The GR-Porsche #86 (Wainwright/Pera/Barker) was hit again. Riccardo Pera took off in the Indianapolis corner and hit the tire wall. The 911 is freed from its predicament and can continue.
Another LMP2 is standing
Francois Perrodo lost control of the #83 AF Corse Oreca while braking for the Arnage corner, but is able to continue under his own power. This also has consequences for Olivier Pla in Glickenhaus #708: the Frenchman had to swerve and went wide. After a short rolling phase, things continued as normal for Pla as well.
Now the LMP3 champion in the ELMS has also been hit – Laurents Hörr is in the gravel bed with the DKR-Oreca #3, he may even have hit it. This cannot be clearly seen in the TV pictures. In any case, Hörr can continue.
Next Porsche properly damaged
Brendan Iribe is on the side of the track after a violent accident on the approach to the Daytona chicane. He lost control of his Project 1 Porsche #56 (Iribe/Millroy/Barnicoat) while braking, and the car then swerved to the left. The front of the 911 is badly damaged.
Toyota #7 back in early
Jose Maria Lopez brought the #7 Toyota back into the pits earlier than planned. The reason for this is a creeping flatfoot. Doesn’t surprise us after so many incidents. And we’re not surprised that it’s hitting #7 again and again.
Now Christian Hook got caught in the Iron Lynx Ferrari #75 – the scene is almost 1:1 congruent with that of Christensen about 40 minutes ago. Again braking in Mulsanne, another major blowout on the next straight.
Let’s take a look at the standings now that the race has calmed down again:
In the hypercar class, depending on the pit stop rhythm, the #7 Toyota falls out of the lead lap from time to time. If the #8 gets through without any problems, this power cycle was the preliminary decision. Glickenhaus #709 is already missing four laps. Jota continues to have the LMP2 events firmly under control with the #38.
In the GTE-Pro class, it boils down to a duel between Ferrari #51 and Corvette #64. The question here will be how well the Corvette will do over the distance with the brakes changed very early. The change was supposed to happen around half-time and was forced to be brought forward.
The GTE-Am category could now become a duel between TF-Sport Aston-Martin #33 (Keating/Chaves/Sörensen) and Hardpoint-Porsche #99 (Haryanto/Picariello/Rump). Paul Dalla Lana in the #98 Aston Martin was given a drive-through penalty due to track limits and the #79 WeatherTech Porsche lost time after spinning earlier.
Leupen on Toyota problem
“We briefly had a problem with the front engine. A power cycle has to be made for that,” says Rob Leupen at ‘Nitro’. “The car stopped and was then able to drive on to the pits again for a short time. Then we did another one here. The problem was actually solved immediately. In this case, the battery in the front engine had to be completely discharged and that unfortunately took longer and that’s why the #7 loose the lead.”
News from Porsche
The #92 appears to have been repaired and ready to hit the track again. Three laps down. There is bad news from the #79 WeatherTech Racing 911. It has turned into the gravel bed, but fortunately can continue without any consequential damage.
Now also drama at Toyota!
The #7 stands! Jose Maria Lopez parks his GR010 Hybrid on the side of the road at the exit of Arnage – the Toyota drama is back in Le Mans. After a power cycle, everything seems to be working again, but the lead is gone. Brendon Hartley now has a 1:10 lead over the sister car.
Porsche #92 severely damaged!
Drama for Porsche! Michael Christensen in the previously leading Porsche #92 sneaks around the course with a badly damaged front! The slow motion shows that he had previously braked in Mulsanne, had to go through the gravel bed and then the right front tire burst on the straight. This puts Corvette back in the lead in the GTE Pro.
Hairy moment for the #8
For Brendon Hartley and Toyota things were getting very tight in the pits – the New Zealander was just about to drive off with the #8 when the #79 WeatherTech Porsche pulled into the pits in front of it. Hartley was able to avoid a pit crash, but lost a few seconds in the process.
Meanwhile the next departure, this time from GR-Porsche #86 (Wainwright/Pera/Barker).
What’s wrong with Sebastien Buemi?
The Swiss complains again on the pit radio. The Toyota driver seems dissatisfied throughout the race and is not quite up to the pace of his teammates. Team boss Rob Leupen already indicated a physical handicap with ‘Nitro’. Buemi would feel uncomfortable, said the Dutchman.
Punishment for Gelael
WRT’s penalty for colliding with the Vector-Oreca is immediate: Sean Gelael receives a drive-through penalty after the contact. Bitter for WRT who fought their way up so well after the crash at the start and the penalty that followed.
LMP2 incident, the next
Aaand the next of the small prototypes sneaks around the course. This time it’s the Ultimate Oreca #35 (J.-B. Lahaye/M. Lahaye/Heriau). From the Porsche curves, however, it is not far to the rescue box. After a regular-looking service, however, things continue again.
Collision in the LMP2 field
In the Daytona chicane, the WRT Oreca #31 (Gelael/Frijns/Rast) and the Vector Oreca #10 (Müller/Cullen/Bourdais) rattled together. The incident is being investigated because it was not a battle for positions. Sebastien Bourdais is already seven laps down after early problems in the Vector camp. The WRT squad, currently represented by Sean Gelael, is only one lap behind the leading Jota-Oreca.
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