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Le Mans 24 Hours: Hours 16-18

Audi leads at Le Mans as it seeks to beat Peugeot and reclaim title
The Le Mans 24 Hours is building towards an exciting conclusion after a dramatic spell of racing saw Audi move into the lead of the race.

The #2 Peugeot had left the way at the end of the 16th hour, but shortly after making a scheduled pit-stop, Franck Montagny suffered an engine failure that put him into retirement.

It means all four Peugeot's have now hit problems during the race.

Audi now leads the event as a result, with the #9 in the hands of Romain Dumas holding the advantage over Marcel Fassler in the #8.

The lead Peugeot is now the #1 car in third place, although Anthony Davidson is doing all he can to try and close in – driving like man possessed to get every last ounce of performance from the car.

The Briton however is two laps away from the lead, with Allan McNish in the #7 Audi a lap further back in fourth. The recovering Team Oreca Peugeot sits fifth with the top petrol car – the #009 Lola-Aston Martin – now inside the top six. The sister #007 car is dropping down the order having been forced to put with gearbox issues.

Drayson Racing did manage to get out on track only for Johnny Cocker to spin off his out lap, returning to the garage again straightaway – which is where the car now finds itself once.

In LMP2, Strakka Racing continues to head the field although David Brabham was doing his best to try and close the two lap gap between the two HPDs with a series of quick laps. The issues for LMP1 cars ahead has seen the Strakka car into the top ten overall. The OAK Racing Pescarolo sits third having battled back ahead of the RML Lola, which had moved into a podium slot during the 16th hour.

GT1 again has the Saleen well ahead of the chasing pack but the GT2 fight saw both Corvettes run into issues.

The #63 stopped on track with mechanical issues while the #64 – driven at the time by Emmanuel Collard – was forced off into the wall at the Porsche Curves by Davidson's Peugeot and was forced to return slowly to the pits for repairs to heavy rear damage.

The issues for the two Corvettes has left Felbermayr-Proton topping the GT2 class with the Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella and Jean Alesi in second. The #64 is now fourth and faces a battle to back into the podium positions.

Tagged as: Peugeot , Audi , Le Mans 24 Hours

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