1998 - Le Mans - Incidents involving the works Porsches and Panoz

Michele Alboreto, the driver of the works Porsche LMP1/98 (also driven by Stefan Johansson and Yannick Dalmas retires with electrical problems. The Porsche was hampered by a mysterious but temporary loss of pressure in the left-hand turbocharger, but they were racing towards one-third distance in sixth position when the engine adruptly shut down. The flywheel had cracked ad, expanding due to centrifugal force, it has broken off the ignition sensor. At 9.00pm, the severely delayed Panoz Motor Sports GTR-1 (by Eric Bernard, Christophe Tinseau and Johnny O'Connell) , which had been in the pits for ages with gearbox problems and had rejoined the race, blotted its copy book again by hurling itself through the gravel at the Ford chicane. It carried on for a full lap, then pitted, was hoovered out and is now back in the race again. The Porsche 911 GT1-98 (driven by Jörg Müller, Uwe Alzen and Bob Wollek) made an embarrassing mistake as it leaves the pits after a routine stop, only to spin off at Dunlop Curve. He staggered through the gravel onto the service road and escaped. Thankfully, the car wasnt too delayed as it soon came back into the track. He couldnt even blame it on cold tyres since they hadn't actually been changed!

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The overall win should have gone to Toyota, which led from Saturday evening as the Dauer Porsches lost time with driveshaft problems. With about 90 minutes to go, The leading Toyota 94C-V of Eddie Irvine, Jeff Krosnoff and Mauro Martini could taste the champagne, but then the car's gear linkage broke. Kronsoff stopped next to the pit exit lane with no drive: a weld in the gear linakge had broken. He got out and managed to engage third gear into the gearbox, and went to the pits for a repair that took 13 minutes. The Dauer tried to rob themselves of victory by losing time with both cars, but it took so long to sort out the Toyota's gearshift problems that it was academic.




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