Stephane Sarrazin completed the twelfth hour of the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, ending a first half of the race dominated by he and the #7 Toyota Racing team completed by Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima.
Having taken over the car from Wurz Sarrazin kept the #2 Audi team at a comfortable distance leading by very nearly two minutes at the end of the hour.
In the final seconds of the hour possession of third place looked certain to change with Tom Kristensen limping the #1 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro back towards the pits with the #20 Porsche piloted by Timo Bernhard bearing down on him at full racing speed.
Alex Brundle completed the hour in the OAK Racing Ligier-Nissan, the #35 car becoming a fixture at the top LMP2. At the end of the hour the provisional class podium was completed by the Signatech Alpine #36 and Thiriet by TDS Racing’s #46 Ligier
The best battles on the track continued to be within the LMGTE Pro class with Bruno Senna, Tommy Milner and Toni Vilander the combatants for Aston Martin, Corvette and Ferrari respectively.
Senna was able to escape into a ten second lead – comparatively huge compared to that which has been the stands advantage in the class so far in the race – while Milner became increasingly occupied with keeping Vilander at bay.
The Finn launched several attempts to take the place, flashing his lights to try and catch the attention of the Corvette driver. However, Vilander outbraked himself for the second chicane on the Mulsanne, and while he kept the car out of the gravel the deviation from the ideal let Milner steal a gap.
Vilander ended the hour handing the #51 car to Giancarlo Fisichella. The Italian able to pass the Corvette through the pitstops to take second in class.
The all-Danish crewed #95 car maintained the Aston Martin double by continuing to lead in LMGTE Am, the team of David Heinemeier-Hansson, Kristian Poulsen and Nicki Thiim leading the class by a lap over the SMP Racing Ferrari with Proton Competition’s #88 a further lap in arrears.
2014 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 12 Hours
1 – #7 Toyota Racing – Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima
2 – #2 Audi Sport Team Joest – Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer
3 – #1 Audi Sport Team Joest – di Grassi/Gene/Kristensen
1 – #35 Oak Racing – Brundle/Mardenborough/Shulzhitskiy
2 – #36 Signatech Alpine– Panciatici/Webb/Chatin
3 – #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing – Badey/Gommendy/Thiriet
1 – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Turner/Mücke/Senna
2 – #51 AF Corse – Bruni/Vilander/Fisichella
3 – #74 Corvette Racing – Gavin/Milner/Westbrook
1 – #95 Aston Martin Racing – Poulson/Heinemeier Hansson/Thiim
2 – #72 SMP Racing – Bertolini/Shaitar/Basov
3 – #88 Proton Competition – Al Qubaisi/Bachler/Ried