|June 19, 2005
Audi Keeps Le Mans Lead in the Night
After 16 hours, Team ADT Champion Racing continues to lead the Le Mans 24 Hours. Tom Kristensen, JJ Lehto and Marco Werner had a 3-lap lead over the second place Pescarolo with their Audi R8 on Sunday morning. The two other Audi R8 sports cars with Frank Biela/Allan McNish/Emanuele Pirro and Jean-Marc Gounon/Franck Montagny/Stéphane Ortelli were in positions three and four respectively at 8 a.m.
Tom Kristensen, JJ Lehto and Marco Werner took the lead on Saturday evening at 7:13 p.m. after Emanuele Pirro went off into the tyre barrier at Arnage corner with the sister car. Repairs of the damaged front section cost almost a lap. During the night, Frank Biela, Allan McNish and Emanuele Pirro reduced the gap to the leader to a about a minute. Shortly before 7 a.m., however, Allan McNish slid off at the Indianapolis corner due to a puncture damaging the right front suspension. Biela/McNish/Pirro lost six laps but were able to continue the race in third position.
The "French" Audi R8 of Audi PlayStation Team ORECA have changed the right front suspension twice. Jean-Marc Gounon, Franck Montagny and Stéphane Ortelli lost over 20 minutes, but had moved back into fourth position by 8 a.m.