2014 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour 13 Update


2014 24 Hours of Le Mans (Credit: Michel Jamin)

Toyota was the only one of the big three manufacturers in LMP1 not to hit trouble as the race reached the half way mark.

The #7 Toyota continues to lead, as it has for much of the day, but behind there was drama.

Firstly, the #1 Audi encountered trouble on Tom Kristensen’s out lap. The car, which was running in third place, slowed on circuit after a sudden loss of power. It took Kristensen seven minutes to get the car back to the pits, where the problem was diagnosed as an issue with an engine injector.

The Audi squad worked quickly, and had the car back on circuit within five minutes. During the delay, Kristensen had climbed out, with Lucas di Grassi taking over the driving duties. However the delay meant that the #1 lost third place and a lap to the best of the Porsches, #20.

At the front of the field, the other Audi continued to chip away at the #7’s advantage. Andre Lotterer has taken half an hour out of the leading Toyota, but still remains a minute and a half behind. Benoit Treluyer would climb into the car at its next stop, and continues the pursuit of Sarrazin in the Toyota.

Porsche was the next to hit problems. The already delayed #14 encountered a slow pit stop when a door was changed, but would later encounter more serious problems on circuit with Marc Lieb behind the wheel. In a near repeat of what happened to the #1, the car slowed on circuit, with Lieb reporting that he had no power.

The German driver managed to nurse the car back to the pits on just electric power at an even slower pace than Kristensen. By the end of the hour, the #8 Toyota had closed to within two laps of passing the Porsche, and looked certain to take fifth place.

The drama in the top class was the main attention in the thirteenth hour of the race, but there was still plenty of action elsewhere.

In LMP2, it is the #35 OAK Racing Ligier that continues to lead the way. Meanwhile, Paul-Loup Chatin continued to be one of the standout performances of the class, with the #36 Signatech Alpine proving to be OAK’s closest competition.

The GTE Pro battle continued to be closely matched. Following an intense battle with Corvette’s Tommy Milner, Toni Vilander handed driving duties of the #51 AF Corse Ferrari to Giancarlo Fisichella. Fisichella now leads the class, following a tyre and driver change for the #97 Aston Martin. Darren Turner took over from Bruno Senna as driver of the British car.

2014 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 13 hours

LMP1

1 – #7 Toyota Racing – Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima

2 – #2 Audi Sport Team Joest – Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer

3 – #20 Porsche Team – Bernhard/Hartley/Webber

LMP2

1 – #35 Oak Racing – Brundle/Mardenborough/Shulzhitskiy

2 – #36 Signatech Alpine– Panciatici/Webb/Chatin

3 – #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing – Badey/Gommedy/Thiriet

LMGTE Pro

1 – #51 AF Corse – Bruni/Vilander/Fisichella

2 – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Turner/Mücke/Senna

#74 Corvette Racing – Gavin/Milner/Westbrook

LMGTE Am

1 – #95 Aston Martin Racing – Poulson/Heinemeier Hansson/Thiim

2 – #72 SMP Racing – Bertolini/Shaitar/Basov

3 – #61 AF Corse – Cioci/Perez-Companc/Venturi