24 Hours of Le Mans

2011 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour Fifteen Update

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The fifteenth hour of the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans dawned with dawn itself and with the third safety car period of the race after Jean-Christophe Boullion crashed the no.13 Rebellion Racing Lola in the Porsche Curves.

Once more, though the car was an instant retirement, the driver was able to walk away from the accident. However, the most interesting development from the crash was that the three leaders – the no.9 and 7 Peugeots and no.2 Audi were all collected behind the same one of the three pace cars deployed around the track.

Thankfully the safety period was shorter than the two earlier in the day, the getting back underway after just 20 minutes behind the fleet of Audi saloon cars.

Sadly the tightly packed lead group didn't see the green flag intact, Simon Pagenaud pulling the no.9 Peugeot out of the lead and down the pitlane to hand over to Sebastien Bourdais as the race went green.

Davidson was in soon after in the no.7 entry, allowing Marcel Fassler through into the lead of the race and with enough margin to maintain the lead – just – when he made his own stop. Davidson was close behind, however, and made a pass for the lead squeezing down the inside of the Audi into the sweeping right hander before Indianapolis.

The Briton's lead lasted less than a lap as he ran wide in the middle element of the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight, handing Fassler and Audi back the lead.

Boullion's accident aside the main incidents affected one time front runners in GTEPro. Stephane Ortelli was struck by electrical failure in his Luxury Racing Ferrari, leaving him stranded on the run towards the Porsche Curves.

The Prospeed Competition Porsche was the other trouble hit GTEPro car, being heaved into the garage after running in the class top three, the best Porsche in the race, during the night.

In ninth overall Greaves Motorsport continue to lead LMP2 over the Team ORECA Matmut ORECA 03, and the no.64 Corvette continues to lead GTEPro, having made an extended pitstop under the safety car to change the brakes.

The no.51 AF Corse Ferrari is now their nearest challenger, with the second Corvette in third, sizing up the potential for a 1-2 finish for the American manufacturer. The Flying Lizard Motorsports entry has moved into fourth and picked up the chase as the best Porsche representative.

2011 24 Hours of Le Mans standings after fourteen hours:

No.2 – Audi Sport Team Joest – Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer
No.7 – Peugeot Sport Total – Davidson/Gene/Wurz
No.9 – Peugeot Sport Total – Bourdais/Lamy/Pagenaud

No.41 – Greaves Motorsport – Ojjeh/Kimber-Smith/Lombard
No.48 – Team ORECA Matmut – Hallyday/Kraihamer/Premat
No.26 – Signatech Nissan – Ayari/Mailleux/Ordonez

No.74 – Corvette Racing – Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook
No.51 – AF Corse SRL – Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander
No.53 – Corvette Racing – Beretta/Garcia/Milner

No 81 – Flying Lizard Motorsports – Neiman/Law/Pumpelly
No.50 – Larbre Competition – Bornhauser/Canal/Gardel
No.70 – Larbre Competition – Belloc/Bourret/Gibon

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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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