Le Mans »

Hour 2: Audi look in control, but Davidson leads

Audi assumed control of the Le Mans 24 Hours race during the second hour, although superior fuel economy meant the #8 Toyota topped the times at the top of the hour.
Eight minutes into the second hour at Le Mans, the safety cars finally came in after Allan Simonsen's big crash at Tertre Rouge and racing was at last able to recommence.

At least the hour-long pause in proceedings had allowed the weather to clear up and the track to lose some of that treacherous greasy finish to the surface that had been so problematic to the cars at the start of the race. However, the change of weather proved costly to the Toyotas neither of whom showed the aggressive race pace that they had enjoyed at the very start in the inclement conditions.

As a result, Nicolas Lapierre promptly dropped back to fourth place in the #7 Toyota TS030 hybrid while Andre Lotterer in the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro took off and rapidly pulled out a five second lead over Anthony Davidson who was now in second place in the #8 Toyota ahead of polesitter Allan McNish in the #2 Audi.

McNish became the first of the leaders to pit on lap 13, 77 minutes into the race, with Lotterer surrendering the lead to come in for a fuel-only stop next time by. Davidson stayed out the longest and inherited the lead before coming in at the end of lap 15 for his own fuel-only stop, but he had lost time in GTE traffic and came out in fourth place behind all three Audis.

That put Lotterer was back in charge of the race with Lucas di Grassi second in the #3 Audi with McNish pressing his team mate hard from third place after his own stop. Elsewhere, Olivier Pla continued to top the LMP2 in the #24 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan after his first stop of the day ahead of Bertrand Baguette in the #35 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan, while Marc Lieb in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR briefly took over the GTE-Pro lead only to have it back to Darren Turner in the #97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 when the two cars pitted. The GTE-Am lead had been handed to the #61 Ferrari 458 Italia driven by Marco Cioci after the early leader - Patrick long in the #77 Dempsey Del Piero Porsche - suffered a puncture.

There were problems for the Lotus marque on pit lane, when an investigation into a burning smell from the back of Christophe Bouchut's #31 Lotus T128 ended up uncovering a small fire. The #71 AF Corse Ferrari was also in trouble in the pits albeit for a different reason, after Toni Vilander was released into the path of Jorg Bergmeisterin the #91 Porsche AG Team Manthey resulting in a collision.

Out on the track, contact between the GTE-Am #67 Porsche 911 GT3 and the #47 KCMG Morgan-Nissan put the LMP2 car off into the gravel at Arnage, Alexandre Imperatori needing his car to be dragged out by the tractor as a result.

As the second hour concluded, Lotterer's margin at the front was over 20 seconds with McNish having completed the move for second on di Grassi to take up the chase. Davidson was a further ten seconds off the back of the Audis, with his team mate Lapierre still struggling to rediscover his early pace and now a further 14 seconds off his team mate.

McNish was in for his second stop eight minutes before the top of the hour, just as another weather front of light drizzle started to cross the circuit. With Lotterer and di Grassi in shortly after, Audi would be hoping that they weren't about to be caught out by any impending sudden need for wet weather tyres. That put Davidson back at the front with Lotterer resuming in second.

LMP1

1. #8 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 hybrid * 25 laps (1 stops)
2. #1 Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro * 25 laps (2 stops)
3. #7 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 hybrid * 25 laps (1 stops)

LMP2

1. #35 Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan * 24 laps (2 stops)
2. #38 Dolan/Turvey/Luhr Jota Sport Zytek-Nissan 24 laps (1 stops)
3. #41 Kimber-Smith/Lux/Rossi Greaves Motorsport Zytek Nissan * 24 laps (1 stops)

GTE-Pro

1. #97 Turner/Mucke/Dumbreck Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 * 23 laps (1 stops)
2. #92 Lieb/Lietz/Dumas Porsche AG Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR * 23 laps (1 stops)
3. #99 Bell/Makowiecki/Senna Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 * 23 laps (1 stops)

GTE-Am

1. #61 Gerber/Griffin/Cioci AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia * 22 laps (1 stops)
2. #67 Gibon/Milesi/Henzler IMSA Performance MATMUT Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 22 laps (1 stops)
3. #55 Perazzini/Case/O'Young AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia 22 laps (1 stops)

See full Hour 2 times


Tagged as: Toyota , Audi

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Anthony Davidson Toyota Racing TS030
Benoit Treluyer Audi Sport Team Joest Audia R18 e-tron quattro
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Toyota Racing
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Toyota Racing 2014 Champions
Podium (l-r)  Dominik Kraihamer / Andrea Belicchi / Fabio Leimer Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One Toyota. Nicolas Prost / Nick Heidfeld / Mathias Beche Rebellion R-One Toyota.
P1 Podium (l-r) Lucas Di Grassi / Loic Duval / Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro, Romain Dumas / Neel Jani / Marc Lieb Porsche AG Porsche 919 Hybrid, Anthony Davidson / Sebastien Buemi Toyota Racing Toyota TS 040 Hybrid.
Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro and Anthony Davidsoni Toyota Racing Toyota TS 040 Hybrid
Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro and Anthony Davidsoni Toyota Racing Toyota TS 040 Hybrid
Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro
Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro
Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro
Nick Heidfeld Rebellion R-One Toyota.
Emerson Fittipaldi AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia and Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro
Emerson Fittipaldi AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia and Tom Kristensen Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro
Lucas Di Grassi Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro
Anthony Davidson Toyota Racing Toyota TS 040 Hybrid

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