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2007 - 24 HOURS AT LEMANS - 75th GRAND PRIX - RACING - LIGHTS ON !

Le Mans 24 hours - Audi claims victory in rain-soaked finish

June 19, 2007

Le Mans 24 hours - Audi have won the Le Mans 24 hours for the sixth time in seven years, surviving the worst weather of the race when a thunderstorm set in with just over an hour to go.

The number one car of Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner - who was driving at the finsh - completed 369 near perfect laps and came home eight laps in front of their nearest challengers.

They almost had to do it behind the safety car due to the severity of the weather, but the race got going under green with two laps remaining.

The similarly diesel-powered Peugeot of Pedro Lamy, Sebastien Bourdais and Stephane Sarrazin, which had started from pole position, inherited second in the final hour when Jacques Villenueve's car retired with a blown engine.

The podium was completed by the sole remaining Pescarolo of the all French crew of Emmanuel Collard, Romain Dumas and Jean-Christophe Boullion, in the best of the petrol-powered cars competing.

The best finish for a British team came in the shape of the Rollcentre-run Pescarolo of Stuart Hall and Martin Short, sharing with Portugal's Joao Barbosa in fourth place.

There was a class win for Aston Martin in GT1 with Brit Darren Turner, Rickard Rydell and David Brabham fifth overall - six minutes ahead of the Jan Magnussen/Johnny O'Connell/Ron Fellows Chevrolet.

GT2 went to the IMSA Porsche of Pat Long, Raymond Narac and Richard Leitz in 15th place, the multinational crew keeping their heads after a seventh hour puncture dropped them to fifth in class.

The Krohn Ferrari was second, six laps down.

Binnie Motorsports took the LMP2 class in 18th place, but almost did not make it. Holding a huge 18-lap lead, Britain's Chris Buncombe pitted only for the team to discover a major electrical problem.

Sterling work got the car he shared with Bill Binnie and Allen Timpany back out on track for the final lap, sparking joyous scenes in their garage.

They still came home 16 laps in front of the only other car to finish in the class, the Barazi Zytek of Robbie Kerr, Adrian Fernandez and Haruki Kurosawa.

In all, 29 of the 54 starters made the finsih.

Jamie O'Leary
 

2007 - 24 HOURS AT LEMANS - 75th GRAND PRIX - RACING - LIGHTS ON !






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