As it has been for the last several hours, the factory ...
As it has been for the last several hours, the factory #9 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP continues to lead overall in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Marc Gene has handed the reins of the car back to Alexander Wurz, and the car holds a one-lap over the #1 Audi.
The halfway point of the race is complete, 12 hours down and 12 to go at 3:00 a.m. local time with rain forecasted roughly in three hours. It could be a repeat of the 2008 event as rain began to fall right at sunrise last year.
A fascinating battle has presented itself for second, Allan McNish and Stephane Sarrazin dicing within only a few seconds of each other. Sarrazin's Peugeot consistently attacked McNish's Audi, but through traffic and better launches off the corner, McNish continued to hold the position.
McNish has been running a flat-out pace through the night, and Sarrazin has been able to match him lap-for-lap. The closest Sarrazin came to overtaking was at about ten past two this morning. He cut the gap on McNish to 1.269 seconds, attempting to pass on the run down to Indianapolis, but unable to complete the job.
Completing the top five are the #17 Pescarolo Peugeot, currently driven by Simon Pagenaud, and the #007 AMR Eastern Europe Lola Aston Martin with Jan Charouz behind the wheel. The lead Kolles Audi R10 TDI still runs sixth, a lap back of Charouz.
P2 leader is still Casper Elgaard in the Team Essex Porsche RS Spyder, 4 laps up on the sister Porsche from Navi Team Goh driven by Seiji Ara. The Goh car lost several minutes in the garage for work on the car's undertray, front splitter and nose section, but it is still three laps up on the Speedy Racing Team Sebah Lola Judd Coupe currently driven by Ben Leuenberger.
Elgaard has made the fewest number of pit stops to this point as the Spyder continues to get great mileage and run several stints on a single set of Michelin tires.
The GT1 Corvettes are still on the same lap, Oliver Gavin roughly 2 minutes adrift of Jan Magnussen. In GT2, the #82 Risi Ferrari F430 GT leads from the #92 JMW Motorsport Ferrari and #76 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche.
The Porsche has had a couple incidents, Patrick Long with a slight spin at Mulsanne Corner and Raymond Narac having some issues despite setting some incredibly quick times earlier in the race.
There were no major incidents of note until just before the 12H mark, with two cars going straight off at Dunlop Curve. The #84 Modena Ferrari driven by Roman Rusinov and the #12 Signature Plus Oreca Judd driven by Pierre Ragues were the ones doing a bit of gravel crossing.