The #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro leads through the night (Photo Credit: Audi Motorsport)

The #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro leads through the night (Photo Credit: Audi Motorsport)

The 80th Le Mans 24 Hours continued into its 12th hour with Audi still dominating proceedings.

The German manufacturer still holds the lead three places in LMP1 ahead of two Rebellion Racing-Lola cars, in the same order the finished the previous hour.

There was very little action in hour twelve, as the teams settled  in for the night shift with a widely strung field. The hour began with the #74 Corvette making its way back to the pits after an off at Indianapolis at the end of hour eleven. He was wheeled back into the garage for repairs as the #58  LMGTE Am Ferrari pitted for a driver change. Le Mans rookie Frankie Montecalvo took to the wheel of the then fifth in class car. Soon after leaving, he spun at Forza, causing serious damage to the Ferrari, enough for them to later permanently retire the car.

Then, the major talking point of the hour unfolded. The #3 Audi, who had already spun in the early stages, came together with #70 Corvette in the final chicane. The pair spun, with the #70 able to rejoin and the #3 beached in the gravel. Replays showed the #3 Audi turned in on the #70, who had pulled to the inside to let the faster car past. Before the incident, the Audi had been catching the Lola ‘s infront. Eventually, the #3 Audi got going again, and pitted for checks, before taking to the track again.

Around the same the time, the lead #1 Audi pitted for a routine tyre change. However, the car lost around 30 seconds when a Porsche pitted infront, meaning they had to push the car backwards to get it out again. This hasn’t really affected the #1’s lead, as they held a heft 1minute 30 second lead before the stop.

In LMP2, the #44 Honda leads in the hands of Tom Kimber-Smith, who holds a healthy two minute lead from the #49 Oreca-Nissan of Perez.

In LMGTE Pro, the #51 Ferrari 458 of Fisichella holds a comfortable lap lead over the #59 Luxury Racing 458 of Farnbachner.

In the  LMGTE Am class, the #50 Larbre Competition Corvette of Pedro Lamy leads, with the #67 IMSA Performance Porsche over one and a half minutes behind.

2012 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 12 hours:

LMP1
1. #1 – Audi Sport Team Joest – Rassler/Lotterer/Treluyer – 187 laps
2. #2 – Audi Sport Team Joest – Capello/Kristensen/McNish – 187 laps
3. #4 – Audi Sport North America – Bonanomi/Jarvis/Rockenfeller – 186 laps
4. #12 – Rebellion Racing – Prost/Jani/Heidfeld – 182 laps
5 .#13 – Rebellion Racing – Belicchi/Primat/Bleekemolen – 180 laps

LMP2
1. #44 – Starworks Motorsports – Potolicchio/Dalziel/Kimber-Smith – 175 laps
2. #49 – Pecom racing – Perez Companc/Ayari/Kaffer – 175 laps
3. #26 – Signatech Nissan – Panciatici/Ragues/Rusinov – 174 laps
4. #46 – Thiriet By TDS Racing – Beche/Thiriet/Tinseau – 174 laps
5. #23 – Signatech Nissan – Maillieux/Lombard/Tresson – 174 laps

LMGTE Pro
1. #51 – AF Corse – Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander – 167 laps
2. #59 – Luxury Racing – Makowiecki/Melo/Farnbacher – 166 laps
3. #73 – Corvette Racing – Taylor/Garcia/Magnussen – 166 laps
4. #97 – Aston Martin Racing – Fernandez/Mucke/Turner – 166 laps
5. #77 – Team Felbermayr-Proton – Lieb/Lietz/Henzler – 166 laps
 
LMGTE Am
1.#50 – Larbre Competition – Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy – 162 laps
2. #67 – Imsa Performance Matmut – Armindo/Narac/Pons – 162 laps
3. #57 – Krohn Racing – Krohn/Johnsson/Rugolo – 160 laps
4. #61 – AF Corse-Waltrip – Kauffman/Aguas/Vickers – 159 laps
5. #88 – Team Felbermayr-Proton – Ried/Roda/Ruberti – 157 laps