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Nothing Petit about Audi victory.

Pirro and Biela recovered to take sixth overall, 18 laps behind their teammates while the Brabham/Magnussen/Donohue Panoz was all set for a remarkable top five until gear selection problems dropped them to seventh in the closing 90 minutes.

Following the dramatic demise of the Dyson MG, LMP675 looked to be heading the way of KnightHawk Racing's similar machine only for it to suffer engine problems and a similar, but far less dramatic fire while in the pits. This left the door open for the third of the MG/Lola EX257's, the Intersport Racing example, to take class honours and eighth overall. That result also confirmed long-time Intersport boss Jon Field of the LMP675 driver's title that his hard trying team justly deserved.

The GTS battle provided a stirring show from start to finish with the Prodrive Ferrari leading most of the way only to fall behind the Ron Fellows/Oliver Gavin/Johnny O'Connell Corvette during the final caution period when a loose nut in the front suspension cost Alan Menu valuable time. During the final stint Czech driver Tomas Enge fought back and sliced into what was a full lap deficit and retook the lead when Fellows pitted for fuel and tyres.

The newly crowned GTS drivers Champion used his new tyres to good effect as he put the pressure squarely back on Enge, forcing the Ferrari driver to drive quicker than he would have liked. As the minutes wound down so did the gap between the two cars until with just five laps to go just three seconds separated Fellows from an unlikely class win.

Just three laps from home the two were together and as they came up to Carlos de Quesada's GT class BMW, Enge clipped the slower machine with enough force to puncture his left front tyre and hand Fellows the victory. The crestfallen Prodrive squad completed the necessary pit stop and finished second with the second factory Corvette third in class.

IN GT, Alex Job Racing succeeded in their task of ensuring Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen finished joint top of the GT class driver standings but failed in their bid to do the same for Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister for second place overall. Bernhard and Bergmeister suffered a rare Porsche engine failure and retired while the winning duo also had a scare when their car began overheating and smoking in the final stages.

Despite this, Maassen brought the ailing #23 Porsche home to score a two-lap victory over the Peterson Motorsports Porsche of Johnny Mowlem/Randy Pobst/Mike Peterson and the Anthony Lazzaro/Ralf Kelleners Risi Competizione Ferrari 360 Modena.





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
The Kristensen/Capello Audi R8 passes a GT class Porsche during Petit Le Mans
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The Highcroft Racing team celebrates Michelin Green-X Challenge victory at Sebring   [pic credit: Highcroft Racing]

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