2014 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour 7 Update


The Toyota #7 of Alexander Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima continued to lead as the 82nd Le Mans 24 Hours continued into its seventh hour.

The LMP1 Toyota held a strong lead of over eighty seconds from the second placed #2 Audi of Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler & Andre Lotterer, with the #1 Audi sitting in third of Lucas di Grassi, Tom Kristensen and Marc Gene.

Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley in the #20 Porsche made a driver error at Arnage while running in third position, and lost some time as he attempted to rejoin the track. At the end of the lap, the car entered the pit lane, and Hartley handed over to his co-driver Mark Webber for the Australian’s first stint of the race.

In LMP2, the #36 Signatech Alpine of Oliver Webb, Paul-Loup Chatin and Nelson Panciatici held the advantage, ahead of the #35 Oak Racing Ligier of Alex Brundle, Jann Mardenborough and Mark Shulzhitskiy, while the #34 Race Performance entry of Michel Frey, Franck Mailleux and Jon Lancaster sat third.

Alexandre Imperatori lost control of the #47 KCMG Oreca entry at the Porsche Curves with an apparent rear suspension failure, an accident that saw the introduction of the safety car for the third time of the day. The Swiss driver was having an impressive race, but the accident resulted in damaged suspension, and the marshal’s pushed the car behind the wall.

The LMGTE Pro class saw the top three cars split by less than a few seconds, with Richard Westbrook’s #74 Corvette, Darren Turner’s #97 Aston Martin and the #51 AF Corse of Italian Giancarlo Fisichella running nose to tail.   As the hour drew to a close, Turner made a move into the first chicane down the Mulsanne Straight to take the class lead.

The #79 LMGTE Pro Entry Porsche of Prospeed Competition suffered a left rear puncture on the Mulsanne Straight, with Jeroen Bleekemolen behind the wheel. The Dutchman had well over half a lap of the long Le Mans track to complete, and the damage to the car saw the team take it into the garage for repairs.

The LMGTE Am class lead was held by the #98 Aston Martin Racing entry of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Christoffer Nygaard, with the all-Danish entry of the #95 Aston Martin Racing of Kristian Poulsen, David Heinemeier Hansson and Nicki Thiim in second, and the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari of Andrea Bertolini, Viktor Shaitar and Aleksey Basov third.

2014 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 7 hours:

LMP1

1 – #7 Toyota Racing – Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima

2 – #2 Audi Sport Team Joest – Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer

3 – #1 Audi Sport Team Joest – di Grassi/Gene/Kristensen

LMP2

1 – #36 Signatech Alpine – Chatin/Panciatici/Webb

2 – #35 Oak Racing – Brundle/Mardenborough/Shulzhitskiy

3 – #34 Race Performance – Frey/Mailleux/Lancaster

LMGTE Pro

1 – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Turner/Mücke/Senna

2 – #74 Corvette Racing – Gavin/Milner/Westbrook

3 – #51 AF Corse – Bruni/Vilander/Fisichella

LMGTE Am

1 – #98 Aston Martin Racing – Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard

2 – #95 Aston Martin Racing – Poulson/Heinemeier Hansson/Thiim

3 – #72 SMP Racing – Bertolini/Shaitar/Basov