24 Hours of Le MansFIA WEC

2018 24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour 19 update – Slow zones keep race in check

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Credit: Craig Robertson

With just five hours to go, Fernando Alonso continues to lead in the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing car over José María López in the sister #7 car, currently sitting around a minute behind, after an hour disrupted by slow zones and Safety Cars for needed track repairs at Tertre Rouge. Alonso was briefly held at pit exit, but it cost him little time.

After a brief spell in third, the #1 Rebellion Racing car has fallen back behind Mathias Beche in the #3 car after its latest pitstop, but with just an eight second gap the battle should last into the closing stages of the race.

Familiar look to LMP2 order

The action in LMP2 has also been slowed down by the slow zones and Safety Car. Jean-Éric Vergne still leads in the dominant #26 G-Drive car, one lap ahead of Will Stevens in the #23 Panis Barthez Competition. In the #36 Signatech Alpine, Pierre Thiriet completes a familiar looking provisional podium.

Credit: Craig Robertson

Straight after the Safety Car period, Romano Ricci put the #50 Labre Competition in the gravel at the Porsche Curves, forced to crawl back to the pits.

Attrition in GTE Pro

The nineteenth hour has seen plenty of problems for the GTE Pro category. Leader Michael Christensen brought the #92 Porsche into the pits, returning to the track less than five minutes later after a precautionary brake change. Elsewhere, there was a longer stop for the #97 Aston Martin at the end of a very conservative in lap. A suspected oil pressure problem has kept it in the garage, no news on its return. And the #64 Corvette Racing entry has been officially announced as a retiree, overheating issues to blame.

Credit: Craig Robertson

The #92 Porsche, still with Christensen, leads Gianmaria Bruni in the #91 by a lap. Dirk Müller in the #68 Ford USA entry is keeping him honest in third, around a second behind. Harry Tincknell used the Safety Car to his advantage to move the #67 Ford UK car up to fourth, three seconds adrift of Müller, before he handed over to Andy Priaulx.

Dempsey-Proton still the example in GTE Am

The #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche still leads with Christian Ried currently in control, but the all-Ferrari battle for second place has seen a change. Jeroen Bleekemolen in the #85 Keating Motorsport has leapt ahead of Thomas Flöhr in the #54 Spirit of Race and has a five second gap.

2018 24 Hours of Le Mans – Standings After 19 Hours


1. #8  Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Hybrid – Fernando Alonso – Sébastien Buemi – Kazuki Nakajima

2. #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Hybrid – Mike Conway – Kamui Kobayashi – José María López.

3. #3 Rebellion Racing – Rebellion R13 – Gibson – Mathias Beche – Thomas Laurent – Gustavo Menezes



1. #26 G-Drive Racing – Oreca 07 – Gibson – Roman Rusinov – Andrea Pizzitola – Jean-Éric Vergne

2. #23 Panis Barthez Competition – Ligier JS P217 – Gibson – Thimothé Buret – Julien Canal – Will Stevens

3, #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut – Alpine A470 – Gibson – Nicolas Lapierre – André Negrâo – Pierre Thiriet



1. #92 Porsche GT Team – Porsche 911 RSR – Michael Christensen – Kevin Estre – Laurens Vanthoor

2. #91 Porsche GT Team – Porsche 911 RSR – Gianmaria Bruni  – Richard Leitz – Frédéric Makowiecki

3. #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA – Ford GT – Sébastien Buemi – Joey Hand – Dirk Müller



1. #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing – Porsche 911 RSR – Julien Andlauer – Matt Campbell – Christian Ried

2. #85 Keating Motorsport – Ferrari 488 GTE – Jeroen Bleekemolen – Ben Keating – Luca Stolz

3. #54 Spirit of Race – Ferrari 488 GTE – Francesco Castellacci – Giancarlo Fisichella – Thomas Flöhr

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DTM, Formula 1 writer and deputy editor for The Checkered Flag. Autosport Academy member and freelance voice over artist.
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