2016 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour 18 Update – One WEC race left to go for Toyota


Toyota Gazoo Racing continue to dominate the 84th 24 Hours of Le Mans as their cars locked out the front of the race in what was a rather unremarkable hour of racing.

It was the Sebastien Buemi car that led the majority of the hour, with Mike Conway in the second TS050 making sure the Japanese manufacturer still had both bullets in the gun as the 2016 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans got down to within one single FIA World Endurance Championship race.

The Marc Lieb driven #2 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid was trying its best to keep the Toyotas honest but it appeared the Stuttgart car didn’t have the same pace as those ahead.

LMP2 tended to settle down this hour, with the Signatech Alpine of Stephane Richelmi looking to run clean and consistently, especially with the looming threat of Rene Rast in the G-Drive Racing Oreca 05 who himself was turning pretty good laps.

Third in that class was Victor Shaytar in the SMP Racing BR01 who benefitted from incidents befalling those directly ahead of him to move into a podium position.

GTE Pro has remained static for this and a few years before that as well as the Risi Competizione Ferrari of Matteo Malucelli kept building a decent lead over the #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Ford GT of Dirk Muller. The Italian was helped by the drive-through penalty given to Muller for refuelling whilst the engine was running. Third place was the second Team USA Ford GT of Richard Westbrook as it has been for a good few hours beforehand.

Finally GTE Am and Bill Sweedler kept putting in consistent laps in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia to not even give the Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR of David Heinemeier Hansson half a chance of wrestling away the lead. In third, Francois Perrodo carried on building on the work of Emanuel Collard to put the #83 AF Corse Ferrari into a decent position.