2009 24 Hours of Le Mans - Click above for a high-res image gallery

We managed to snag just over an hour's worth of sleep underneath the stairs of the Audi Arena after bouncing around the track in the early hours of the morning. Before dawn broke, two massive strings of racers were caught behind the safety cars for over 40 minutes after the No. 17 Pescarolo Peugeot shunted into the wall in one of the most violent crashes in recent Le Mans history. Reports about the driver's condition haven't been forthcoming, with the ACO only saying that he was conscious when the medical crew arrived. We haven't heard anything new, so if you have, let us know in the comments.

The Pescarolo joins 14 other cars that are officially out of the race, including the No. 2 Audi R15 from last night, the LMGT2 Lamborghini and the Flying Lizard Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

With just under six hours left, the Peugeot Total team is continuing to hold off the Audi R15 currently piloted by Mr. Le Mans, Tom Kristensen, with the 007 Lola Aston Martin coming in six laps behind the R15, followed by the No. 11 Oreca AIM and the No. 14 R10. The two R10s are holding slots in the top ten, further proof that the older TDIs are still competitive in the field. The official timing is available at the Le Mans website, and we've posted another sizable batch of photos from late last night/early this morning. Our apologies for the photo quality (we're getting a bit loopy), but they should give you a feel for what Le Mans is like at night and what the next several hours hold for the competitors. We're off to acquire colossal amounts of carbs and coffee. More to follow.


Related Gallery2009 24 Hours of Le Mans - Night