2018 24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour 16 Update – Happy Hour

by Jean-Paul Hackett

The Toyota domination of the 86th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans continues as dawn breaks over a cloudy Circuit de la Sarthe.

At the top of the hour, we find the #8 Toyota of Kazuki Nakajima just 1.4 seconds ahead of the #7 car currently being driven by compatriot Kamui Kobayashi. They are eight laps ahead of the #3 Rebellion Racing R13 which has just made an unscheduled pit stop; they spent four minutes in the pit lane which then gave the #1 Rebellion being driven by Neel Jani, a chance to close the gap from 2 laps to one lap.


In fifth place overall is the leading LMP2 car, the #26 G-Drive Racing ORECA with Andrea Pizzitola at the wheel. In second place in P2 is the #23 Panis Barthez Ligier, Julien Canal having just taken over at the wheel in that car, and is just over a lap down on the class leader.

In third place is the #36 Signatech Alpine being driven hard by Nicolas Lapierre. Fourth in P2 is the #48 IDEC Sport ORECA with Memo Rojas driving.
Down in 16th place, the DragonSpeed Oreca, driven by Nathanaël Berthon put in the fastest P2 lap of the race, with a 3m27.2s.

The #47 Cetilar Dallara of Giorgio Sernagiotto had an off but made it back to the pits.


Credit: Craig Robertson

Kevin Estre leads the way for Porsche in the #92 car, and Richard Lietz is just under a lap behind him in the #91 911 RSR. Joey Hand is third in the faster of the two Fords (#68) that are still in contention, with Tony Kanaan in fourth place in the #67 Chip Ganassi Team UK machine.

An incident in the Porsche Curves saw Alex Sims in the #82 BMW M8 GTE run through the gravel, then as he rejoined the track he spun and went backwards into the barrier on the inside with a heavy impact. Sims managed to get the car back the garage, but the extensive damage to the rear of the BMW led to it being retired.


Credit: Craig Robertson

In GTE-Am the #77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche of Christian Ried still holds a slight lead over the Ferrari, driven by Luca Stoltz.

Francesco Castellacci is third in the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari.

2018 24 Hours of Le Mans Standings After  16 Hours


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


  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 Negra0 – Pierre Thiriet


  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 – Ford GT – Joey Hand – Dirk Müller – Sébastien Bourdais


  1. #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing – Porsche 911 RSR – Matt Campbell – Christian Ried – Julien Andlauer
  2. #85 Keating Motorsports – Ferrari 488 GTE – Ben Keating – Jeroen Bleekemolen – Luca Stolz
  3. #54 Spirit Of Race – Ferrari 488 GTE – Thomas Flohr – Francesco Castellacci – Giancarlo Fisichella

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