Toyota’s No.7 Car Out Of Le Mans 2014 and Audi In Trouble On 16th Hour


Published on June 15th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Toyota’s No.7 Car Out Of Le Mans 2014 and Audi In Trouble On 16th Hour

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The 82nd running of the 24 hours of Le Mans started seeing excitement in the standings starting from the 15th hour when cars among the leader in several classes found problems.None were more serious than the #7 Toyota TS040 Hybrid which has stopped shortly before the end of the previous hour. However, during the hour the severity of the problem became clear as first the car tumbled down the order, before being posted as an official retirement.

The team blamed a problem in the wiring loom for ending the race for the car that had dominated the race up to that point. Benoit Treluyer consolidated the lead he had been handed, taking a three lap lead over the #20 Porsche to the end of the hour with the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro running in third place.

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The Toyota’s retirement lifted the OAK Racing Ligier up to sixth overall, Alex Brundle driving the car through the end of the hour with a lap’s lead over Tristan Gommendy’s Thiriet by TDS Racing entry.

Then in the 16th hour the leading Audi hit problems. Things all seemed to be going Audi’s way following the retirement of the #7 Toyota. The #2 car held a two lap advantage over its sister car for most of the hour. Lucas di Grassi, driving the #1, was able to demote the #20 Porsche, driven by Mark Webber, to third place and pull away.

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But in a race that has already featured so much drama, there was still more to come. Shortly before the end of the hour, Marcel Fassler brought the leading #2 Audi into the pits for an unscheduled stop. The car was pushed into its garage. There is no confirmation of what the problem is, but it could be turbo related.

The #1 had its scheduled pit stop without drama, with Marc Gene behind the wheel. The issue for the #2 promotes the #1 Audi, which was heavily crashed by Loic Duval at the start of the week, into the lead of the race for the first time. Additionally, the #20 Porsche moves up into second place once more, but there is an eight lap gap back to the sole remaining #8 Toyota.

Elsewhere, the battle for LMP2 class honours looks to be fought between three cars. The #35 OAK Racing Ligier continues to lead as it has for much of the race, with the #36 Signatech Alpine in second. However, the latter was being caught by a second Ligier, the #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing.

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The GTE Pro class continues to be hotly contested as well. The leading #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 made a scheduled pit stop, with Toni Vilander taking over the driving duties. He held as much as a 25 second advantage over the #95 Aston Martin, but Stefan Mucke was soon lapping quickly and closing the gap once more.

In GTE-Am, the #95 Aston Martin continues to lead the way. The car made a brief visit to its pit garage for a change of brake discs and pads, but would still maintain the lead.
Things weren’t so positive for the #52 RAM Racing Ferrari, which has been retired from the race. The British team had had a catalogue of problems, including a fire, a damper failure and gearbox problem. Despite a gearbox change, the car has been retired with further transmission issues.

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2014 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 16 hours


1 – #1 Audi Sport Team Joest – di Grassi/Gene/Kristensen

2 – #20 Porsche Team – Bernhard/Hartley/Webber

3 – #2 Audi Sport Team Joest – Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer


1 – #35 Oak Racing – Brundle/Mardenborough/Shulzhitskiy

2 – #36 Signatech Alpine– Panciatici/Webb/Chatin

3 – #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing – Badey/Gommendy/Thiriet


1 – #51 AF Corse – Bruni/Vilander/Fisichella

2 – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Turner/Mücke/Senna

3 – #92 Porsche Team Manthey – Holzer/Lietz/Makowiecki


1 – #95 Aston Martin Racing – Poulson/Heinemeier Hansson/Thiim

2 – #88 Proton Competition – Al Qubaisi/Bachler/Ried

3 – #61 AF Corse – Cioci/Perez-Companc/Venturi

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