Hour 3: Audis battle for title while Toyota leads
While Toyota continue at the head of the field in this final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Shanghai, the contest between the two Audi R18 e-tron quattros continues to be tight. Tom Kristensen in the No.2 car leads Marcel Fässler in the No.1, 19 seconds being the gap at the mid-way point in the race but little between them in terms of lap times and slower traffic playing its part in the distance between them.
The No.22 JRM HPD ARX 03a is currently sandwiched between the two Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyotas, the No.12 continuing to lead the LMP1 Privateer teams. Of note is that Chinese driver Cong Fu Cheng has taken the wheel for the first time in the 6 Hours of Shanghai.
LMP2 leader Jacques Nicolet in the No.24 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan had a spin mid-way through the third hour and lost the class lead to Tor Graves in the No.25 ADR-Delta. The only other car on the same lap in this super-competitive class is the No.49 Pecom Racing Oreca Nissan, now in the hands of Luis Perez-Companc.
Aston Martin Racing has regained the upper hand in LMGTE Pro, Stefan Mücke at the wheel ahead of the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari of Gimmi Bruni and the No.77 Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche. The second Ferrari of Olivier Beretta has fallen a lap behind the leading three in class.
One of the most exciting on track contests has been in the LMGTE Am category, with former F1 driver Pedro Lamy hustling the No.50 Corvette C6.R of Larbre Compétition to the head of the class. Less than 7 seconds behind is the No.88 Team Felbermayr-Proton Porsche of Christian Ried, the German having yielded the class lead after being forced into making a small error and going wide, allowing the yellow American muscle car through.
Air t° :22.3°C
Track t° :23.9°C
Wind :N at 8.0 kph
Michelin Green X Challenge Top 3 at the end of Hour 3
RACE FACTS – HOUR 3
13:00:11 : Lotus #32 into pit garage for repairs (possibly due to contact)
13:05:43 : Debris reported on circuit at turn 11
13:08:09 : #32 Lotus back on track after repairs
13:10:34 : Into second round of stops for GT cars, #97 dropped to 3rd after stop, #77 Porsche and #51 Ferrari yet to stop
13:11:39 : Yellow flag at turn 7 for removal of debris
13:14:19 : Tom Kristensen is progressing rapidly in Audi #2 with a lap of 1:49.974
13:15:30 : #77 Felbermayr-Proton Porsche is final GTE Pro to make a 2nd pit stop
13:17:05 : Response from Toyota #7 with fastest lap for Wurz 1:48.926
13:18:46 : Scheduled stop for #7 Toyota for fuel and tyres - lap 73
13:20:41 : In LMP2 the gap between leading Oak Racing #24 and ADR Delta #25 now less than 1 second.
13:22:57 : Beche in #25 is looking for a way around Lahaye in #24
13:26:54 : Black and orange flag for Strakka #21 for repairs to rear of car. Now in pitlane
13:28:50 : Toyota #7 on the tail of Fassler in #1 Audi, but Audi due to stop soon
13:31:51 : Contact between #44 Starworks HPD with #70 Corvette - Both cars rejoin - Incident under investigation
13:33:58 : Wurz is chasing down #2 Audi, after passing #1. Can he catch Tom Kristensen before Audi's next stop?
13:35:32 : Damage to rear of Strakka #21 was caused by earlier contact with Fassler in #1 Audi
13:38:57 : Tom Kristensen in #2 Audi makes pit stop on lap 82 alongside Fassler in #1 - No driver change
13:43:06 : Gap from 1st to 2nd overall is now 1:14.179 after top 3 have made 3rd stop
13:43:50 : No further action on incident between #44 and #70
13:47:15 : Spin for Nicolet in Oak Racing #24 spins out of lead in LMP2 - Rejoins
13:49:37 : Leventis in Strakka #21 reported to have stopped at turn 11
13:50:57 : ADR Delta #25 now leads LMP2 after spin for Oak #24
13:51:38 : Strakka #21 has returned to pitlane
13:55:06 : Dice for lead in LMGTE Am between Christian Ried in #88 Porsche who runs wide at T1 and lets by Pedro Lamy in Larbre Corvette #50
13:57:47 : Approaching half way mark, the Aston Martin #97 continues to lead LM GTE Pro
13:58:59 : The #25 ADR-Delta Oreca-Nissan leads LMP2
14:00:40 : Fastest lap for Tom Kristensen in Audi #2 1:49.944
Photo: SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT (SHANGHAI, CHINA), 6 HOURS OF SHANGHAI, SUNDAY 28TH OCTOBER, RACE. Tom Kristensen in the No.2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro leads his team mate in the No.1 Audi.