The retirement of the leading McLaren (no.49 driven by Mass-Neilsen-Bscher) and the Courage(IU(Bs comeback were the most salient of a very wet and difficult night. However, as morning approached the track began to dry but then the rain came down again thus it was still wet weather tyres.
Jochen Mass stopped juqst after 03h00 in the morning with a ctutch that no longer functioned and its replacement took 1 hour and 20 minutes. Back out went John Neilen in 17th place only to crash on his first lap leading to the car(IU(Bs retirement. This left the Derek Bell-Justin Bell-Andy Wallace Mc Laren in the lead pursued by the Letho-Sekiya-Dalmas entry which was the quicker of the 2 but was delayed by a couple of spins, and even if Wallace(IU(Bs gamble to put on slicks did not come off, he remained in the lead.
Behind the two McLarens, the Wollek-Helary-Andretti Courage got up to third place at 3h25 and reduced the gap with the leaders to three laps, a feat reminiscent of that of Jackie Ickx in 1977. The Stuck-Boutsen-Bouchut Kremer which was locked in battl with the Courage for some time fell back following adjustments to the suspension and then the replacement of a rear wing stay. The no.3 Kremer spent lmsot mre time off the track than on as after Konrad who went off just after midnight, the Brazilian Hermannha a couple of (IR(Boffs(IS(B losing a good part of the night due to chassis repairs. The Mazda DG3 continued its merry way while in the LMP2 Category, the surviving WR led from the Deborah.
In the GT1 Catgory, the McLarens dominated while the Jacadi no.50 McLaren and the no.24 Gulf were battling it out for fourth place, but a stop to check the flat bottom and the brakes allowed the English entry up to fourth at 7h40.
In GT 2, the Callaway Corvettes led the dance in spite of the retirement of the Coppelli-Thyrring-Bourdais Augusta entry after Thyrring went off in the first chicane in Les Hunaudieres. The works entry held the upper hand from the second Augusta car and the no.84 Honda. The Marcoses were slowed by exhaust problems but were still in the race which was not the case for the Jaguars as the Piper-Needell car went out with a blown engine at half-distance while the second XJ 220 C retired at 7h05 as a result of Iacobelli(IU(Bs accident during the night.
The Gounon-Belmondo-Trevisol Venturi got going again around midnight after a long stop to carry out engine repairs but is too far bck to hope for a good result. Another noteworthy performance was that of the Ferrari F40 of M.Ferte-Thevenin-Palau which occupies the 8th place showing exceptional reliability.
Thanks to the hard work of its mechanics, the no.46 Honda and the no.30 Chevrolet have managed to get back into the race to try and make it to the finish. The Corvette started its fifth lap just before 7h00. The Sard finally retired due to clutch problems as did the no.43 Venturi (fire) and the no.23 Nissan (blocked gearbox). Just before 8h00, JJ etho was only two minutes behind the leader.