LE MANS, France (AP) — Chasing its first win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Toyota still led in the second hour on Saturday but was under pressure from Audi.
Alexander Wurz’s Toyota No. 7 started from pole position on the grid and had a lead of 37 seconds over Marco Bonanomi’s Audi No. 3 after 19 laps. Andre Lotterer’s Audi No. 2 was in third place, followed by Nicolas Lapierre’s Toyota No. 8 and Tom Kristensen’s Audi No. 1.
In its return to Le Mans after a 16-year absence in the top category, Porsche’s chances took a blow. Neel Jani’s Porsche No. 14 started from second but slipped to 50th because of a 15-minute pit stop. Timo Bernhard’s Porsche No. 20 was in sixth place, one lap off the pace.
Audi has won nine of the last 10 races at Le Mans, including the last four. A total of 54 cars started the 82nd edition of the race, which ends on Sunday at 1300 GMT.