#82 LEADING GT2; #83 RETIRED
The first four hours of the 76th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans have been full of emotion and incident for the Risi Competizione team.
The #82 Ferrari 430GT is currently leading the GT2 class -- a position it has held for most of the last two hours. Jaime Melo started the race and then handed over to Mika Salo -- both drivers completing a double stint on their Michelin tires.
Melo said afterwards: "I had no problems at all except for dealing with the prototypes. I don't mean the Peugeots or Audis, but when you come across some of the others it's very difficult. Even if you are in a corner already, they don't seem to notice you enough (take account of you) when they take their line and we have to be SO careful not to hit them or be hit by them. I did a double stint with the tires and it was okay -- I could keep a good pace, all the time driving very carefully."
While there is cautious optimism being felt at the performance of this car, there has been great disappointment for the #83 car.
At just before 1600 hours, Tracy Krohn exited the track coming out of the Arnage corner and hit the barriers, causing damage to the front and rear of his Krohn green Ferrari 430 GT. He attempted to continue but was unfortunately forced to come to a halt in the Porsche curves, with damage to the radiator and rear suspension which ultimately led to the car's retirement from the race. Nic Jonsson had completed a trouble-free single stint in the car before handing the wheel to Tracy Krohn, but Eric van de Poele did not get to drive.
An extremely disappointed Krohn said afterwards, "It was totally self-induced. I missed the turn and had a little too much pick up on the tires and did not make the correction in time. It was self-induced I'm afraid and it's obviously very disappointing for all of us."
The next update will be issued at 2300 Hours CET.