A few minutes after hour nineteen, on lap 419, the No.2 car careered off the track betweens turns 11 and 12 while in the lead. The crash came after one of the wheel rims gave way.
The very unusual event put paid to the MC12’s hopes, as it did Müller’s, who was at the wheel at the time of the accident. The car was too badly damaged to continue and was hoisted behind the barriers. It was only when the MC12 was taken to parco chiuso that the true rarity of the incident was revealed, a crash that Müller stated was preceded by a strange vibration from the right rear end.
It was a sad finish for the car, one that had steered clear of any incidents and that been battling for the lead with the Corvettes over the previous three hours.
On lap 433, Bertolini took over from Negraõ at the wheel of the No.1 MC12. Just four laps passed before he was back in the pit lane with a steering glitch that the mechanics put right and the car made it back out on lap 441.
Lap 434 saw Vosse make way for Lemeret in the No.33. Four laps later, the car rose to its highest position in the race, third, while the No.3 and No.4 Corvettes swapped positions up front.
On lap 462, Pier Guidi replaced Lemeret in the No.33 and on lap 465 Sarrazin took command of the No.1.
The tussle between the two Corvettes came to an end on lap 471 when Gavin’s No.3 began having problems and was eventually forced into the pits four laps later. Thirteen laps on, the car made it back to the fray in second spot. Hour 21 ticked by with the No.4 and No.3 Corvettes leading, followed by the 33 driven by Vosse - Lemeret’s substitute from lap 489.
1. Hezemans/Kumpen/Menten/Mollekens - Corvette Z06 – 492 laps in 21:01:38.613
2. Gavin/Ruffier/Soulet/Longin – Corvette Z06 – 15 laps down
3. Pier Guidi/Lemeret/Vosse/Rosenblad – Maserati MC12 – 15 laps down
5. Ramos/Müller/Van De Poele/Lamy – Maserati MC12 – 73 laps down
6. Bartels/Bertolini/Sarrazin/Negraõ – Maserati MC12 – 74 laps down