Drama at the front: Audi lead

June 15, 2014

Drama at the front: Audi lead

June 15, 2014


Audi swept in to the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours during the dawn hours as the leading Toyota hit electrical problems at the end of the 14th hour.

Kazuki Nakajima looked like he had the challenge of the #2 Audi well under control after Stephane Sarrazin had fought to stop Andre Lotterer from making inroads into the TS040’s lap lead.

However, the Toyota then stopped at Arnage corner with the electrical problem, and was officially retired from the race soon after, much to the dejection of the rest of the team who also stared forlornly at the monitors. It was a tough break for the Japanese team after a splendid performance in the first three-quarters of the race.

Behind the #2 Audi, Brendon Hartley’s Porsche continued to run ahead of Lucas di Grassi in the #1 Audi, which had fallen out of a podium position when it experienced fuel injection problems at approximately 3am.

The second #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid lost its top five position to the recovering #8 Toyota, which was making up for lost time after Nicolas Lapierre’s crash early in the race when crashed on Mulsanne straight in the rain.

There was further drama to come at the front when the leading #2 Audi was forced to stop for a turbo change and lost approximately 20minutes. This handed the lead to the #1 Audi, in which Tom Kristensen is aiming to score a remarkable 10th win at La Sarthe.

The battle for second was hotting up nicely as Marcel Fassler set a string of searing fast times to begin the pursuit of Mark Webber in the #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

In the enthralling LMGTE Pro category, Darren Turner overtook Giancarlo Fisichella to ensure Aston Martin re-took the lead in LMGTE Pro, and the British marquee also heads the Am division as well with the #95 Aston Martin Vantage.

Turner had dropped behind Fisichella by virtue of taking on tyres in a pitstop right at the end of the previous hour but was quickly catching the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia when he re-joined the track.

Chevrolet Corvette’s #74 C7.R dropped from a lead challenge to fourth behind the #92 Manthey Porsche 911 RSR after spending time in the garage with a pre-planned change of brakes.

Ricky Taylor continued to perform well in the #50 Larbre Competition Morgan-Judd and completed an excellent double stint in the early morning to take the car to the periphery of the top ten in class.

Dempsey Racing continued a solid top six performance in the LMGTE Pro class with Patrick Long, Joe Foster and Patrick Dempsey himself keeping themselves in contention for a strong finish.

8 Star Motorsports continued their good race with Frankie Montecalvo, Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti on the edge of a potential podium position in 4th place with their orange Ferrari 458 Italia.

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