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Le Mans 24 Hours: 15 Hours - #7 Toyota retires as Audi builds lead

Kazuki Nakajima retired from the lead of the 2014 Le Mans 2014 Hours as Benoit Treluyer inherited first place for Audi
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Kazuki Nakajima retired from the lead of the 2014 Le Mans 2014 Hours as Benoit Treluyer inherited first place for Audi.

Nakajima stopped at Arnage under darkness with Treluyar taking over the lead having been 100s behind the lead Toyota before the stoppage. A very quick Mark Lieb was fourth as he tried to close the 11 lap gap to the finish.

Nakajima's retirement really opened the race up as the #7 Toyota had led the majority of the race having started from pole. However, the car pulled off at Arnage and later in the 15th hour it as confirmed that the car was retired, leaving the team with just the #8 car – already 11 laps off the lead due to a crash in the early laps – for the closing nine hours.

Right at the end of the hour Lieb went in to the gravel at Indianapolis as he outbraked himself, having to be dragged out before continuing.

Nakajima's retirement moved Jann Mardenborough up to sixth place overall, 16 laps off the lead as he heads the LMP2 class for the #35 Oak Racing car.

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CLICK HERE full updates after each hour

Live text commentary recap of Hour 15: Key moments in bold

05:01 (UK Time)
Leib has gone off in the #14 Porsche, outbraking himself in to Indianapolis

04:56
Di Grassi is lapping five seconds a lap quicker than Hartley in the battle for second place and the gap is now less than 40s

04:45
Debris at the start of Porsche Curves has led to a slow zone
04:44

Di Grassi in the #1 Audi now less than 50s behind Hartley in second place in the lead Porsche

04:40
Toyota reveals it was "an electrical problem with the wiring loom" which stopped Nakajima

04:37
Lieb is very quick at the moment in the #14 Porsche in fifth place, lapping five seconds quicker than the leaders. He's 11 laps down though

04:34
The P2 battle is starting to heat up as the #1 Audi is now exactly a minute behind the #20 Porsche and four seconds a lap quicker than Hartley who may have to stop soon
04:32

After all the fun in the LMP1 fight, Mardenborough now leads by 1m43s in LMP2 and looks to have found a really good rhythm. Turner still leads GTE PRO in the #97 Aston and Thiim leads GTE AM in the #95 Aston
04:28

Treluyer pits the #2 Audi and rejoins right behind the #1 car albeit three laps ahead. Two laps now the gap to Hartley in the #20 Porsche

04:25
Webber smiling and laughing in the Porsche garage, with the #20 car in second place now after the #7 Toyota's retirement. Impressive from Porsche with two cars in the top four once Lieb completes enough laps to pass Nakajima

04:22
The reaction in the Toyota garage definitely suggests it's race over whatever has happened to Nakajima in the #7 car

04:20
Stops for both Hartley and di Grassi while Treluyer now has a relatively comfortable lead of three laps. Nakajima's issue shows just how quickly things can change though

04:14
Dawn is starting to break over Le Mans now, with the sky brightening in one direction (looks like it will be a beautiful sunrise too) but we're yet to see Nakajima anywhere on track and it's looking more and more like a retirement
04:11

STILL no word from the Toyota but it's now down to fourth place. Hartley in the #20 Porsche is up to second and three laps off the lead...
04:07

No sign of Nakajima now - Audi on the radio to Treluyer said the car was on fire...
04:01

Nakajima has stopped! The lead Toyota is at Arnage ... Treluyer leads in the #2 Audi



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Alexander Wurz / Stephane Sarrazin / Kazuki Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota TS 040 Hybrid
Jann Mardenborough at the GT Academy
Oli Webb (GBR)
Oli Webb (GBR)
Oli Webb (GBR)
Oli Webb (GBR)
Oli Webb (GBR)
Mark Webber (AUS)
Mark Webber (AUS)
Mark Webber (AUS)
Oli Webb (GBR)
Oli Webb (GBR)
Oliver Turvey (GBR)
Oliver Turvey (GBR)
Oliver Turvey (GBR)
Oliver Turvey (GBR)
Oliver Turvey (GBR)
Harry Tincknell

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