The 911's superior traction caused a few upsets.

Few were surprised to see Xavier Pompidou jump into the GT2 lead at the wheel of Sebah's ancient Porsche 911 GT3-R,but no-one was quite prepared for WoIfgang Kaufmannes progressin GT1 aboard A-Level's 911 Turbo. Both exploited their renownedwet-weather skills and the 911's superb traction to embarrass their class rivals and a fair few prototypes to boot.

Kaufmann had qualified the Porsche eighth in class, more than five seconds from the pole, making his progress all the more amazing. He was ahead of all four Ferrari 550 Maranellos and the lone Aston Martin inside four laps.

Pompidou was just as impressive. He had started fifth in class and shot up through the field, overtaking Kaufmann on the way, to run as high as seventh before the first hour was out.

Pompidou went on to claim class honours together with Marc Lieb, despite losing a lap in the Abbey gravel in the second hour. The Sebah car was quickly back ahead after Mike Rockenfeller in the Autoriando Porsche saw the advantage he innerited disappear when he was held at the end of the pitlane under yellow flags, although team-mates Luigi Moccia and Franco Groppi wouldn't have had the speed in the wet to keep the car ahead.

There was no fairy-tale ending for Kaufmann. The seat mounting broke when his team-mate, Marcel Tiemann, took over, and a lap was lost. That allowed the Menx Ferrari, in which Peter Kox drove for more than three hours at the Start, to take over at the front.

Robert Pergl and Jarek Janis had no problem keeping the car ahead, especially as the A-Level machine faded as the conditions improved. So much so, that the Cirtek Ferrari driven by Christophe Bouchut and Alexei Vasiliev caught the Porsche for second in the closing stages.