A range of drama occurred whilst others settled into the race approaching the 12-hour mark at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Round 7 of the WEC.
After a 35 minute safety car period, speculation rose over the retiree #55 Am car as it had contact with the #22 United Autosports of Filipe Albuquerque.
ByKolles’ rear-wing/tail complex fell apart which sent Le Mans rookie Bruno Spengler into a spin after the Dunlop hill. It retired due to the damage accumulated.
Another safety car was deployed in light of another crash from the #30 Duqueine Team of Tristan Gommendy, into the armco barrier on the Mulsanne Straight.
It retired following the damage picked up from minor contact with the #22, both amongst the leading runners in LMP2.
The #8 TGR of Nakajima was pitted into the garage as the team fully resolved the recurring brake duct-cooling issue during the safety car period.
Further LMP2 reliability drama occured as the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing stopped as the car appeared to turn off. It was stationary for up to 30 minutes but headed into the garage.
The Toyota #8 car spent up to 9 minutes in that repair, but rejoined behind the #1 Rebellion and got past in quick succession.
Twice in the threshold of two hours, the #16 G Drive Racing by Algarve in the hands Oliver Jarvis suffered electronic issues.
The gearbox loop, steering wheel and bell-housing were changed due to an alternator failure and that car sat for an hour and 20 minutes in the garage.
A slow zone was implemented down from the safety car period as marshalls set on repairing the armco barrier damaged earlier.
A first sign of rain was being reported at Mulsanne Corner by the Porsche GT Team, with 16 hours and 35 minutes to go.
The GTE-Am leading #75 Iron Lynx were put into the garage after running into reliability issues, thus allowing Ross Gunn of the #98 AMR to take first in Am during the eighth hour.
A safety car was deployed shortly after the #75’s woes in order to retrieve the vehicles that were working on repairing the armco barrier in light of the #30’s crash into it (Mulsanne Straight).
On lap 119, the partially-fogged up track went green and a fierce battle between Alex Brundle and Jean-Eric Vergne between their #32 and #26 cars for the LMP2 lead. Vergne served a drive-through earlier.
As Roman Rusinov took over from JEV in the #26, the United Autosports team secured 1-2 (#32 in front of #32) positions in LMP2.
Will Stevens rejoined in the #37 at 10pm, 20 laps down on the LMP2 leader after their extensive repair job (two-days worth of work). Their LMP2 retired and was disqualified due to receiving ‘physical’ assistance to restart the car.
GTE Pro and Am lead battles heated up, as the #97 AMR took the #71 for the lead at Mulsanne Corner.
Rusinov encountered (throttle) electrical issues that saw him stop and perform an electrical reset over six times in two laps, dropping the car to fifth and into the garage for 40 seconds.
Another confirmed LMP2 retirement was the #16 G-Drive By Algarve Racing having pitted for two hours to address an electrical issue.
The #33 also faced electrical gremlins and ended up retiring, whilst the #38 had a puncture.
A positive was the eventual climb of the #36 into eighth after their problems after the first lap.
The GTE categories had a few fights, but settled into their places at the halfway point as rain had not arrived, yet.
Sam Bird’s #71 AF Corse faced a puncture on the Mulsanne, diminishing any podium pursuit.
|1||#7 Toyota GAZOO Racing||LMP1|
|2||#8 Toyota GAZOO Racing||LMP1|
|3||#1 Rebellion Racing||LMP1|
|4||#3 Rebellion Racing||LMP1|
|5||#32 United Autosports||LMP2|
|6||#22 United Autosports||LMP2|
|8||#31 Panis Racing||LMP2|
|9||#39 SO24-HAS By Graff||LMP2|
|10||#26 G-Drive Racing||LMP2|
|11||#27 Dragonspeed USA||LMP2|
|12||#36 Signatech Alpine Elf||LMP2|
|13||#42 COOL Racing||LMP2|
|14||#28 IDEC Sport||LMP2|
|15||#50 Richard Mille Racing Team||LMP2|
|16||#47 Cetilar Racing||LMP2|
|17||#25 Algrave Pro Racing||LMP2|
|18||#21 Dragonspeed USA||LMP2|
|19||#17 IDEC Sport||LMP2|
|20||#34 Inter Europol Competition||LMP2|
|21||#29 Racing Team Nederland||LMP2|
|22||#35 Eurasia Motorsport||LMP2|
|23||#51 AF Corse||LM-GTE Pro|
|24||#97 Aston Martin Racing||LM-GTE Pro|
|25||#95 Aston Martin Racing||LM-GTE Pro|
|26||#24 Nielsen Racing||LMP2|
|27||#91 Porsche GT Team||LM-GTE Pro|
|28||#82 Risi Competizione||LM-GTE Pro|
|29||#98 Aston Martin Racing||LM-GTE Am|
|30||#90 TF Sport||LM-GTE Am|
|31||#83 AF Corse||LM-GTE Am|
|32||#71 AF Corse||LM-GTE Pro|
|33||#56 Team Project 1||LM-GTE Am|
|34||#77 Dempsey-Proton Racing||LM-GTE Am|
|35||#63 WeatherTech Racing||LM-GTE Pro|
|36||#86 Gulf Racing||LM-GTE Am|
|37||#61 Luzich Racing||LM-GTE Am|
|38||#66 JMW Motorsport||LM-GTE Am|
|39||#99 Dempsey-Proton Racing||LM-GTE Am|
|40||#78 Proton Competition||LM-GTE Am|
|41||#85 Iron Lynx||LM-GTE Am|
|42||#60 Iron Lynx||LM-GTE Am|
|43||#72 Hub Auto Racing||LM-GTE Am|
|44||#54 AF Corse||LM-GTE Am|
|45||#62 Red River Sport||LM-GTE Am|
|46||#75 Iron Lynx||LM-GTE Am|
|47||#92 Porsche GT Team||LM-GTE Pro|
|48||#89 Team Project 1||LM-GTE Am|
|49||#57 Team Project 1||LM-GTE Am|
|50||#70 MR Racing||LM-GTE Am|
|51||#88 Dempsey-Proton Racing||LM-GTE Am|
|52 (RETIRED)||#33 High Class Racing||LMP2|
|53 (RETIRED)||#52 AF Corse||LM-GTE Am|
|54 (DISQUALIFIED)||#37 Jackie Chan DC Racing||LMP2|
|55 (RETIRED)||#16 G-Drive Racing By Algarve||LMP2|
|56 (RETIRED)||#30 Duqueine Team||LMP2|
|57 (RETIRED)||#4 ByKolles Racing||LMP1|
|58 (RETIRED)||#55 Spirit of Race||LM-GTE Am|
|59 (RETIRED)||#11 Eurointernational||LMP2|