Marc Gene on the limit at Le Mans
After 10 hours at Le Mans it's still Peugeot who are in control.
The #2 car of Franck Montagny, Nicolas Minassian and Stéphane Sarrazin has now extended its lead to two minutes and seems to have resolved their balance problems.
The Peugeot 908 HDI entered by Oreca is still in second place with Nicolas Lapierre currently at the wheel and maintaining its lead of more than one minute on the pursuing Audi.
In third and fourth are Audi drivers Marcel Fässler and Timo Bernhard who keep repeatedly changing places and setting very similar lap times.
Over the past two hours, the fastest car in the field has been the #1 Peugeot with Marc Gene at the wheel. After changing the alternator and a loss of three laps, the Spaniard pressed the pedal to the floor, drove one fastest lap after the other and shortened the gap to the leaders. Before midnight he pushed past Stefan Mücke in the number 007 Aston Martin and into sixth place.
With a lap time of 3:19.644 minutes Gene was driving at qualifying pace and clawing back up to seven seconds per lap on the Audi ahead of him. However, shortly after midnight his race to catch up was interrupted by a safety car phase.
It has been significantly worse for the leaders in the GT1 Ratings. Thomas Mutsch had to bring his Ford GT into the pit for an extended stop, ceding the lead to the #50 Saleen from Larbre Competition.
The GT2 class is led by a famililar and favourite Le Mans competitor in the shape of two Chevrolet Corvettes who continue to move ever further away from the field. Meanwhile, even though the Risi-Ferrari of Pierre Kaffer, Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni is back on the track again, they have a huge task ahead ofthem if they are to compete for class honours.
Overall after 10 of 24 hours:
1st Peugeot #2 (Minassian/Sarrazin/Montagny) 163 laps,
2nd Peugeot #4 (Panis/Lapierre/Pagenaud),
3rd Audi #9 (Rockenfeller/Bernhard/Dumas),
4th Audi #8 (Lotterer/Fässler/Treluyer),
5th Audi #7 (Kristensen, Capello, McNish)
6th Peugeot #1 (Wurz/Gene/Davidson)
LMP2 after 10 of 24 hours:
1st Strakka #42 (Leventis/Watts/Kane),
2nd Highcroft #26 (Brabham/Franchitti/Werner),
3rd OAK Racing #35 (Lahaye/Moreau/Charouz),
4th Quifel ASM #40 (Amaral/Pla/Hughes),
5th RML #25 (Newton/Erdos/Wallace),
6th Bruichladdich #41
LMGT1 after 10 of 24 hours:
1st Saleen #50 (Berville/Canal/Gardel),
2nd Corvette #73 (Jousse/Massen/Goueslard),
3rd Ford #60 (Mutsch/Grosjean/Hirschi),
4th Corvette #72 (Gregoire/Policand/Hart),
5th Aston Martin #52 (Nygaard/Enge/Kox),
6th Lamborghini #69 (Yogo/Yamanishi/Iiri)
LMGT2 after 10 of 24 hours:
1st Corvette #64 (Gavin/Beretta/Collard),
2nd Corvette #63 (Magnussen/O'Connell/Garcia),
3rd Porsche #77 (Lieb/Lietz/Henzler),
4th Porsche #76 (Narac/Pilet/Long),
5th Ferrari #95 (Fisichella/Alesi/Vilander),
6th Ferrari #89 (Farnbacher/Simonsen/Keen)