24-Hour Le Mans: Pause for Thought?
From Brian Laban, in Le Mans
17.30: there may be some head scratching in Porsche mission control at the moment. Two and a half hours in, an Audi is leading, and looking ominously comfortable. Porsche looks as though three stints is their tyre norm, Audi have moved towards four – and leader Lotterer set fastest lap of the race so far (two seconds under the car’s qualifying time) on tyres right at the end of their third stint. Unfortunately, three laps after a fuel-only stop Lotterer then came back with a puncture, so turned the unplanned fuel and tyre stop into a driver-change, too, to Benoit Treluyer. That has let Hartley and the number 17 919 Hybrid back into the lead, from Lieb in 18 and Duval and Bonanomi in the 8 and 9 Audis. But the whole picture is changing all the time, and they’re permanently only seconds apart.