Saturday, June 11, 2011

2011 24 Hours of Le Mans

First Hourly Update
The Audis were slightly quicker on the track than the Peugeots and were able to save some time while refueling from the looks of it as they were running 1-2-3 about 15 seconds ahead of the nearest Peugeot after the first stop. Nearly at the one hour mark the #3 Audi of McNish was involved in a serious accident bringing out the safety car. Retiring early was the #009 Aston. Corvette is first and second leading the GT category after a timely pre safety car pit stop.

Second Update
After over an hour of safety car period to fix the safety barrier we are back to green racing with the number 2 Audi leading four Peugeots and the number 1 Audi in fifth after a nose change. The Oreca Nissan leads P2 while the #74 Corvette leads GT after separating from other GTs because of the multiple safety cars.

Third Update
With four hours and 57 laps complete the number 2 Audi leads the three factory Peugeots. P2 and GTE Pro leaders remain unchanged while the #60 Aston Martin leads in GTE Am.

With five hours gone by, the action on the track has calmed somewhat as the number 7 Peugeot is leading the number 2 Audi by 15 seconds but the two cars are running on different pit strategies.

A quarter of the way through the race the competitors are doing a good job getting through the traffic and battling the dirty race track. Current leaders in the classes are Audi, Oreca, BMW and the Labre Corvette.

Seven Hour Update
The number 2 Audi has been able to increase its lead over the chasing Peugeot to make a pit stop and still come out ahead. Corvette is first and second in GT Pro. The track is getting darker now.

Eight Hour Update
Nearly eight hours into the race the #1 Audi had contact with a GT Ferrari and crashed heavily into a barrier at extremely high speed, Mike Rockenfeller got out of the car on his own.

Nine Hour Update
We should be going to green racing soon after nearly an hour and a half delay, Rocky is said to be ok but is undergoing checks. Just heard a McNish interview and he is also ok after his earlier accident as well.

Ten hour update
After nearly 2.5 hours of safety car period we are back to actual racing with the #2 Audi at the front of the field as the sole Audi remaining. Mike Rockenfeller has called his parents and appears to have escaped his accident with minimal injuries. The emotions for the Audi team and its drivers are hard to imagine.

After the restart Audi leads by over two minutes while Oreca is first in P2 and Corvette leads the AF Corse Ferrari in GT Pro.

One Hour Left to Halfway
Almost halfway done with the race and the #2 Audi continues to lead by around two minutes. The #41 Zytek Nisan has captured the P2 lead while the Corvette team continues to lead the Ferrari in Gt Pro.

12 Hours to Go
Audi continues to lead over Peugeot by almost two minutes while the Zytek Nissan and Corvette lead their classes receptively.

Almost Sunrise
Night time racing continues at Le Mans with all of the teams fighting fatigue and waiting for the sun to rise once again. Audi continues to lead (but it looks like the number #2 is taking things slightly slower now) as the leaders remain the same from the last update.

As the sun has risen over Le Mans, the Peugeot has caught up to Audi and is only 2 seconds behind the leading Audi.

8 Hours Left
With eight hours left to go Peugeot is first and second but the third place Audi is only 35 seconds back after its pit stop. Greaves Motorsport has a two lap lead in P2 while Corvette continues to lead Ferrari in Gt Pro.

With a little over 7 hours left in the race the GT leading Corvette lost control and hit a Porsche and then both hit the wall. Safety car is out once again after another big impact and debris on track. Before the safety cars numerous cars were posting their quickest times of the race thanks to better track conditions.

7 Hours Left
The number 2 Audi is less than a second behind the #9 Peugeot and we have a battle on the track after almost 18 hours of racing, brilliant.

6 Hours Left
Audi has passed for the overall lead and now has a lead of about 15 seconds over the Peugeots.

5 Hours Left
The number 2 Audi leads by about 30 seconds over the 9 Peugeot, the number 7 Peugeot has front end damage and is being fixed in the pits. Looks like it's a two horse race for the overall win. Zytek Nissan leads by two laps in P2 while the Af Corse has a lap lead over the #73 Corvette. The Labre competition Corvette leads in GT AM.

4 Hours Left
Audi leads by almost a minute but the Peugeot of Anthony Davidson is trying to slow it down and not get lapped again. The Treluyer piloted Audi is on its fifth sting. Greaves Motorsports continues to lead in P2 by four laps now. Top two GT Pro cars are now on the same lap making things more interesting in GT. There are reports of small showers on some parts of the race track with a chance for rain in the near future. Just another element to make the race even more challenging for the drivers.

3 Hours to Go
Andre Lotterer leads in his number 2 Audi by over a minute as he continues to be blocked by the other Peugeots as he laps them. Corvette has taken over the lead in GTE Pro. It appears the rain never picked up and has not forced any team to use anything but slicks yet.

2 Hours To Go
The rain has picked up now with some teams running intermediates. The Audi has a minute lead at the front while Corvette has caught up and passed the Ferrari for GT lead. The #16 Pescarolo running fifth has crashed and is out of the race. Tire choice will be become interesting very soon, very much like in the Audi documentary, "Truth in 24"

1.5 Hours Left
With and hour and thirty minutes left Audi continues to lead by over a minute but is continually blocked by every lapped Peugeot it approaches. The race track is drying out and lap times are now falling.

55 Minutes Left
The race leading Audi has pitted for fuel but will need a splash and go to finish up the race. It looks like the #9 Peugeot will need a pit stop as well. We are in for an extremely close finish to the 2011 edition of 24 Hours of Le Mans.

25 Minutes Left
Audi has a 10 second lead after both contenders are fueled and ready to go. It might be starting to rain harder now.

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