2016 24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour 2 Update: Toyota Storm to the Front


The 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans had a full hour of green flag running as the track tried up after hour one’s heavy rain and that allowed Mike Conway’s Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 to finish the second hour in the lead.

With the track continuing to dry out, some teams decided to jump to slicks before others and one of those who really made it work was Loic Duval in the #7 Audi R18. He made an early change and started to set purple sectors but Mike Conway’s Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 continued to hold the lead with the two Porsche Team 919 Hybrids lying in wait behind.

However, Duval didn’t have much time to make the new rubber count as a turbo-charger failure meant the #7 had to go into the garage and go quite a few laps behind to install a replacement.

At the end of the hour, Toyota would lead a 1-2 overall with Mike Conway carrying on his good form the first hour with Sebastien Buemi keeping his nose clean to finish in second place.

In LMP2, Manor started to show their Formula One experience as they played the pitstop game perfectly and saw Roberto Merhi climb into the lead in the team’s Oreca 05-Nissan. However, after more pitstops played out it was SMP Racing’s BR01 with Vitaly Petrov behind the wheel who occupied the lead for much of the middle part of the hour but as hour two became hour three Merhi was back in the lead with Mathias Beche in the Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca 05 occupying second positon.

Action in GTE Pro was as chaotic as to be expected with action from the Porsche, Corvette and Ferrari entries making the 24 Hours of Le Mans seem  more like a one-hour Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup race as Oliver Gavin gets out-dragged down the Mulsanne by Patrick Pilet’s Porsche Motorsport 911 RSR, who then lost out to Giancarlo Fisichella’s Risi Competizione Ferrari 488.

As the hour ended it was the second Porsche Motorsport machine that was in the lead with Frederic Mackowiecki holding off the advances of James Calado in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari who himself had been making some good moves to occupy second position.

Early second-hour running saw the Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR, with only Leh Keen and Marc Miller in that car because of Cooper MacNeil’s withdrawal because of a virus, lead that category but Patrick Long’s Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche was keeping Keen honest.

However, with hour two finished it was a different Porsche in the lead of the race as Wolf Henzler dragged the KCMG machine back into the lead of the class with Long holding station in second place.

Frederic Mackowiecki reflected the Porsche prototype success with the top spot in LM GTE Pro. (Credit: Craig Robertson/SpeedChills.com)
Frederic Mackowiecki reflected the Porsche prototype success with the top spot in LM GTE Pro. (Credit: Craig Robertson/SpeedChills.com)

Top 3 positions in each class after Hour 2 of the 84th 24 Hours of Le Mans

LMP1

  • #6 Toyota TS050 – Conway/Sarrazin/Kobayashi
  • #5 Toyota TS050 – Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima
  • #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid – Bernhard/Webber/Hartley

LMP2

  • #44 Manor Oreca 05-Nissan – Merhi/Rao/Graves
  • #46 Thiriet By TDS Racing Oreca 05-Nissan – Beche/Thiriet/Hirakawa
  • #42 Strakka Racing Gibson 015S-Nissan – Kane/Watts/Leventis

LM GTE Pro

  • #92 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR – Bamber/Bergmeister/Makowiecki
  • #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 – Calado/Bruni/Pier Guidi
  • #69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Ford GT – Westbrook/Dixon/Briscoe

LM GTE Am

  • #78 KCMG Porsche 911 RSR – Henzler/Ried/Camathias
  • #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR – Al Qubaisi/Heinemeier Hansson/Long
  • #55 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia – M.Griffin/Cameron/Scott

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