Rain arrives with two hours to go

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Rain arrives with two hours to go

Marco Werner took over control of the ...

Marco Werner took over control of the #1 Audi with a seven-lap advantage over the #8 Peugeot of Sebastien Bourdais with just two hours to go in the Le Mans 24 Hours, just as rain started to fall along the Mulsanne Straight at the back of the circuit.

#1 Audi Sport North America Audi R10: Marco Werner, Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro.
Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt.

Nicolas Minassian, in the second-placed #7 Peugeot, made an unexpected stop with just less than two and a half hours to go. The car was pushed straight into the garage and the engine cover was removed as the team checked over various components. This delay allowed the #8 Peugeot to move up to second place.

The Charouz Racing System Lola-Judd B07-17 of Alex Yoong continued its charge back up the field and was working its way past the GT1 entries, after suffering an earlier puncture and spin in the pitlane, and was lapping just a couple of seconds slower than the leading Audi and Peugeots.

Darren Turner continued pushing hard in the #009 Team Aston Martin Racing DBR9 and had built up a one and a half lap lead over the second-placed #63 Team Corvette Racing C6-R of Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen. The Corvette was coming under increasing pressure from the #008 and #007 Aston Martins of Casper Elgaard and Johnny Herbert.

Allen Timpany took over at the wheel of the LMP2-leading #31 Team Binnie Motorsports Lola-Zytek B05-40 car and maintained the eighteen-lap gap to the #33 Team Barazi Epsilon Zytek 07S/2 which was the only other runner in the class.

Richard Lietz, now at the help of the #76 Imsa Performance Matmut Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, is leading the LMGT2 category with a seven-lap lead over the #99 Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT.

The #83 Team GPC Sport SRL Ferrari F430 GT of Carl Rosenblad, which was running last in the LMGT2 category, ground to a halt at the exit of Arnage, just as the car was about to pit for a driver change.

Soheil Ayari lost control of the #55 Team Oreca Saleen S7R under braking for the Playstation Chicane and spun backwards into the temporary tyre barrier across the tarmac. The team had to replace the rear bodywork, which was loose, and the team checked over the rear of the car.

The rain over the far side of the circuit caused the drivers to back off and drive with extreme caution. Within a couple of minutes rain had started to fall along the pit straight as well, and cars started to pull in for either full wets or intermediates.

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Series LEMANS