Crash.Net Le Mans News
Le Mans 24 Hours: Hours 7-9
12 June 2010
Peugeot remains out front in the Le Mans 24 Hours after nine hours but just one of the three factory cars is now right in the mix for victory after issues for the #1 car.
The Safety Car period at the six hour mark had allowed the #1 to open up an advantage over the #2 car but things went wrong in the eighth hour for the leaders when Marc Gene was forced to pit with an alternator issue.
The car was wheeled back into the garage for repairs and rejoined having lost four laps which dropped it down to seventh place. Gene however has been lapping quickly and has posted the fastest lap of the race to date as he looks to close on the cars ahead.
The issues for the #1 mean the #2 now leads the race having been the only one of the three factory cars not to run into problems with the Oreca-run Peugeot running second; on the lead lap but some way back.
Audi now has a car on the podium with the #9 ahead of the #8 at the nine hour mark and the #7 in fifth as it seeks to make up some of the time lost in Tom Kristensen's earlier accident.
Gene lay sixth as the hour ticked over as he swapped positions with the leading Aston Martin Racing entry during the stops and was closing in on McNish through his stellar laps.
The #007 sits seventh as the top petrol runner with the sister car behind in eighth. The #15 Kolles Audi and the #13 Lola-Rebellion round out the top ten.
The sister cars for both of those teams, with Manu Rodrigues crashing behind the Safety Car at the start of the seventh hour while the #12 Rebellion has spent lengthy spells in the pits for a variety of reasons – including an overheating gearbox.
In LMP2, Strakka Racing remains out front despite a scare when the car also suffered a spin behind the Safety Car with Nick Leventis at the wheel. Luckily, the fact that the incident happened under caution meant the car didn't lose too much time to the chasing Highcroft entry. OAK Racing retains third place.
Matech continue to lead in GT1, while the GT2 fight that had enthralled viewers at La Sarthe continued until Risi ran into gearbox issues with the gearbox on its #82.
The car had been running nose-to-tail with Oliver Gavin's Corvette before Gianmaria Bruni was forced into the garage with the car stuck in second gear.
Corvette now hold first and second in class as a result.
Joining the retirement list were the JMW Aston Martin following its accident at the end of the sixth hour, and the #79 BMW 'Art Car' which stopped on track with a fuel feed issue.