24 Hours of Le MansFIA WEC

2018 24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour 15 Update: LMP2 and Night Breaking in France

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Credit: Craig Robertson

As daylight started to break on the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing car led the race, with Kamui Kobayashi pushing them away from the rival #8. An hour devoid of yellow flags and on track incidents was defined by issues for a number of LMP2’s in the pitlane.

LMP1 – Kobayashi takes lead, breaking away

It was another quiet start to the hour with the #7 Toyota having recently taken the lead from the #8 Hybrid. The pair controlled proceedings with the gap between the two starting to build as Kobayashi extended his gap over compatriot Kazuki Nakajima.

The Rebellion Racing pair remained the only other LMP1 cars clear of the chasing P2’s. The#3 appeared to have finally shaken off its plank issue, lapping in the 3min 23sec, just a second slower than the Toyota’s in front.

LMP2 – Stevens Closing on the Leader

Technical issues for the Racing Team Nederlands car cost them time and places, falling further away from the podium, now eight laps behind the leading G-Drive Racing in tenth.

Speaking of the G-Drive, Andrea Pizzitola was now in charge after Jean-Eric Vergne‘s 2 hour stint, commanding their one lap lead over the Panis Barthez Competition. Will Stevens though was setting a number of personal bests attempting to close their gap and ensuring he extended his gap over Andre Negrao ensuring three different chassis filled the podium places.

Further back, the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing had more troubles on his way back to the pits. Driver Ho-Ping Tung completed his ten lap stint with the Oreca being pushed back up the pitlane, continuing at the hands of Gabriel Aubry. While puncture for the #31 DragonSpeed saw Nathanael Berthon limp back to the pits with brake disk failure.

Kobayashi leads in the #7 Toyota (Credit: Craig Robertson)

GTE Pro – All quiet as Porsche’s Dominate

In GTE-Pro, behind the dominating Porsche‘s the #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team USA car changed their brakes during a scheduled stop, ensuring it only cost them around 10 seconds in the battle for the class podium.

It remained a static class though, with action at the front minimal over the past five hours.

GTE Am – Spirit of Race of the Move

Closest battle in the whole race though remained in GTE-Am, with the top three still all circulating on the same lap. Saying that, one team had control, with the #77 Dempsey Proton Racing using the two chasing GTE-Pro cars to not only put a barrier between himself and the Keating Motorsport Ferrari F488 but also ensure they maintained their race leading pace.

Behind them, the #54 Spirit of Race was now attempting to stretch their advantage over the #85 Keating Motorsport, having leapfrogged them in the pits. The Ferrari’s were clearly evenly matched though, with the #54 unable to extend the gap over 15 seconds throughout the hour.

2018 24 Hours of Le Mans – Standings after 15 hours

LMP1

  1. #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Hybrid – Mike Conway – Kamui Kobayashi – Jose Maria Lopez
  2. #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Hybrid – Sébastien Buemi – Kazuki Nakajima – Fernando Alonso
  3. #3 Rebellion Racing – Rebellion R13  – Gibson –Thomas Laurent – Mathias Beche – Hustavo Menezes

LMP2

  1. #26 G-Drive Racing – Oreca 07 – Gibson – Roman Rusinov – Andrea Pizzitola – Jean-Eric Vergne
  2. #23 Panis Barthez Competition – Ligier JSP217 – Gibson – Thimothé Buret – Julien Canal – Will Stevens
  3. #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut – Alpine A470 – Gibson – Nicolas Lapierre – Andre Negrao – Pierre Thriet

GTE Pro

  1. #92 Porsche GT Team – Porsche 911 RSR – Michael Christensen – Kevin Estre – Laurens Vanthoor
  2. #91 Porsche GT Team – Porsche 911 RSR – Richard Lietz – Gianmaria Bruni – Frédéric Makowiecki
  3. #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA – Joey Hand – Dirk Muller – Sebastian Bourdais

GTE Am

  1. #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing – Porsche 911 RSR – Matt Campbell – Christian Ried – Julien Andlauer
  2. #54 Spirit of Race – Ferrari F488 GTE – Thomas Flohr – Francesco Castellacci – Giancarlo Fisichella
  3. #85 Keating Motorsports – Ferrari F488 GTE – Ben Keating – Jeroen Bleekemolen – Luca Stolz
Credit: Nick Smith / TheImageTeam.com
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Single-Seater Specialist who worked for TCF from 2015-19. Come finding me wandering the paddock.
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