Le Mans 24H: #7 leads at halfway point, field settles into night running

The #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing was still leading at the halfway point as the field settled into the heart of the 89th Le Mans 24 Hours.

After dramatic opening hours hosted incidents, mechanical failures, and battles galore, the race entered the halfway point more settled into a night sequence.

The fourth safety car was deployed just after eight hours when the #25 G-Drive Racing of Riu Andrade crashed at the tyres into the Dunlop Chicane.

The nature of the accident was alike other similar accidents into this race week, including the #21 of Juan Pablo Montoya, and the #17 which consequently did not start the race.

An earlier brake change commenced with the #60 just eight hours and 11 minutes in.

Green flag at eight hours and 22 mins ignited a fight for the lead in GTE-Pro with Antonio Garcia in the #63 chasing the leader #51 of James Calado.

Meanwhile, the Porsches were running together in P3 and P4, having turned around a difficult start where they were involved in incidents and were unable to put down their pace.

At the nine-hour mark, the #29 of Frits Van Eerd had contact out of the pits with the #66 JMW Motorsport, getting himself rescued from the gravel to continue.

Thomas Neubauer in the #66 meanwhile faced a retirement.

A thrilling duel took place between the #36 of Nicolas Lapierre and the #708 of Olivier Pla as they fought for P4 overall – after a long game of chase by the Alpine on the laps prior.

They continued to fight along to Mulsanne stretches with a side-draft keeping the two Hypercars together.

Into the second Mulsanne chicane, the #708 attempted to perform a cutback after getting ahead of Lapierre but was unable to fend him off.

The #77 Kessel Racing of Mikkel Jensen stopped at the Tetre Rouge entry where smoke starting pouring out of the front of his Ferrari, thus conferring another race retirement.

At just over 10 hours in, the #79 of Macneil Cooper hit the curb harshly upon entry into the Ford Chicane thus upsetting his Porsche 911 RSR and sending it into a spin into the barrier.

It returned to the pit lane, but also to the pit garage and retirement due to irreparable damage.

Up at the front of GTE-Pro, Alessandro Pier Guidi asserted his long chase on the back of Jordan Taylor’s #63 Corvette for the class-lead.

The sister #52 Ferrari of Sam Bird made a similar move into the 11th hour on Michael Christensen for third position.

The #70 had a brief moment at Tetre Rouge where it spun but recovered in the hands of Antonio Garcia, who went onto drive an extra stint thus making it a quadruple run for him.

Into the 12th hour, Toyota were leading 1-2 from #7 to #8.

In LMP2, it was a WRT 1-2 with the #31 ahead of the #41.

AF Corse were also leading GTE-Pro 1-2 from #51 over its #52 sibling. The AF Corse name was also leading GTE-Am.

Overall Position Category Team
1 (175) Laps) Hypercar #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing
2 Hypercar #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing
3 Hypercar #708 Glickenhaus Racing
4 Hypercar #36 Alpine Elf Matmut
5 LMP2 #31 Team WRT
6 LMP2 #41 Team WRT
7 LMP2 #22 United Autosports
8 LMP2 #65 Panis Racing
9 LMP2 #28 JOTA
10 Hypercar #709 Glickenhaus Racing
11 LMP2 #34 Inter Europol Competition (Pro/Am)
12 LMP2 #48 IDEC Sport
13 LMP2 #23 United Autosports
14 LMP2 #21 DragonSpeed USA (Pro/Am)
15 LMP2 #82 Risi Competizione
16 LMP2 #70 Realteam Racing (Pro/Am)
17 LMP2 #30 Duqueine Team
18 LMP2 #20 High Class Racing (Pro/Am)
19 LMP2 #26 G-Drive Racing
20 LMP2 #39 SO24-DIROB by Graff (Pro/Am)
21 LMP2 #38 JOTA
22 LMP2 #29 Racing Team Nederland (Pro/Am)
23 LMP2 #49 High Class Racing
24 GTE-Pro #51 AF Corse
25 GTE-Pro #52 AF Corse
26 GTE-Pro #63 Corvette Racing
27 GTE-Pro #91 Porsche GT Team
28 GTE-Pro #92 Porsche GT Team
29 GTE-Am #83 AF Corse
30 GTE-Am #33 TF Sport
31 GTE-Am #80 Iron Lynx
32 GTE-Pro #64 Corvette Racing
33 GTE-Pro #72 Hub Auto Racing
34 GTE-Am #54 AF Corse
35 LMP2
#74 Racing Team India Eurasia (Pro/Am)
36 GTE-Am #71 Inception Racing
37 GTE-Am #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing
38 GTE-Am #60 Iron Lynx
39 LMP2 #44 ARC Bratislava (Pro/Am)
40 GTE-Am #95 TF Sport
41 GTE-Am #777 D’station Racing
42 GTE-Am #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing
43 Innovative Car #84 Association SRT41
44 GTE-Am #388 Rinaldi Racing
45 GTE-Am #69 Herberth Motorsport
46 GTE-Am #18 Absolute Racing
47 GTE-Am #85 Iron Lynx
48 LMP2
#24 PR1 Motorsports Mathiasen (Pro/Am)
49 GTE-Am #86 GR Racing
50 (DNF) GTE-Pro #79 WeatherTech Racing
51 (DNF) GTE-Am #46 Team Project 1
52 (DNF) GTE-Am #57 Kessel Racing
53 (DNF) GTE-Am #66 JMW Motorsport
54 (DNF) GTE-Am #55 Spirit of Race
55 (DNF) LMP2 #25 G-Drive Racing (Pro/Am)
56 (DNF) GTE-Am #47 Cetilar Racing
57 (DNF) LMP2 #32 United Autosports
58 (DNF) GTE-Am #99 Proton Competition
59 (DNF) GTE-Am #98 Aston Martin Racing
60 (DNF) GTE-Am #56 Team Project 1
61 (DNF) LMP2 #1 Richard Mille Racing