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The #3 Audi of Marco Bonanomi, Oliver Jarvis and Filip Albuquerque appears to be out of the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours after being involved in a dramatic collision with the #8 Toyota following a sudden rain shower.
The pair were running closely in second and third just as an expected rain storm – seemingly prompted by humid temperatures in the region – caught several drivers unawares, including Bonanomi and Nicolas Lapierre in the #8 Toyota.
Also involving the #81 AF Corse Ferrari of Sam Bird, the #3 Audi is seemingly out of the race, though Lapierre was able to get the heavily-damaged Toyota going again under its own steam and is currently in the pit-lane. The #81 Ferrari, which picked up front-end damage, is also set to be retired.
Prior to the collision, the #2 Audi, #3 Audi and #8 Toyota had been running close together in the battle for second, with Andre Lotterer in the #2 machine pulling into the pit lane just as the heavens opened.
Alex Wurz continues to lead the way comfortably in the #8 Toyota, though he is still under investigation for an unsafe release from his pit box during the first hour. Lotterer holds second in the #2 Audi, while Timo Bernhard is up to third place in the Porsche, ahead of the #1 Audi, the last remaining LMP1 car not to hit problems at this early stage in the race.
The rain has now stopped, though several areas of the circuit remain very wet.
In LMP2, KCMG led coming into the hour, only for Alexandre Imperatori to spin at Forza in the rain and pick up damage. As such, Franck Mailleux is now in front in the Race Performance Oreca.
Oliver Gavin leads the GTE Pro class for Corvette.
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Live text commentary recap of Hour 2
As the end of the second hour approaches, just four of the seven leading LMP1 cars have reached this point without any problems... Only 22 hours to go!
The sun is back out again. In fact it is dry on most parts of the circuit, but there is a stretch which is treacherously wet.
Safety car is still out - there is a lot of debris on the track
Lapierre is back in the pit lane, his Toyota team working hard to get it repaired and back out
A new replay shows that Bird may have hit the back of Bonanomi
It was Sam Bird's GTAm Ferrari that was involved in the crash with Lapierre and Bonanomi
In GT, Oliver Gavin leads for Corvette, ahead of the #92 Porsche and the #91 Porsche
In LMP2, Nelson Panciatici is leading for Signatech Alpine, from Franck Mailleux in the Race Performance Oreca
Wurz in the #7 Toyota leads over Lotterer in the #2 Audi, with Bernhard in the #20 Porsche now up to third thanks to the drama in front of him
With everyone under safety car conditions, now is probably a good time to do a recap of what is happening out there after that flurry of excitement
Bonanomi is out of the car and into the recovery truck
Has to be said, no-one was expecting it to rain today, but it has been notably humid here this week and the high winds today have seemingly blown in a storm
Meanwhile, it is still raining but we are down to a drizzle
Lapierre crawls around the circuit, sans front-nose
Bonanomi looks visibly distraught as he sits alone in the Audi, door open
Great news for Toyota, Lapierre is up and running again... but the car is heavily damaged
Bonanomi is out of the car... is that the end of the race for him and the #3 Audi line-up?
Also in the melee, the formerly leading KCMG Oreca has spun into the barriers, though it is up and running again
It seems Bonanomi was slowing with the conditions and either Lapierre or the Ferrari hit the back of him in the spray
It isn't clear what happened, but both cars are in the barriers and fairly heavily damaged
Slick tyres, rapid wet track... accidents are inevitable, but that is potentially two of the favourites out after just 90mins!
They may have collided! Lapierre and Bonanomi - a Ferrari is involved too
Lapierre has reportedly gone off too
Bonanomi, who was having a great race, has dropped it in the worsening conditions
And it is because the #3 Audi has crashed!
Safety car is out
Still on slicks, the #7 Toyota goes straight on at Forza chicane, carries on
It is POURING down here now... a real unexpected curve ball into the mix!
It is raining pretty hard here on the pit straight... and the Caterham Zytek LMP2 has suffered a spin at Dunlop
Not this time
The #2 Audi is in again too... last time these two were in the pit lane, they almost crashed!
Wurz brings the #7 Toyota into the pit lane for its second stop
As ever, it seems damper in certain areas of the circuit... in fact, the sun is shining on the southern stretch
As I said earlier, it is very humid today... seems that prediction of a dry race is out of the window!
Having talked about the excellent weather all week, it has - apparently - begun raining on parts of the circuit
Nearly each car that started are still running, save for the Nissan ZEOD RC. The team tried to get the car back to the pit lane, but they were disallowed. On the plus side, it gives Nissan an extra day to start preparing its 2015 Le Mans LMP1 comeback!
The gap between 1st and 2nd has stabilised at around 35secs, Wurz still very much in control of this race... that said, the stewards may be about to ruin that
In case you were wondering what happened to Jani in the #14 Porsche...
The #3 Audi is in the pit lane, temporarily ending that great battle
The perils of multi-class racing! We have LMP1, LMP2 and GT cars all tripping over each other down the Mulsanne straight!
We are a bit out-of-sync in terms of pit stops, but Kristensen has just come in for the #1 Audi's second stop
Not to be out-done, Lapierre is right back in the mix again too... nothing between 2nd, 3rd and 4th at the moment
Lotterer and Bonanomi are still battling away... the #2 Audi of Lotterer is back in front again
So here is a run down the leaders in each class after 1hr 10: LMP1: #7 Toyota. LMP2: #47 KCMG Oreca. GTEPro: #51 AF Corse Ferrari. LMGTE Pro: #81 AF Corse Ferrari
Trouble brewing for Wurz? The #7 Toyota has been reported to stewards for an unsafe release... he could get a penalty if he (or rather, his team) is found guilty
Bonanomi is upstaging his more experienced rivals - he has just moved the #3 Audi into second place, ahead of team-mate Lotterer
1 hour down, 23 to go: Toyota leads, ahead of Audi, Audi, Toyota, Audi, Porsche