LE MANS
The 24 Hours
-
17/06/2001
 
Race Report
Part 9
 
5:19 The fourth place #6 Cadillac pulls straight into its pit garage, rear bodywork is removed, a seemingly minor job, DAMS team manager Jean-Paul Driot, says there was "Just a little starter issue". After a brief flurry of activity at the rear of the car, it is pushed back into the pitlane, Max Angelelli takes the wheel, new tyres, fuel and the car rejoins without losing fourth place.

5:27 The #9 Dome stops at Mulsanne Corner. Fuel pump, we think.

5:28 The #79 Noel del Bello car has a huge spin, ending in the tyre wall at the Ford Chicane. The car is towed out, revealing damage to the vulnerable front end of the 911 GT3-RS.

5:36 The #58 Larbre Viper spins for the third time at the Ford Chicane. The car continues unscathed, in 23rd position.

5:45 Pedro Lamy in the #16 Chrysler takes fifth place from the #38 ROC Reynard as the #6 Cadillac has a further short unscheduled stop. The #16 Chrysler inherits fourth place and the ROC takes back 5th.

5:46 Gunnar Jeannette takes over the GT class leading #77 Porsche and the #14 Chrysler comes in for a lengthy unscheduled stop to deal with a problem at the back of the car. The Chrysler is stationary for five minutes, rejoining in ninth place.

No change at the front, obviously. Pirro and Pescatori are grinding it out in the R8s, two laps apart, and ten and eight laps clear of the Bentley.

Dawn has broken, to reveal a throroughly overcast sky. "That was a waste of time, hoping to see the sun come up," says a disgruntled Brooksie.

We seem to have to have 24 cars still running, although there are three more at the end of the list - none of which seem likely to move again - the two Ascaris and the #18 Courage (which donated its gearbox to the #17 car during the night - below).



6:15 #64 Corvette is in trouble with a failed starter motor, while simultaneously the #60 Saleen is backed into its garage. #63 ploughs on, four laps clear of the RML Saleen, Johnny O'Connell at the wheel.

Pedro Lamy is chasing Max Angelelli for fourth place overall. Both are under four minutes, but four seconds slower than those familiar shapes at the front. Cadillac Northstar against Chrysler LMP could turn out to be the race within a race. The ROC Reynard is still sixth, and on the same lap as the two factory cars - but the mechanics seem to have to add water at each stop.

It's fairly lively in the GT class. Gunnar Jeannette is a lap clear of the Luc Alphand Porsche, with Luca Drudi chasing hard on the same lap, then the Larbre entry, the Perspective and #82 Seikel Porsches, the Taisan Advan car - and seven laps down from that, the twice delayed PK entry. Stephen Day had an off, damaging the front again.



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