2017 24 Hours of Le Mans: Hour 8 Update – Buemi Problems Sees Conway Extend Race Lead


Sébastien Buemi complained of issues with his Toyota for several laps, before pitting, suffering a brake fire, and being wheeled into the garage. (Credit: Craig Robertson/Speed Chills)

A problem for the #8 Toyota saw the leading #7 Toyota extend its advantage atop the standings to 40 seconds ahead of the #1 Porsche as darkness descended upon the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

LMP1

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

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

3rd – #9 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Lapierre/Kunimoto/Lopez

Having swept ahead of Andre Lotterer’s #1 Porsche, Nakajima darted into the distance and whittled down the #7 Toyota of Stephane Sarrazin’s lead advantage to only 16 seconds.

Midway through the hour, the leading #7 Toyota was awarded a ‘final warning’ for breaching track limits, luckily avoiding a race-wrecking time penalty with over half the race remaining.

The overall lead gap was pushed out to 23 seconds however as Buemi in the #8 Toyota complained of a potential problem within the car towards the end of the hour, pulling into the pit lane before being wheeled into the garage to shatter the #8 car’s chances of Le Mans victory. As a result, the #9 Toyota leapt into a provisional final podium position.

LMP2

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

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

3rd – #38 Jackie Chan Racing  – Oreca 07 Gibson – Tung/Laurent/Jarvis

Both the Vaillante Rebellion cars continued to dominate the LMP2 category, with the leading #31 car maintaining the class lead despite serving a drive-through penalty, seeing the #13 Rebellion close to within 20 seconds of top spot heading into the night stages.  The #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing retained the final podium spot.

A late stop for the leading #31 Rebellion briefly handed provisional class lead to the #13 Rebellion at the top of the hour.

GTE PRO

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

2nd – #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK – Ford GT – Priaulx/Tincknell/Derani

3rd – #92 Porsche GT Team – Porsche 911 RSR – Christensen/Estre/Werner

Darren Turner continued to extend the #97 AMR Aston Martin’s lead atop the GTE Pro standings, with the #67 Chip Ganassi Ford GT Team UK a further 30 seconds behind.

An incident for the third-placed Oliver Gavin saw the #64 Corvette trundle towards the pit lane, before briefly becoming beached in the pit entry gravel trap as the #92 Porsche GT Team car of Michael Christensen stormed into third spot.

GTE AM

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

2nd – #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing – Porsche 919 RSR – Ried/Cairoli/Dienst

3rd – #90 TF Sport – Aston Martin Vantage – Yoluc/Hankey/Bell

Moments into the hour, the leading GTE AM #98 AMR Aston Martin suffered a ferocious front-right tyre explosion, hobbling to the pit lane with a puncture and front bodywork damage. Lengthy repair work saw the Aston shuffled down to fourteenth in the class, handing top spot to the #84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 of Will Stevens.

Second was inherited by the #77 Dempsey- Proton Racing Porsche of Christian Reid narrowly ahead of the #90 TF Sport Aston Martin.