The penultimate hour of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has provided a big shake up across the whole field showing that even this far in to a race things are still very much up for grabs.
At the start of the hour Jarvis was defending third place hard from Lapierre while the #2 Audi lead the field with the #8 Toyota a lap behind. As the rain came in once again, Jarvis dropped a position during his pitstop but wasn’t prepared to sit and wait for the finish. Pushing on hard Jarvis set about making up time reducing the gap down from 50 seconds. With Lapierre pitting Jarvis took back third place and also a lap from leader Kristensen. Halfway through the hour the Audi of Jarvis and Toyota of Lapierre were separated by just 6 seconds, as time wore on the Toyota succumbed to pressure and exited left off the track and buried itself in to the tyre barrier. The pressure for third place was off of Jarvis. Lapierre would get going again but with unknown damage we will have to see if the team can get the car back out on track.
LMP2 seemed to be going to plan for the OAK racing team as they traded fast laps at the head of the class, the #26 G-Drive Oreca was now running in third place with Jann Mardenborough also on the same lap, looking to take the final podium spot. As the rain came down the #40 Boutsen car spun off circuit, moments late the class leader Baguette would get tangled up in an incident with the #46 TDS.
Water on track also caused problems for some of the GTE Pro field including the #92 Porsche who was running second place as they entered the 22nd hour, just five minutes in to the hour Lietz spun at Tetre Rouge, losing time to the lead Aston Martin. Following a round of pitstops the Aston Martin lost out and Lietz was the winner. Stefan Mucke would pick up the battle for class honours setting a new personal best time as it chased position. A close battle ensued as the rain came down, Mucke pits, Lietz doesn’t as the Porsche team take a gamble on the weather.
In the GTE Am class IMSA Performance continue to lead the class ahead of the two AF Corse Ferrari’s, Patrick Long finished the hour chasing third place with some impressive pace.
2013 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 23 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 – #92 Porsche AG Team Manthey – Lieb/Lietz/Dumas
2 – #91 Porsche AG Team Manthey – Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard
3 – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Bell/Makowiecki/Senna
1 – #76 IMSA Performance Matmut – Narac/Bourret/Vernay
2 – #55 AF Corse – Perazzini/Case/O’Young
3 – #61 AF Corse – Gerber/Griffin/Cioci