Porsche Holds Top Seven GT Positions After 12 Hours of 24-Hour Le Mans Race ATLANTA -- June 12, 2004 -- After the first 12 hours of GT class racing, Porsche 911 GTR race cars occupy the top seven GT Class spots in the 72nd running of 24 Hours of...
Porsche Holds Top Seven GT Positions After 12 Hours of 24-Hour Le Mans Race
ATLANTA -- June 12, 2004 -- After the first 12 hours of GT class racing, Porsche 911 GTR race cars occupy the top seven GT Class spots in the 72nd running of 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Porsche teams have led all GT laps around the 8.65 mile circuit, although the top qualifying Porsche's have each had their own racing difficulties to contend with.
Just three hours into the race, Leo Hindery Jr. driving the #87 Orbit Racing/BAM! Porsche 911 GT3 RS dropped down to seventh place (in class) after hitting gavel scattered across the track by an earlier incident.
"I was coming into the second to last turn and an awful lot of gravel had been kicked up. I got over a little too far and came off," said Hindery, who is co-driving with Marc Lieb and Mike Rockenfeller. "Once you get in the gravel here, it's like dancing o n ice. This gravel is one of the things about Le Mans you have to get used to and I just got a little too far into it and slid.
"We're (now) six hours into this thing and everybody - the fans, the drivers, ourselves included - act like its two hours to go. We have the whole night to go and all day tomorrow, so we're feeling pretty good. We'll keep our fingers crossed; it's a long t ime to go."
White Lightning Racing's 911 GT3 RSR ran into trouble 11 hours into the race while leading by 2 laps when their shifter cable broke. Jorg Bergmeister was driving when the transmission locked into 4th gear. It took the team just 20 minutes, and 5 laps to re pair. For the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Bergmeister is teamed with co-drivers Sascha Maassen and Patrick Long.
"This is exactly why we build in redundancies," said Dale White, Team Manager. "You want to be prepared for anything that can happen. We always build in an additional shifter cable for times just like this. We are definitely disappointed that we lost the l ead and that we are three laps down to the leader but we still have a long way to go. The crew did an incredible job getting the car back on track and I am still very confident."
The #85 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of Freisinger Motorsport inherited the lead and built a two lap advantage, and is co-driven by Stephane Ortelli, Romain Dumas and Ralf Kelleners.