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Le Mans 24hr: Live updates

Published: 18 April 2015

Updated: 18 April 2015

Sunday 1400: Congratulations to SERT Suzuki, winner of the 2015 Le Mans 24hr! Impressive comeback from SRC Kawasaki in second, and Team Bollinger Kawasaki just nick third in the last hour!

Best of the Brits is Steve Mercer in 16th overall with the Volpkner BMW in sixteenth overall. Gary Mason brought it home for Prime Factors Racing in an impressibe 20th in their debut! Superstock results coming as soon as we get a look at it.

Sunday 1202: Some video highlights as we creep past two hours to go. Not many changes in the running order to report!

Sunday 1058: Damaged exhaust for the #33 Kawasaki team has handed the Superstock lead and third place overall to SERT's #72 Junior team. That safety car deployment was to pick up National Moto's chain after it disintegrated on them!

Sunday 1039: Safety car out at the front keeping the order pretty much the same now. A broken chain for former top five runners National Moto Honda has dropped them down to seventeenth.

Sunday 0941: Honda have officially retired. Tough luck, guys.

Sunday 0909: Just as we say that, they're hit with more problems. Sebastian Gimber stops on track with what looks like a gearbox issue. He's waiting on the recovery truck, but he doesn't look like he's in much rush. Is their race over?

Sunday 0901: Spare a thought for the nearly-all-British Honda Racing team. It's hard enough racing for twenty-hour hours, never mind doing it after mechanical problems have demoted you from the lead to 62 laps down on the leaders!

Sunday 0839: Morning all! If you haven’t been with us all night, then here’s a bit of an update on what’s went on:

  • SERT Suzuki still lead, with an eight-lap lead at the front.
  • SRC Kawasaki have pulled right back from their crash two hours in, and now they’re three laps clear of Team Traqueur Louit Moto 33.
  •  Roadracing team BMW are seventh, after a pit lane speeding penalty and a couple of broken exhausts.
  • Steve Mercer’s NRT48 BMW team, the satellite bike, is the best of the British interest in seventeenth after a good night for them.
  • The Prime Factors Racing squad of Barry Burrell, Stefan Capella and Gary Mason lost some eleven minutes in the pits fixing a broken light, but are still running strong in 20th.
  • The factory Honda Racing team, after a nightmare of a night, are all the way back in 28th.

Five and a half hours to go!

Sunday 0800: As it stands...

Sunday 0744: What does a 24hr race do to your hands? Ask Steve Mercer! He's still as fast as anyone else out there, just pushing into the 1:40 laps occasionally.

Coming up to stint 8 the blisters have stated. #24hrs

A photo posted by Steve Mercer (@stevemercerracing) on Apr 18, 2015 at 9:58pm PDT

Sunday 0707: Quick update from former TT racer Rico Penzkofer, whose BMW team are sitting in 8th.

"The first part of the race wasn’t so good for us - we had a stop and go penalty, we lost the pressure in a tyre and had to change it. The bike is running well now though, we had a good night, and we just need to keep going now."

Sunday 0615: Here's how they stand, after two thirds done. Impressive run forwards over the night for the SRC Kawasaki - they've made it into second. Honda Racing are back in 31st, but one of the fastest bikes on track.

Sunday 0430: We might be racing on, but for a lot of the 80,000 here that's pretty irrelevant - they've got much better things to do!

24 Heures du Mans 2015 - sensations et lumières... by lemans-tv

Sunday 0352: More drama! The YART bike is out of second and into the pit box trailling smoke... and looking awfully like a broken engine!

Sunday 0214: The SRC Kawasaki crew are making really good progress - they're now battling with the #93 Yamaha and #95 Suzuki team for sixth.

Sunday 0131: Text message update from Steve Mercer - his BMW team are chipping away in seventeenth, and he's one of the fastest riders on track!

Sunday 0043: Bad news for another of the British teams - Jackson Racing is out of the race with engine problems. We'll try and catch up with the boys and see exactly what went wrong - but earlier mechanical problems mean they were running way down the field already.

Sunday 0002: Welcome to tomorrow! Problems for the YART team, but they've managed to hold onto second despite an unscheduled pit stop for Max Neukirchner to replace an entire front brake caliper. He nearly managed to run over half the team in the pit box when he wheeled in at speed and discovered he couldn't stop, too...

Behind them, National Moto Honda have just overtaken Bollinger Kawasaki for the final podium spot.

Saturday 2353: Problems now for GMT94 Yamaha as they drop out of third. A transmission issue has seen the team change both sprockets and chain on the R1. They're back out in eighth, promoting TT racer Horst Saiger up to third with the Bollinger Kawasaki team.

Honda Racing are back running after a long time in the pits, but they're way down in 41st - forty six laps down on the leaders! They're ahead of Jackson Racing, though, who've been in the pits for a long time and are currently 44th.

Saturday 2330: With eight hours done, new rules introduced last year mean championship points are awarded to the leaders at this point now.

Saturday 2257: The problems just won't stop for the Honda Racing team. Back in the pits again to change the radiator and heat exchanger after a crack in it left the bike leaking oil and water. Been in and out of the pits for some time now, and they're all the way back in 33rd.

Saturday 2158: Just caught up with Jimmy Storrar, who's quite chipper considering the R2CL Suzuki team are out of the race!

“Leonov was out on the bike and came in about six laps early complaining about oil on his boots. The team just gave the bike a bit of a wipe down and stuck me out on it again, but it was running at 120ºC and I was still getting covered in oil.

“I came back in again and they did some repairs before seind Gwen Giabanni back out on it, but he only did a handful of laps too before he came back in with the same oil leak, and they called it a night there. 

“We got a bad start but we had been making agood progress up until there. It’s a shame – but it’s better than breaking down at five in the morning with all that time on the bike done! And I’ve still got more time done on a bike than I probably would have in a season of doing National Superstock 1000!”

It's still a Suzuki up front though, with SERT having a one lap lead over the Yamaha Austria squad, with reigning world champions GMT94 Yamaha through to third after a very slow start.

Saturday 2119: More bad luck for Honda! A disconnected connecter has left Freddy Foray pushing the bike all the way back (riders can't be assisted at all until theyre in pit lane). They're going again, but the Frenchman looks wrecked - and there's still sixteen hours to go!

Saturday 2101: Now it's Jackson Racing's turn for technical problems. Team drop all the way down to 46th, but get going again. Conor Cummins takes over from McGuinness. 

It's steady away for Steve Mercer on the Volpker BMW though, up to nineteenth, while the Prime Factor Racing boys are chipping away in 22nd.

Saturday 2017: Looks like Jimmy Storrar's R2CL team are out with an overheating engine. More when we catch up with him.

Saturday 2013: Disaster for Honda! Clutch problem on the Fireblade brings them into the pits and costs them eleven minutes as the team replace it. Impressive work from the mechanics to replace the full thing in that time, but not the first time the team have had a mid-race clutch failure… That hands the SERT team, who have caught and passed YART, a big advantage at the front.

Saturday 1846: A five-minute race neutralisation of the race after the safety car was sent out to give the marshals time to fix an oil spill from a blown engine. YART are now leading the race – but by a whisker, with Sebastian Gimbert only 1.3 seconds behind Ivan Silva. SERT are back to third, ahead of GMT94, recovering from their poor start.

A lot of the Brits currently on track, with Jimmy Storrar in twelfth, Conor Cummins in 21st, and Prime Factors Racing in 27th as they switch riders.

Saturday 1818: No change for Honda at the front, as Da Costa and Gimbert switch over.

Saturday 1725: Nearly three and a half hours gone, Jimmy Storrar is the best of the Brits with his R2CL team in ninth, three laps down on the leaders. Mercer’s BMW is up to seventeenth overall, while McGuinness, currently out on the Jackson Racing Honda, is nineteenth. Prime Factors Racing, with four pit stops done, are in twenty seventh.

Meanwhile, SRC Kawasaki team boss Gilles Stafler has expressed just how unhappy he is with team rider Fabien Foret after his crash. They’re still back in 33rd, eight laps down.

“I’ve very disappointed, because just before Fabien went out we told him to be very careful, because the track was slippery – and he went out, made two laps, and crashed. We had to change everything – tank, seat, many many parts; it was almost completely destroyed.”

Saturday 1701: Some highlights of the race start!

Saturday 1612: Just as the SRC Kawasaki team re-join the race after their crash – they’ve lost eight laps and are back in 48th – we caught up with Volpkner NRT BMW rider Steve Mercer, who started the race for the squad.

“It was a bit of a slow start for me, as I got stuck in traffic, with John McGuinness, and we had to claw our way through it at the beginning. The wind has picked up quite a bit today too, and it’s starting to affect lap times now, which isn’t ideal. We're going well now though, and the boys have us up to eighteenth overall and ninth in the Superstock class. I'm back out again in around forty five minutes."

Saturday 1559: First drama of the race after SRC Kawasaki crash out of second place just after their second pit stop. A weird crash for Fabien Foret, the bike flipped heavily but he was able to re-mount and use the service roads to make it back to the pits. Honda Racing – with Sebastian Gimbert just about to pit to let Freddy Foray out – they’ve pulled their lead over YART to over a minute.

Saturday 1507: Jimmy Storrar’s R2CL team are in ninth, although the Scotsman has yet to be on the bike. Jackson Racing are in 25th, with Conor Cummins on the bike after the pitstops, and Prime Factors Racing are up to 22nd. They’re all a lap down on the leaders, who have done forty so far.

Saturday 1504: After an hour – and the first batch of pit stops – it’s the factory Honda who’s impressing, after a blinding fuel strategy means they’ve been able to run an extra four or five laps over the opposition on a tank – which could be crucial! SRC Kawasaki are battling with them on track for the lead, with YART 2.5 seconds back, while SERT Suzuki have dropped to fourth after a small crash.

Saturday 1407: Seven minutes gone and the SRC Kawasaki with Gregory Leblanc are leading by 0.3 fron Julien Da Costa on the Honda Racing Fireblade, VIncent Phillippe on the SERT Suzuki and Max Neukirchner on the YART Yamaha.

TT racer Horst Saiger is twelth on the Bollinger Kawasaki, Jimmy Storrar's teammate Gwen Giabanni is fourteenth, Mason up to fifteenth on the Prime Factors BMW, John McGuinness is 23rd and Steve Mercer 25th.  

Saturday 1347: Clear the grid sign given! 

Saturday 1337: With a practice start before the riders run for the traditional Le Mans start, they’re already lining up on the grid to get going. John McGuinness is starting for Jackson Racing, Steve Mercer will be first out on the #48 BMW, and Gary Mason will be first away for Prime Factors Racing.

Saturday 1223: In the Superstock class, though, there’s a whole host of Brits to cheer on. Number one is probably the Jackson Racing squad of TT riders John McGuinness, Conor Cummins and Dan Stewart. They’ve qualified in thirteenth in their class, just two places behind fellow TT racer Steve Mercer on the satellite superstock BMW.

However, best of the British qualifiers were EWC newcomers Prime Factors Racing in ninth in class and nineteenth overall. With former BSB racers Gary Mason and Barry Burrell joined by Stefan Capella, they’re looking to capitalise on their British endurance championship experience.

Saturday 1155: There’s lots of British interest to follow in the Superstock class, but only one rider and one team in the main EWC class. Scot Jimmy Storrar lines up for the R2CL team, the Suzuki squad that made it to a podium with Guy Martin – and starts thirteenth on the grid.

There’s also the Honda Racing squad, now with three French riders in the form of Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sebastian Gimbert onboard. Formerly the Honda TT Legends team, it’s still run out of the team’s base in Louth, with road racing boss Neil Tuxworth in charge.

Saturday 1127: The race is live on British Eurosport from 1400-1500, 1730-1900, and 2215-0000 today, as well as 0600-1000 tomorrow and some highlights right after BSB and WSB at 1800. The entire race is going out live on the Eurosport Player too, so there are lots of opportunities to watch in. Check here for the full weekend listings.

Saturday 1047: Hey folks. With quite a bit of British interest in this year's race, we're going to try and keep the site up to date on the going on at Le Mans over the next twenty odd hours! The race kicks off at 1400 UK time, so tune in around then for your updates!

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