- Feb 3, 2014
Nick Tandy takes the #19 Porsche into first place after 12 hours of racing. The #19 Porsche has been battling the #7 Audi for first place throughout the last 6 hours. Here's the low-down on the last 6 hours as we head into the final 12.
As the sun sets and dusk dawns the 24 Hours of Le Mans heads into the night, bringing more challenges for the drivers as they drive in the darkness with minimal light.
The first incident to occur was the #18 Porsche; the LMP1 ran off the track at Mulsanne and caused front wing damage with 17 hours to go. After pitting and having the front wing changed the car continued on its quest with a change of driver.
A long safety car period began with the #36 Alpine LMP2, who also had an incident into Mulsanne, the car was seen slowly stopping to a halt in the gravel trap. The lengthy safety car period was confirmed by the fact there were faulty barriers on the side track, caused by the incident from the #36 Alpine.
The race for #50 Corvette and the #97 Aston Martin was ended early, with a gear box problem for the Corvette, and an engine issue with the Aston Martin which stopped on the side of the track after a burst of smoke coming from the back of the car.
Penalties were given to the dominant #17 Porsche of Mark Webber and the #47 SMP LM2 car. Both cars received a 1 minute stop-go penalty. Webber was for overtaking under yellow flags and the SMP was for a pit lane infringement.
As midnight struck in Le Mans the bonnet of the #22 Nissan flew off the car. Replays showed that the Nissan hit an unidentified object on the track, causing the front body work of the car to fly off, exposing the intricate mechanics of the car.
Nissan did not have much luck in the next hour, the #23 was shown locking up into Arnage, after a brief stop on the side the track the Nissan soon rejoined the race. Major problems struck for the #21, whose suspension broke and thus saw the loss of a tyre, the LMP1 car stopped on the side of the track after avoiding a collision, and despite orders from the Marshalls attempted to the car back to the pits, however after driving away the car soon stopped further down the track. Unfortunately, the #21 could not get back to the pits and thus had to to retire.
A battle between the #7 Audi and #19 Porsche continues for first place. The two cars close after completing their 12th pit stop, just four seconds between them as it hits 1am in France.
Meanwhile, down the field in the LMGTE Pro class, a battle for first continued between the only Pro Corvette, #64 - after their sister car #63 had a crash in Thursdays practice which meant they could not race – and the #99 Aston Martin.
With under 14 hours to go, the #18 Porsche runs off at Mulsanne once again, hits the barrier and beaches itself into the gravel. After being removed from the gravel, the #18 drops from 4th to 8th place but is able to continue racing. Reaching the pits, the car has a full service and front wing change, where Lieb takes the wheel for his next stint.
The number #30 Ligier is handed a 55 second stop/go penalty for speeding in the pit lane, and shortly after the sister car #31, loses control into the Porsche Curves, and under heavy braking the front car hits the wall. The car continued round the track with no light to be wheeled into it's pit box for repairs. Soon after a quick fix, the #31 is sent out once again.
#42 Morgan stopped at the exit of Arnage, smoke visible despite the darkness and the driver seen out of the car.
A broken radiator of #23 Nissan caused it to be in the pits for just over an hour, but the mechanics fixed it just before halfway mark, sending young Brit, Jan Mardenborough out for a late night stint.
Major battle for first place in the GTE Pro class continues throughout the race, the battle between the #99 Aston Martin and the #64 Corvette has a been a prominent feature throughout the last 12 hours, only a few seconds between the two cars as they battle it out for first place.
Just after halfway and pitstops begin once again, the #66 Ferrari enters the pits where a large fire occurs. The fire is quickly extinguished, however effects the #66'S race as it rolls back into the pit box for repairs.
As the race hits half way, here's the leaders in each category:
LMP1 - #19 Porsche - Tandy
LMP2 - #47 KCMG - Lapierre
LMGTE Pro - #99 Aston Martin - Rees
LMGTE Am - #98 Aston Martin - Lauda
- #92 Porsche - GTE Pro
- #88 Porsche - GTE Am
- #41 Greaves Motorsport - LMP2
- #50 Labre Competition - GTE Am
- #97 Aston Martin - GTE Pro
- #36 Signatech Alpine – LMP2
- #21 Nissan – LMP1