a problem and was unable to exit the pit lane. The mechanics eventually got the car going and Pirro returned to the race. As the day dawned some drivers started putting in their fastest laps of the race while others toured into the pit lane with yet more mechanical problems.

The Champion Racing Audi R8 pitted on lap 221 for a routine stop but Pirro was unable to get the car going again. The mechanics immediately pulled the car backwards into the garage and started work on the back of the car. The fix worked and the car returned to the track after 4 minutes 31 seconds in the pit lane.

Herbert, meanwhile, was setting the #8 Bentley's fastest pace of the race at 3m 35.682s. The Bentley pair were lapping within a second of each other and eight seconds faster than the Audi pair. Team-mate Capello was lapping around the same pace in the lead Bentley.

The Kondo racing Dome Mugen, driven by Ryo Fukuda, ran wide on its 190th lap at Virage de Mulsanne and clipped a tyre barrier with the right front of the car. The car was quickly pushed back on the track by the marshals and immediately pitted for patching up with tape.

Lammers in the Dome Judd and Papis in the Panoz started pushing hard and lapping at their fastest pace of the race so far. The two drivers were running in fifth and sixth respectively and just one lap apart.

Johnny Herbert made an unexpected pit stop on lap 234 for a new set of tyres. The car handled much better after the stop and Herbert resumed lapping in the mid 3m 35s range and setting the car's fastest laps of the race.

The battle for fifth place started to heat up. Jan Lammers was running in fifth place in the Dome Judd, but close behind was Max Papis in the Panoz, the Courage-Judd of Jonathan Cochet and the Courage-Peugeot pair of Nicholas Minassian and Jean-Christophe Boullion. All the drivers were lapping at their fastest pace of the race so far and were covered by just five laps.

The LM GT leading Orbit Racing Porsche 911 GT3 pulled into the garage for a 40 minute stop handing the class lead back to the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911GT3 of Sascha Maassen. The JML Team Panoz car of Scott Maxwell pitted on its 212 lap and pulled straight into the garage and the Riley Scott MkIIIC-Ford team conceded defeat on their 214th lap after the engine failed.

The third-placed LM GTS Aventures Ferrari 550 Maranello of Luc Alphand had an off in the final sector of the lap and had to tour back to the pits with a handling problem.

At 8am the lead Bentley of Capello had completed 252 laps. The sister car of Brabham was one lap behind with the Champion Racing Audi R8 of Pirro two laps further back.

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Series LEMANS