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LeMans Hour 8: Peugeot extends lead
Leading No. 7 Peugeot
The first eight hours of the 24 Hours of Le Mans have lived up to expectations with lead-lap battles for the lead in three of four classes. American Le Mans Series drivers fared incredibly well with three class leads through the first third of the world’s greatest race. Corvette Racing in GT1 and Risi Competizione in GT2 led their groups by mere seconds.

In the class pole-winning Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R, Johnny O’Connell led Aston Martin Racing’s Antonio Garcia by just 38 seconds with the second factory Aston Martin DBR9 of Andrea Piccini on the same lap and within two minutes.

The second factory Corvette lost time with an alternator change and was a lap behind with Olivier Beretta behind the wheel.

“It’s clear it’s going to be a mighty long fight,” O’Connell said after his first stint. “So far we’re doing all right. It’s obvious the competition has improved its performance and their cars are getting better, but then so are ours. During the pit stops we adjusted the roll bars a bit to get rid of the oversteer. We’re not double-stinting our tires anymore, because on Jan’s second stint in the beginning of the race the car got too loose. We’ll see what we do during the night.”

Jaime Melo led for Risi in the No. 82 Ferrari F430GT by 42 seconds over the Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche with Wolf Henzler, who drives in the US for Flying Lizard Motorsports, at the wheel. Melo, Mika Salo and Gianmaria Bruni had started fifth in class but had worked their way to the class lead in the first three hours.

The Risi team led for 11 hours at last year’s race before crashing in the rain and terminally damaged the water pump.

Pre-race favorite Flying Lizard suffered disaster early when Seth Neiman and the IMSA Performance Porsche of American factory driver Patrick Long made contact and sent both cars into the gravel. The Lizard entry suffered significant damage including severe bodywork damage on all sides, a broken rear wheel (and the other three badly damaged), two broken radiators and right rear suspension damage.

It took 80 minutes to get the car repaired. Jörg Bergmeister rejoined the race before the car pitted again in the seventh hour with frame alignment issues.

At the front, Peugeot’s Marc Gene held a two-minute lead on Audi Sport North America’s Tom Kristensen in the Audi R10 TDI. The expected diesel duel between Peugeot and Audi had fully developed with all six entries holding the top six spots.

Hour 8 Standings


# Class Drivers Team Car Laps Behind
1. 7 LM P1 M.Gene, N.Minassian, J.Villeneuve Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 134 0.000
2. 2 LM P1 R.Capello, A.McNish, T.Kristensen Audi Sport North America Audi R10 133 1 Lap
3. 9 LM P1 F.Montagny, R.Zonta, C.Klein Peugeot Sport Total Peugeot 908 133 2:17.505
4. 3 LM P1 L.Luhr, A.Premat, M.Rockenfeller Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R10 132 2 Laps
5. 1 LM P1 F.Biela, E.Pirro, M.Werner Audi Sport North America Audi R10 132 4.621
6. 8 LM P1 P.Lamy, S.Sarrazin, A.Wurz Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 129 5 Laps
7. 5 LM P1 S.Ayari, L.Duval, L.Groppi Team Oreca Matmut Courage-Oreca LC70 Judd 128 6 Laps
8. 11 LM P1 D.Ito, Y.Tachikawa, T.Kataoka Dome Racing Team Dome S102 Judd 128 1:42.039
9. 17 LM P1 H.Primat, C.Tinseau, B.Treluyer Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo Judd 128 1:43.030
10. 6 LM P1 S.Pagenaud, O.Panis, M.Fassler Team Oreca Matmut Courage-Oreca LC70 Judd 128 2:09.332
11. 16 LM P1 J.C.Boullion, E.Collard, R.Dumas Pescarolo Sport Pescarolo Judd 127 7 Laps
12. 34 LM P2 P.van Merksteijn, J.Verstappen, J.Bleeke Van Merksteijn Motorsport Porsche RS Spyder 126 8 Laps
13. 18 LM P1 V.Ickx, S.Gregoire, J.Barbosa Rollcentre Racing Pescarolo Judd 125 9 Laps
14. 31 LM P2 J.Nielsen, C.Elgaard, S.Maassen Team Essex Porsche RS Spyder 125 11.986
15. 33 LM P2 X.Pompidou, A.Belicchi, S.Zacchia SpeedY Racing Team Sebah Lola B08/80Judd 123 11 Laps
16. 20 LM P1 A.Burgueno, M.A.De Castro, A.Valles Epsilon Euskadi Epsilon Euskadi EE01 Judd 123 18.527
17. 35 LM P2 P.Ragues, M.Lahaye, C.Cheng Saulnier Racing Pescarolo Judd 120 14 Laps
18. 12 LM P1 G.Pickett, K.Graf, J.Lammers Charouz Racing System Lola Judd 120 5.997
19. 63 LM GT1 J.O'Connell, J.Magnussen, R.Fellows Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R 120 2:59.342
20. 00 LM GT1 D.Brabham, D.Turner, A.Garcia Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin DBR9 119 15 Laps
21. 10 LM P1 S.Mucke, J.Charouz, T.Enge Charouz Racing System Lola B08/80 Aston Martin 119 15.637
22. 00 LM GT1 H.-H.Frentzen, A.Piccini, K.Wendlinger Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin DBR9 119 1:05.828
23. 40 LM P2 M.Amaral, O.Pla, G.Smith Quifel-ASM Team Lola B05/40 AER 119 2:38.395
24. 4 LM P1 M.Faggionato, J.Nicolet, R.Hein Saulnier Racing Pescarolo Judd 118 16 Laps
25. 64 LM GT1 O.Beretta, O.Gavin, M.Papis Corvette Racing Corvette C6.R 118 3:09.793
26. 72 LM GT1 L.Alphand, J.Policand, G.Moreau Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R 117 17 Laps
27. 59 LM GT1 J.Menten, C.Fittipaldi, T.Borcheller Team Modena Aston Martin DBR9 115 19 Laps
28. 82 LM GT2 M.Salo, J.Melo, G.Bruni Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GTC 114 20 Laps
29. 73 LM GT1 P.Goueslard, J.Blanchemain, L.Pasquali Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R 114 37.666
30. 77 LM GT2 A.Davison, W.Henzler, H.Felbermayr Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 114 39.797
31. 96 LM GT2 T.Mullen, R.Bell, T.Sugden Virgo Motorsport Ferrari F430 GTC 112 22 Laps
32. 78 LM GT2 T.Biagi, C.Montanari, T.Vilander AF Corse Ferrari F430 GTC 111 23 Laps
33. 97 LM GT2 F.Babini, P.Ruberti, M.Malucelli BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari F430 GTC 111 4:59.793
34. 90 LM GT2 L.-E.Nielsen, P.Ehret, P.Kaffer Farnbacher Racing Ferrari F430 GTC 111 5:13.309
35. 45 LM P2 W.Hughes, J.Kane, J.Foster Embassy Racing Embassy WF01 Zytek 110 24 Laps
36. 99 LM GT2 B.Aucott, S.Dauodi, A.Ferte JMB Racing Ferrari F430 GTC 110 20:23.250
37. 32 LM P2 J.Barazi, M.Vergers, S.Moseley Barazi Epsilon Zytek 07S/2 104 30 Laps
38. 26 LM P2 B.Devlin, M.Rostan, G.Jeannette Team Bruichladdich Radical Radical SR9 AER 103 31 Laps
39. 14 LM P1 S.Hall, J.Mowlem, M.Goossens Creation Autosportif Creation CA07 AIM 103 1:40.687
40. 50 LM GT1 C.Bouchut, P.Bornhauser, D.Hallyday Larbre Competition Saleen S7R 100 34 Laps
41. 44 LM P2 J.de Pourtales, H.Noda, J.-F.Yvon Kruse Schiller Motorsport Lola B05/40 Mazda 99 35 Laps
42. 23 LM P1 M.Lewis, B.Willman, C.McMurry Autocon Creation CA07 Judd 99 1:36.180
43. 25 LM P2 T.Erdos, M.Newton, A.Wallace RML Lola B05/40 MG 97 37 Laps
44. 22 LM P1 T.Suzuki, M.Kageyama, H.Kurosawa Tokai University-YGK Power Courage-Oreca YGK 91 43 Laps
45. 55 LM GT1 P.Kox, R.Rusinov, M.Hezemans Interprogressbank Spartak Lamborghini Murcielago 84 50 Laps
46. 53 LM GT1 A.Negrao, P.Hardman, N.Leventis Vitaphone Racing Team Aston Martin DBR9 82 52 Laps
47. 80 LM GT2 J.Bergmeister, J.van Overbeek, S.Neiman Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR 76 58 Laps
48. 19 LM P1 G.Evans, B.Berridge, A.Stretton Chamberlain-Synergy Motorspr Lola B06/10 AER 73 61 Laps
49. 24 LM P1 Y.Terada, K.Takahashi, H.Katoh Terramos Courage Mugen 71 63 Laps
50. 21 LM P1 J.-M.Gounon, S.Nakano, S.Johansson Epsilon Euskadi Epsilon Euskadi EE01 Judd 62 72 Laps

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