The pair of Bentleys remained firmly ahead going into 1am at Le Mans 24 Hours ahead of the two remaining Audis. Behind them a flying Jan Lammers in his Dome Judd in sixth place gradually closed in on Olivier Beretta's fifth-placed Panoz and...
The pair of Bentleys remained firmly ahead going into 1am at Le Mans 24 Hours ahead of the two remaining Audis. Behind them a flying Jan Lammers in his Dome Judd in sixth place gradually closed in on Olivier Beretta's fifth-placed Panoz and overtook him in the final section of the lap shortly before the close of the hour.
Johnny Herbert came in for a driver change, new tyres and a full tank of fuel in his Bentley on lap 128. The car was in the pit lane for 1 minute 14 seconds and David Brabham joined nearly two minutes behind Capello. The two remaining Audis were running within 40 seconds of each other with Johansson ahead in the Champion Racing R8 but a lap behind the leading Bentley.
Capello pitted on lap 132 for a fuel stop. Kristensen was ready to take over but Capello remained in the car to do another stint.
Brabham started slowing slightly on his 130th lap. His split times were a couple of seconds per split slower than the other cars around him as he gradually fell away from the leading car of Capello. His pace picked up after five laps and he started to match Capello's pace again, but now he was 1 minute 20 seconds behind. Within a couple of laps he was consistently lapping a couple of seconds quicker than the lead Bentley.
The JML Team Panoz of Olivier Beretta was running in fifth place fifteen seconds ahead of Jan Lammer's Racing For Holland Dome Judd. The gap came down every lap as Lammers was flying and closing the difference by two or three seconds per lap. Lammers had closed the gap to Beretta down to 8.3 seconds by lap 133, 5.1 seconds on lap 134, and finally passed Beretta's Panoz on lap 135 in the final section of the lap to move ahead into fifth place.
Beretta's misfortune continued as he spun off into the gravel at the Playstation chicane on the next lap but was able to continue after help from the marshals and he toured round the circuit slowly.
The pair of Veloqx Prodive Ferrari 550 Maranellos were still running together at the head of the LM GTS class with Tomas Enge leading team-mate Anthony Davidson by nearly one lap. Enge pitted on lap 127 and then Davidson pitted on the next lap.
Eric Helary's Pescarolo Courage-Peugeot toured around the circuit on lap 130 as he ran low on fuel. He pitted at the end of the lap to fill up with fuel and returned to the track at racing speed.
The Edouard Sezionale Norma Ford was officially retired after 82 laps due to engine problems.
The second-placed Bentley of Brabham pitted on lap 141 after a standard fuel stop and returned to the circuit still in second place. This left Capello leading Brabham by 2 minutes 15 seconds, with Johansson behind in third place in the Champion Racing Audi R8.