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Le Mans 24 Hours: 23 Hours - Heartbreak for Porsche as both drop out

Audi looks set to take victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours after both Porsche's dropped out of contention in the penultimate hour of the race
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Audi looks set to take victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours after both Porsche's dropped out of contention in the penultimate hour of the race.

The #20 Porsche had been leading but after Mark Webber took over the car – dropping to second place in the process – he then started limping on the Mulsanne Straight and when the car was returned to the garage the team found the problem to be terminal.

That left the #2 Audi in the lead – with Benoit Treluyer taking over from Andre Lotterer with 90 minutes remaining – while the #1 Audi was promoted to second place with Lucas di Grassi at the wheel.

Marc Lieb was up to fourth in the second Porsche as a result of the #20's retirement, but then he too hit trouble as Lieb radioed in to tell the #14 crew that he was stuck in fourth gear, with the car being pushed back in to the garage to cap a miserable hour for the team. However, Lieb still has his helmet on in the hope that he can get back out on track to retain fourth place ahead of the #12 Rebellion.

In the LMP2 class, the #35 OAK Racing lost the lead after Alex Brundle struggled with an unconfirmed problem which cost him seven seconds per lap, with Mark Shulzhitskiy taking over and back on the pace but fourth in class. The #46 TDS Ligier now leads by 32s from the #38 JOTA being driven by late reserve Oliver Turvey.

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Live text commentary recap of Hour 23: Key moments in bold

12:54 (UK Time)
In comes the #1 Audi from second place, three laps behind the lead Audi and three laps ahead of Davidson in the #8 Toyota

With the #20 retired and the #14 still in the pits, Nico Prost in the #12 Rebellion is eight laps from taking over fourth place

From here you'd think the Audis could take it easy to the flag but this has been a crazy race...

The #14 Porsche up on the stands in the garage and it could be that neither Porsche finishes the race...

It's all falling apart for Porsche! Lieb pits after telling the team over the radio about a gearbox problem which has left him stuck in fourth. The car is wheeled back in to the garage

In comes the #2 Audi from the lead, with Treluyer taking over from Lotterer who has just completed a monster stint

Turvey now in the #38 JOTA car and chasing down the #46 TDS Ligier for the lead of the LMP2 class. 32s the gap last time round

You've got to feel for Porsche: expectations will have been low at the start of the race but the #20 was dreaming of a race win before it had to retire

That's Davidson up to third place in the #8 Toyota and he's the quickest car on track at the moment, although six laps off the lead

There's a lead change in LMP2 now, with Tincknell taking the lead in the #38 JOTA Sport car from the #46 TDS car

Webber climbs out of the car in a very dejected manner as the body language in the #20 Porsche garage hints at game over

Davidson closing in on the Porsche now for third place. He's two laps on the #20 car but is asking "do we think it's going to take them long?"

Webber is still in the garage in the #20 Porsche. Down to third place so far...

LMP2 is lighting up now. Leader Brundle looks like a sitting duck in the #35 Oak Racing Ligier, while the two cars behind him are within 10s and only 2s apart

The #95 Aston Martin - leading the GTE AM class - has stopped at the pit exit! Poulsen gets the car started again though and is on his way

Webber has made it back to the Porsche garage and replays show he didn't have full braking power on that last lap. The #20 car is in the garage with work going on

Webber shaking his head as the #20 car limps round - you'd have to say that seems like the end of Porsche's chances

The #20 Porsche is slow! He's crawling along the Mulsanne straight

Tagged as: Ferrari , Toyota , Aston Martin , Morgan , Webber , Audi , Porsche , Oreca , LMP2 , WEC

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