Communiqué n° 8 - Saturday 12/6/99 - 00h00


Following the withdrawal of Mercedes the race has turned into a battle between BMW and Toyota and as night fell many cars improved their times with Kristensen, Boutsen and McNish swapping the lap record. The Kristensen-Lehto-Müller BMW kept a grip on the race thanks to its excellent fuel consumption even if the Toyota managed to take the lead briefly due to refuelling. The gap between the leaders rarely exceeded a minute. Behind ready to pounce came the Winkelhock-Dalmas-Martini BMW ahead of the Katayama-Suzuki-Tsuchiya Toyota.

Martin Brundle's spin due to a puncture and susequent retirement reduced the Toyota challenge to 2 cars. He spun, hit the guardrail and his attempts to reach the pits ended at Arnage.

The Audi R8R of Pirro-Biela-Theys got as high as 4th before being repassed by the Toyota. The Nissan R391 which was in 7th spot stopped twice as Comas was complaining of vibrations. The bonnet was changed and Motoyama set off in 9th place but engine problem stopped the Japanese in the Porsche corner at 23h30 and thus Nissan's hopes rested on no.21 in an excellent 6th place. No.13 lost a place following a brake purge.

The No.11 Panoz of Magnussen-O'Connell-Angelelli stopped at 23h00 because of an oil leak dropping right down the classification, and the Lammers-Kox-Coronel Lola lost almost an hour having its exhausts repaired. The Apicella-Rosenblad-Lewis Riley & Scott joined the list of retirements (blown engine). Also out was the Ferrari (gearbox).

In the GTS Category the Team Oreca Chryslers dominated in the order 51, 52 and 53 ahead of the Palmberger-Kaufmann-Ligonnet 911 GT2 Porsche. In LM GT still in the lead was the no.81 Porsche helped by the fact that no.80 had a puncture.