Audi Crash, Barrier Repair in Third Hour Puts Race under Safety Car

Photo: Gerlach Delissen Photography

Photo: Gerlach Delissen Photography

One of the leading contenders in LMP1 had an accident just at the end of the third hour, in the form of Loic Duval in the No. 8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

Duval was approaching a gaggle of traffic in a slow zone on the run to Indianapolis.

However, as the Frenchman attempted to overtake Giancarlo Fisichella’s No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia going into the kink just before the corner on the far right, the right front of the Ferrari contacted the left rear of the Audi and pitched Duval across the track, into the barriers.

The damage was more cosmetic for the Audi and Duval limped the car back to the garage. In under five minutes, the Audi mechanics replaced the nose assembly, while Lucas di Grassi took over driving from Duval.

Meanwhile repairs are ongoing to the damaged barrier, and the accident has put the race under its second safety car period of the race.

While Duval and Fisichella were the two cars involved, several others took evasive action to avoid the accident, including the No. 50 Corvette C7.R and No. 18 Porsche 919 Hybrid, which were near the kink in the slow zone just before impact.

There has also been drama in the GTE ranks. Nicki Thiim took the GTE-Pro leading No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage V8 into the garage with power steering issues, per the team.

Under the safety car, Christian Ried stopped on course in the No. 88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR with fire under the hood exiting the second chicane. Ried was running second in the GTE-Am class.

In the fourth hour, under the safety car, leaders are Brendon Hartley (No. 17 Porsche 919 Hybrid, overall and LMP1), Nicolas Lapierre (No. 47 KCMG Oreca 05 Nissan), Fernando Rees (No. 99 Aston Martin Vantage V8, GTE-Pro) and Victor Shaytar (No. 72 SMP Racing Ferrari F458 Italia, GTE-Am).

Jeroen Bleekemolen also led for most of the third hour in the No. 53 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GTS-R in GTE-Am, in the car he shares with Marc Miller and Ben Keating.

RESULTS: Hour 3

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