It all began to get a little bit tense as the 24 Hours of Le Mans entered the closing stages. With just three hours, or the length of an ELMS race, to go, it was still very much up in the air as to who would be in prime position to take victory at 3pm local time.
The #2 Audi had continued to dominate LMP1, but behind, the battle for third was hotting up between the #3 Audi R18 and the #7 Toyota TS030. The two swapped positions not only in the pits, but had a proper on-track battle, the intensity of which you would expect in a sprint race, not a 24 hour endurance.
The lead Audi was left in the capable hands of Tom Kristensen 15 minutes in to the hour. As the hour drew to a close, the #3 had started to gap the #7 and suddenly appeared to be able to challenge the #8 Toyota and set up an Audi 1-2.
LMP2 was still very much the OAK Racing show, but the battle for third between the G-Drive Racing Orecas and the Greaves Motorsport Zytek did battle for the position, again with overtakes coming courtesy of pit stop strategy.
The battle for GTE Pro lead was as close as it had ever been throughout the race, with the #92 Porsche holding a slim 7 second lead over the #97 Aston Martin at the start of the hour. However, the positions swapped midway through the hour, and Darren Turner ended up 16 seconds ahead of the Porsche.
Little changed in GTE Am in the twenty-second hour, although the fatigue appeared to be taking its toll on the gentlemen drivers, with a variety of cars sliding through the gravel in a variety of directions.
2013 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 22 hours
1 – #2 Audi Sport Team Joest – Kristensen/Duval/McNish
2 – #8 Toyota Racing – Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin
3 – #3 Audi Sport Team Joest – Gene/di Grassi/Jarvis
1 – #35 OAK Racing – Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman
2 – #24 OAK Racing – Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle
3 – #26 G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR – Rusinov/Martin/Conway
1 – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Bell/Makowiecki/Senna
2 – #92 Porsche AG Team Manthey – Lieb/Lietz/Dumas
3 – #91 Porsche AG Team Manthey – Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard
1 – #76 IMSA Performance Matmut – Narac/Bourret/Vernay
2 – #55 AF Corse – Perazzini/Case/O’Young
3 – #61 AF Corse – Gerber/Griffin/Cioci