The weather continues to put the outcome of the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans in doubt as the #2 Audi maintains its long held lead.
Conditions have been changing constantly within the last hour, with it raining and then drying out, just as it has for much of the race. At the head of the field, the #8 Toyota continues to run a strong second, but any chance of a surprise victory seem to be diminishing.
Meanwhile, the #7 Toyota could yet come under threat for the last step on the LMP1 podium by the #3 Audi. Lucas di Grassi was eating into Nakajima’s advantage, before the Audi was forced to make a scheduled pit stop. Oliver Jarvis is now onboard the #3, and is within striking distance of the second Toyota.
The #1 continues its rather forlorn charge with it remaining ten laps back in fifth place.
In LMP2, OAK maintains its one-two position, as it has for much of the race, with the #26 G-Drive car moving up to third, but is one lap back from the OAK duo.
The best battle on track looks like being found in the GTE Pro category, with the #92 Porsche of Marc Lieb leading the Aston Martin #97 by under ten seconds. The sister car, the #91, also remains in touch.
GTE Am honours continue to be disputed by two cars, with things currently going the way of the #76 IMSA Matmut Performance Porsche, whilst the #55 AF Corse. The battle for third in close is also tightly fought, with the #55 AF Corse machine holding a slender advantage over sister #61 car.
There was a close call in the pits earlier in the hour, after the #51 AF Corse GTE Pro class Ferrari tried to pull away from the pits with a fuel hose still attached. Thankfully the car was stopped in time, but not before the refuelling guy went flying. He was quickly on his feet and hobbled away.
The Ferrari was then released into the path of the #45 OAK Racing art car, which was spun in the impact. It was unclear whether the prototype sustained damage in this incident, but it didn’t last much longer with an excursion into the second chicane gravel trap appearing to be the end to that car’s day.
1 – #2 Audi Sport Team Joest – Duval/McNish/Kristensen
2 – #8 Toyota Racing – Buemi/Davidson/Sarrazin
3 – #7 Toyota Racing – Lapierre/Nakajima/Wurz
1 – #24 OAK Racing – Brundle/Heinemeier Hansson/Pla
2 – #35 OAK Racing – Baguette/Gonzales/PlowmaN
3- #26 G-Drive Racing – Conway/Martin/Rusinov
1 – #92 Porsche AG Team Manthey – Dumas/Lieb/Lietz
2 – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Dumbreck/Mucke/Turner
3 – #91 Porsche AG Team Manthey – Bergmeister/Bernhard/Pilet
1 – #76 IMSA Performance Matmut – Bourret/Narac/Vernay
2 – #55 AF Corse – Case/Perazzini/O’Young
3 – #61 AF Corse – Cioci/Gerber/Griffin