A one percent chance of rain hovers over the 24 Hours of Le Mans as we return to daytime racing. The class leaders have remained the same in hour 17 but spins and penalties have fuelled the action for the last 60 minutes.
Double Trouble for Toyota
Even though it made no difference to Toyota Gazoo Racing‘s lead, both cars picked up a one-minute stop / go penalty in this hour for speeding in a slow zone. The #8 had already served one of these earlier on in the race which led to them falling over a minute off the sister car.
Due to this penalty, the third-placed #3 Rebellion Racing gained back a lap on the leading duo. It will take a little more than a one-minute penalty for the Rebellion cars to catch up the nine lap deficit to the front.
Ben Hanley went wide through the Porsche Curves in his #10 DragonSpeed LMP1 car and ended up spinning into the tyre barrier, losing his rear wing in the process. It did not take him long to get back on track and limp the car back to the pit lane for repairs.
Mistake from Vaxiviere in TDS Racing
Matthieu Vaxiviere joined the list of those who had an incident in hour 17 in the closing moments of the 60-minute period. It was another driver error incident. Vaxiviere lost the #28 TDS Racing in the gravel trap at Ford Chicane. There was no damage to the car and the Frenchman was back to circling the Circuit de la Sarthe without losing too much time.
The #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca still leads.
Passes on Track and Parts Changes
BMW Team MTEK #81 and Porsche GT Team #91 used this hour to change some mechanical parts on their cars in a hope to maintain the reliability they have had so far in the race. The Porsche team completed a standard brake change, meaning they could complete this in the pits, but BMW lost more time as they had to go into the garage to complete their radiator change. They were in the garage for 20-minutes.
There was some track action to keep the fans around the track entertained. Mike Rockenfeller pulled a great move on Scott Dixon to put his #63 Corvette Racing up to fifth in class ahead of the #69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA.
Bad Luck hit Dempsey-Proton #88
The two Dempsey-Proton Racing cars had been strong favourites to win the Am class at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. With the #77 getting all the luck and holding around a lap advantage on the next closest car, the sister #88, which mysteriously dropped to P6 in class a few hours ago, completely fell out contention.
Matteo Cairoli ended up going nose first into the tyre barrier on the exit of Ford Chicane. The damage did not look too bad at first, with the impact only looking to have left superficial damage. After 20 minutes of Cairoli trying to get the Porsche back to the pits, the team had to declare they could not get it moving and call it a day on the #88’s race.
2018 24 Hours of Le Mans – Standings after 17 hours
- #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Hybrid – Sébastien Buemi – Kazuki Nakajima – Fernando Alonso
- #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Hybrid – Mike Conway – Kamui Kobayashi – Jose Maria Lopez
- #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
- #23 Panis Barthez Competition – Ligier JSP217 – Gibson – Thimothé Buret – Julien Canal – Will Stevens
- #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut – Alpine A470 – Gibson – Nicolas Lapierre – Andre Negrao – Pierre Thriet
- #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 – Joey Hand – Dirk Muller – Sebastian Bourdais
- #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing – Porsche 911 RSR – Matt Campbell – Christian Ried – Julien Andlauer
- #85 Keating Motorsports – Ferrari F488 GTE – Ben Keating – Jeroen Bleekemolen – Luca Stolz
- #54 Spirit of Race – Ferrari F488 GTE – Thomas Flohr – Francesco Castellacci – Giancarlo Fisichella