Petit Le Mans – Live Race Blog – The Afternoon

October 2, 2010

Petit Le Mans – Live Race Blog – The Afternoon

October 2, 2010

The No. 08 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP in the pits. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

We’re through six hours in the Petit Le Mans. Both P1 and GT2 battles have been very close, with the action intensifying in the last portion of the race. On top of that, the late afternoon setting sun should make glare and visibility a bit more of a challenge. Temperatures are 77 degrees Fahrenheit ambient and 93 on track.

P1 saw the Peugeots sandwiching the lone contending Audi, with the No. 08 of Franck Montagny ahead of the No. 7 with Dindo Capello and No. 07 with Alexander Wurz. Montagny just ran the race’s fastest lap on lap 242, at 1:07.948. For comparison’s sake, 1:07.187 was the polesitting time.

In GT2, the top seven were separated by less than five seconds, but one of those cars is temporarily removed from the fray. Risi’s No. 61 Ferrari served a stop-and-go penalty for working on their car during a closed pit lane.

Meanwhile, Risi’s No. 62 has managed to rebound from its earlier penalty to get back to the lead in class. They edged the No. 92 Rahal Letterman BMW, No. 3 and No. 4 Corvettes, the No. 01 Extreme Speed Ferrari and No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche prior to pit stops.

The Lizards are trying to secure the driver’s championship for Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long and also the manufacturer’s and team’s championship for Porsche and Flying Lizard.

One of the two Level 5 Motorsports LMPC cars had a sizeable impact at turn 10, Mark Wilkins in the No. 55 driving. That limits team owner/driver Scott Tucker to scoring points in his other car, the No. 95. That car leads in class and the one which was second, the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, just stopped at the top of the esses on the far right to cause the race’s seventh full course caution.


Audi's No. 7 R15 Plus TDI leads past four and a half hours. Photo credit: Rick Dole for Michelin North America

Tom Kristensen led by more than 10 seconds in the Audi R15 Plus TDI before the fifth caution of Petit Le Mans has flown, just before half distance. So far the leaders have completed more than 190 laps, about half of the 394 laps that make up the 1,000 miles in this race.

Past four hours, the temperatures are 78 degrees Fahrenheit ambient and 104 on track, according to Michelin tire engineers.

Audi’s No. 9 bullet fell out of contention after its accident with Andre Lotterer driving, but has returned 15 laps down. This leaves the three other diesel cars from Peugeot and Audi alone to battle for the win. Elsewhere in P1, Drayson Racing has a pair of iron men, with Paul Drayson and Jonny Cocker sharing the Lola Judd Coupe as third driver Emanuele Pirro was not cleared to drive following an accident in Thursday night practice.

P2 still sees Highcroft HPD leading – Marino Franchitti now driving instead of David Brabham and Simon Pagenaud – in their quest to win the LMP and MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge championships. Dyson’s Lola Mazda runs second with the Muscle Milk Team CytoSport Porsche RS Spyder soldiering on despite being down to seven cylinders.

GT2 has been largely devoid of the usual contenders, the Flying Lizard No. 45 and Risi’s No. 62 Ferrari. Refreshingly, both Corvettes and the No. 01 Extreme Speed Ferrari have figured into the equation as leaders. Risi still has a horse in the fight with the No. 61, while the No. 62 is looking to rebound from its earlier stop-and-go penalty that caught them a lap down. While the No. 45 hasn’t had the outright pace, it still had leapt into contention courtesy of some great pit work.

The LMPC leading car and championship contenders from Green Earth Team Gunnar went behind the wall after 142 laps because of an issue with the steering box. This hinders Gunnar Jeannette’s chances for the class title. Level 5 Motorsports’ two cars lead that class.

Past the 4:00 p.m. ET and local time mark, Drayson Racing and Risi Competizione Ferrari lead the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge in prototypes and GT, respectively. Both cars run on Cellulosic E85R ethanol.

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