12 hour report: Toyota and Aston Martin continue to dominate
At the half way point of the 2014 race, the no7 Toyota TS040 hybrid of Stephane Sarrazin continued to lead the way and was 1minute 55 seconds in front of the no2 Audi R18 of Andre Lotterer and two laps ahead of the no1 Audi of Tom Kristensen.
The two Porsche 919s were running in 4th and 5th, with the no20 Porsche of Timo Bernhard completing 184 laps, 3 laps behind Sarrazin and Marc Lieb in the no14 car three laps behind his teammate. The no8 Toyota was the last of the LMP1-H cars and after a further visit to the garage after a balance issue was reported by Anthony Davidson, possibly as a result of the earlier accident, Sebastien Buemi was running 12 laps behind his teammate at the head of the field.
The no12 Rebellion Racing R-One of Nicolas Prost was still running as the clock hit 12 hours and was 12th overall 22 laps behind Sarrazin’s Toyota. The R-One did have a problem on L123 when Nick Heidfeld had to limp back to the pitlane after losing a wheel and then the car had to make another unscheduled pitstop when a Stop-Go penalty was awarded for an unsafe release following the pitstop.
In LMP2 disaster struck the leading WEC car when the no26 G-Drive Racing Morgan was caught up in an accident, forcing the race winning car from Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps into retirement on Lap120. This leaves the no27 SMP Racing Oreca as the sole remaining WEC registered car in LMP2, currently in 29th place overall. The leading car in LMP2 was no35 Oak Racing Ligier of Jann Mardenborough, one lap ahead of Paul Loup Chatin in the no36 Signatech Alpine.
Aston Martin Racing were still in charge in both the LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am classes at the half way point. Bruno Senna was holding a 32 second lead at the head of the Pro class in the no97 Vantage, with the nr51 AF Corse Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella and the nr74 Corvette of Richard Westbrook battling for second place in class.
The all Danish crew of the nr95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage took over the lead when the no98 was pushed back into the garage with smoke coming from the engine bay. David Heinemeier-Hansson held a 3 minute advantage over the no72 SMP Racing Ferrari 458 of former FIA GT1 World Champion Andrea Bertolini as the clock struck 3am.