LeMans Hour 1: Audi 1-2-3 It took just 30 minutes for Audi to assume a 1-2-3 formation at Le Mans as the German manufacturer asserted itself in the early stages of the 75th 24 Hours of Le Mans. Rinaldo Capello held the point through the first hour before rain pelted the circuit at the 1:02 mark.
Audi appears out to keep diesel rival Peugeot off the podium with a strong opening performance. The entire field came in when the rain began to pour to change to intermediate and full wets. The heavy precipitation ended after only about five minutes so the track didn’t get too wet. Frank Biela said the No. 1 Audi he shares with Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner, stayed on slick tires.
Once the caution period concluded, Tom Kristensen replaced Capello and held the lead with Pirro passing one of the Peugeots on the back of the course on the restart.
The American Le Mans Series flavor at the head of the four classes is strong. Aside from the Audis in LMP1, Adrian Fernandez sat third in P2 after starting from the class pole in the factory Zytek 07S during the caution period.
“It was good. The start was no major problems,” Fernandez said. “We just picked our pace and was riding along. We’re always wondering what’s going to happen with the rain. It’s going to be unpredictable. We have to be patient.”
In GT21, Jan Magnussen was third for Corvette Racing in the Corvette C6.R he is sharing with Johnny O’Connell and Ron Fellows. Next was David Brabham in the first of the works Aston Martin DBR9s.
Patrick Long put the IMSA Matmut French Porsche at the head of GT2 near the end of the first hour. Porsche’s lone American factory driver was ahead of fellow factory pilot Jörg Bergmeister of Flying Lizard Motorsports. The running order was changing during the caution however.
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