2014 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour 8 Update


2014 24 Hours of Le Mans (Rolex/Jad Sherif)

With Kazuki Nakajima and the #7 Toyota set fair in the lead throughout the eighth hour of the race it was the LMGTE Pro class battle that starred through the opening half of the hour.

At the start of the hour Richard Westbrook, Darren Turner and Giancarlo Fisichella were running nose-to-tail in the Corvette, Aston Martin and Ferrari respectively.

Turner passed Westbrook for the class lead, installing an Aston Martin Racing entry in the lead of both the Pro and Am classes for the GTE cars as the #98 Aston of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Christoffer Nygaard continued to lead the lower class through the hour. That was despite a spin by Dalla Lana at the Dunlop Chicane shortly after taking over the car.

As sunset gave way to La Sarthe darkness a round of pitstops broke up the Pro battle, shuffling the order in the process. While both Turner and Fisichella remained in their respective cars, their teams just loading the machines with fuel the Corvette Racing team performed a full service on the #74 C7.R with new Michelin tyres and Oliver Gavin bolted onto and into the car.

The longer stop dropped him 30 seconds behind the new lead battle, with Fisichella leap-frogging Turner into the lead, but the new tyres allowed him to edge back towards them through the second half of the hour.

After briefly having to follow the AF Corse Ferrari Turner was able to retake the class lead, pulling away into an 18 second lead by the end of the hour, as the Gavin took second place for Corvette, pushing the Ferrari back to third in class

The second Corvette found problems in the pits, the air jack failing to like Jordan Taylor’s entry when he pitted, resulting in a delay that cost his a lap to the class leaders.

Jann Mardenborough consolidated the LMP2 lead for OAK Racing.

While oone Toyota continued to lead the #8 car, damaged in an accident during the rain of the race’s early hours was able to make it back to seventh overall, Anthony Davidson overtaking Mardenborough’s LMP2 leader to join the block of LMP1 machinery at the top of the overall order. However a pitstop in which Davidson handed over to Nicolas Lapierre dropped the car back behind the OAK Ligier.

2014 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 8 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 – #35 Oak Racing – Brundle/Mardenborough/Shulzhitskiy

2 – #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing – Badey/Gommendy/Thiriet

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