Photos & Words: Mike Juergens & Josh Decker
After 11 hours of running Audi has been able to maintain it’s 1st place position after trading off briefly with the #7 Toyota this afternoon. After making contact with the Delta Wing the Toyota was forced to take an extended pit stop to make repairs. Shortly after the Toyota was back in the garage for a power steering replacement and for a full check up. At around 1:30 AM local time the Toyota was pulled into the garage and retired from the race. They had fallen too far back to be competitive but they have gained lots of insight and after the brief battle with the R18 etron quattro we know it’s a fierce competitor. We look forward to the 24 Hours of SPA rematch.
The Audi’s pace has slowed a bit, as they have no real competition left. The passing as become less risky as it’s now about maintaining a steady pace until the end. The #3 R18 ultra is working its way up with still 3 laps behind the 3rd place #4 R18 ultra. Two Rebellion Racing Lolas are all that stands in the way of the #3 car. Loic Duval is currently driving and his sector and laps are several seconds faster than the Lolas. If he’s able to keep up the current pace we could witness the first 1-2-3-4 victory for Audi Sport.
1 Audi R18 etron quattro #1
2 Audi R18 etron quattro #2 -1L
3 Audi R18 ultra #4 -2L
4 Lola-Toyota #12 -5L
5 Lola-Toyota #13 -7L
6 Audi R18 ultra #3 -8L
UPDATE: The #7 Toyota has pulled from the race. That is both Toyotas out of the race now…