• Jun 11, 2011
2011 24 Hours of Le Mans - Click above for high-res image gallery

Okay, it's not quite the halfway point at the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans (there's a little over 12 hours to go at this time), but we have a new batch of photos from Drew Phillips ready for your perusal. Taken as the sun began its descent, the gallery below features a nice mix of cars from all the classes.

As you've probably seen by now, Audi has lost two of its three cars. Allan McNish's #3 Audi R18 TDI crashed out in spectacular fashion during the the first hour of the race. Though his car was totally destroyed, he walked away from the shunt unscathed. Then, #1 Audi R18 driver Mike Rockenfeller followed suit with an equally terrible nighttime crash of his own after making contact with the #71 Ferrari on the Mulsanne straight. Rockenfeller also climbed out of his car afterward. Other than a cut sustained on one arm, he's okay, but is being kept in the hospital overnight for observation. That's good news all around for the Audi drivers involved in a couple of scary crashes.

As of 8:20 PM Eastern, despite its bad luck so far, Audi currently leads Le Mans, with the #2 R18 TDI ahead of the #9 and #7 Peugeot 908s in LMP1. The highest-running gasoline-powered LMP1 car is the #16 Pescarolo Judd of Pescarolo Team. The leader in GTE Pro is the #74 Corvette Racing C6.R. In LMP2, the #41 Greaves Motorsport Zytek Nissan is up front. Finally, the GTE Amateur class is currently led by the #81 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 RSR.

That's it for now. You can follow live timing at LeMans.org, and for a great single-page collection of audio & video feeds, plus timing, a spotter's guide, and live chatting, check out Global Sports.

If you missed our photo gallery from the start of the race, be sure to check that out as well. We'll be back with more coverage from Le Mans later in the race.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      Sugaki
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Ferrari driver is clearly in the wrong. Rockenfeller was high-beaming way before the guy was started turning in, so it's not as though he couldn't make corrections, or that he was already committed. "He just didn't see the guy" doesn't fly either. When you're going 140 - 200 mph, "not seeing the guy" could mean somebody getting seriously injured. I mean high-beaming with bright-as-heck giant LED headlights on the straight before the turn, it doesn't get more obvious than that. ACO was right for telling him to not get back into the car.
      Firefly
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hell, I'm just surprised the 458 Italias didn't spontaneously catch fire mid way through the 3rd lap. I love the snaps of all the cars present, but I'm glad the Corvette took 1st place in two classes. Seems too many people slight them for using "antiquated pushrod technology", yet somehow they still keep winning. ...don't that beat all? We Americans CAN build a car that can go around a corner...
      Djuro Radakovic
      • 3 Years Ago
      2 Audis down, no matter, this is their race, they are taking this one for sure!
        otiswild
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Djuro Radakovic
        Unless Ferrari have more folks to throw at it!
      Rudukai13
      • 3 Years Ago
      Interesting that all the top spots are being held by diesel racers
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rudukai13
        The rules are ridiculously slanted toward Diesel. They have been for a decade.
          Georg
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          There is one big problem The rules were set to slow down the diesel LMP1 cars to the level of the petrol powered cars.... what we see here is the effect of two large car companys with tons of cash tons of experience many world class drivers tons of development vs petrol powered cars from pretty small teams with much less money, much less experience not as good drivers.. thats the reason why diesel powered seems to have a unfair advantage. The true problem is that no large car company has the balls to fight it out with petrol powered cars vs Peugeot and AudiĀ“s diesel powered LMP1 cars... The big problem is every newcomer face two rivals with tons of experience with reliable cars, great teams and good strategys ... no wonder that most say..no thanks
      Georg
      • 3 Years Ago
      that unfair frensh nuts... holding up the leading Audi laps and laps and trying to push him in the gras reciving no blue flag or penalty from frensh marschals ... if Audi win this unfair race it will be a big big win for the sport vs unfair a*sholes... even english commentators on Eurosport claim that this is the most unfair movement in racing since years..
      Djuro Radakovic
      • 3 Years Ago
      2 Audis down, no matter, this is their year!
      Mackenzie
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't get it. The most significant car in the race is Hope Polevision Racing Hybrid - the first Hybrid to race at Le Mans. I just don't get it - no mention of it? and the Photo montage are of all the "pretty cars". Must be a Girl Photographer?
        Azaraith
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mackenzie
        The Hope car is having mechanical difficulties. Therefore, it's not on the course much. It also stands no chance of winning... Hybrids aren't the future - they're just a stopgap attempt between petrol and electric vehicles (the tech most likely to succeed, imo).
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      Robert Kaufmann, driver of the 71 Ferrari during the shunt with the #2 Audi (Rockenfeller) was asked by the ACO to not get back into the car. He has effectively been banned for this race. The car (his car, he is a team principal) is allowed to remain but must finish using only the other two drivers. I'm not saying I would disobey them, but this is pretty ridiculous. It just shows how Audi always gets exactly what they want.
        mathiaswegner
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        No, ACO just watched the in car. Rockenfeller was signaling for at least five seconds before Kaufmann turned across him.
          gtv4rudy
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mathiaswegner
          The driver in the GT Ferrari was obviously trying to squeeze the Audi off the track. Just look again at the replay where you see Kaufmann intensionally go over the white line as the much faster Audi attempts to pass.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mathiaswegner
          Kaufmann didn't turn across anyone. He followed a line. An ill-advised line? Maybe. But he didn't turn across anyone. As to the idea that he was signaling for 5 seconds, there is no footage of the accident going back that far so neither you nor the ACO would know. Other drivers have said the same thing, the lights on the prototypes are so bright and it's so dark outside you can't see which lane they are in when they flash you at night. So all you can do is continue on your line as you were instructed before the race and it is the LMP's job to avoid you. This is what Kaufmann did.
          mathiaswegner
          • 3 Years Ago
          @mathiaswegner
          Rotation, go to the AB post about the Rockenfeller crash. Watch the in car video. You can see his lights flashing. You can see the video tick through five seconds. Then you see the near miss and crash. You can argue about the line, but Rockenfeller was plainly signaling with plenty of time for Kaufmann to see him.
      John G
      • 3 Years Ago
      Audi wins by 13 seconds. Amazing work by the drivers and great planning by the pit crews. Intense race, cant make this stuff up.
      Mackenzie
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't get it? The most significant car in the race is the first Hybrid car to compete in the race - and no one is mentioning it. Hope Polevision Racing And the picture montage are all of the "pretty" cars......must be a girly Photog.
      'Amanda Rose
      • 3 Years Ago
      http://allautoportal.com
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