1997 - Le Mans - Various incidents
Two hours in the race, there are some incidents happening: The Marcos Mantara LM600 (driven by Cor Euser, Harald Becker and Takashi Suzuki) is smoking badly on one side, it came to the pits and resumed. It is now smoking from both sides. The Société Pilot Racing Ferrari 333 SP by Michel Ferte suffers from a fuel line problem and struggles to get up along the Mulsanne Hump. A scary moment for one of the Porsche 911 GT1s as it goes wide at Indianapolis and narrowly misses the wall. The Newscastle Utd sponsored Lister Storm GTL loses some pieces of its rear bodywork as it approaches the fast Porsche Curves, it would go back to the pits for repairs. The #23 Nissan R390 (driven by Kazuyoshi Hoshino, Eric Comas and Masahiko Kageyama) spins under pressure from a McLaren F1 GTR at the Arnage corner, thankfully it didn't come to grief and was able to rejoi into the race.
1997 - Le Mans - Various incidents towards the end of the race
At 8.13am, the Société J.B. Jabouille Bouresche Porsche 911 GT1 retires when flames was seen bletching out of the rear of the car and it stopped at the Mulsanne Straight The BMW Motorsport/Team Schnitzer with their drivers of Steve Soper, JJ Lehto and Nelson Piquet, was doing well in the race until at 8.29 on Sunday morning, JJ Lehto spun the car at Mulsanne Corner and crashed into the wall. He would limp to the pits to retire after 238 laps of hard-racing. Then at 8.55am, the car was too badly damaged so it was withdrawn from the race. As the Elf Haberthur Racing Porsche (driven by Michel Neugarten, Guy Martinolle and Jean-Claude Lagniez) was about to complete an other lap as it is about to exit the Ford Chicane until its right rear tyre came apart from the car. The driver took action by pulling into the pits side straightaway. It would eventually recover into the pits.
1997 - Le Mans - Two major fires at the Mulsanne Corner
The works Porsche 911 GT1 was leading with a decent margin by 2pm on Sunday. Around after 1.40pm, Ralf Kelleners jumped into the Porsche after a pit stop. He would drive for an other stint, only for the Porsche to catch fire at the Mulsanne hump. The leader stops on the Mulsanne straight with the rear well alight. Kelleners jumped from the car and waved to the fire crews to quickly put out the fire. They did, but not before the back of the car was gutted (somewhat like the team) At 2.01pm, the Gulf Davidoff McLaren F1 GTR car with Andrew Gilbert-Scott (partnered by Ray Bellm and Masanori Sekiya) at the wheel had caught fire on the Mulsanne straight, the fire took hold of the rear and burnt out the engine area. This incident looked very similar to that suffered by the sister car of #40, in Thursday's qualifying when an oil line fractured.
Tiff test drives Gulf McLaren F1
Tiff gets to drive Brands in the Gulf McLaren F1 race car.