N24 is now well over half complete and, sadly, some of the Australian teams have retired or are struggling due to misfortune.
According to Radio Le Mans the #44 Mal Rose Racing Holden Commodore has suffered clutch problems and is out of the race. Car #10, the “crowd favourite” M3 with Australian Rodney Forbes in the team, crashed out after hitting an oil spill.
Special mention must go to the #48 Brunswick Automotive BMW 130i which is doing a sterling job despite its placing. Three of the four drivers and three pit crew have been struck down with food poisoning. Ric Shaw has missed two driving stints as he is too ill to race. So for the team to have completed 72 laps and to be still out there circulating is a great effort. Best of luck to those guys for the rest of the race. [Thanks to Jon Roberts for the info, as posted in the hour 10 update.]
That leaves the good news, which is headlined by the VIP Petfoods Porsche RSR currently circulating in 11th outright. The Osborne Motorsports Toyota Corolla is running 3rd in class and 86th outright. Recent contact with Stu revealed the team is in good spirits and the car is running strong.
There has been change at the head of the field, too, with the #99 Audi R8 LMS heading the pack for a bit over an hour. The #1 Manthey Porsche is running in second. Although, all this could be thrown into confusion due to an odd timing issue caused by the #1 car being given a 3 minute penalty due to speeding through a caution area. However, the Manthey team are disputing this. I could have this a bit wrong, so will endeavour to find out the full story.
Below is the full list of Aussies, sourced from the Results Database on the official website.
11th overall â€“ 14:37:37.383 elapsed time â€“ 89 laps â€“ 6 behind leader
#29 â€“ VIP Petfoods â€“ Porsche 997 RSR â€“ Class SP 7
Tony Quinn (AUS), Klark Quinn (AUS), Craig Baird (NZ), Grant Denyer (AUS)
65th overall â€“ 14:38:46.503 elapsed time â€“ 77 laps â€“ 18 behind leader
#48 â€“ BMW E46 M3 â€“ Class SP 6
Guy Povey (GB), Graham Coomes (GB), Denis Cribbin (AUS), Alan Shepherd (AUS)
66th overall â€“ 14:39:02.183 elapsed time â€“ 77 laps â€“ 18 behind leader
#136 â€“ VW Golf V TDI â€“ Class D1 T
Eberhard Rattunde (D), Maurice Oâ€™Reilly (NZ), Wayne Moore (NZ), Heinrich Immig (D)
69th overall â€“Â 14:37:21.684 elapsed time â€“ 76 laps â€“ 19 behind leader
#170 â€“ BMW E46 M3 â€“ Class V5
Richard Gartner (AUS), Ray Stubber (AUS), Paul Stubber (AUS)
86th overall â€“ 14:27:42.875 elapsed time â€“ 73 laps â€“ 22 behind leader
#13 â€“ Osborne Motorsports â€“ Toyota Corolla â€“ Class SP 3
Colin Osborne (AUS), Stu Jones (AUS)
92nd overall â€“ 14:41:08.633 elapsed time â€“ 72 laps â€“ 23 behind leader
#48 â€“ Brunswick Automotive â€“ BMW 130i â€“ Class SP 5
Ric Shaw (AUS), Steve Borness (AUS), Anthony Robson (AUS), Robert Rubis (AUS)
59th overall â€“ 12:44:52.748 elapsed time â€“ 77 laps â€“ retired (accident)
#10 â€“ MSC Adenau â€“ BMW E46 M3 GTS â€“ Class SP 7
Rodney Forbes (AUS), JÃ¶rg Viebahn (D), Marko Hartung (D), Duncan Huisman (NED)
122nd overall â€“ 11:19:29.318 elapsed time â€“ 62 laps â€“ retired (clutch)
#44 â€“ Mal Rose Racing â€“ Holden Commodore â€“ Class SP 8
Mal Rose (AUS), Peter Leemhuis (AUS), Tony Alford (AUS)