Audi runs into trouble as Hour 7 begins at Le Mans

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Shortly before the 24 Hours of Le Mans moved into its seventh hour, the race-leading No. 1 Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro of Benoit Treluyer, Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler suffered problems and was forced into the garage, where its crew has feverishly begun work in an attempt to alleviate the issue.

Audi had been tight-lipped about the problem, with the only piece of information relayed by American race broadcaster SPEED Channel being that the No. 1 has an issue with its “electric generator.” The team later tweeted that the alternator was being changed on the No. 1 machine.

As a result, the No. 2 Audi R18 of Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish has taken the overall lead with the twin Toyota Racing TS 030 Hybrids moving to second (No. 8 – Stephane Sarrazin, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson) and third (No. 7 – Kazuki Nakajima, Nicolas Lapierre and Alex Wurz) ahead of the No. 3 Audi R18 (Marc Gene, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis), which has fallen back to fourth after pitting for a tire puncture.

The No. 1 team has fallen back currently to 15th overall, as Kristensen has taken over the No. 2 Audi and Sarrazin is now in the No. 8 Toyota.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.