2016 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour 1 Update – Safety Car Rules the Roost


The Rebellion Racing R-One at Le Sarthe.

As the first hour of the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans was completed, there was only two laps of green flag racing as the 84th edition of the great race started under the safety car but Toyota Gazoo Racing made those laps count as they finished the hour in the lead.

With heavy rain falling as the cars lined up on the grid, the first casualty of the race was the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT of Andy Priaulx which was pushed into the pits with a gear selection issue on the to-grid lap.

As the cars got underway, with the Tricolour waved by Brad Pitt, the amount of spray being picked up by the 60 car field was blinding with any car positioned behind the leader unable to see at all.

The first car to be caught out by the rain was the #12 Rebellion Racing R-ONE of Nick Heidfeld which had to come in for emergency repairs because of the amount of water being sucked into the airbox. That would be fixed, but the car would come out four laps down and with Nelson Piquet Jr behind the wheel.

Eight minutes of the hour was left when race director Eduardo Freitas sent the cars racing, and finally the jeers from the crowd turned to cheers as the Porsches pulled away from the Toyotas with the Audi Sport Team Joest machines right on their rear diffusers.

The rapidly drying conditions seemed to suit Mike Conway perfectly as he went from fourth to first in one lap and and relegated the two Porsche 919 Hybrids to second and third.

In LMP2, G-Drive Racing held the lead as Rene Rast compeletely blocked the Signatech and Baxi DC Racing Alpine A460s from even getting a sniff of the lead.

GTE Pro saw the AF Corse Ferrari 488s start to mix themselves with the USA and UK Ford GTs as the #92 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR also gained a few handy positions itself.

Porsche was also in good form in GTE Am as Wolf Henzler played the pit stops perfectly to end the hour in the lead with the KCMG Porsche 911 RSR.

Top 3 positions in each class after Hour 1 of the 84th 24 Hours of Le Mans

LMP1

  • #6 Toyota TS050 – Conway/Sarrazin/Kobayashi
  • #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid – Jani/Dumas/Lieb
  • #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid – Bernhard/Webber/Hartley

LMP2

  • #26 G-Drive Racing Ligier JS P2 – Rast/Stevens/Rusinov
  • #36 Signatech Alpine Alpine A460 –Lapierre/Menezes/Richelmi
  • #35 Baxi DC Alpine A460 – Cheng/Tung/Panciatici

LM GTE Pro

  • #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Ford GT – Muller/Hand/Bourdais
  • #92 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR – Bamber/Bergmeister/Makowiecki
  • #51 AF Corse – Calado/Bruni/Pier Guidi

LM GTE Am

  • #78 KCMG Porsche 911 RSR – Henzler/Ried/Camathias
  • #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR – Al Qubaisi/Heinemeier Hansson/Long
  • #83 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia – Collard/Perrodo/Aguas

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