2010 24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour Eight Update

The eighth hour saw more misfortune for the works Peugeots. Already wounded by the loss of their pole sitting no.3 car, the no.1 car of Anthony Davidson/Alex Wruz/Marc Gene pitted from the lead after only two laps of a stint at normally lasts 12 of 13 circuits of the eight mile track.

The car was quickly loaded on the casters and pushed back into the garage with what turned out to be an alternator problem. The problem was solved relatively quickly. However the car had dropped three laps to seventh, behind the similarly delayed no.7 Audi, both diesels suffereing the indignity of reaching one-thirds distance behind the leading petrol car the no.007 Aston Martin of Adrian Fernandez/Stefan Mucke/Harold Primat.

Luckily for Olivier Quesnel and the rest of the Peugeot squad the delay only let the no.2 car back into the lead with the ORECA car taking second place. The no.8 Audi became the first of the three works R15s to move into the podium positions, the Ingolstadt base manufacturer having struggled to stay on terms with Peugeot ever since the opening hour safety cleaved them apart.

The battle of LMGT2 continued with the Risi Competizione car and the no.64 Corvette battling, often no more than fractions of a second apart. However, Jaime Melo was pulled into the garage from the lead, the defending champions suffering from a gearbox problem. Once he had finished his own sting Oliver Gavin from the Corvette described the Brazilian as having been aggressive over the kerbs in defending his position. The kerbs had been a candidate in causing a large number of punctures in both the 24 Hours and the Saturday morning support races. Gavin described Melo as having been visably missing gears as he was able to drive by in his Corvette, he and the sister no.63 car resuming their 1-2 running at the front of the field, with a one minute advantage over their new nearest challenger, the no.77 Felbermayr-Proton Porsche.

Strakka Racing retook the lead from the other HPD entry in the hands of Highcroft Racing (both have a three lap advantage over third place in the class) while the sole survivor of the three Ford GTs continued it's trend bucking pace, holding the class lead by a full lap in the most spread out class in the field – the top five separated by 16 laps, even at this stage.

Darkness has arrived at La Sarthe, now for racing through the night.

Class top fives after eight hours

No.2 Team Peugeot Total
No.4 Team ORECA Matmut
No.8 Audi Sport Team Joest
No.9 Audi Sport North America
No.007 Aston Martin Racing

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

No.60 Matech Competition
No.72 Luc Alphand Aventures
No.50 Larbre Competition
No.73 Luc Alphand Aventures
No.52 Young Driver AMR

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