24 Hours of Le Mans

2010 24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour Eighteen Update

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After seeming to settle into a rhythm overnight the 2010 exploded into life as it approached six hours to go.

The catalyst? A charging Anthony Davidson in the no.1 Peugeot.

Following the loss of the leading no.2 car the only remaining works Peugeot was placed on an almost visible charge, comparatively breezing past two of the Audi R15s lapping several second faster than the leaders as Davidson tried to improve on third place.

However, passing the Audis was only part of the problem, with dozens of slower cars left to negotiate despite the race's high attrition rate. As Davidson entred the Porsche Curves he came up behind the LMGT2 leading Corvette. Emmanunel Collard in the car moved right just enough to give Davidson the apex, but still found himself spinning into the barriers on the outside of the corner.

Whether Davidson touched the Corvette on his way through, or whether Collard may have been caught out by arriving at the corner off line in on part of the track, where there is normally only a single racing line, is unclear but the result was Collard backing the no.64 heavily into the barriers severely damaging the rear of the car.

Collard was able to recover the car back to the pits, and the car was repaired and returned to the race but, needless to say, the car had lost the class lead. In less than an hour Corvette had gone from holding a LMGT2 1-2 result to struggling to repair a car to launch it's own charge for a podium spot.

As the dust settled, and Corvette called for a penalty to be levied against Davidson, the safety car was called out to retrieve the debris from the Corvette and fix the damage that had doubtless been done to the barriers by the impact of the GT car.

There was bad news for Corvette fans in LMGT1 too, the no.73 Luc Alphand Aventures car crawling to halt before Indianapolis and Arnage, losing second in class and handing the Larbre Competition Saleen a commanding, ten lap, lead over the Young Driver AMR Aston Martin in second.

Once the safety car was withdrawn Davidson continued undeterred, moving easily away from Allan McNish who restarted behind him on the track. Davidson's lap times several seconds faster than the two Audis he is now chasing. Davidson is two laps behind the leader.

Class top fives after 18 hours

No.9 Audi Sport North America
No.8 Audi Sport Team Joest
No.1 Team Peugeot Total
No.7 Audi Sport Team Joest
No.4 Team ORECA Matmut

No.42 Strakka Racing
No.26 Highcroft Racing
No.35 OAK Racing
No.25 RML
No.41 Team Bruichladdich

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

No.77 Team Felbermayr-Proton
No.95 AF Corse
No.89 Hankook Team Farnbacher
No.97 BMS Scuderia Italia
No.64 Corvette Racing

List of official retirements (by race number)

No.2 Team Peugeot Total (Unofficial)
No.3 Peugeot Total Sport
No.5 Beechdean Mansell
No.12 Rebellion Racing
No.13 Rebellion Racing
No.14 Kolles
No.19 Michael Lewis/Autocon
No.29 Racing Box
No.38 Pegasus Racing
No.60 Matech Competition
No.61 Matech Competition
No.70 Marc VDS Racing
No.63 Corvette Racing (Unofficial)
No.79 BMW Motorsport
No.80 Flying Lizard Motorsport
No.81 Jaguar RSR
No.82 Risi Competizione
No.83 Risi Competizione (Unofficial)
No.92 JMW Motorsport

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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