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. 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 hadnt actually been changed!

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1998 - Le Mans - Incidents in the last few hours of the race
Meanwhile, with three-quarters of the race still to go, Martin Brundle clawing his way back into the ten top, set fastest lap - but the Toyotas started to struggle, all three had gearbox problems, which might have accounted for their catalogue of spins and excursions. This let a familiar scenario unfold at the front, as the factory Porsche 911 GT1-98 took the lead through most of the night and toward the dawn, with the race two hours older than it would usually be. But still the twists aren't over. While it rained during the night, Porsche GT1 driver, Allan McNish had stayed on slicks to avoid an additional pit stop during a double stint, but had still been heroically fast - and that may have been the deciding factor in a fascinating finale. He put a full lap on the other factory Porsche driven by Muller, Alzen and Wollek, until 6am when the Porsches faltered, McNish's car was overheating and spent 30 minutes in the pits, Jorg Muller's Porsche was in the pits around 6am on Sunday when he put the second placed car off the road at the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight. . The Bousten Toyota was waiting to pounce. When the McNish GT1 emerged from twenty minutes in the garage, it began a battle which see-sawed between Porsche and Toyota for most of the rest of the race. They were never more than a lap apart, often much closer, changing places during pit-stops, but still looking good for Toyota. Until, that is, Bousten stopped out on the circuit with less than two hours to go. Finally, the leading Toyota succumbs under pressure as the gearbox failed on them. The #27 Toyota sustained a puncture along the fast run after the Mulsanne Corner. It was down in the positions anyway. Then at the entry of the Ford Chicane, the Roock Racing Motorsport Porsche 911 GT2 spins and nerfs the tyre wall. It would recover to finish the last classified runner of the race. A few hours from the finish, the Societé Larbre Compétition Porsche 911 GT2 gives up the ghost. On the last hour, an engine failure cruelly denied the Estoril Racing Porsche 911 GT2 to the finish as it blows up in style at Arnage. A perfect Le Mans drive for Allan McNish. Heran hard, but no overtaxing the Porsche 911 GT1, he soaked up all the pressure, made no mistakes and managed to keep quicker rivals at arm's length. Flawness.





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Tiff Needell presents 10 min highlights of the Le Mans 24 Hours 1998. Many driver interviews including Allan McNish and Justin Bell. Cars in race, Porsche 911 GT1, Toyota GT One, BMW V12 LM, Panoz GTR1, Nissan R390, Mercedes CLK LM, Dodge Viper, Ferrari F40 and McLaren F1 GTR. - Music credit "Ian Anderson-Get A Life-UPPM" http://www.montymotorsport.co.uk




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