As the sun finally started to set, it proved to an issue for many with glare hampering the drivers at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The #7 Toyota TS050 of Stephane Sarrazin still led.
One of the largest crashes of the race saw the #82 Risi Compezione GTE Pro car hit into the barrier and spun by the #28 TDS Racing of Matthieu Vaxivierre. The Ferrari driver Pierre Kaffer got out soon after, thus retiring.
A slow zone was first implemented, with barrier repairs later being needed at the first chicane at on the Mulsanne.
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 slow zone would not affect the LMP1 cars, as no teams were within the pitstop window. The first to blink was the leading #7 Toyota, waiting until the pit straight had been put under a slow zone. The #1 Porsche took the lead, but by less than would be ideal. This meant that the #7 would extend the gap to over 25 seconds after the Porsche’s pit.
All eyes thus turned to the battle for second as the recovering #8 was catching Andre Lotterer in the Porsche machine. Only three cars remained on the lead lap.
1st – #31 Valliante Rebellion – Oreca 07-Gibson – Prost/Senna/Canal
2nd – #13 Valliante Rebellion – Oreca 07-Gibson – Piquet Jr/Beche/ Heinemeier Hansen
3rd – #24 CEFC Manor Racing – Oreca 07-Gibson – Graves/Herschi/Vergne
The #31 Vaillante Rebellion car was running at the front when the hour begun, but it was clear that the battle between the two team cars was far from over as the #13 continued their charge.
After their contentious crash, Vaxivierre and the #28 TDS was given a seven minute Stop/Go penalty, dropping them out of the fight for the podium.
Further problems for the #29 Racing Team Nederland saw the team pit for an eighth time.
1st – #95 Aston Martin Racing – Aston Martin Vantage – Thiim/Sorensen/Stanaway
2nd – #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK – Ford GT – Priaulx/Tinknell/Derani
3rd – #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK – Ford GT – Mucke/Pla/Johnson
With Jonny Adam in the #97 Aston Martin Racing, the team managed to build up an advantage over the chasing pack. The team no longer had the security of the #95 now at the back of the class.
This gave the advantage to the Ford’s in the cooler conditions, ensuring that the Team UK cars worked their way up to second and third.
1st – #98 Aston Martin Racing – Aston Martin Vantage – Lamy/Lauda/Dalla Lana
2nd – #84 JMW Motorsport – Ferrari 488 GTE – Smith/Stevens/Vanthoor
3rd – #90 TF Sport – Aston Martin Vantage – Yoluc/Hankey/Bell
Elsewhere, the #61 Clearwater Racing car had a technical failure, forcing the car to hobble back to the pits on three wheels. JMW Motorsports joined the battle for the lead, with the #95 leading by 15 seconds.