LE MANS, France — Through seven hours, three Porsche teams were in the lead over Jaguar entries Saturday in the 54th Le Mans 24-Hour race, a confrontation that attracted more than 100,000 fans, including many from Britain.
The Reinhold Joest team, driving a Porsche 956, has won the past two years and led the race from the start. But in the seventh hour, it was being pushed by a pair of newer factory Porsche 962Cs. Often the three teams were only seconds apart, exchanging leads through pit stops.
After six hours, the conventional V-12 Jaguars held fourth and fifth. However, the fourth-place team of drivers Derek Warwick of Britain and American Eddie Cheever encountered trouble when their car had electrical trouble in the pits. With the car refusing to start, they lost 20 minutes and dropped to eighth.