JRM's HPD was one the LMP1 cars to hit trouble in the hour (Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

JRM's HPD was one the LMP1 cars to hit trouble in the hour (Photo Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

Audi continued their domination of the eightieth running of the Le Mans 24 hours as the race reached its ninth hour. It was also effectively the end of Toyota's challenge at Le Mans for this year.

Following an earlier collision with the Deltawing, that saw the end of the Nissan powered machine, the sole remaining Toyota had been in the pits for many laps. It appeared as if the contact had done significant damage to the TS030 which dropped down the order to forty seventh position – last of the cars still running.

Despite three of the four Audis suffering with various problems early on, the German marque is in an almost dominant position with its cars. The pole sitting #1 car continues to lead the #2, whilst despite being pushed into its pit garage early on in proceedings, the #4 has recovered to third position.

Furthermore, the #3 Audi continued to make progress from an earlier crash and has risen to sixth position overall, thanks to Toyota's problems. Rebellion Racing currently sit as the best of the privateers with a faultless run so far, with the #12 and #13 cars fourth and fifth respectively.

LMP1 continues to be a class of attrition with the #15 Pescarolo, #17 Dome and #21 and #22 HPDs suffering problems on circuit or lengthy visits to the pit lane.

Elsewhere, the #48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca continues a strong run in LMP2, currently classified in seventh position overall. There was also a change in the GTE-Am class as the #67 Porsche was able to pass the class leading #50 Corvette through a pit stop sequence.

The competitive GTE Pro category continues to be a battle of Ferraris and Corvettes after the strong starting #97 Aston Martin started to drop back. AF Corse continue their extraordinary recovery from a practice crash that damage their chassis earlier in the week to currently lie second in class behind the #74 Corvette.

2012 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 9 hours:

LMP1:

  1. Audi Sport Team Joest – Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer 139 laps
  2. Audi Sport Team Joest – McNish/Capello/Kristensen 139 laps
  3. Audi Sport North America – Jarvis/Bonanomi/Rockenfeller 138 laps
  4. Rebellion Racing – Prost/Jani/Heidfeld 135 laps
  5. Rebellion Racing – Belicchi/Primat/Bleekemolen 134 laps

LMP2:

  1. Murphy Prototypes – Firth/Hartley/Hughes  131 laps
  2. OAK Racing – Nicolet/Lahaye/Pla 131 laps
  3. Starworks Motorsport – Potolicchio/Dalziel/Kimber-Smith 130 laps
  4. Signatech Nissan – Panciatici/Ragues/Rusinov – 130 laps
  5. Pecom Racing – Perez Companc/Kaffer/Ayari 130 laps

GTE Pro:

  1. Corvette Racing – Gavin/Milner/Westbrook 125 laps
  2. AF Corse – Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander 125 laps
  3. Corvette Racing – Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor 124 laps
  4. Luxury Racing – Mackowiecki/Melo/Farnbacher 124 laps
  5. Team Felbermayr Proton – Lieb/Lietz/Henzler 124 laps

GTE Am:

  1. IMSA Performance Matmut – Pons/Narac/Armindo 122 laps
  2. Labre Competition – Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy 122 laps
  3. Krohn Racing – Krohn/Jonsson/Rugolo 120 laps
  4. Labre Competition – Bourret/Gibon/Belloc  117 laps
  5. AF Corse Waltrip – Kauffman/Aguas/Vickers 117 laps