2017 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour 1 Update – Buemi Jumps into Lead


The #8 Toyota leads the way at Le Mans. (Credit: Craig Robertson/SpeedChills.com

The Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 took the lead after the first pitstops, in a first hour that heavily affected two of the LMP1 teams. The 24 Hours of Le Mans has already seen one Slow Zone, with the #36 Signatech Alpine beaching in the gravel.

The Toyota’s were almost in a class of their own, with the #8 Toyota, driven by Sebastian Buemi, benefiting from a mistake by his teammate on the exit of the pitlane.

LMP1

1st – #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima

2nd – #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin

3rd – #1 Porsche Team – Porsche 919 Hybrid – Jani/Lotterer/Tandy

ByKolles started the hour with problems before the start, but would make the green flag as the #7 Toyota TS050 led the field away for the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans. ByKolles though would not last three corners before breaking the front splitter issue on bollard. The #4 pitting, while the #9 Toyota had the debris thrown into their headlight.

Mike Conway in the #7 Toyota would break away though as the #1 Porsche Team took second place. The pitstops saw the two Toyota’s regain the position as Sebastian Buemi forced the #7 into a mistake, taking the overall lead. The #1 Porsche pressured behind.

LMP2

1st – #31 Vaillante Rebellion – Oreca 07-Gibson – Prost/Senna/Canal

2nd – #25 Manor TRS Racing – Oreca 07-Gibson – Gonzalez/Trummer/Petrov

3rd – #24 Manor TRS Racing – Oreca 07-Gibson – Graves/Hirschi/Vergne

The ARC Brataslava was the first car to spin at the first chicane, quickly rejoining at the back. The front though saw Oliver Jarvis hold off Vitaly Petrov in his Jackie Chan DC Racing machine. Jarvis’ lead would only last for a single pitstop though.

It was the #36 Signatech Alpine who ran into trouble early on, running straight into the gravel at the end of the Mulsanne hairpin, bringing out the first slow zone.

After the field shook out, it was the #31 Vaillante Rebellion who found themselves at the front, at the hands of Bruno Senna.

GTE Pro

1st – #95 Aston Martin Racing – Aston Martin Vantage – Thiim/Sorensen/Stanaway

2nd – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Aston Martin Vantage – Turner/Adam/Serra

3rd – #51 AF Corse – Ferrari 488 GTE – Calado/Rugolo/Pier Guidi

It could not be closer at the start of the race, with Nicki Thiim in the #95 Aston Martin Racing jumping to the front with a train of seven cars quickly forming behind. Thiim would soon break away, leaving the #97 Aston to hold off all the cars down to ninth.

A hectic pitlane saw almost all the cars pit on the same lap, with the Porsche benefiting from the pitstops,with the #92 up to fourth.

GTE Am

1st – #62 Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari 488 GTE – MacNeil/Sweedler/Bell

2nd – #90 TF Sport – Aston Martin Vantage – Yoluc/Hankey/Bell

3rd – #98 Aston Martin Racing – Aston Martin Vatage – Lamy/Lauda/Dalla Lana

While many believed the #50 Labre Competition to be a surprise on pole, the Chevrolet Corvette team were doing their best to prove they belonged their, by pulling away in the class, until their early stop.

The rest of the field pitted a lap later, benefiting from troubles for the #50 that had seen them drop back. As a result, the #62 Scuderia Corsa took the lead.