24 Hours of Le Mans

2011 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour Thirteen Update

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The no.2 Audi R18 continues to lead, however, the main story of the thirteenth hour was Simon Pagenaud in the no.9 Peugeot chasing down the leader.

Such was the impression Pagenaud was able to make on the lead that it tumbled from nearly two minutes at the start of the hour to only half a minute at its end. The hour also included a full service pitstop for the Audi – new Michelin tyres, more diesel and Marcel Fassler strapped into the car – that allowed Pagenaud through into the lead for the first time in several hours.

Pagenaud would have to pit – though a shorter stop during which the Frenchman remained in the car meant that he could maintain some level of contact with the long-time leader. The no.8 car of Stephane Sarrazin is just over a minute off the lead in third, with the third 908 in fourth ahead of the best of the petrol fuelled entries – the Pescarolo Team entry.

Greaves Motorsport maintain their LMP2 lead gained when the ORECA Matmut car was delayed with electrical problems. Their stint in the lead was briefly interrupted during a sequence of pitstops that allowed the ORECA squad briefly back into the lead before making their own stop.

Third in class is another ORECA 03 chassis, that of Signatech Nissan, visiting the top three for the first time – at least consistently – since their early puncture.

Corvette Racing continue to be the dominant force in GTEPro. With a lap advantage Jan Magnussen was able to come in and hand the no.74 car over to Richard Westbrook with their lead being troubled by the chasing AF Corse Ferrari.

The Gulf AMR Middle East, a factor in the GTEAm class during Saturday crashed heavily in the Porsche Curves, Michael Wainwright looping the no.60 car and slamming the concrete wall on the outside of the track.

Larbre Competition were leading when the hour finished, but had only recently taken the lead back from the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche that Spencer Pumpelly had driven to the head of the class. Pumpelly's lead – no matter how brief at this point – is a lonely high point for Porsche.

Elsewhere their week of woe continued, Bryce Miller returning to the pits with the much delayed no.88 Felbermayr-Proton Porsche carrying a second puncture in the space of an hour, the flailing tyre also have claimed much of the right-front bodywork to compound the misery.

2011 24 Hours of Le Mans standings after twelve hours:

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

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.75 – Prospeed Competition – Goossens/Holzer/van Lagen

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

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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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