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Hour 9: Kristensen fearing bad vibrations between safety cars

The ninth hour started and ended under a safety car, although in between there was a decent 45 minute green flag stint - albeit one that left Tom Kristensen with an uneasy feeling in the Audi #2.
Racing resumed eight minutes past the hour, after a safety car period caused by Tor Graves' accident at the entry to the Porsche curves in the #25 Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan.

The multiple safety cars had ended up splitting the two Audis from the two Toyotas, meaning that when the race went green Tom Kristensen effectively had a lap in hand in the in the #2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro over the two Toyota TS030 hybrid, which were still helmed by Kazuki Nakajima and Stéphane Sarrazin.

Lucas di Grassi took over the wheel of the #3 Audi in fourth place, with his predecessor in the car Marc Gene reporting that damaged front and side bodywork from Jarvis' earlier incident had been significantly affecting the car's handling during his stint necessitating a slightly extended stay on pit lane to sort it out.

The third Audi - the former long-time race leading #1 now piloted by Marcel Fässler - was back up to 18th place overall but still last in the LMP1 standings, still 11 laps off the current leading Audi.

Meanwhile Bertrand Baguette remained of the LMP2 class in the #35 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan, now ahead of Olivier Pla in the #24 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan, while in the GTE-Pro class Robert Bell had taken over from Bruno Senna in the leading #99 Aston Martin Vantage V8 ahead of Darren Turner in the sister #97 car after Richard Lietz lost time spinning the #92 Porsche 911 RSR in - appropriately enough - the Porsche curves.

Arguably the biggest flurry of excitement in the hour before midnight was the media following actor Patrick Dempsey as he strode out onto pit lane to take the seat of the #77 Dempsey Del Piero Porsche from Patrick Long for the first time in the race, which was running second in the GTE-Am class behind Paolo Ruberti in the #88 Proton Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Kristensen appeared the perfect nightwatchman to get the leading #2 car safely past the witching hour, but he was reporting a troubling vibration in the car that produced worried faces in the Audi garage, although he still had plenty of time and track position in hand over the Toyotas.

Before the issue could become a full-blown problem, however, the race was back under caution for the fifth time after Tracy Krohn's #57 Ferrari Italia 458 stopped at the Ford chicane.


1. #2 Kristensen/Duval/McNish Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro * 134 laps (11 stops)
2. #8 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 hybrid * 133 laps (12 stops)
3. #7 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 hybrid * 133 laps (11 stops)


1. #35 Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan * 127 laps (10 stops)
2. #24 Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan * 126 laps (12 stops)
3. #42 Mardenborough/Ordonez/Krumm Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan 126 laps (11 stops)


1. #99 Bell/Makowiecki/Senna Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 * 122 laps (11 stops)
2. #97 Turner/Mucke/Dumbreck Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 * 121 laps (8 stops)
3. #92 Lieb/Lietz/Dumas Porsche AG Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR * 121 laps (8 stops)


1. #88 Ried/Roda/Ruberti Proton Competition Porsche 911 GT3 RSR * 118 laps (11 stops)
2. #77 Dempsey/Foster/Long Dempsey Del Piero-Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 118 laps (8 stops)
3. #55 Perazzini/Case/O'Young AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia 118 laps (9 stops)

* - denotes World Endurance Championship entrant

See full Hour 9 times.
Tributes pour in for Allan Simonsen.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tom Kristensen / Loic Duval / Allan McNish Audi R18 e-tron quattro
Martyn Pass (GBR) Audi
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Alex Lynn (GBR) Toyota
Mike Conway (GBR) Toyota
Sam Bird Toyota
Sam Bird Toyota

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