Hour 5: Heartbreak for LMGTE Am leader
As the race entered its final third, there was drama for the LMGTE Am leader and a further setback for the No.2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro. The No.1 now holds a three lap lead over the Kristensen-McNish-Duval entry after it had to come into the pits on two separate occasions to serve penalties for pit infringements. As a result the Rebellion LMP1 Privateer entry is now just one lap behind the Audi in third place overall.
Australian driver John Martin in now behind the wheel of the No.26 G-Drive Racing ORECA and it continues to maintain its one lap lead over second placed No.35, the OAK Racing Morgan Nissan of Baguette-Gonzalez-Plowman. Pecom is in third place in class. There has been drama for the No.24 OAK entry as it has sustained a left rear suspension failure and it looks to have lost all chance of a podium finish as it is in the garage being repaired.
Gianmaria Bruni is now back in the leading LMGTE Pro entry, the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia holding the narrowest of leads to Darren Turner in the No.97 Aston Martin Vantage. This has been one of the closest battles of the race and the outcome is still a long way from being decided. Patrick Pilet in the No.91 Porsche 911 RSR is third in class.
There was heartbreak for the No.95 Aston Martin entry in the LMGTE Am category when it lost a right rear wheel shortly before the end of the fifth hour. The Danish-piloted car had led the class from the start of the race but there was little that Kristian Poulsen could do and the car has been retired from the race. The No.95’s misfortune promoted the No.96 of Campbell-Walter and Hall into the class lead, followed by the No.76 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche and the No.81 8Star Motorsport Ferrari.
16:57:54 #24 Morgan Nissan, spins then returns to pits and is pushed into pit garage. Suspension problem suspected.
16:52:14 The #96 Aston Martin now inherits the lead of the GTE Am class, from the 8 Star Ferrari #81
16:50:21 Lieb in #92 Porsche returned to pits with a puncture. Now rejoined.
16:48:47 Leader in LM GTE Am, the #95 Aston Martin loses right rear wheel and is stopped on the circuit.
16:47:22 The #2 Audi momentarily dropped to 3rd place before the Rebellion Lola #12 made its regular stop.
16:43:31 #2 Audi comes into the pitlane again, but this time for a conventional stop. Fuel, tyres and Duval stays at the wheel.
16:39:35 Another stop and go for #2 Audi for unsafe release. 1 minute this time
16:35:43 30s stop and go penalty issued for #2 Audi for speeding in the pitlane.
16:33:19 Leading Audi #1 comes into pitlane for fuel, tyres and Treluyer hands over to Fassler.
16:30:47 As shadows begin to lengthen at Interlagos, we enter the last hour and a half of racing.
16:21:19 The superb fight continues in LM GTE Pro between the leading Ferrari 458 #51 of AF Corse and the #97 Aston Martin Vantage V8 less than a second behind.
16:15:43 In LM GTE Am the Aston Martin #95 leads from #96 Aston and the 8 Star Ferrari #81
16:13:19 In LM GTE Pro, no change either with the #51 Ferrari leading the #97 Aston Martin, but by just a handful of seconds.
16:11:13 In LMP2 G-Drive #26 still leads, as they have from the start of the race, from the two Morgan Nissans #35 and #24.
16:04:39 Now entering the final 2 hours of the race.
Photo: AUTODROMO JOSE CARLOS PACE (INTERLAGOS, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL), 6 HOURS OF SAO PAULO, SUNDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER 2013, RACE. The No.96 Aston Martin Vantage is now leading the LMGTE Am lead.