JUNE 14, 2014
Five hours into the 82nd edition of the 24 Heures du Mans, a chaotic and highly competitive race has captivated those watching on.
The weather has proved an erratic presence with long periods of warm sunshine interspersed by intense and localised downpours. One of these showers 90 minutes into the race rendered the Mulsanne Straight treacherous causing a collision between three cars. This included two of the race favourites - #8 Toyota Racing, driven by Nicolas Lapierre, and #3 Audi Sport Team Joest with Marco Bonamoni at the wheel. While the Toyota crawled back slowly to the pits, eventually returning to the race nine laps down, #3 Audi, along with the #81 GTE AM AF Corse, was forced to retire from the race.
#7 Toyota Racing started in pole and continues to lead although the driver line-up of Alexander Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima temporarily surrendered their lead to #20 Porsche Team.Due to the frequent rain, significant spells of the race have been run under safety car conditions. #2 Audi Sport Team Joest lies almost a minute behind in second place. The leading cars had completed 71 laps.
#20 Porsche Team with Brendon Hartley on shift sits in third place and #1 Audi Sport Team Joest, including Rolex Testimonee and record nine-time winner Tom Kristensen in its driver line-up, lies fourth having started back in seventh.
#35 Oak Racing currently leads LM P2; #74 Corvette Racing leads GTE Pro and #98 Aston Martin Racing heads up GTE Amateur. Six cars have been forced to abandon the race.
The 24 Heures du Mans is organised by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. Rolex has been the Official Timepiece since 2001.
A further update will be available at 09:00 CEST on Sunday morning.