Audi leads at Le Mans past half-way mark

Audi leads at Le Mans past half-way mark

15th Jun 2014 2:50 pm

The leading Toyota hit electrical trouble forcing it to stop while Karun Chandhok's Murphy Prototypes' team was forced to retire.

Audi took the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours as the leading Toyota his trouble at the front.

Kazuki Nakajima appeared to have the threat of the #2 Audi under control after Stephane Sarrazin had struggled to prevent Andre Lotterer and then Benoit Treluyer from making inroads into its lead.

However, the Toyota then came to a halt near Arnage corner with an electrical problem, and was officially retired from the race shortly after.

Behind the new leader, Brendon Hartley's Porsche continued to run ahead of Lucas di Grassi in the #1 Audi, which had fallen out of a podium spot when it suffered fuel injection problems .

The second #14 Porsche lost its top five spot to the #8 Toyota, which continued its recovery following Nicolas Lapierre's crash early in the race.

The #35 OAK-run Ligier maintained its lead in LMP2 with Jann Mardenborough at the wheel, with the Signatech ORECA of Oliver Webb giving chase in second.

Also in the LMP2 class, Karun Chandhok's Murphy Prototypes team was forced into an early retirement in the tenth hour after a steering problem left the #48 Oreca Nissan stranded out on the circuit. This is the Indian's first retirement at Le Mans (in three attempts).

Darren Turner repassed Giancarlo Fisichella to ensure Aston Martin retained the lead in GTE Pro, and the British marquee also heads the Am division as well.

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 rejoined the track.

A six-second gap was reduced to nothing within half an hour and soon after Turner breezed past on the Mulsanne straight to, not for the first time in this race, wrest the lead away from the Italian.

A pitstop for Fisichella, during which he took on tyres, coupled with a stop for Turner that involved him double-stinting his rubber, extended the Briton's advantage further.

Long-time frontrunner Corvette's lead #74 C7.R dropped to fourth behind the #92 Manthey Porsche after spending time in the garage changing brakes, though the team insisted this was pre-planned and maintained it was in the running for victory.

While the #95 Aston Martin continues unabated in GTE Am, the order behind it has changed. The #61 AF Corse Ferrari is now second, with the #88 Proton Competition Porsche third after the SMP Ferrari was wheeled into the garage twice with mechanical problems.

POSITIONS AFTER 14 HOURS

Pos Cl       Car       Drivers                              Laps  Gap
 1. LMP1 #2  Audi      Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer            220  
 2. LMP1 #7  Toyota    Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima               219  +      1 Lap
 3. LMP1 #20 Porsche   Bernhard/Webber/Hartley              217  +     3 Laps
 4. LMP1 #1  Audi      Di Grassi/Gene/Kristensen            217  +  1m33.417s
 5. LMP1 #8  Toyota    Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi              208  +    12 Laps
 6. LMP1 #14 Porsche   Dumas/Jani/Lieb                      208  +    39.524s
 7. LMP2 #35 Ligier    Brundle/Mardenborough/Shulzhitskiy   204  +    16 Laps
 8. LMP2 #36 Alpine    Chatin/Panciatici/Webb               204  +  1m14.822s
 9. LMP2 #46 Ligier    Thiriet/Badey/Gommendy               203  +    17 Laps
10. LMP2 #34 Oreca     Frey/Mailleux/Lancaster              203  +  2m06.439s
11. LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost/Heidfeld/Beche                 201  +    19 Laps
12. LMP2 #38 Zytek     Dolan/Tincknell/Turvey               201  +  1m33.702s
13. LMP2 #24 Oreca     Rast/Charouz/Capillaire              201  +  3m05.431s
14. LMP2 #43 Morgan    Klien/Hirsch/Brandela                200  +    20 Laps
15. LMP2 #33 Ligier    Cheng/Tung/Fong                      196  +    24 Laps
16. LMP2 #42 Zytek     Kimber-Smith/McMurry/Dyson           194  +    26 Laps
17. GTEP #97 Aston     Turner/Mucke/Senna                   194  +  1m46.787s
18. GTEP #51 Ferrari   Bruni/Vilander/Fisichella            194  +  2m22.906s
19. GTEP #92 Porsche   Holzer/Makowiecki/Lietz              193  +    27 Laps
20. GTEP #74 Chevrolet Gavin/Milner/Westbrook               193  +  1m09.670s
21. LMP2 #29 Morgan    Schell/Leutwiller/Roussel            192  +    28 Laps
22. LMP2 #50 Morgan    Ragues/Taylor/Ihara                  192  +  3m54.048s
23. GTEP #73 Chevrolet Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor              192  +  3m55.421s
24. GTEA #95 Aston     Poulsen/Heinemeier-Hansson/Thiim     191  +    29 Laps
25. LMP2 #27 Oreca     Zlobin/Salo/Ladygin                  190  +    30 Laps
26. GTEA #61 Ferrari   Perez-Companc/Cioci/Venturi          190  +    49.879s
27. GTEA #88 Porsche   Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi              189  +    31 Laps
28. GTEA #90 Ferrari   Montecalvo/Roda/Ruberti              188  +    32 Laps
29. GTEA #57 Ferrari   Krohn/Jonsson/Collins                188  +  1m33.761s
30. GTEA #70 Ferrari   Nakano/Ehret/Rich                    187  +    33 Laps
31. GTEA #77 Porsche   Dempsey/Foster/Long                  187  +    12.399s
32. GTEA #66 Ferrari   Al Faisal/Neiman/Pumpelly            186  +    34 Laps
33. GTEA #58 Ferrari   Barthez/Pons/Ayari                   186  +    56.526s
34. GTEA #76 Porsche   Narac/Armindo/Hallyday               185  +    35 Laps
35. GTEA #67 Porsche   Maris/Merlin/Helary                  183  +    37 Laps
36. GTEA #98 Aston     Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard              183  +     8.443s
37. GTEA #72 Ferrari   Bertolini/Shaitar/Basov              181  +    39 Laps
38. GTEP #79 Porsche   MacNeil/Curtis/Bleekemolen           180  +    40 Laps
39. GTEA #53 Ferrari   Mowlem/Patterson/Hamilton            176  +    44 Laps
40. GTEP #91 Porsche   Pilet/Bergmeister/Tandy              163  +    57 Laps
41. GTEA #62 Ferrari   Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank             163  +  1m05.975s
42. GTEA #75 Porsche   Perrodo/Collard/Palttala             152  +    68 Laps
43. GTEP #52 Ferrari   Griffin/Parente/Leo                  139  +    81 Laps
44. LMP2 #26 Morgan    Rusinov/Pla/Canal                    120  Retired
45. GTEA #60 Ferrari   Mann/Case/Giammaria                  115  Retired
46. LMP2 #47 Oreca     Howson/Bradley/Imperatori            87  Retired
47. LMP1 #13 Rebellion Kraihamer/Belicchi/Leimer            73  Retired
48. LMP2 #48 Oreca     Berthon/Gonzalez/Chandhok            73  Retired
49. LMP2 #41 Zytek     Munemman/Latif/Winslow               31  Retired
50. GTEP #71 Ferrari   Rigon/Kaffer/Beretta                 28  Retired
51. LMP1 #3  Audi      Albuquerque/Bonanomi/Jarvis          25  Retired
52. GTEA #81 Ferrari   Wyatt/Rugolo/Bird                    22  Retired
53. LMP2 #37 Oreca     Ladygin/Minassian/Mediani            9   Retired
54. CDNT #0  Nissan    Ordonez/Reip/Motoyama                5   Retired
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