Communiqué n°13 - Sunday 13/6/99 - 14h00


At around 12h10 with the no.15 BMW in the lead Gerhard Berger was as yet unable to explain JJ Lehto's accident. Rumour has it that the Finn was the victim of a blocked accelerator. He escaped with just a cut on his knee.
André de Cortanze said that Toyota's only hope lay in pushing, pushing and pushing again. This is exactly  what the 3 Japanese drivers did in particular the ex-F1 ace, Ukyo Katayama. The GT-One was manifestly quicker than the BMW, around 2 or 3 seconds a lap, but strategywise the Japanese car would be obliged to make an extra stop due to higher fuel consumption and more wear and tear on the tyres. Thus, it looked like there would be a sprint down to the flag.

The no.8 Audi was running like clockwork in 3rd spot while its sister car no.7 had 4th place snatched from it by the no.18 LM98 BMW in the hands of Bscher-Auberlen-Soper (which had been afflicted by clutch problems earlier) just before 14h00.
The Courage-Porsche of Henri Pescarolo was up in 9th place after starting the race in the middle of the pack. Just behind the no.12 Panoz in 7th position came the no.13 Courage-Nissan driven by the Italian trio of Caffi­Montermini-Schiatarella and the no.21 C52 Nissan, the only survivor of the works team.
In the LM GTS Category the Oreca Vipers still led the dance with no.51 ahead of no.52 while no.53 driven by Donohue stopped for good out on the circuit with engine failure. The no.81 Porsche leading the LM GT Category slipped in between the Chryslers and opened up an increasingly large gap over the Konrad-Kitchak­Slater 911 GT2 no.64, 19th out of the 24 cars still racing.