Safety Cars Bring In The Night
24 Hours Of Le Mans 2011 – After 9 Hours
The early evening in Le Mans saw yet another long safety car period. The Peugeot 908s continue to progress. The no.7 car (Davidson, Gené and Wurz) is lapping in second position at midnight, ahead of the no.9, the no.8 and Team Oreca’s Peugeot 908 HDi FAP.
As long as we make no mistakes, we’ve a chance in the race.
Conditions: Clear skies, dry track, 16°C at 21:00 – Clear skies, 13°C at 00:00
The second quarter of the race gets underway with Nicolas Minassian (no.8) overtaking Pedro Lamy (no.9) again, as the French driver to reclaim third place at 21:09. The ding-dong battle continues between the Audi no.2 and the Peugeot no.7 for the lead and it’s much the same story in the fight for third place between the Audi no.1 and the Peugeots no.9 and no.8.
As the light fades around the Le Mans circuit, the gaps widen slightly after Marc Gené overruns the car. The Peugeot no.7 returns to the track unscathed and is immediately back on the pace. The race is interrupted for a second time at 22:41, following a high-speed accident involving the Audi no.1 which collided with a GT and then crashed into the barriers. At midnight, the safety cars are still out on the track.
Anthony Davidson (Peugeot no.7): “I really thought we were going to have a faster car in the race, but it’s not the way. We now have to wait for the race to come to us. We’re on a different strategy to the leading car now; in reality they’re a little ahead of us. There’s a lot of traffic which makes it even harder to keep the tyres in good shape, and to keep temperature in the tyres. As long as we make no mistakes, we’ve a chance in the race.”
Nicolas Minassian (Peugeot no.8): “My first two stints went well but the third stint was very difficult. There was a lot of vibration in the car, and it got worse every passing lap. I couldn’t see anything, so I decided it was better to stop before losing too much time.”
Pedro Lamy (Peugeot no.9): “We opted for tyres which are perhaps a little too hard. At the moment, the traffic is really affecting the race. Overnight, it’s going be even more difficult. So we have to keep going and avoid any problems.”