Toyota still leading the way with the #7 Toyota
The Toyota LMP1 with Mike Conway driving, still head a Toyota a 1-2 with two hours of the Le Mans 24 Hours having elapsed. The leading Toyotas have fought a tight race at the head of the field with Sebastien Buemi in the #8 Toyota taking the lead just before Conway managed to take the lead back for the #7 Toyota.
Seb Buemi wasn’t able to fight back after taking a wide line at Mulsanne Corner before the second round of scheduled pitstops. Buemi is now five seconds behind the Mike Conway.
The two LMP1 Porsches hold steady in third and fourth places, the #1 Porsche of Neel Jani is beginning to fall back around two seconds each lap to the leading Toyotas and is around twenty second off the leading pace. The third Toyota with Nicolas Lapierre driving holds fifth place of remaining LMP1 cars. This after the ByKolles privateer LMP1 car had to retire after damage to the car and engine ended the race.
It hit the wall at Terte Rouge on the opening lap of the race and repairs were then attempted. But it only briefly returned to the track before parking in the garage and its retirement was later confirmed.
Rebellion still in control of LMP2
Rebellion Racing still holds the top two spots in LMP2 with Nico Prost in the lead after the first round of driver changes replacing Bruno Senna after a successful triple stint for the Brazilian. Prost heads his team mate, Swiss Racer Mathias Beche by 15 seconds, who’s closely followed by the #38 DC Racing Oreca of Thomas Laurent in third place.
Ex Formula driver, Jean-Eric Vergne has stayed behind the wheel of his #24 Manor Racing Oreca for a fourth stint, this after a mix up with the tyre usage, when the team noticed problem with his tyres during the second pit stop.
The second #25 Manor Oreca runs in sixth place, with Swiss driver Simon Trummer now behind the wheel after the driver changes replacing Russian driver Vitaly Petrov, who managed to place run in second place for a number of laps during the first stages of the race.
The first retirement of the race was the pole sitting #26 G-Drive Oreca of Roman Rusinov. Rusinov had endured an awful first hour of the race, losing time with a terrible first lap, followed by a pit stop for a nose change after damage when he collided with the GTE Am Porsche with Khaled Al Qubaisi driving when they were both in middle of the Porsche Curves.
The GTE AM Porsche hit the barriers, while Rusinov tried to continue, before getting out of the Oreca and checking the damage to the rear of the car. Rusinov managed to get back to the pits where it was discovered the damage was too much for the car to continue.
Aston Martin Racing take a firm grip at the head of GTE Pro
Aston Martin Racing still hold sway leading GTE Pro. The leading pair of Aston Martin’s of Nicki Thiim and Darren Turner headed to the pits for the scheduled stop to switch drivers of the #95 and #97 Aston Martin Racing cars with Marco Sorensen and Daniel Serra taking over from their respective team mates just before the top of the hour. This allowed the #69 Ford GT of British driver Richard Westbrook to take lead in GTE Pro until he had to make his own scheduled stop.
The #66 Ford GT and #63 Corvette both dropped back down the field after suffering from punctures, which then meant a change to their racing strategies.
At the front of GTE Pro, Marco Sorensen took back the lead from fellow Aston Martin runner Daniel Serra in the #95 Aston after Richard Westbrook pitted.
The Porsche of Kevin Estre moved back down the field from third to fifth place in his #92 Porsche as the Ferrari’s of Alessandro Pier Guidi and Sam Bird moved ahead, along with Richard Westbrook in his Ford GT.
Despite the #92 Porsche having a full service pit stop when Kevin Estre pitted to swap over to Michael Christensen, Porsche managed to get the car out in third again, ahead of Daniel Serra in the #97 Aston Martin.
Kevin Magnussen is in fifth place #63 Corvette, while Richard Westbrook dropped down to the back of the GTE Pro field after having to have a rear-wing change.