Into the third quarter of the race the #56 BMW M3 GT suffered another puncture and lost the lead of the GT class. The #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia and the #01 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia went through to inherit the class lead.
Gunnar Jeannette had problems of his own when the #06 CORE Autosport Oreca FLM09 suddenly started smoking. Jeannette parked the car at the pit exit and reported loss of power steerin and power. It was brought back to the paddock where it joined the Signatech-Nissan car.
On lap 211 Krohn spun his Krohn Racing Ferrari 430 GT, but the green Ferrari managed to get back onto speed quickly and did not lose much. A couple of laps later the #02 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari of Guy Cosmo returned to the pit and went behind the wall with tyre issues.
The race continued with the #8 one minute clear of the Audi, until the #68 TRG Porsche stopped on the track and the sixth full course caution was the result. As the pit opened most teams came in for another round of pit stops.
On lap 237 the race was restarted and Gianmaria Bruni moved into the lead in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia. Dumas was now 10 seconds behind Montagny, but the Audi was unable to get any closer and soon the Peugeot 908 would be pulling away again.
After 250 laps and six hours of racing the gap between the Peugeot and the Audi was already back up to 20 seconds. For a dozen of laps things went well with the front runners lapping the back markers, but on lap 263 there was carnage in the busy traffic.
The Gulf Racing Aston Martin Vantage tangled with the #61 AF Corse Ferrari 430 GT, sending that car into a spin. The #05 CORE Autosports Oreca FLM09 spun as well, whilst the #2 Audi had to go through the grass to avoid crashing into the stranded cars. The #05 had to be towed back.
At turn 10 Tomy Drissi moved next to the LMPC race leader, but then decided not to continue and tapped Henri Richard. The #52 LMPC car spun off the track – allowing the #89 Intersport Racing car to move into the lead of the race. The Extreme Speed Motorsports Ferrari #01 dropped out of the battle for the GT class lead when it suffered a left rear puncture and moments later the #18 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09 ended up at the side of the track – right where the #05 car had been just before.
Race director Beaux Barfield decided “NFA” on all the action – but was then forced to send out the safety car again for the seventh time when Oskar Slingerland crashed his Lotus Jetalliance Lotus Evora GTE at the last corner. The #64 crashed into the wall coming out of turn 12 – giving the corner workers a lot of work as it also hit the timing and scoring beacon. The LMPC teams that were involved in the incidents just before the safety car period had some time to bring their cars back and start working on them.
Romain Dumas was able to close of the gap to Franck Montagny to just a few seconds, the gap had been 36 seconds just before the safety car was deployed. As the pit opened the GT cars scrambled in for their pit stops. The #56 BMW of Joey Hand that emerged from the pit ahead of the #51 AF Corse Ferrari driven by Gianmaria Bruni. Hand’s lead didn’t last long though as the Ferrari would be back ahead a couple of laps after the restart.
On lap 281 the green flag was shown again and the race was restarted – with the works Peugeot 908 immediately followed by the Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. Three seconds behind the #8 Peugeot it was Romain Dumas in the second placed #1 Audi.
A handful of laps later Dumas was all over the back of the two Peugeots – but dense traffic and contact with the #8 Peugeot prevented him from making a successful attempt to take the lead. The Oreca Peugeot managed to get in between the two cars again. On lap 288 Dumas made his move on Lapierre again and passed the #10 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. He immediately continued his hunt for the race leader – which had gotten away as a result of the #10 car holding up the Audi.
With a quarter of the race remaining only the #8 Peugeot 908 and the #1 Audi R18 TDI were on the lead lap, the gap just one second! The third placed Peugeot 908 HDi FAP was three laps down.
GTE Am: 57-50-61