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Le Mans – 8 Hour Update

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8 hours into the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans and it has been a dramatic third of the race. Peugeot have so far dominated the race with the Audi challenging faltering. The #2 R15 is already out of the race having crashed into the tyre wall rear-first in the Porsche Curves after a suspected suspension failure or puncture. #3 has also had major problems with a heavy engine repair which took a significant amount of time and dropped the car to the tail end of the field. Car #1, therefore, is the only real challenger to the Peugeots in 2nd place behind the #9 Pug of 3 former F1 drivers – 1996 winner Alex Wurz, Marc Gene and David Brabham.

Peugeot haven’t been without their problems either. Early on, #7 collided in the pit lane with the Pescarolo Peugeot #17. This caused a puncture which ripped the rear bodywork to shreds. #7 is now nearly back into the top 10 7 laps down whilst #17, after a quick repair job, returned and lie an impressive 4th. The all-French #8 led the race for a long time, by over a lap at one point, but a driveshaft problem cost them 2 laps and damage repair cost them even more time, and handed 2nd back to Audi #1.

Elsewhere, the Aston Martins #007 and #008 have run credibly, with #008 4th until it had its own problems which dropped it out of the top 10. #009 has also had numerous niggling problems, but #007 is now up to 5th, just ahead of both Kolles Audi R10s. The #14 R10 is running with just 2 drivers as Narain Karthikeyan dislocated his shoulder before the race after falling off the pit wall and has been ruled out of driving by the ACO. Oreca #11 is 8th, Pescarolo #16 is 9th, and the top 10 is completed by the #13 Speedy Racing Team Sebah Lola.

There is a titanic two-way battle in LMP2 between both Porsche RS Spyders with the #31 Team Essex car leading the #5 Team Goh stablemate by less than a lap. In GT1, it’s so far been a Corvette benefit with #63 leading #64. The Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette #73 is 3rd with a podium almost a certainty due to a crash for its #72 car, whilst the troubled #68 JLOC Lamborghini barely did a lap as in 2007 and was the first retirement. GT2 has been far more exciting, though, with a spectacular battle between the Porsches and Ferraris. Hot favourite, the #77 Felbermayr-Proton Porsche, retired early on, and the other 911s have also had some problems, handing the advantage to Ferrari, with the #82 Risi Ferrari, last year’s winner, leading from the similar #92 JMW F430. The leading Porsche is the #76 IMSA Performance car in 3rd.

Overall/LMP1
1) #9 Peugeot
2) #1 Audi
3) #8 Peugeot
4) #17 Pescarolo Peugeot
5) #007 AMR Lola-Aston
6) #14 Kolles Audi
7) #15 Kolles Audi
8) #11 Oreca-AIM
9) #16 Pescarolo-Judd
10) #13 SRTS Lola-Aston

LMP2
14) #31 Essex Porsche
15) #5 Goh Porsche
17) #33 SRTS Lola-Judd
19) #32 Barazi Epsilon Zytek
22) #25 RML Lola-Mazda

GT1
18) #63 Corvette
23) #64 Corvette
26)#73 LAA Corvette

GT2
29) #82 Risi Ferrari
30) #92 JMW Ferrari
31) #76 IMSA Porsche
32) #97 Scuderia Italia Ferrari
33) #80 Flying Lizard Porsche

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Written by James Bennett

June 13, 2009 at 22:21

Posted in Sports cars/GTs

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