#17 Pescarolo leads petrol class

Harold Primat, Christophe Tinseau and Benoit Treluyer lead the ‘unofficial’ LMP1 petrol class and lie seventh overall in their Pescarolo 01-Judd, at the end of a strong night. Hours.

Their car ran problem free throughout the night, with all three drivers producing strong consistent stints. Rain began to fall just after 4am as Tinseau started a triple stint, but he made no mistakes throughout to maintain his position.

The diesels of Peugeot and Audi fill the top six places, but the #17 car has a seven lap lead over the #5 Courage-Oreca of Loic Duval, Soheil Ayari and Laurent Groppi.

Harold Primat: “I had a slow puncture during my double stint in the night and had to pit for new tyres, but apart from that we haven’t had any major problems. I finished my stint just before the rain started and since then both Christophe and Benoit have done an excellent job to keep the pace going. Now it’s all about getting through the laps and keeping the car on track because we have quite a big advantage over our nearest challengers. We just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing for a few more hours.”

Christophe Tinseau: “I started my stint on slicks but then the rain came down very heavily and after just two laps I had to change to wets. I had no problems with the car, but what was meant to be a triple stint ended up as two and a half as the team made the call to bring me in early. It was absolutely the right decision to make because, when the track started to dry, my tyres were fading badly. Then, when the rain became heavier again, I was struggling for grip.

“Seventh at this stage is very pleasing and the best we can hope for if none of the Audis or Peugeots have problems. But there is still a long way to go so we must wait and see what develops over the next few hours.”

Benoit Treluyer: “The conditions are very tricky because they are so changeable. As soon as it rains all the oil comes out of the track and some corners, such as Arnage, are very slippery. It’s very difficult to find the right balance under braking and I had a small moment at Arnage when the gearbox stuck a little bit and I chose to go straight on rather than have a spin. But we’re currently the best placed petrol car and if we succeed to maintain this position it will be a small victory for us.”

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