No. 3 Peugeot retires, No. 1 holds hour four lead

No. 3 Peugeot retires, No. 1 holds hour four lead

In a very surprising development at Le Mans 24H, the No. 3 Peugeot has had to retire from the race already in the third hour. After 2.5 hours of racing, the car that started the race earlier today from pole position returned to the pit with a ...

In a very surprising development at Le Mans 24H, the No. 3 Peugeot has had to retire from the race already in the third hour. After 2.5 hours of racing, the car that started the race earlier today from pole position returned to the pit with a smoking front right tire.

Simon Pagenaud looks at the #3 Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908 with major suspension problem.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.

Quickly it became clear that there was a lot more involved than just a puncture. The mounting of the suspension with the chassis was broken, which the team was unable to repair.

"I felt suddenly a vibration, that the suspension was broken," said Pedro Lamy. "I didn't realize before arriving in the pits that we would have to retire the car. I am obviously very disappointed."

The retirement of the No. 3 Peugeot was a major blow for the French team as the car has been the fastest car all week long. "Le Mans always has these setbacks," Oliver Quesnel , Director of Peugeot Sport explained. "We'll surely experience many others. I hope not as tough as this one."

The retirement moved the Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot up to the third position, while the No. 7 Audi is only one position away from the podium.

While the Peugeot No. 3 crew was still working on their car in the pit, the No. 28 Race Performance car of Pierre Bruneau was sitting in the gravel trap of Indianapolis, after the Radical-Judd earlier had made contact with the yellow No. 83 Risi Competizione Ferrari. Both cars had to return to the pit for repairs, but both were able to continue.

Right at the three-hour mark a scary moment in the Porsche curves happened when two cars crashed off track. Peter Dumbreck had gone off in Indianapolis, where he had damaged No. 85 Spyker. Even though the English driver was driving off-pace back to the pit, he shot again onto the grass in the Porsche Curves and while getting back on track, the car was hit by the No. 38 Pegasus Racing Norma of Frederic de Rocha. Both cars were severely damaged, but were able to return to the pit. It is expected that both cars will later be able to return in the race.

In the fourth hour Anthony Davidson paced the No. 1 Peugeot to take over the lead in LMP, moving the No. 2 car back to second position. The gap between both cars would remain just a couple of minutes.

In GT1 the No. 60 Matech Competition Ford GT is still in the lead, but the in the Young Driver Aston Martin is dropped out of the top 3 while being in the pit with unknown technical problems. The No. 73 and 72 Luc Alphand Corvettes have moved up to second and third position.

The No. 82 Risi Competizione has fought its way to the lead in GT2 by passing both Corvettes in the Third and Fourth hour of Le Mans. After having tried to get the No. 81 Jaguar XKRS back in the race, RSR has officially retired from the race after having completed only four laps. A problem with engine management brought an early end to the return of Jaguar in Le Mans.

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