LIVE: 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans – Part 1


For the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, The Checkered Flag will have both hourly reports and a liveblog, keeping you updated for the entire 24 hours.

This page will automatically update with all of the latest news and images from Circuit de la Sarthe.

Joe Hudson June 18, 201613:24

Hello, and welcome to teamtcf‘s coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, we are just over 30 minutes from the race start and our man on the ground – Dan Lloyd – is reporting that the rain that has struck La Sarthe in the last few days is making a reappearance!

Joe Hudson June 18, 201613:25

The cars are now rolling off and things are all in motion for the start of the world’s most gruelling race!

Joe Hudson June 18, 201613:26

The big news at the moment is that the ByKolles LMP1-L machine is being pushed back into the pits

Joe Hudson June 18, 201613:34

Before the race gets underway, this is the perfect opportunity to read the qualifying report which saw rain deny teams an opportunity to topple Porsche’s Qualifying One dominance: Porsche takes pole as rain stops play at Le Mans

Joe Hudson June 18, 201613:36

The rain is getting worse at Le Mans, Dan has sent through this latest snap from the media centre:

Joe Hudson June 18, 201613:38

And vital for the race is Andy Blackmore’s ace Spotters Guide, you can find it here: http://www.spotterguides.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/LM_16_V2.pdf

Joe Hudson June 18, 201613:43

Because of this rain it has been confirmed the race will start under the safety car!

Joe Hudson June 18, 201613:48

Confirmation of the safety car start –

Joe Hudson June 18, 201613:50

Other news coming out is that the #49 Michael Shank Racing Ligier-Honda will need to serve a 5 minute stop-go penalty at some point during the race because it changed its engine.

Joe Hudson June 18, 201613:53

According to Eurosport, there has never been a red flag during the 24 Hour race itself, could the increasingly bad weather mean a red flag is needed?

Joe Hudson June 18, 201613:55

The #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT is being pushed into the box and mechanics are swarming around the car

Joe Hudson June 18, 201613:58

7 cars are starting at the back because their drivers didn’t set the 5 required quali laps – #4 ByKolles CLM LMP1-L, 27 SMP Racing BR01-Nissan, #28 Pegasus Morgan-Nissan, #30 ESM Ligier-Nissan, #22 SO24! Ligier-Judd, #40 Krohn Racing Ligier-Nissan and the #63 Corvette Racing C7.R

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:00

Brad Pitt waves the cars away as the race starts under the safety car and the clock is ticking down!

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:03

Reports are that the #67 Chip Ganassi Ford GT, which Andy Priaulx was meant to be starting, has gearbox problems

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:06

The cars are being led up to Indianapolis and it looks very wet

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:10

The #31 ESM Ligier-Nissan makes a quick trip through the pits after the first full lap round. They’ve changed driver with Pipo Derani getting out the car.

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:15

The #67 Ford GT is back out now, they’ve gone two laps down but anything can happen in 24 hours!

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:18

Porsche Team #2 of Neel Jani has just set a 7:54.551 toppace

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:20

In the safety car, Yannick Dalmas is doing a good job pacing the field

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:29

We’re just hitting the first 30 minutes completed and the two Porsches lead in LMP1, G-Drive Racing leads in LMP2, the #68 Ford GT leads GTE Pro and Clearwater Racing leads in GTE Am

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:33

Work is being done on the #12 Rebellion Racing LMP1-L machine with airbox issues

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:34

Clearwater Racing pitting at the moment, a lot of teams are pitting to put their Am drivers in while the safety car remains out

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:39

We’ve had 40 minutes completed and the safety car stays out. As Dan Lloyd confirms, there are loud jeers coming from a crowd who want to see some green flag running!

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:47

The crew of the #1 Porsche tell Timo Bernhard that no more rain is forecast as teams are now swapping to intermediate tyres!

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:51

The Eurasia Motorsport #33 has been pushed into the pits as the SAFETY CAR LIGHTS ARE OUT!

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:52

WE ARE GREEN! with more than 50 minutes of the race already compeleted

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:53

The LMP1-H cars have already opened up a sizeable gap to the Rebellion #13 which has its mirrors filled with LMP2 machines

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:54

Both the Audis are already past the #5 Toyota and are looking to get past the #6 as well

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:55

There’s been a lot of moving in GTE Pro as well with AF Corse’s Ferrari 488s forcing their way through the Chip Ganassi Ford GTs

Joe Hudson June 18, 201614:58

KCMG lead in GTE Am with Wolf Henzler behind the wheel of the Porsche with the Abu Dhabi-Proton Porsche lying in second

Joe Hudson June 18, 201615:00

Toyota lead! Mike Conway has moved from fourth to first in one lap and that TS050 is charging!

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:04

A big cheer from the main grandstand as Sebastien Buemi gets past the Porsche of Timo Bernhard.

Joe Hudson June 18, 201615:05

Leaders at the end of the first hour –

LMP1
#6 Toyota Gazoo Racing
#2 Porsche Team – +0.992s
#1 Porsche Team – +2.771
LMP2
#26 G-Drive Racing Oreca-Nissan
#36 Signatech Alpine Alpine A460-Nissan
#35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine A460-Nissan
GTE Pro
#68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Ford GT
#92 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 RSR
#51 AF Corse Ferrari 488
GTE Am
#78 KCMG Porsche 911 RSR
#88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR
#83 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:06

Andre Lotterer brings the #7 Audi in for its first pit stop……slick tyres are affixed to all four corners.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:07

Sebastien Buemi and Loic Duval go side by side for third position! Buemi gets the slipstream heading into Indianapolis and drags his Toyota past the #8 Audi.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:07

Lotterer’s slick tyres are working well. The German driver has just set the fastest middle sector (1m 21.561) aboard the #7 Audi.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:08

Timo Bernhard brings the #1 Porsche into the pits after a difficult start. Slick tyres are the order once again.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:09

Purple numbers are lighting up the timing screen. These cars are only going to get quicker as the track dries up.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:10

The pit lane all of a sudden becomes very popular as the top LMP2 and GTE runners dash in for slicks.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:11

To recap, Conway (Toyota), Jani (Porsche) and Buemi (Toyota) are the three leaders but neither has pitted.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:12

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:13

FASTEST LAP:

Andre Lotterer becomes the first driver to dip under the 3m 30 marker with a 3m 29.057s effort on lap 12.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:15

A driver change for Porsche, as Romain Dumas takes over from pole sitter Neel Jani. All LMP1 cars have now pitted.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:17

After the flurry of LMP2 pit activity, former F1 driver Roberto Merhi is now leading for Manor. Mathias Beche is doing the chasing for Thiriet by TDS Racing…

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:20

GTE doing what GTE does best.

Oliver Gavin drops two places in quick succession as his Corvette loses out in a drag race to Patrick Pilet’s Porsche. Giancarlo Fisichella then picks up Pilet’s tow along the Mulsanne and slingshots past the unexpectant Gavin. Sprint race mentality.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:21

Drama for Audi, already!

The #7 car that Andre Lotterer started so well is now being tended to in the Audi garage. The problem isn’t yet known but the mechanics are working fairly frantically. Losing a lap at this stage would be a massive blow for the four rings.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:21

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:22

Race control has just issued a message displaying RAIN in the next two minutes, for 15 minutes.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:23

Brendon Hartley is on a flyer!

Despite a poor start, the New Zealander has just the quickest lap of the race so far in the #1 Porsche – 3m 26.254s on lap 13)

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:25

CHANGE OF LEAD:

Brendon Hartley is caught unawares in traffic heading up to the Dunlop bridge. Loic Duval sees half a chance in the #8 Audi and drags past on the outside. Ballsy move by the Frenchman.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:25

The drama continues for the #7 Audi as a smoky substance can be seen billowing from the rear of the car. This doesn’t look like a quick fix.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:26

GTE-Am update:

Leh Keen, who is part of a two man team in the #89 Proton Competition Porsche, is leading the class but has fellow Porsche driver Patrick Long for company.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:27

Keen and Marc Miller should be sharing the car with Cooper MacNeil, but MacNeil contracted a fever and had to pull out of the event.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:28

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:29

An unexpected turbocharger fault for Audi. How many other LMP1s will experience issues?

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:31

Mike Conway is having one of the stints of his life!

The British driver has just set the new fastest lap, turning in a 3m 25.842s number. The Toyota driver currently sits third, seven seconds behind race leader Loic Duval.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:31

Umbrellas suddenly spring up along the main straight as rain starts to fall. The skies look showery, so don’t expect this to last too long.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:32

CHANGE OF LEAD:

Brendon Hartley gets past Loic Duval as the #1 Porsche continues its fightback.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:37

The pole-sitters – where are they now?

The #2 Porsche is down in fourth after carrying out a driver change.
G-Drive Racing’s #26 ORECA is nestled in the thick of the LMP2 field, with Rene Rast currently running sixth behind KCMG’s Richard Bradley.
A frantic start to the GTE-Am race saw the #68 Ford GT drop to eighth in class.
GTE-Am pole-sitter Clearwater Racing has dropped to ninth, with Rob Bell still behind the wheel.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:39

Take a look at this great little video shot by Aston Martin Racing – time for another new ACO-sanctioned series?

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:40

At the front it’s Porsche and Audi, hammer and tongs. Just the way we like it.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:43

*Plays Jaws theme tune*

Mike Conway’s Toyota is creeping up on the lead battle. Expect some classic intra-marque dicing in the next few minutes.
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:45

The #7 Audi is out on track and Benoit Treluyer is behind the wheel. Surely even Audi can’t turn around a six lap deficit at Le Mans?

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:46

A few pit stops to talk about in LMP2.

Race leader Roberto Merhi comes in, surrendering the lead to Filipe Albuquereu
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:47

A few pit stops to talk about in LMP2.

Roberto Merhi brings the race-leading Manor in and will be happy with his opening stint. Another debutant who has performed well in the early running is Jake Dennis, who pits the #38 JOTA/G-Drive.
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:52

Merhi cycles back into the lead of LMP2. Paul-Loup Chatin is currently second for Panis-Barthez Competition but owes us a pit stop.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:53

Loic Duval comes into the pits after an encouraging second stint aboard the #8 Audi. It’s a fuel only stop, as expected.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:57

Duval’s pit stop was a precursor to the other LMP1 hybrids. Brendon Hartley brings the #1 Porsche in for a fuel-only service after 13 laps of running. Mike Conway still leads and is yet to come in.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201615:58

Ford takes the lead in GTE-Pro as Richard Westbrook gets past the Porsche of Fred Makowiecki.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:05

Leaders at the end of the second hour –

#6 Toyota (Conway)
#5 Toyota (Buemi) +24.238
#1 Porsche (Hartley) +55.871
#44 Manor (Merhi)
#46 Thiriet by TDS Racing (Beche) +19.266
#42 Strakka Racing (Kane) +34.833
#92 Porsche (Makowiecki)
#51 Ferrari (Calado) + 1.544
#69 Ford (Westbrook) +2.595
#78 KCMG (Henzler)
#88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing (Long) +2.322
#55 AF Corse (Griffin) +1 lap
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:09

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:13

There’s an entertaining dogfight going on for 10th in LMP2 right now. Paul-Loup Chatin is doing his utmost to keep the #25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier of Andrea Pizzitola behind him.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:16

The lead order is the same, but the gaps have contracted somewhat.

Race leader Brendon Hartley is lapping well in the #1 Porsche, but Mike Conway has just set the quickest final sector of the race and has pushed the deficit down to 2.5 seconds. Will Toyota be leading Le Mans by the end of this lap?

Joe Hudson June 18, 201616:17

For anyone that has missed the second hour of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where have you been? But fear not, our Hour 2 update will get you up to speed: https://www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk/2016/06/2016-24-hours-le-mans-hour-2-update/

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:18

A ball of GTE traffic catches out Mike Conway, who loses some time to Brendon Hartley in front. That’s allowed Loic Duval to have a sniff at the Toyota.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:19

Duval is now closer to Conway than Conway was to Hartley (if that makes sense…).

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:25

The LMP2 pit stops have begun.

Roberto Merhi leads a gaggle of closed and open top cars onto the pit lane for the second green flag service of the race. The Spaniard has impressed during his opening stint, so Manor keeps him in to carry on the good work.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:26

ANOTHER purple sector for Mike Conway.

The #6 Toyota passes through the sector two checkpoint and lights up the timing screen with a 1m 17.320s . Brendon Hartley is continuing to hold his own at the front, though.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:33

The lead gap between Brendon Hartley in the #1 Porsche and Mike Conway in the #6 Toyota is down to 0.992 seconds…

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:34

Porsche LMP1 driver Timo Bernhard gives his thoughts on the first stint:

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:36

FASTEST LAP:

Mike Conway raises the bar a little higher as track conditions continue to improve. The #6 Toyota driver checks in with a 3m 23.010 as he continues to chase Hartley.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:39

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:43

A message pops up from race control….

The race was declared wet at the start, and as per regulation the cars will continue to run with rain light ON.
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:44

CHANGE OF LEADER:

Brendon Hartley completes 14 lap on one tank of fuel and brings the #1 Porsche into the pits from the lead. It’s an encouraging first stint for the Kiwi, who had to contend with a lot of criticism after his crash at the 6 Hours of Silverstone in April. Porsche sends him back out to continue the graft, as the two Toyotas assume control.
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201616:49

It’s Ford vs Ferrari for the lead in GTE-Pro – a sight that will evoke memories of those classic battles from the 60s.

Richard Westbrook is currently ahead in the #69 Ford, while Giancarlo Fisichella is less than a second behind for Risi Competizione.
Nick Smith June 18, 201616:57

There are yellow flags at Arnage because the John Pew driven Michael Shank Racing Ligier had a small moment. There doesn’t look to be any damage though and Pew should be able to drive it away.

Nick Smith June 18, 201617:02

At the top of the hour Porsche continue to lead the motor race thanks to Brendan Hartley in the #1 919 Hybrid with the ever-present Mike Conway only six seconds behind for Toyota and Loic Duval’s Audi completing the top three.

In LMP2 Manor continue to lead on their Le Mans debut thanks to Roberto Mehri from Thiriet by TDS Racing and the defending class champions, KCMG.

Nick Smith June 18, 201617:06

The GTE Pro field is topped by the #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA car from last years outright winner, Nick Tandy in the #91 Porsche Motorsport car.

In Am, the Porsche domination continues with Abu Dhabi Proton Racing and Patrick Long in the top spot from the KCMG 911 and the Paul Dalla Lana driven Aston Martin Vantage.

Nick Smith June 18, 201617:12

The #84 SRT41 by OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan, the car which has been adapted to suit the needs of Frédéric Sausset in the innovative class currently sits in 51st place.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:22

Brendon Hartley has a slim, but comfortable 8.5s cushion as Mike Conway continues to chase in second place.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:24

Loic Duval comes into the pits and receives four tyres to the #8 Audi. Oliver Jarvis is waiting in the wings and jumps in as soon as his team-mate leaves the cockpit.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:28

CHANGE OF LEADER

Mike Conway retakes the advantage as Brendon Hartley brings the #1 Porsche into the pits. Mark Webber is strapped in and sets off for the evening stint.
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:29

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:29

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:34

Catch up with the latest goings on at Le Mans with our three hour report: https://www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk/2016/06/2016-24-hours-le-mans-hour-3-update-toyota-top/

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:37
I couldn’t have put it better myself..

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:39

Chris Hoy is racing at Le Mans:

Six time Olympic cycling champion Chris Hoy is currently fulfilling his dream of competing at Le Mans. From Radicals, to British GT, to LMP3, and now to the Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JS P2, he has made a swift transition from track day enthusiast to able competitor.
The #25 Ligier-Nissan has just left the pits and is running in the top 20 overall (13th in class)
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:41

Michael Shank Racing completes a pit stop – serial IMSA pole position taker Oswaldo Negri Jr is in for John Pew as the #49 Ligier-Honda takes four new Dunlop tyres.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:43

The #51 Ferrari has returned to the GTE race, but lost almost 50 minutes.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:49

Lots of cars are being noted for failing to respect track limits at the high-speed Porsche Curves. It seems it will be only a matter of time before someone receives a penalty.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:52
How teams decide who’s driving when.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:57

An unfortunate series of events for the Proton Competition crew.

The #89 GTE-Am Porsche is stuck in the gravel at Dunlop after striking the barriers with Marc Miller at the helm. The car looks beached, and the front bodywork has taken one heck of a beating.
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:57

Slow Zone no. 1 comes into effect around the Dunlop Curve as Miller’s car receives attention from the snatch tractor.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201617:59

We’ve got another car with issues:

The Race Performance ORECA-Judd has a brief wide moment at Arnage but is able to carry on. Nicolas Leutwiler is 53rd overall.
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:01

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:07

Tracy Krohn spins off in the #40 Ligier-Nissan bearing his aviation company’s name.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:12

Oliver Jarvis brings the #8 Audi into the pits for fuel only. He comes out just behind the #5 Toyota, which currently has 2014 world champion Anthony Davidson at the wheel.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:17

CHANGE OF LEADER

Mark Webber comes into the pits, with the Porsches looking slightly more economical than the Audi R18 which stopped earlier. Still, Webber loses the lead as Kamui Kobayashi sails past in the #6 Toyota. It could be as long as six laps before we see the Japanese driver bring his car into the box.
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:22

#67 Team AII Corvette – Currently running ninth in GTE-Am with Mark Patterson driving.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:28

It’s a three-way fight for first place in GTE-Pro as the #68 and #69 Fords chase the #82 Risi Competizione Ferrari of Toni Vilander.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:29

WATCH THIS SPACE:

A possible pit lane infringement penalty for the last #68 Ford GT pit stop. That could shake up the GTE-Pro order big time (as well as giving Toni Vilander some room to breathe).
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:30
Now you know..

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:36

We’ve had to close the blinds in the Le Mans media centre because the sun is glaring at us from the west. Never mind, it’ll be gone in a few hours!

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:37

https://twitter.com/KCMotorgroup/status/744218211739144192

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:39

Toni Vilander is out-dragged by Joey Hand in the #69 Ford GT as the blue oval moves up to first and second in GTE-Pro. This is the battle we were promised!

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:41

While it’s fresh in our mind, here’s the #69 Ford GT in action. Photo courtesy of Craig Robertson/Speed Chills

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:41

Mathias Lauda – driving the #98 Aston Martin in GTE-Am – goes off into the gravel and bounces along before rejoining. No harm done (we think).

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:45

The #7 Audi is now on the same lap as the seventh-placed #12 Rebellion. Nelson Piquet Jr becomes a 330 km/h sitting duck.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:46

Mark Webber flashes a bit of purple in the first sector of his 71st lap. As temperatures cool, this may become a more familiar sight.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:47

It should be about three laps until the #8 Audi makes its next pit stop.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:49

LMP2 is CLOSE!

The secondary prototype class has completed its sixth round of pit stops, and Matt Rao now leads for Manor. A mere 0.380 seconds down the road is Thiriet by TDS Racing’s Rio Hirakawa, while former Manor racer Will Stevens is a further four tenths back for G-Drive. Game on!
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:49

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:52

Yellow flags at turn three:


It’s an error of judgement from LMP2 race leader Matt Rao who loses the back end while negotiating the Dunlop chicane. That gifts the class lead to Rio Hirakawa, although in fairness the Thiriet by TDS man was looking too hot to handle before Rao’s rotation.
Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:54

A sad end to the race for one of the visiting IMSA teams:

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:55

A sad end to the race for one of the visiting IMSA teams:

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:57

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201618:58

Oliver Jarvis pits the #8 Audi after another 13 lap fuel stint. Expect Mark Webber to come in from the lead soon.

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201619:00

…..and like a Japanese commuter train, Webber brings the #1 Porsche into the pits right on cue. It’s a simple fuel top-up.

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:03

The sun is setting over the Circuit De La Sarthe now, those headlights are getting slightly brighter as the sun goes down.

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:04

The #2 of Marc Lieb pits as well now, that means the #6 of Kamui Kobayashi inherits the lead

Daniel Lloyd June 18, 201619:06

Leaders after five hours –

#5 Toyota (Kobayashi)
#2 Porsche (Lieb) +22.063
#1 Porsche (Webber) +26.189

#46 Thiriet by TDS Racing (Hirakawa)
#36 Signatech Alpine (Menezes) +11.652
#47 KCMG (Howson) +38.801

#68 Ford (Hand)
#66 Ford (Mucke) +25.613
#69 Ford (Dixon) +1:28.731

#88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing (Heinemeier Hansson)
#78 KCMG (Camathias) +10.369
#98 Aston Martin Racing (Lauda) +1:52.753

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:06

Sir Chris of Hoy comes in and out of the pits in the Algarve Pro Racing Ligier, he was a bit of a way down the order as he came in

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:11

It’s still the Ford GTs that lead GTE Pro with the UK entry sandwiched between the USA entries

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:14

The LMP2 leader pits now after a heroic spell by Ryo Hirakawa in the Thiriet By TDS Oreca 05

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:14

Indeed the Manor and Strakka have also pitted in LMP2

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:17

The #57 GTE Am Team AAI Corvette C7.R has gone into the gravel trap at the exit of the Porsche Curves

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:20

That incident has brought out the slow zones in the Porsche curves and Karting Corner, where the car did come to rest. Those zones caught out Chris Cummings in the #31 ESM Ligier-Nissan who got quite surprised by the slowing cars and has spun

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:20

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:22

Oh dear, that spin has damaged the suspension on the #31 ESM, he’s cocking a front-left wheel going through Tertre Rouge

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:25

Frederic Sausset is back out in the Garage 56 Morgan-Nissan truegrit

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:29

A bit more on Sausset: A quadruple amputee, he’ll be using adapted controls and prosthetics to get the #84 Morgan-Nissan around the track

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:34

The #26 G-Drive Oreca is onto pit road now, he’s pitted from second in class

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:35

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:36

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:38

That’s a big mistake by the G-Drive crew, they were running well before that

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:41

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:44

The #8 pits from fourth now, and Oliver Jarvis steps out of that car after a heroic stint from him

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:46

Di Grassi is in the #8 now, as Mark Webber also pits in the #1 and hands over the car to Timo Bernhard

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:48

The #6 leads now with Kobayashi behind the wheel, this lead doesn’t want to stay with one car for long at all!

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:52

Marc Lieb pits the #2 now as lots of the GTE Pro entries now, Joey Hand owes a pit stop in the #68 Ford GT but many behind have pitted with Darren Turner taking over the 5th placed #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:54

Indeed he must have heard me – Joey Hand is in the pits now! This’ll be the cars sixth pitstop with almost six hours gone

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:56

Matteo Malucelli has inherited the lead in GTE Pro in the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 because of those Ford GT pitstops

Joe Hudson June 18, 201619:58

It’s a Ford GT fight for second and third in GTE Pro as Scott Dixon in third harries Sebastien Bourdais who took over the #68 from Joey Hand

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:05

Six hours are now in the books, here are your leaders –

LMP1
#6 Toyota (Kobayashi)
#1 Porsche (Bernhard) +1:04.748
#5 Toyota (Davidson) +1 Lap
LMP2
#46 Thiriet by TDS Racing (Hirakawa)
#36 Signatech Alpine (Richelmi) +10.519
#47 KCMG (Howson) +31.966
GTE Pro
#82 Risi Competizione (Malucelli)
#68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA (Bourdais) +5.228
#69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA (Dixon) +6.003
GTE Am
#88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing (Al Qubaisi)
#78 KCMG (Ried) +2:17.011
#98 Aston Martin Racing (Lauda) 1:43.291
Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:07

The #28 is the barriers! That is the Pegasus Morgan-Nissan with Ines Taittinger behind the wheel. That is in the gravel at Mulsanne Corner

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:13

That incident has led to slow zones at the end of the Mulsanne, that has come as some relief to the #82 which is being chased by Bourdais’ Ford GT

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:14

But now Bourdais has got past on the run down to Indianapolis! He’s leading in the #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA machine

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:17

The #6 still leads at the hands of Stephane Sarrazin even after a pitstop, being able to go one lap longer has allowed him to get in-and-out whilst remaining in the lead

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:20

Scott Dixon has got up to second at the Forza Chicane as he relegates Matteo Malucelli’s Ferrari down to third.

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:24

Lucas Di Grassi is reporting bad vibrations in the #8 Audi R18, he’s in fourth at the moment but he might be coming into the pits

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:25

Fabien Barthez is in the Panis-Barthez Competition Ligier – a safe pair of hands you could say…

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:26

We’re now onto lap 100! As the yellow flag comes out, not sure why though…

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:28

Ah it’s because Mark Patterson has beached the Team AAI Corvette in the gravel at Karting Corner

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:29

The #1 almost misses the start of the slow zone at the Porsche Curves, he has a serious lock-up but avoids hitting the barriers, just.

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:33

Porsche #1 pits now, he’ll be pleased the lock-up that buggered those tyres has come the lap before his scheduled pit stop.

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:34

But he hasn’t changed his tyres, he’s obviously avoided bad damage to those Michelins

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:35

The #44 Manor Oreca 05 is in the garage, Matt Rao brought the car in but mechanics are all over it now, with the engine cover coming off

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:37

Hirikawa is doing a monumental stint in the Thiriet by TDS Oreca, he’s still leading from the Signatech Alpine

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:38

Beechdean has been beached in the gravel at Porsche Curves. Gary Hirsch had a slide coming into the corner and couldn’t it before the Aston hit the gravel

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:44

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:45

The #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT is in the barrier at Mulsanne Corner, it looked like it was locking up…

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:48

Yep Marino Franchitti has locked a right-front wheel

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:51

A note on GTE Am, the Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche is still in the lead with Khaled Al Qubaisi behind the wheel of 911 RSR

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:52

Sarrazin still leads in LMP1, his Toyota has done one less pitstop that everyone else in class so far

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:55

One of the Alpines gets blocked by a slow LMP2 car and shows his annoyance – a pic from inside the car

Joe Hudson June 18, 201620:59

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:03

The #6 Toyota is in the pits, one lap earlier than expected

Joe Hudson June 18, 201621:06

After 7 hours your leaders are –

LMP1
#6 Toyota (Sarrazin)
#1 Porsche (Bernhard) +1:17
#5 Toyota (Nakajima) +13.594
LMP2
#46 Thiriet (Thiriet)
#36 Signatech Alpine (Richelmi) +16.535
#47 KCMG (Matsuda) +1 Lap
GTE Pro
#68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA (Bourdais)
#69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA (Dixon) +2:01.533
#82 Risi Competizione (Fisichella) +2:08.914
GTE Am
#88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing (Al Qubaisi)
#98 Aston Martin Racing (Lamy) +33.630
#62 Scuderia Corsa (Segal) +52.944
Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:07

The #6 Toyota exited the pits ahead of the #1 Porsche, thus maintaining their lead

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:14

Sarrazin not driving away from the Porsche’s, even losing a second to them in the middle sector. They haven’t got it sewn it up yet.

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:17

The #89 Porsche has been classed as the first official retirement. What consistency from all the teams

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:21

Frustratingly, the #47 KCMG is seen limping down the Mulsanne Straight

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:22

He’s now pulled off the track just before the hairpin

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:27

In LMP2; the leader, #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing pitted gifting the lead to Stephane Richelmi in the #36 Signatech

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:29

GT Am has now spiced up with the #62 Scuderia Corsa up to third, only 21 seconds behind the leader.

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:30

There’s a spin for an LMP2 at the Dunlop chicane, more to follow

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:34

After struggling earlier, Sarrazin in the #6 Toyota has found his pace, keeping the Porsche’s at bay for now

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:36

10 seconds seperate second place Timo Bernhard and fourth place Kazuki Nakajima

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:37

To the surprise of many, the #8 Audi Sport Joest is now only a minute behind fourth place Nakajima

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:39

There’s a change of the lead in GT-Am
Pedro Lamy in the #98 Aston Martin Racing has taken the #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:45

Back at Porsche in LMP1, Neel Jani in the #2 has caught his team mate and looks like he’ll take second any moment now

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:46

Drive through for #23 Panis-Barthez Campetition after speeding through a slow zone

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:46

The #7 Audi Sport Team Joest is back in the garage

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:48

Both Audi’s appear to have the same issue, but the #8 continues for now

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:52

A new nose section is being prepared for the the #8 Audi with the team testing options on the #7

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:54

124 laps complete, the #6 Toyota pits. Back out safely

Connor Jackson June 18, 201621:57

The gaps in LMP2 are spreading out with the #46 Thiriet leading by over a minute

Connor Jackson June 18, 201622:01

The battle for first is heating up in GT Am as the #98 leads by 9 seconds

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:02

The night is now upon us, and its spectacular action with the lights shining, especially down the Mulsanne Straight!

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:04

Despite its most recent trip to the pit garage, the #7 Audi is now only a lap adrift of moving up to sixth place, which is currently being held by the #13 Rebellion. Benoit Treluyer is currently behind the wheel of the Audi, Alexandre Imperatori is in the Rebellion.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:05

Unfortunately for the #7, there is then a four-lap gap between sixth and fifth, currently being held by the sister #8 car after its own visit to the garage. Loic Duval is in the #8 at present having taken over from Lucas di Grassi.

Connor Jackson June 18, 201622:08

LMP1
1) #6 Toyota GAZOO Racing – Sarrazin
2) #2 Porsche Team – Jani
3) #1 Porsche Team – Bernhard

LMP2
1) #46 Thiriet By TDS Racing – Thiriet
2) #36 Signatech Alpine – Lappierre
3) #26 G-Drive Racing – Rast

GT Pro
1) #68 Ford Chip Ganassi – Muller
2) #82 Risi Competizione – Fisichella
3) #66 Ford Chip Ganassi – Pla

GT Am
1) #98 Aston Martin Racing – Lamy
2) #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing – Long
3) #62 Scuderia Corsa – Segal

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:08

The #1 Porsche is heading to pit lane, with Timo Bernhard stepping out of the car, with Brendon Hartley taking over for his second stint of the race.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:10

Just the solitary retirement from the race so far, with the #89 Proton Competition having crashed out earlier after hitting some fluid that was left by another one of the Porsches.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:11

The third placed LMGTE AM Porsche is in to the pits for another stop, Patrick Long is currently behind the wheel.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:13

The #1 Porsche back into the pits after the stewards requested them to ensure the number panel on the side of their car was illuminated. The car is dragged into the pits, with the #2 also set to suffer the same fate.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:14

With their better fuel efficiency, and with the troubles for Audi and now Porsche, this is all playing nicely into the hands of Toyota, who continue to lead with the #6.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:15

Brendon Hartley gets out of the car as the car is raised high on its jacks so the issue can be repaired.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:18

Stephane Sarrazin and the #6 Toyota now leads by over a minute from the #2 Porsche, with the #5 Toyota third, a further 28 seconds behind. The trio are now the only cars on the lead lap as we tick towards eight hours 20 minutes of the race.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:20

Although on different pit strategies, the battle for LMP2 honours is back on, with the #36 Signatech Alpine now ahead of the #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing by less than two seconds.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:23

Indeed, the #36 Signatech Alpine now hits the pits.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:25

Paul Dalla Lana has hit the gravel trap in the Porsche curves in the #98 Aston Martin. Yellow flags are out.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:26

Dalla Lana had just taken over the car, and was running in third in the LMGTE Am class.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:27

The #83 Ferrari has locked up and hit the gravel trap at the end of the Mulsanne Straight, bringing out more yellow flags.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:28

Francois Perrodo was behind the wheel of the #83 when it hit the gravel trap, and now there are two slow zones on track to recover both the Ferrari and the #98 Aston Martin.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:29

Replays show the #98 hit the barrier on the opposite side of the circuit before crossing over the road and ending up in the gravel. The car is now being attended to by a tractor.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:30

The safety car has been deployed.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:31

This is to enable the safe recovery of the Dalla Lana Aston Martin, and probably to ensure the barriers are still secure after the hit. There is also debris on the circuit that needs clearing.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:33

The #44 Manor is back into the garage. The car had been leading the LMP2 class early in the race but had lost a lot of time and laps with an earlier pit stop.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:35

The #66 is told by the race director to speed up as it is now a safety car rather than a slow zone… ironic as he was going through the crash zone at the time.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:35

The #98 is back in the pits having been recovered from its crash in the Porsche curves.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:36

Looks like the #1 car has more problems than first thought, with the engine now off the back of the car.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:36

24 minute pit stop already for the #1, its hopes of claiming victory all but gone, a high water pressure problem being mentioned by the team.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:37

While the safety car out, lets take a look at the class leaders.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:38

LMP1
#6 Toyota GAZOO Racing – Sarrazin
LMP2
#46 Thiriet By TDS Racing – Thiriet
GT Pro
#68 Ford Chip Ganassi – Muller
GT Am
#88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing – Long

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:41

News from Aston Martin about the #98…

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:42

And from Porsche…

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:44

Perhaps the feel good story of the race is that of the #84 SRT41 by Oak Racing entry, currently being driven by quadruple amputee Frederic Sausset. The team current run in P39.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:45

Ryan Dalziel has revealed the reason why the #31 Extreme Speed Motorsports machine lost a lot of time earlier in the race after running inside the top five…

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:47

The #5 Toyota has made a trip to the pits from third place, Sebastien Buemi is now behind the wheel.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:47

Mike Conway looks ready to take over the race leading #6 Toyota in the next stop in the next few moments.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:47

The #5 Toyota has made a trip to the pits from third place, Sebastien Buemi is now behind the wheel.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:49

The race director has announced the reasons for the safety car, with barrier repairs being made and a clean up of gravel off the circuit, and racing is set to resume shortly.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:53

The #1 remains in the pits, and now has lost it’s fifth place to the #13 Rebellion

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:54

The Manor team continue to have dramas, its latest pit visit due to damage…

Paul Hensby June 18, 201622:56

We are back racing again! And the #6 Toyota and the #2 Porsche battling for the lead down the Mulsanne Straight, with the Porsche of Neel Jani assuming the lead.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:00

Another hour has passed, so let’s take a look at the top three in each class!

LMP1
1) #2 Porsche Team – Jani
2) #6 Toyota GAZOO Racing – Conway
3) #5 Toyota GAZOO Racing – Buemi

LMP2
1) #46 Thiriet By TDS Racing – Thiriet
2) #36 Signatech Alpine – Lapierre
3) #26 G-Drive Racing – Rast

LMGTE Pro
1) #68 Ford Chip Ganassi – Muller
2) #82 Risi Competizione – Vilander
3) #69 Ford Chip Ganassi – Westbrook

LMGTE Am
1) #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing – Long
2) #62 Scuderia Corsa – Sweedler
3) #55 AF Corse – Cameron

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:04

The #1 Porsche remains in the pits, and is down to seventh in class, with the #12 Rebellion eight laps behind but closing the gap with every second the Porsche sits in the garage.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:05

It is a water pump problem for the Porsche, with the car now having lost an hour in the pits.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:06

The LMP2 battle seems to have been divided by the safety car, with the Thiriet by TDS Racing entry, currently in the hands of Pierre Thiriet, nearly three minutes clear of the #36 Signatech Alpine of Nicolas Lapierre.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:08

The #28 Pegasus Racing Morgan is off at Arnage, with Remy Striebig behind the wheel, but luckily he stayed out of the gravel.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:09

The #40 Krohn Racing entry is running slowly through the Porsche Curves, with team owner Tracy Krohn looking to get the car back to the pits.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:10

The #42 Strakka Racing entry has pitted from sixth in the LMP2 class, while the race leading #2 Porsche is set to hit pit lane as well.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:11

Tracy Krohn has managed to get the #40 car back to the pits, where it is pulled into the garage.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:13

Neel Jani has indeed hit the pit lane, with Romain Dumas now behind the wheel. The #6 Toyota is back in the lead.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:14

143 laps in the books now for the leaders of LMP1, 133 for the LMP2 leaders, 127 for the LMGTE Pro leaders and 124 for the LMGTE Am leaders.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:17

Incidentally the #84 SRT41 by Oak Racing entry of quadruple amputee Frederic Sausset has completed 123 laps.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:18

The #1 Porsche looks set to return to the track.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:20

The #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing entry has also made a pit stop, and Mathias Beche has taken the wheel for the next stint. The car still leads by over a minute from Nicolas Lapierre and the #36 Signatech Alpine.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:20

Beche is currently leading LMP2, and is seventh overall after the #1 Porsche problems.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:23

The #98 Aston Martin has gone off again at Arnage, hitting the barrier on the left hand side after losing control under braking, but luckily avoiding the gravel trap. Paul Dalla Lana is still behind the wheel.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:24

The #7 Audi has made a pit stop for fuel only and returns to the track.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:27

A snap shot of Strakka Racing’s pit stop from above…

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:29

The #1 Porsche has returned to the track, but it is running extremely slowly down the Mulsanne Straight.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:31

The car is pulling off at the second chicane on the Mulsanne Straight, and has been asked to recycle the car to see if the can get running up to speed again. Brendon Hartley is behind the wheel and sounds like he is running only on electrical power.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:34

The #47 KCMG car is off the track, and is in a dangerous place in the Porsche curves. Richard Bradley has jumped out of the car to safety for now.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:34

We now have a slow zone in place while the #47 car is recovered.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:36

The #1 Porsche has made it back to the pits again, and Brendon Hartley looks really disappointed behind the wheel.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:39

The #40 Krohn Racing entry was hit from behind by the #41 Greaves Motorsport, which was the reason why it came back to the pits slowly.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:40

Looks like it was Memo Rojas behind the wheel of the #41 Greaves Motorsport in that incident…

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:42

The other side of a racing driver… you really have to feel sorry for Neel Jani right now…

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:43

Incidentally the #13 Rebellion and the #7 Audi are now on the same lap, and while the #1 Porsche remains in the pits once more, it is set to lose eighth place in class to the #12 Rebellion.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:44

The leading #6 Toyota is on pit lane, no driver change, just fuel for Mike Conway.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:45

The #27 SMP Racing has been handed a drive through penalty for overtaking behind the safety car. Nicolas Minassian is behind the wheel at present, although he may not have been the guilty driver!

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:47

Having been in the lead of LMP2 by almost three minutes about half hour ago, the #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing now find themselves down in third behind the #36 Signatech Alpine and the #26 G-Drive Racing.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:49

Less than 19 seconds cover the top two in LMGTE Pro, with the #66 Ford ahead of the #82 Risi Competizione.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:51

The usual challenge of the #51 & #71 AF Corse’s in LMGTE Pro has not materialised, with the #71 Ferrari of Davide Rigon two laps down and tenth in class, with the sister #51 Ferrari of James Calado thirteen laps down in P12.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:52

The gap at the head of the LMGTE Pro field is back over a minute after a pit stop for the #82 Risi Competizione of Toni Vilander.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:55

Roberto Merhi is still plugging away, and has done lots for his reputation this week at Le Mans for Manor Racing…

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:56

The gap between the race leading #6 Toyota and the second placed #2 Porsche is less than four seconds, but we have another safety car intervention.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:58

The safety car looks like its been deployed due to oil on the track as the #91 has had an engine failure in the Porsche Curves.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:59

The #25 Algarve Racing has hit the barriers, Andrea Pizzitola is currently behind the wheel of the Ligier.

Paul Hensby June 18, 201623:59

The #91 has stopped on track, with the problem seemingly terminal, with flames having been seen coming from beneath the car.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201600:03

As we hit the ten hour mark, we are two hours away from half distance…
let’s look at the top three of the four respective classes.

LMP1
1) #6 Toyota GAZOO Racing – Conway
2) #2 Porsche Team – Dumas
3) #5 Toyota GAZOO Racing – Buemi

LMP2
1) #36 Signatech Alpine – Lapierre
2) #26 G-Drive Racing – Rast
3) #46 Thiriet By TDS Racing – Beche

LMGTE Pro
1) #68 Ford Chip Ganassi – Muller
2) #82 Risi Competizione – Vilander
3) #69 Ford Chip Ganassi – Westbrook

LMGTE Am
1) #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing – Heinemeier-Hansson
2) #62 Scuderia Corsa – Sweedler
3) #61 Clearwater Racing – Bell

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:09

The LMP2 class leading #36 Signatech Alpine comes in to the pits after a short eight lap stint. Gustavo Menezes gets in and has lost the lead to G-Drive’s Rene Rast.

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:10

The #68 Ford is still in the garage, but is still third in class (at the moment).

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:14

The #7 Audi keeps trucking on. Nine laps down on the leader.

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:16

Rain is currently falling at Arnage/Porsche Curves – that’ll keep the drivers busy during the night…

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:24

While we’re under safety car conditions, let’s have a check up on the retirements so far:

#89 Proton Competition/Alex Job Porsche – hit the barrier under braking for Dunlop chicane. Front-end damage too severe to continue (lap 50).
#47 KCMG ORECA-Nissan – Stopped with Richard Bradley at the wheel in the tenth hour (lap116).

That’s all, folks!

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:25

GREEN FLAG! The safety cars are released and we are back under way at La Sarthe.

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:28

Add that to the list of retirements:

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:35

Mathias Beche comes in for a pit stop in the #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA-Nissan. The Swiss driver gets fuel only, and is passed by Gustavo Menezes (#36 Signatech Alpine) and Rene Rast (#26 G-Drive).

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:37

We’re expecting him quite soon!

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:38

The #71 GTE-Pro Ferrari is off the track at the esses. That’s Davide Rigon behind the wheel.

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:46

Anthony Davidson is ready to do the anchor leg for the #5 Toyota. Sebastien Buemi did an extra lap (total of 15) on that last stint after saving fuel during the Safety Car.

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:52

Despite being stone cold last, Harry Tincknell is putting on a show in the #67 Ford GT. The British driver just set his car’s quickest first sector and was on the pace in sector two. Encouraging stuff for a team that has struggled since the start.

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:53

Race leader Mike Conway trundles down an empty pit lane on lap 167. That’s the 12th stop for the #6 Toyota, and he comes out in front of Romain Dumas’ Porsche.

Crucial, because Dumas is nearing the end of his stint.

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:56

They’re giving out free coca cola in the media centre.

It’s the little things.

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:57

Possibly add one to the victory column?

Too early to say at the moment.

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201600:58

A few cars with slow zone speeds under investigation…..one of those is the LMP2 second placed #26 G-Drive. Watch this space.

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201601:05

Let’s have a look at the class leaders as we enter the twelfth hour of racing –

#6 Toyota (Conway) – 170 laps
#2 Porsche (Dumas)
#5 Toyota (Buemi)

#26 G-Drive Racing ORECA-Nissan (Rast) – 157 laps
#46 Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA-Nissan (Beche)
#36 Signatech Alpine (Menezes)

#82 Risi Competizione Ferrari (Vilander) – 151 laps
#69 Ford GT (Westbrook)
#68 Ford GT (Muller)

#88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche (Heinemeier Hansson) – 147 laps
#62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari (T. Bell)
#61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari (R. Bell)

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201601:07

Romain Dumas completes his expected stop from second place in the #2 Porsche.

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201601:12

It’s been a tough one for Corvette thus far

Daniel Lloyd June 19, 201601:15

Mathias Beche might be starting to take a few more glances in his rear-view mirrors. The LMP2 class leader is just six seconds ahead of Gustavo Menezes of Signatech Alpine..

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:18

The LMP2 leader Beche now makes a pit stop, handing the lead back to Menezes and Signatech Alpine.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:19

After problems early in the race, the #43 RGR Sport by Morand has made a pit stop, with Filipe Albuquerque now behind the wheel.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:21

Meanwhile its snack time at Eurasia Racing…

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:22

Brendon Hartley is back out on track in the #1 Porsche, but the car is 38 laps down on the race leader and P52 overall. But he is the fastest driver on track.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:27

We only have two official retirements in the form of the LMP2 #47 KCMG and the LMGTE AM #89 Proton Competition Porsche, but the LMGTE Pro #91 Porsche is also unlikely to return to the track after its early engine failure.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:32

Just over a minute between the race leading #6 Toyota of Mike Conway and the second placed #2 Porsche of Romain Dumas, with the former having made one less stop.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:34

An issue with the #92 LMGTE Pro Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister, with smoke coming from the car, although it does not look like the same kind of smoke that came from the sister #91 car. Possible suspension issue?

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:36

The #5 Toyota pits from second position, as does the #7 Audi from P5.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:37

Anthony Davidson has jumped into the #5 in place of Sebastien Buemi.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:39

The much troubled #1 Porsche is setting competitive lap times as it tries to make as much progress up the order as possible. They are one lap behind the #71 AF Corse LMGTE Pro car, and five laps behind the #99 LMGTE Am Aston Martin.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:42

The LMGTE Am class leading Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche of David Heinemeier Hansson has pitted and handed over to Khaled Al Qubaisi.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:42

Mike Conway has brought the race leading #6 Toyota into the pits and handed over to former Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:44

The #71 has become the latest retirement…

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:46

I tell you what, watching a LMP1 car going through the Porsche Curves is such an amazing sight… Especially at night!

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:48

The #34 Race Performance is off the track at Arnage. Nicolas Leutwiler is behind the wheel, and this is likely to cause a slow zone.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:50

Indeed we do have another slow zone at Arnage, which has been a trouble spot for many in the first twelve hours of this race.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:52

The #7 Audi has stopped on track at the Dunlop Curves. The engine is running but Marcel Fassler is not going anywhere.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:54

The #2 Porsche is in the pits, just as the #7 Audi finds some drive and moves away, albeit very slowly.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:56

Fassler is still running slowly down the Mulsanne Straight. Where he stopped was quite possibly the worst place for him with so much of the lap remaining. He will take a long time to get back to the pits.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:56

This has handed the fifth place on the track back to the #13 Rebellion.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201601:57

And Frederic Sausset has got back into the #84 SRT41 by Oak Racing entry in place of Christophe Tinseau. Still an amazing story for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Paul Hensby June 19, 201602:03

We are now at halfway in this amazing 24 Hours of Le Mans. Here is the top three in each class as we head into hour thirteen.

LMP1
1) #6 Toyota GAZOO Racing – Kobayashi
2) #2 Porsche Team – Dumas
3) #5 Toyota GAZOO Racing – Davidson

LMP2
1) #36 Signatech Alpine – Menezes
2) #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing – Hirakawa
3) #26 G-Drive Racing – Stevens

LMGTE PRO
1) #82 Risi Competizione – Malucelli
2) #69 Ford Chip Ganassi – Briscoe
3) #68 Ford Chip Ganassi – Hand

LMGTE AM
1) #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing – Al Qubaisi
2) #62 Scuderia Corsa – Bell
3) #61 Clearwater Racing – Sawa

Paul Hensby June 19, 201602:04

Please now click this link to follow the second half of the 24 Hours of Le Mans! Thank you for keeping up with us up to now!

LIVE: 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans – Part 2