Le Mans 24 Hours: #8 Toyota takes lead at half-distance, #7 gets turbo issue – WEC


Kamui Kobayashi kept the #7 Toyota in the lead at the midway mark of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but a turbo problem just after half-distance handed the lead to the #8.

Kobayashi led teammate Brendon Hartley by about 1.5 laps before stopping, while Gustavo Menezes is leading the Rebellion Racing charge, ahead of Romain Dumas but three laps off the lead.

Dumas will have 10 seconds added to his next pitstop due to going too fast in a slow zone while a car was being retrieved.

An intra-team rivalry has sparked LMP2 to life; thanks to a 55sec pitstop to change his rear wing, Will Owen in the #32 United Autosports Oreca found himself hanging on to the lead of the class by barely one second ahead of his teammate ex-Formula 1 driver Paul di Resta, and just past the 12-hour mark, di Resta slipped ahead.

The pair are a lap ahead of JOTA’s #38 car currently piloted by another ex-F1 driver Anthony Davidson.

The G-Drive Racing #26 Aurus of Roman Rusinov was holding third, around a minute ahead of JOTA, but at the 10h-mark Rusinov lost power, limped back to the pits, and fell to fifth behind Panis Racing’s #31 car.

The #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing has been disqualified for outside assistance while Gabriel Aubry was trying to get the car restarted after stopping on track.

That has allowed DragonSpeed into sixth in class, Renger van der Zande at the wheel by half-distance.

Alex Lynn pulled the #97 Aston Martin Vantage into the pits at 10.50pm local time after a triple stint, and fell only to second after handing off to Maxime Martin, thereby retaining third ahead of Miguel Molina who had taken over the #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488.

When Alessandro Pier Guidi pitted a lap later in the #51 Ferrari 488 he finished his out-lap 7s ahead of Martin.

However, it took just a couple of laps for the British car to move back to the front ahead of the Italian machine, and with Daniel Serra at the wheel, the Ferrari continued to lose time to Martin.

After their 10th stops, when Harry Tincknell took over the #97 Aston from Martin, Serra retained the lead and then started pulling away.

Just before the 11-hours-expired mark, suddenly Sam Bird in the third-placed #71 Ferrari was trickling slowly back to the pits with a right-rear puncture that allowed the Marco Sorensen-driven #95 Aston Martin into third, and the Risi Competizione Ferrari into fourth.

AF Corse pulled the #71 into the garage for an inspection and a brake service and it has now fallen to sixth behind Gianmaria Bruni in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR.

In GTE Am, TF Sport’s #90 Aston Martin Vantage has been leading the similar car of #98 machine of Aston Martin Racing almost throughout the past four hours, rarely more than 10s apart, but two minutes ahead of AF Corse’s #83 Ferrari 488, currently piloted by Emmanuel Collard.

The 911 RSR of Larry ten Voorde, Matteo Cairoli and Egidio Perfetti, runs a further 45sec behind in fourth.

Le Mans 24 Hours – positions after 12 hours

1LMP1#7 ToyotaConway, Kobayashi, Lopez190
2LMP1#8 ToyotaBuemi, Nakajima, Hartley188+ 2 Laps
3LMP1#1 RebellionSenna, Nato, Menezes187+ 3 Laps
4LMP1#3 RebellionDumas, Berthon, Deletraz186+ 4 Laps
5LMP2#32 OrecaOwen, Brundle, Van Uitert180+ 10 Laps
6LMP2#22 OrecaHanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta180+ 0.320s
7LMP2#38 OrecaDavidson, Da Costa, Gonzalez180+ 1m12.643s
8LMP2#31 OrecaJamin, Canal, Vaxiviere179+ 11 Laps
9LMP2#39 OrecaAllen, Capillaire, Milesi178+ 12 Laps
10LMP2#26 AurusRusinov, Vergne, Jensen178+ 37.333s
11LMP2#27 OrecaHedman, Hanley, Van der Zande178+ 1m13.594s
12LMP2#36 AlpineNegrao, Ragues, Laurent177+ 13 Laps
13LMP2#42 OrecaLapierre, Borga, Coigny177+ 29.233s
14LMP2#28 OrecaLafargue, Chatin, Bradley177+ 32.062s
15LMP2#50 OrecaCalderon, Florsch, Visser177+ 1m19.519s
16LMP2#25 OrecaFalb, Trummer, McMurry177+ 1m43.985s
17LMP2#47 DallaraLacorte, Belicchi, Sernagiotto177+ 1m48.875s
18LMP2#21 OrecaMontoya, Buret, Rojas177+ 2m06.105s
19LMP2#34 LigierSmiechowski, Binder, Isaakyan176+ 14 Laps
20LMP2#17 OrecaPilet, Tilley, Kennard176+ 41.495s
21LMP2#29 OrecaVan Eerd, Van der Garde, De Vries175+ 15 Laps
22LMP2#35 LigierYamanaka, Foster, Merhi170+ 20 Laps
23GTE Pro#51 FerrariPier Guidi, Calado, Serra169+ 21 Laps
24GTE Pro#97 AstonMartin, Lynn, Tincknell169+ 10.144s
25GTE Pro#95 AstonThiim, Sorensen, Westbrook168+ 22 Laps
26LMP2#24 OrecaGrist, Kapadia, Wells168+ 20.063s
27GTE Pro#82 FerrariPla, Bourdais, Gounon167+ 23 Laps
28GTE Pro#91 PorscheBruni, Lietz, Makowiecki167+ 2m03.601s
29GTE Am#98 AstonDalla Lana, Gunn, Farfus165+ 25 Laps
30GTE Am#90 AstonYoluc, Eastwood, Adam165+ 1.665s
31GTE Pro#71 FerrariRigon, Molina, Bird165+ 1m24.509s
32GTE Am#83 FerrariPerrodo, Collard, Nielsen165+ 1m54.440s
33GTE Am#56 PorschePerfetti, Ten Voorde, Cairoli165+ 2m08.912s
34GTE Am#77 PorscheRied, Pera, Campbell164+ 26 Laps
35GTE Am#86 PorscheWainwright, Barker, Watson164+ 2m59.199s
36GTE Pro#63 FerrariMacneil, Vilander, Segal164+ 3m04.983s
37GTE Am#61 FerrariPiovanetti, Negri Jr., Ledogar163+ 27 Laps
38GTE Am#66 FerrariHeistand, Root, Magnussen163+ 1m13.046s
39GTE Am#99 PorscheInthraphuvasak, Legeret, Andlauer163+ 2m46.013s
40GTE Am#78 PorscheFelbermayr, Beretta, Van Splunteren162+ 28 Laps
41GTE Am#85 FerrariGostner, Frey, Gatting162+ 13.467s
42GTE Am#72 FerrariChen, Blomqvist, Gomes162+ 1m51.108s
43GTE Am#60 FerrariSchiavoni, Pianezzola, Ruberti162+ 2m48.701s
44GTE Am#54 FerrariFlohr, Castellacci, Fisichella161+ 29 Laps
45GTE Am#62 FerrariGrimes, Mowlem, Hollings160+ 30 Laps
46GTE Am#75 FerrariMastronardi, Cressoni, Piccini158+ 32 Laps
47GTE Pro#92 PorscheChristensen, Estre, Vanthoor156+ 34 Laps
48GTE Am#89 PorscheBrooks, Piguet, Laskaratos155+ 35 Laps
49GTE Am#57 PorscheKeating, Fraga, Bleekemolen154+ 36 Laps
50GTE Am#70 FerrariKimura, Abril, Cozzolino151+ 39 Laps
51GTE Am#88 PorschePreining, Bastien, De Leener104+ 86 Laps
52LMP2#37 OrecaTung, Aubry, Stevens141+ 49 Laps
53LMP2#16 AurusCullen, Jarvis, Tandy105+ 85 Laps
54LMP2#30 OrecaHirschi, Tereschenko, Gommendy100+ 90 Laps
55LMP1#4 ENSODillmann, Spengler, Webb97+ 93 Laps
56LMP2#33 OrecaYamashita, Patterson, Fjordbach88+ 102 Laps
57GTE Am#52 FerrariUlrich, Gorig, West80+ 110 Laps
58GTE Am#55 FerrariCameron, Scott, Griffin78+ 112 Laps
59LMP2#11 LigierTambay, Maris, D’Ansembourg26+ 164 Laps