24 Hours of Le Mans

2012 24 Hours Of Le Mans: Hour 7 Update

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#1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro continues to lead (Photo Credit: Audi Motorsport)

#1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro continues to lead (Photo Credit: Audi Motorsport)

The first 15 minutes of the seventh hour of the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans was completed under the safety car as barrier repairs continued following the crash between Anthony Davidson and Piergiuseppe Perazzini.

However, as soon as the race restarted Toyota's challenge for the race lead took another massive dent as Kazuki Nakajima tried to fight through traffic in the wake of two Audis.

Passing Satoshi Motoyama in the Nissan Deltawing Nakajima appeared to jimk out from behind the Audis and swiped his countryman off the track and into the wall on the outside of the Porsche Curves.

Motoyama and the Deltawing remain in the race, but the driver is reportedly trying to be repairing the car in order to recover to the pits.

Nakajima returned to the pits, the Toyota team replacing – with some difficulty the rear wing on the #7 TS030. He returned to the track but came back to the pits shortly after and the car was wheeled into the garage where it remained for the rest of the hour, the team carrying out substantial work on the car. The time stationary dropped the car down to 19th overall at the end of the hour.

The various dramas for Nakajima allowed Audis #2 and #4 up into second and third overall with both Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyotas slipping into the overall top five.

For the first time the Irish Murphy Prototypes entry lead LMP2, ending the hour with a 24 second lead over previous leader the #24 OAK Racing Morgan-Judd.

Corvette Racing hold a lap lead over an otherwise close LMGTE Pro class, with the rest of the top five all on the same lap, with the #59 Luxury Racing Ferrari and the second Corvette split by only a few seconds in a battle for fourth in class.

2012 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 7 hours:

#1 – Audi Sport Team Joest – Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer – 106 laps
#2 – Audi Sport Team Joest – Capello/Kristensen/McNish – 106 laps
#4 – Audi Sport North America – Bonanomi/Jarvis/Rockenfeller – 105 laps
#12 – Rebellion Racing – Prost/Jani/Heidfeld – 104 laps
#13 – Rebellion Racing – Belicchi/Primat/Bleekemole – 103 laps

#48 – Murphy Prototypes – Firth/Hughes/Hartley – 100 laps
#24 – OAK Racing – Nicolet/Lahaye/Pla – 100 laps
#35 – OAK Racing – Neinemeier Hansson/Leinders/Martin – 100 laps
#44 – Starworks Motorsports – Potolicchio/Dalziel/Kimber-Smith – 100 laps
#26 – Signatech Nissan – Panciatici/Ragues/Rusinov – 99 laps

#74 – Corvette Racing – Gavin/Milner/Westbrook – 96 laps
#51 – AF Corse – Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander – 95 laps
#77 – Team Felbermayr-Proton – Lieb/Lietz/Henzler – 95 laps
#59 – Luxury Racing – Makowiecki/Melo/Farnbaher – 95 laps
#73 – Corvette Racing – Taylor/Garcia/Magnussen – 95 laps

#50 – Larbre Competition – Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy – 93 laps
#67 – Imsa Performance Matmut – Armindo/Narac/Pons – 93 laps
#57 – Krohn Racing – Krohn/Jonsson/Rugolo – 92 laps
#61 – AF Corse-Waltrip – Kauffman/Aguas/Vickers – 92 laps
#88 Team Felbermayr-Proton – Ried/Roda/Ruberti – 90 laps

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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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