Le Mans »

Le Mans 24 Hrs 2008: Hours 19-21.

The #2 Audi continues to lead the Le Mans 24 Hours going into the final three hours of competition at La Sarthe, but continuing changing conditions and a quick Peugeot behind will ensure there is no resting on laurels for the team in the run to the flag.

Having moved into the lead of the race in the wet conditions that hit the circuit during darkness, the Audi extended its advantage during the 19th hour of the race with Allan McNish handing the car over from the lead to team-mate Dindo Capello, who saw the lead grow to more than a lap when the #7 car pitted for a stop close to the conclusion of the hour.

Nicolas Minassian managed to unlap himself from the Audi before both cars pitted again in the 20th hour but a driver change for the Peugeot to switch over to Jacques Villeneuve saw Capello once again extend the lead to over a lap.

With the track then drying through the 21st hour, Peugeot was able to fight back with the #7 and the #9 cars both lapping quicker than the Audi ahead, now in the hands of Tom Kristensen.

The #3 Audi continues to hold fourth place but the #8 Peugeot ended the 21st hour having climbed up to fifth place after the #1 Audi was delayed in the 20th hour by a clutch problem, returning to action only after the Peugeot had swept past to make up another place on its recovery drive.

The sole remaining Pescarolo continues to hold a solid seventh place as best of the petrol cars from the ORECA-Courage, while the van Merksteijn LMP2 Porsche is inside the top ten and leading its class, despite a spin during the 20th hour. The top ten is completed by the Rollcentre Racing Pescarolo, although the car is coming under increasing pressure from the Charouz Lola Aston Martin.

The van Merksteijn Porsche is comfortable at the head of its class with the Team Essex Porsche having been delayed by its misfire overnight, but the blue RS Spyder has climbed back up to second place after battling ahead of the Saulnier Racing Pescarolo. That car however was in trouble at the end of the 21st hour after Matheu Lahaye suffered a spin and collected the Farnbacher Racing GT2 Ferrari, damaging the rear of his car. The Quifel-ASM, Barazi-Epsilon and Bruichladdich Radical teams are the only other ones in LMP2 still classified as running in the race.

GT1 is still led by the 009 Aston Martin of Antonio Garcia, Darren Turner and David Brabham with the car maintaining a lead of roughly a lap over the first of the chasing Corvettes, while GT2 is still led by the Risi Competizione squad with an advantage of a lap over the Virgo Motorsport team.


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