Hour 4: Aston Martin hold LMGTE Pro advantage
There has been no change in the running order of the first six cars in the 6 Hours of Shanghai, with Toyota Racing’s No.7 still leading the way. Nicolas Lapierre is now a lap ahead of the two Audi R18 e-tron quattros, and Allan McNish retains the advantage over André Lotterer. Peter Dumbreck’s JRM HPD continues to be between the two Rebellion Racing black and gold cars, and Neel Jani has a lap in hand over the British No.22 entry.
The No.15 OAK Racing LMP1 Pescarolo Honda had a worrying brake disc failure early in the fourth hour and lost over 5 laps while repairs were made. On returning to the action, Bertrand Baguette was flying in an effort to make up some lost ground.
Thai driver Tor Graves still heads the LMP2 category in the No.25 ADR-Delta Oreca 03 Nissan but there has been some great racing within the class and OAK Racing’s No.24, Pecom Racing’s No.49 and the No.44 Starworks entries are all still contenders for race honours here. A fairytale finish to Elton Julian’s professional racing career in the No.41 Greaves Motorsport Zytek Nissan flew through the fingers of Ricardo Gonzalez as he spun off track although he was able to continue.
In LMGTE Pro, while Darren Turner/Stefan Mucke are still on course at the front in the No.97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE despite a small spin, the big news was the delay to the LMGTE Manufacturers championship-winning Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella and Gimmi Bruni. An alternator belt failure cost the No.51 AF Corse entry 8 laps to their nearest rivals and there is little doubt that the two Italians will be pushing hard to try and close the gap somewhat.
Corvette, Porsche and Ferrari continues to be the look of the LMGTE Am class, with Julien Canal currently showing Christian Ried a clean pair of heels.
Air t° :22.2°C
Track t° :23.9°C
Wind :NW at 8.0 kph
Michelin Green X Challenge Top 3 at the end of Hour 4
RACE FACTS – HOUR 4
14:00:40 : Fastest lap for Tom Kristensen in Audi #2 1:49.944
14:05:36 : Toyota #7 into pit lane on lap 98 Lapierre takes over from Wurz.
14:08:55 : On current schedule the Toyota will need one more pit stop than Audi. Can the #7 maintain a sufficient lead to maintain command?
14:11:19 : Toyota #7 maintains overall lead after 4th pit stop
14:15:35 : Another difficult race for #15 Oak Honda as it goes back into pit garage
14:19:31 : Last LM GTE Pro cars to make 3rd stop are #51 Ferrari and and #77 Porsche who come into pitlane together.
14:20:46 : Front left brake disc failure was the cause of problems for #15 Oak Pescarolo Honda
14:24:58 : Dice for 2nd place in LMP2 between 2nd placed #26 Signatech Nissan and #44 Starworks HPD only 0.229 behind.
14:26:51 : #44 Starworks passes Signatech #26 to take 2nd place in LMP2 class
14:28:12 : #51 AF Corse Ferrari pushed into pit garage
14:31:26 : #1 Audi makes a scheduled stop - #2 a lap later. Kristensen hands back to McNish
14:34:25 : Krohn Racing #57 will be the last GT to make a 3rd stop.
14:40:19 : Lap 99 pit stop for distinctive lime green Krohn racing Ferrari #57 from 3rd place in LM GTE Am
14:43:24 : #51 AF Corse Ferrari into pit garage with problems
14:46:55 : As we approach 2 hours remaining, Toyota still have a commanding lead overall. ADR Delta #25 leads LMP2 and Aston Martin #97 leads LMGTE Pro
14:48:00 : In LMGTE Am, the Larbre Corvette #50 leads by 23 seconds from #88 Porsche
14:50:48 : #24 makes stop from 2nd in LMP2 class - Nicolet hands over to Pla
14:53:24 : #7 Toyota makes its 5th stop on lap 123 for fuel and tyres - Lapierre remains aboard
14:54:28 : #7 Toyota rejoins still in the overall lead.
14:58:11 : 22 seconds is the advantage of Toyota #7 from Audi #2 but Audi still to make 5th stop.
14:59:34 : Spin for Greaves Motorsport #41 Zytek - hits wall
15:04:09 : Aston Martin #97 makes 4th stop from GTE Pro class lead - Mucke takes over from Turner - drops to 2nd
Photo: SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT (SHANGHAI, CHINA), 6 HOURS OF SHANGHAI, SUNDAY 28TH OCTOBER, RACE. The LMGTE Pro class-leading Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke.