2015 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour 23 – AF Corse Loses GTE-Pro Lead


At the front of the field, the Audi’s are now almost out of contention. The third place #7 driven by Treluyer is now 3 laps off the lead, as the #19 Porsche at the hands of Earl Bamber leads, handing over Nico Hulkenberg for the end of the race. He maintains a one lap gap to the #17 Porsche.

Meanwhile, the #23 Nissan got running, only to stop on track in a cloud of smoke. This may be the end for the team after a day of mechanical issues. While the #18 Porsche is now stuck in fifth as Neel Jani takes the wheel for the end.

Rain was talked about, but little has materialised, as the LMP2 battle rages on. The #26 G-Drive was only a few seconds ahead of the #38 Jota Sport, piloted by McLaren sponsored Oliver Turvey, before the #38 sailed past with an hour and a half remaining. Both of them went on to chase down the leader, the #47 KCMG, under a minute ahead.

Credit: Ferrari
Credit: Ferrari

After such consistent running, the #51 AF Corse is forced into the garage from the GTE-Pro lead. The stop allows the #64 Corvette to catch and overtake. It seems a dull end is likely to what was an exciting battle that looked like it would go down to the wire.

The next highest GTE-Pro car was their team mate in the #71 AF Corse driven by James Calado, 5 laps down, but even they had overtaken the #51 by the time Gianmaria Bruni came out in third, seven laps down.

While in GTE-Am the #98 Aston Martin looks comfortable at the front. They have a two lap gap to those behind, but with a 3 lap gap to the the #64 in GTE-Pro in front, could they aim for the overall GT victory. Meanwhile, various problems for the Scuderia Corsa means that the #77 Dempsey-Proton now has a 2 minute lead in third.

Top 3 positions in each class after Hour 23 of the 83rd 24 Hours of Le Mans

LMP1

  • #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid – Hulkenberg/Bamber/Tandy
  • #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid – Bernhard/Webber/Hartley
  • #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro – Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer

LMP2

  • #47 KCMG Oreca 05 – Howson/Lapierre/Bradley
  • #38 Jota Sport Gibson 015S – Nissan – Dolan/Evans/Turvey
  • #26 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 –Bird/Rusinov/Canal

LM GTE-Pro

  • #64 Corvette Racing – Milner/Gavin/Taylor
  • #71 AF Corse – Calado/Beretta/Rigon
  • #51 AF Corse – Vilander/Bruni/Fisichella

LM GTE-Am

  • #98 Aston Martin Racing V8 – Dalla Lana/Lauda/Lamy
  • #72 SMP Racing Ferrari 458 Italia – Shaytar/Bertolini/Basov
  • #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 991 – Long/Dempsey/Seefried