2017 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour 4 Update – Kobayashi Unchallenged


The #98 Aston Martin has been the dominant force in GTE Am thus far, Paul Dalla Lana leading the way before handing over to Mathias Lauda. (Credit: Craig Robertson/Speed Chills)

Kamui Kobayashi in the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 still led the way at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Toyota seemed almost faultless with the #1 Porsche now up to second behind them.

The hour started with drama as Ben Keating crashed his #43 Keating Motorsports Riley MK30, bringing out a slow zone through the Porsche curves. Another slow zone for debris and then for the stranded TDS Racing would slow down the hour.

LMP1

1st – #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin

2nd – #1 Porsche Team – Porsche 919 Hybrid – Jani/Lotterer/Tandy

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

The #7 once again became the first car to pit from the lead group, quickly followed in by the #1 Porsche Team car. The Toyota continued to lead with Kamui Kobayashi now stretching his advantage to over 30 seconds from Nick Tandy.

The #2 Porsche had been running a quiet race in fourth, but any chance of a strong finish was shattered as the car ran into problems, a lost front axledrive, being towed back into the garage.

LMP2

1st – #13 Vaillante Rebellion – Oreca 07-Gibson – Piquet Jr/Heinemeier Hansson/Beche

2nd – #31 Vaillante Rebellion – Oreca 07-Gibson – Prost/Senna/Canal

3nd – #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing – Oreca 07-Gibson – Tung/Laurant/Jarvis

Keating’s crash caused minimal interruption within the overall class order, but forced others to rethink their own pit strategies. No such problems would besiege the Rebellion’s though, with the Swiss team running one-two within a few tenths of each other.

Elsewhere, Francois Perrodo went off in the #28 TDS Racing, creating a slow zone with 20 minutes of the hour remaining. The team had been in eleventh before the incident.

On the hour, the #23 Panis Barthez Competition picked up a puncture and spun.

GTE Pro

1st – #71 AF Corse – Ferrari 488 GTE – Rigon/Bird/Molina

2nd – #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK – Ford GT – Mücke/Pla/Johnson

3rd – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Aston Martin Vantage – Turner/Adam/Serra

The class continued to be the story of the Aston Martin Vantage’s with the #95 picking up a puncture from the lead. Marco Sorensen was forced to limp round for two thirds of the lap as the #97 took the lead at the hands of Daniel Serra.

Some bodywork flew off the car, creating a Slow Zone on the run down to Indianapolis. All of this would benefit the fight behind with the top five seperated by 10 seconds, that was until contact between Marcel Fassler’s Chevrolet and the #92 Porsche Team.

GTE Am

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

2nd – #98 Aston Martin Racing – Aston Martin Vantage – Lamy/Lauda/Dalla Lana

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

Paul Dalla Lana spent most of the hour at the front, with the #98 Aston Martin pulling away from the #84 JMW Motorsport machine at the hands of star driver Dries Vanthoor. A poor pitstop would drop them down though, as the class remained extremely open.