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Crash.Net Le Mans News
Le Mans 24 Hours: Hours 10-12
13 June 2010
Peugeot's grip on the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours was looking increasingly shaky as the clock struck 2am local time to mark the half-way point of the race as the Oreca-run 908 HDi became the latest car to run into problems.
Although the #2 car continues to lead the way in the hands of Stephane Sarrazin, Audi are giving chase behind after Oreca machine was forced into the garage shortly before the end of the twelfth hour.
Prior to that, the privately entered car had been keeping the leader honest, with Nicolas Lapierre and Loic Duval both lapping strongly before Duval was forced to pit with what is believed to have been a driveshaft issue.
Having lost more than 15 minutes in the pits, the car has now slipped down to seventh in the standings.
That leaves the #2 out front but with a gap of less than a lap over the #9 Audi in the hands of Romain Dumas, leaving Peugeot hoping that its lead car won't now encounter the problems that have affected its other cars.
Andre Lotterer is also in contention in third place ahead of the recovering #1 Peugeot in the hands of Anthony Davidson, although he lost time with a spin into the gravel at the Dunlop Curves after colliding with a GT2 car.
The #7 Audi, also delayed earlier in the race, lies fifth ahead of the #007 Lola-Aston Martin and the Oreca Peugeot, with the #009 Lola-Aston Martin, the #15 Kolles Audi and the Signature Plus Lola-Aston rounding out the top ten.
Elsewhere in LMP1, the Oreca-Aim and Drayson Racing Lola spent lengthy periods in the garages being worked on while Rebellion Racing's wretched weekend continued as Jean-Christophe Boullion crashed out of the event in the #13 entry.
In LMP2, Strakka Racing holds a comfortable lead of three laps over Highcroft Racing after the latter suffered a puncture in the eleventh hour which left Marino Franchitti to bring the car slowly back to the pits. The #35 OAK Racing Pescarolo continues to lie third although the sister car was involved in a heavy shunt at the start of the tenth hour with the remaining Matech Ford GT.
The Ford had been leading the GT1 class at the time, but the contact between the car led to a long stop for the Matech team which saw the car drop to third – nine laps behind the leading Larbre Saleen. The Saleen also benefitted from problems for the #73 Corvette which was delayed in the pits at the same time as the Ford. The Corvette still sits in second place.
In GT2, Corvette continues to hold a 1-2 in the class with the #64 leading the #63 while the #77 Porsche is giving chase in third.
The Risi Ferrari that had led the class joined the retirement list after the team was unable to resolve the gearbox issues that had emerged on its 430 while embroiled in a frantic battle with the Corvette at the front.
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