24 Hours of Le Mans

2010 24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour Fourteen Update

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The no.60 Ford GT of Matech Competition (Romain Grosjean/Thomas Mutsch/Jonathan Hirschi) was the major faller as the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans passed the halfway mark and made its way towards dawn.

Shortly after 4am local time the car came in for a routine pitstop. However, when the driver went to leave the car refused to fire into life. ACO rules says a car has to start under it's own power to leave the pitlane, but the flickering lights betrayed the car's reluctance to start. The car was whisked around 90 degrees on casters and the rear bodywork lifted off. However, the body language of the team soon turned sour and solumn. The expected news followed shortly afterwards – the car retiring with an engine problem, ending Ford's part in the race after an eventful, if unsuccessful, week back at Le Mans.

While the no.60 had led it's class the time also saw a delay for tow of the team that had been regulars in the class top fives. The IMSA Performance Porsche was pushed back shortly before 5am local time, though only for a brake pad change. More serious was the delay to the Quifel ASM Team Ginetta-Zytek, dropping in though the overall and LMP2 class standings – clinging on to the top five at the time of writing, but showing no sign of making a quick return to the track.

The standings remained largely unchanged, with the no.2 Peugeot continuing to pound round with approximately a lap's lead on the Audi's, led at the hour mark by the no.9 car, with the no.1 Peugeot having usurped the no.7 Audi in the midst of pitstops as the two crews try to fight their way up to the lead lap. The no.007 Aston Martin remains the best petrol runner, three laps ahead of its teammate and a further four ahead of the no.008 Signature Plus customer car, the French squad holding down tenth place overall. The no.007 is five laps behind the overall leader.

LMP2 remains a HDP dominated class, minor delays, such as those which afflicted the Highcroft Racing car when the bodywork would not detach as easily as intended when the team tried to replace the rear wing assembly.

The Larbre Saleen leads the walking wounded of GT1 with an improved margin, the no.73 Luc Alphand Corvette another who found the need to make a visit into the garage for repairs. The top five, discounting the unofficially retired Matech car stretches down to the JLOC Lamborghini, which though delayed so much as to be in dange of not being classified continues to buck its own reputation by running more than a handful of laps.

LMGT2 is still led by the two Corvettes, though with the team Felbermayr-Proton now lurking on the same lap.

Class top fives after 14 Hours

No.2 Team Peugeot Total
No.9 Audi Sport North America
No.8 Audi Sport Team Joest
No.1 Team Peugeot Total
No.7 Audi Sport Team Joest

No.42 Strakka Racing
No.26 Higcroft Racing
No.35 OAK Racing
No.25 RML
No.40 Quifel ASM Team

No.50 Larbre Competition
No.73 Luc Alphand Aventures
No.52 Young Driver AMR
No.72 Luc Alphand Aventures
No.69 JLOC

No.64 Corvette Racing
No.63 Corvette Racing
No.77 Team Felbermayr-Proton
No.76 IMSA Performance Matmut
No.95 AF Corse

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