Petit: Capello’s Audi leads at halfway The five-hour mark has come and gone at Road Atlanta with the 10th running of Petit Le Mans past the halfway mark. Audi’s Dindo Capello led as the 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic moved past the 500-mile mark by 30 seconds over Penske’s Emmanuel Collard in the No. 6 Porsche RS Spyder. The race pace put the estimated time of finish at just shy of 9 p.m. ET.
Capello’s teammate, Allan McNish, had to come back from a collision at Turn 1 with Memo Gidley in the Team Cytosport Lola and the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT. Capello inherited the lead with the most recent pit stop by the No. 6 crew.
Collard led Patrick Long in the sister Porsche by 32 seconds. That the No. 6 car led was a feat in itself after being penalized for 30 seconds after causing a melee at Turn 6 when Ryan Briscoe hit Darren Manning. Clint Field in the No. 37 Intersport Lola and Luis Diaz in the Lowe’s Fernandez Racing Acura-Lola both were collected in the incident with both cars eventually retiring.
Stefan Mucke was running fourth overall and third in class in the No. 5 factory Zytek 07S. Mucke was a lap off Collard’s pace with Chris Dyson fourth in P2 and two more laps back. He was a lap ahead of Creation Autosportif’s Jaime Campbell-Walter with the Creation CA07 second in P1.
Max Papis continued to lead in GT1 for Corvette Racing in the No. 4 Corvette C6.R. He was four laps ahead of Andrea Bertolini in the pole-winning No. 27 Maserati MC12 from Lista Doan Racing. The second Corvette, the No. 3 entry, was retired in the first hour when Jan Magnussen went off track hard at Turn 4.
Flying Lizard Motorsports’ No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR led GT2 with Jörg Bergmeister holding a 20-second advantage over Ralf Kelleners in the Rahal Letterman Racing Porsche. Dominik Farnbacher was third in the No. 71 Tafel Racing Porsche another 44 seconds back.
Jamie Melo led in GT2 for Risi Competizione in the No. 62 Ferrari F430 GT that started from pole position. Dominik Farnbacher was running second for Tafel Racing in the No. 71 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.
Six other cars had retired: Andretti Green Racing, Intersport Racing, Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing, Robertson Racing and Tafel Racing’s other Porsche.
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