As the 24 Hours of Le Mans draws closer to the halfway point, the teams seem to be settling into the rhythm of the night stint. This is one of the riskiest times for the cars, teams and drivers who have to focus more now than ever to keep the racing clean.
Advantage Toyota #7 as #8 Picks up Penalty
The two Toyota Gazoo Racing cars were swapping the lead of the race after every pit stop, but the trend was broken when Sebastien Buemi picked up a one-minute stop and go penalty with the #8 for speeding during a slow zone. Mike Conway, currently aboard the #7, now has a 2m10s lead over the sister car and is looking strong for the overall race win.
CEFC TRSM Racing were predicted as the most likely to stop early on in this race, but so far have shown good reliability. Sadly, within the tenth hour, the #6 in the hands of Oliver Rowland had a lost of power on approach to Tertre Rouge. Rowland managed to get it moving again and back to the pits for repairs.
LMP2 Looking Strong for Potential Overall Podium
The LMP2 class has completely locked out the overall order from P5 to P22. Only four LMP1 cars, of the ten starters, have managed to stay ahead of them, meaning that if one more LMP1 car has an issue there will be an LMP2 provisionally on the overall podium.
At the moment, that looks like it will be the #26 G-Drive Racing car that has held the lead in class since the first few hours of the race. They nearly have a lap advantage on second-placed #36 Signatech Alpine and no one seems to be able to do anything to catch them.
Pit Lane Madness in GTE Pro
After having an electrical issue that forced it into the garage in the last hour, the #93 Porsche GT Team IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship car returned to the track. They have fallen right down the field, losing their position fighting for the class win.
Another team to have lost their position in the top three battle is the #81 BMW Team MTEK. They were having an unexpectedly strong race, but an unknown issue saw it pushed into the garage. The car did return to the track before the hour was up, falling to 12th in class, but there was some sort of fluid dripping from the rear. The car seems to be running fine now.
This completely takes the pressure off the FIA World Endurance Championship Porsche duo that still lead the class with a comfortable one-two. The #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA car inherited class third when the BMW had its issue.
JMW in a Dempsey-Proton Sandwich
JMW Motorsport look like they are due a race similar to 2017, where they managed to claim an unexpected class victory, presenting themselves as Porsche’s closet competition. They are currently running a competitive second in class with the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing leading and the #88 Porsche rounding off the top three.
Although a lot of cars have stopped in this race, none have officially been confirmed as retired. The #4 ByKolles Racing Team and the #94 Porsche have confirmed that they will not take any further part in the race (becoming unofficially officially retired), but there is a rumour that Paul Dalla Lana and Matevos Isaakyan are still track side trying to get their respective cars running.
2018 24 Hours of Le Mans – Standings after 10 hours
- #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Hybrid – Mike Conway – Kamui Kobayashi – Jose Maria Lopez
- #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Hybrid – Sébastien Buemi – Kazuki Nakajima – Fernando Alonso
- #3 Rebellion Racing – Rebellion R13 – Gibson –Thomas Laurent – Mathias Beche – Hustavo Menezes
- #26 G-Drive Racing – Oreca 07 – Gibson – Roman Rusinov – Andrea Pizzitola – Jean-Eric Vergne
- #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut – Alpine A470 – Gibson – Nicolas Lapierre – Andre Negrao – Pierre Thriet
- #23 Panis Barthez Competition – Ligier JSP217 – Gibson – Thimothé Buret – Julien Canal – Will Stevens
- #92 Porsche GT Team – Porsche 911 RSR – Michael Christensen – Kevin Estre – Laurens Vanthoor
- #91 Porsche GT Team – Porsche 911 RSR – Richard Lietz – Gianmaria Bruni – Frédéric Makowiecki
- #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA – Ford GT – Joey Hand – Dirk Müller – Sébastien Bourdais
- #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing – Porsche 911 RSR – Matt Campbell – Christian Ried – Julien Andlauer
- #84 JMW Motorsport – Ferrari 488 GTE – Liam Griffin – Cooper Macneil – Jeffrey Segal
- #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing – Porsche 911 RSR – Matteo Cairoli – Khaled Al Qubaisi – Giorgio Roda