Le Mans, 17TH June 2001 4.00am... The number 8 Bentley EXP Speed 8 prototype has reached the half way point in good shape, setting consistent, quick laps in drying conditions with excellent speed being shown by all three drivers. At half distance the car lies in third position behind the two works Audis.

However the car was delayed when the compressor that supplies air for the pneumatic gearchange had to be changed, a feat achieved in just nine minutes by the Bentley crew.

ANDY WALLACE: `The gear change is working properly now and the car is running as it should. The only annoyance is we still haven't got radio contact with the pit which means I can't advise the crew what tyres to have ready at the next stop.'

JOHN WICKHAM: `Given the non-existent nature of our wet weather testing, we can be happy to have reached half-way with a car in third place. The track is drying all the time and that should mean we are on more certain ground. But with another twelve hours ahead of us, anything could still happen.'

RICHARD LLOYD: `So far so good. Eric van de Poele is in the car and putting in a terrific performance. We are also spurred on by the Bentley flags that have been waved non-stop in the grandstand opposite the pit for 12 hours. The support we have received is incredible and makes what we are doing seem all the more worthwhile.'