2017 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour 18 Update – The Temperature Heats Up The Competition


Spirit Of Race, Ferrari 488 GTE, LMGTE Am, #55, Duncan Cameron, Aaron Scott, Marco Cioci, 24 Hours of Le Mans Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe France © Craig Robertson

As the end of the 24 Hours of Le Mans gets every closer, the drivers and teams are focused on just racing a clean race and getting to the end. 51 of the 60 cars are still running as only a normal WEC race distance remains of the race. The heat has started to rise and it is expected that the high levels will have effects on the cars.

LMP1

1st – #1 Porsche Team – 919 Hybrid – Jani/Lotterer/Tandy

2nd (p9) – #2 Porsche Team – 919 Hybrid – Bamber/Bernhard/Hartley

3rd (p14) – #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing – TS050 – Davidson/Buemi/Nakajima

More progress has been made by the recovering Hybrids in the last hour as they both seek to get as high up the grid as possible. The #1 Porsche has extended their lead to twelve laps ahead of the second-placed LMP2 over the last hour. As the heat returns to the track, the LMP1 teams will have to adjust their tyre strategies and race strategies to adapt to this.

 

LMP2

1st – #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing – ORECA 07-Gibson – Jarvis/Tung/Laurant

2nd – #13 Vaillante Rebellion – ORECA 07-Gibson – Beche/Hainemeier Hansson/Piquet

3rd – #35 Signatech Alpine – Negrao/Panciatici/Ragues

The end of the hour saw an end to Vaillante Rebellion’s flawless running. After having an issue in the middle of the night, the #31 has been back in the garage for a more extensive repair, with it looking like a gearbox cluster change. As this hour draws to an end, the #31 is up on the high jacks with it being broken apart as the team search for the problem.

 

LMGTE PRO

1st – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Aston Martin Vantage – Adam/Turner/Serra

2nd – #63 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C7.R – Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor

3rd – #91 Porsche GT Team – Porsche 911 RSR – Lietz/Makowiecki/Pilet

Issues plagued Aston Martin this hour as Richie Stanaway had an incident at Mulsanne Corner. Taking too much speed into the corner, Stanaway careered straight into the tyre barrier and damaged the front of the car. Using the momentum of the crash, Stanaway was able to get the Aston straight back out of the gravel trap and back to the pits for repairs.

But the car, after having a brief repair and getting back out, was back in the garage a few laps later for more extensive repairs. The crash from Stanaway may take it out of contention for the win as it has already cost the #95 team the lead of the class.

 

LMGTE AM

1st – #84 JMW Motorsport – Ferrari 488 GTE – Stevens/Smith/Vanthoor

2nd – #55 Spirit of Race – Ferrari 488 GTE – Cameron/Scott/Cioci

3rd – #62 Scuderia Corsa – Ferrari 488 GTE – Bell/Sweedler/MaCNeil

The JMW Motorsport entry is still racing strong, leading the field with a competitive and unchallenged pace. #84 has been leading the Am class from the middle of the night and the team look determined to keep hold of the position they have. The class has only lost one team over the 18 hours of racing, meaning that 15 LM GTE Ams continue to circle the track.