24 Hours of Le Mans

2010 24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour Ten Update

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While the lead of three classes remained the same the tenth hour, just after midnight local time, saw the LMGT1 class changed entirely with two leading cars retreating back into the garage for repairs within laps of each other.

First to fall was the no.72 Luc Alphand Corvette of Stephan Gregoire/Jerome Policand/David Hart which pulled in with an unspecified mechical problems the team diving under bonnet of the Corvette.

The nest car to come was not a GT1 car, but Jean-Francois Yvon in the no.24 OAK Racing Pescarolo who came in with severe damage to the pink and black machine – the front left corner all but missing – after an accident at the Ford chicane that TV pictures failed to show. More soon became known with the leading LMGT1 cat – the no.60 Matech Competition Ford GT coming in with rear bodywork damage.

What had happened, according to OAK Racing was that the Ford GT was already stopped in the chicane, with Yvon unable to avoid the stranded car, unsighted by two other competitors and the darkness.

While both stricken cars were able to make the short hop across the track into the pitlane the safety car was called for the third time, largely due to the amount of debris the collision had left on the track.

The delays to the two leading GT cars left the way clear for the no.50 Larbre Competition Saleen to sneak into the lead with the second Luc Alphand car in second place, as the clock reached 1am local time the Saleen had a three lap lead, with the remains of Matech car six laps adrift, and worsening.

They were not the only victims of the Ford Chicane, Jean-Christophe Boullion arrowing the no.13 Rebellion Racing car backwards into the tyre wall on the restart. Boullion climbed over the tyre wall, the car retired from it's overall top ten position on the spot.

At the close of the hour another class was in flux, with Marino Franchitti reportedely limping the second placed LMP2 Highcroft Racing HPD around the circuit having suffered a puncture.

Class top fives after ten hours

No.2 Team Peugeot Total
No.4 Team ORECA Matmut
No.9 Audi Sport North America
No.8 Audi Sport Team Joest
No.7 Audi Sport Team Joest

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

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

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

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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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