24 Hours of Le Mans

2010 24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour Twenty Update

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As the hours tick down, with only four remaining the No.1 Peugeot continues to gain of the two leading hours, even after Anthony Davidson had handed the car over to Alexander Wurz.

Running every lap “like a qualifying lap” Davidson had pulled himself back a lap, easing past on the run down to Mulsanne Corner. Davidson even managed to over do the pit entry, launching the 908 over kerbs on the intricate pit entry.

Also charging is the only other Peugeot left in the race in the hands of Hughes de Chaunac's ORECA squad, hunting down Allan McNish from a lap behind, but while the race at the front is all about gaps being cut, other races continue to be effected by incidents and accidents.

Giancarlo Fisichella took the AF Corse Ferrari sliding down the access road at Indianapolis in a frightening incident, brake failure to blame to the lurid slide past marshals watching for more conventional accidents at the left-handed. The car suffered nose damage, which need repairs sufficient to drop it from second t fourth in class, the quiet and unspectacular Hankook Team Farnbacher Ferrari taking their place, now three laps behind the leading Porsche.

Entering the LMGT2 top five for the first time in the race, and after a massively troubled race for the team is the lone remaining BMW M3, its Art Car teammate having left the race on Saturday.

The second placed car also had problems in LMP2, the Highcroft Racing car touring back to the pits before being pushed back into the garage as the team went to work to solve a cooling problem on the HPD that had held the second place for almost the entire race. As the clocked ticked over four hours to go the car remained in the pits, having slumped down the order to fourth.

The delay all but handed the class win to the Strakka racing HPD car who now hold and eight lap advantage aver the OAK Racing Pescarolo Judd.

There was also incident among the top petrol runners. The no.009 Aston Martin, which inherited the top slot from its teammate suffered a collection of minor spins and lock-ups, though maintaining sixth position, a whopping nine laps adrift of the worst of the leading diesels.

The third LMP1 Aston Martin in the race joined the ever growing list of retirements, after running off the first chicane on the Mulsanne straight the impact with the tyre wall mangling the right-front suspension and the front bodywork. Driver Vanina Ickx managed to limp the car back around half the track, only for her team to immediately retire the car from the race.

The hours 18-20 aslo saw a number of struggling, or otherwise stricken cars join the official retirement list. The no.2 Peugeot, no.63 Risi Ferrari and both LMGT2 Corvettes. The retirement of both the no.73 Luc Alphand Corvette and the JLOC Lamborghini reduced the LMGT1 field to just three cars, still led by the Larbre Saleen.

The no.9 Audi held the lead by around 20 seconds from the sister no.8 car. The no.1 Peugeot scored 1 lap behind the pair.

Class top fives after 20 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.35 OAK Racing
No.25 RML
No.26 Highcroft Racing
No.41 Team Bruichladdich

No.50 Larbre Competition
No.52 Young Driver AMR
No.72 Luc Alphand Corvette

No.77 Team Felbermayr-Proton
No.89 Hankook Team Farnbacher
No.97 BMS Scuderia Italia
No.95 AF Corse
No.78 BMW 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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