Neel Jani in the #2 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid leads the 24 Hours of Le Mans
The hour was noted by the emergence of the safety car, after two GT-Am cars parked themselves in the gravel mixing up the order at the back of the grid. It was the first safety car for 8 hours. The period was later extended for barrier damage.
At the top of the hour, the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid saw Brendon Hartley take over, after a fairly disappointing stint from Bernhard. It started with a disaster though as they were wheeled back into the garage after only one lap with battery problems.
They eventually took the floor off, as the car started to wave its chances of winning goodbye. Meanwhile the #7 Audi came back out the pits, only three laps down on the struggling Porsche, they eventually passed them.
At the back, the #13 Rebellion took the opportunity to pit under the safety car before moving up to fifth ahead of the stranded #1 Porsche.
The hour ended with the #6 Toyota pitting from the lead and exited narrowly in front of the #2 Porsche only to lose the lead down the Mulsanne straight. They didn’t mind though, they still had a pitstop in hand.
An outstanding stint for Pierre Thiriet saw him lead the LMP2 class by an entire minute before the safety car destroyed his gap. While the neutral period was enforced, the #44 Manor Oreca-05 came into the pits with mysterious damage to his rear wing.
The three-way battle for the lead continued in GT Pro with the safety car bunching up the rest of their rivals.
The #66 Ford was given a warning by the officials after he mistook the safety car for a full course yellow, slowing to 80 kph half way around the circuit. As it turned out, they had an electrical issue and pitted soon afterwards.
The #98 Aston Martin spun in the Porsche curves trapping itself in the gravel. It was a disaster for Pedro Lamy who lost the lead of the GT Am class. He wasn’t the only Am to cause a slow zone though as the #83 AF Corse ran into the gravel at the end of the Mulsanne Straight.
The #83 came back to the pit as the team worked on a potential brake issue. The #88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing took a comfortable lead.