2017 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour 19 Update – Porsche Power Ahead in LMP1


The #1 Porsche maintains an emphatic lead at the front of LMP1 (Credit: Craig Robertson/Speed Chills).

Porsche continue to maintain a dominant one-two in LMP1, with the #1 Porsche powering further ahead in the class lead.

Both the LMP2 and GTE Am leads remained the same throughout the hour, whilst a three-car battle raged in GTE Pro as the fight for the class lead intensifies in the scorching Le Mans sun.

LMP1

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

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

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

Little change in LMP1 saw the #1 Porsche continue to comfortably cruise unchallenged at the front, nursing an 18-lap lead ahead of the #2 Porsche with only five hours remaining in the marathon event. A chance to claim an overall podium remains unlikely for the #2 car – currently 10th overall and five laps down on the second and third overall LMP2 cars.

The sole remaining goal for the #8 Toyota is to clamber up the overall standings, having already guaranteed an LMP1 podium as the final runner of three in the class.

LMP2

1st – #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing – Oreca 07-Gibson – Tung/Laurent/Jarvis

2nd –  #13 Vaillante Rebellion – Oreca 07-Gibson – Piquet Jr/Heinemeier Hansson/Beche

3rd – #35 Signatech Alpine Malmut – Alpine A470-Gibson – Panciatici/Ragues/Negrao

The #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca darted further ahead in the LMP2 lead, extending their advantage over the #13 Vaillante Rebellion to over a lap after a fierce battle between the pairing throughout the night.

Having resurgently battled back into third place after issues throughout the late hours, the #31 Rebellion dropped from podium contention after suffering further mechanical issues.

Strife for the second Rebellion car saw the #35 Signatech Alpine of Nelson Panciatici elevate into the final podium spot as the early morning racing further unfolded.

The fifth-placed #32 United Autosports Ligier suffered a high-speed spin through the Porsche Curves, narrowly evading contact with the barriers before rejoining without losing a position.

GTE PRO

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

2nd – #91 Porsche GT Team – Porsche 911 RSR – Lietz/Makowiecki/Pilet

3rd – #63 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette C7.R – Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor

A pulsating lead battle sparked in GTE Pro after the #95 AMR Aston Martin retreated to the garage at the end of the 18th hour, with Jonny Adam’s #97 AMR Aston duelling alongside the ever-improving #63 Corvette of Jordan Taylor heading into the final quarter of the event.

A pitstop for the #63 Corvette and the #91 Porsche saw the #97 Aston inherit the class lead towards the end of the hour, with a number of teams and manufacturers still in contention for category victory heading into a finely-poised final five hours.

GTE AM

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

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

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

In GTE AM, the infallible #84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 hammered out a 35 second gap ahead of the Spirit of Race Ferrari, with the #62 Scuderia Corsa car rounding out a Ferrari podium lockout.

The only remaining car probing for a potential top three spot proved to be the #99 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin, who alongside the #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari rounded out the top five at the end of the 19th hour.