24 Hours of Le MansFIA WEC

2018 24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour 2 Update – Toyota Remain In Control

3 Mins read
Credit: Craig Robertson

With twenty-two hours of racing still to go, Toyota Gazoo Racing continue to dominate the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with Sebastien Buemi heading Mike Conway by around thirteen seconds.

Buemi brought the #8 Toyota TS050 into the pits for an extended pit stop, following a 10-lap stint. The rear bodywork was replaced, this may have been down to Andre Lotterer hitting him on the first lap. The #8 had a 1m-01s stop first time around, and this time it was a 1m04s.

The third placed #3 Rebellion Racing of Thomas Laurent made a rapid stop and left the pits just over a minute behind the SMP Racing of Stephane Sarrazin.

Sarrazin pitted the # SMP Racing BR1 from the third position for a quick stop, managing to rejoin without losing a place and keeping a 5-second gap ahead of Laurent’s Rebellion.

Mike Conway then brought the #7 Toyota into the box for his stop following an 11-lap stint. By now, both of the Toyotas had made two stops. Buemi jumped back into the lead, some 13 seconds ahead of Conway by the time he leaves the pits.

Unfortunately, the #11 SMP BR1 of Vitaly Petrov pitted from fifth place, for what was to become a long stop as the team tried to identify an electronics problem, possibly an engine sensor failure.

Alex Brundle headed back out onto the track in 24th place following some minor repairs to the #6 Manor-Ginetta. Brundle was then hit with a stop/go penalty for spinning his wheels in pit-lane.

LMP2

Jean-Eric Vergne managed to increase his lead during the second round of pitstops; by staying out and coming in a lap later, he managed to widen the gap to over 20 seconds to the third-placed Lapierre, although by the end of the hour he had dropped back to second place following his third stop.

Will Stevens moved up to fourth following a slow stop for Chatin. Then, drama as the #31 DragonSpeed car of Berthon lost its right front wheel, just as the car was exiting the Indianapolis corner. Berthon managed to limp the car back to the pits before handing the car over to Roberto Gonzales.

Dutch-Chinese driver Ho-Pin Tung in the #38 Jackie Chan DC Oreca suffered a puncture and had to make the long trip back to the pits from the far side of the circuit.

Tracy Krohn managed to get slapped with a penalty in the #44 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier for continually abusing track limits. The drive-through penalty would have to be served by Niclas Jönsson following a driver change, just before the announcement was made.

GTE-Pro

Credit: Craig Robertson

The #92 Porsche GT Team heads the GTE Pro field ahead of the sister #91 car, with Laurens Vanthoor ahead of Frederic Makowiecki, while the #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing machine of Sebastien Bourdais runs third.

The man on the move at the start of the second hour GTE Pro was Alexander Sims. Seventh after the first hour, the BMW driver made his way up to fourth place, ahead of Patrick Pilet in the #93 Porsche, Stefan Mucke in the #66 Ford and Antonio Garcia in the #63 Corvette.

A rear-left puncture for James Calado’s #51 Ferrari meant that he had to limp all the way back to the pits from the Mulsanne Straight. A quick check for bodywork damage and with a fresh set of tyres, the Ferrari was back in action, with Alessandro Pier Guidi at the wheel, but with plenty of work to do to catch up.  Unfortunately, a suspension issue saw the #64 Corvette hit the pits and lose four laps to the class leaders.

GTE-Am

Credit: Craig Robertson

The big news in GTE-Am was a big crash for the #86 Gulf Porsche of Michael Wainwright at Indianapolis. Wainwright managed to get back to the pits at a steady rate in the #86 Porsche. The double yellow became a slow zone, which stretched from Mulsanne to Indianapolis. The slow zone looked like it was going to be in place for some time, Wainwright’s Porsche had caused barrier damage on approach to Arnage.

The #54 Spirit Of Race Ferrari of Thomas Flohr held the lead ahead of the #84 JMW Motorsport of Cooper MacNeil.

2018 24 Hours of Le Mans – Standings after 2 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 – R13 – Thomas Laurent – Mathias Beche – Gustavo – Menezes

LMP2

  1. #26 G-Drive Racing – Oreca 07 – Gibson – Roman Rusinov – Andrea Pizzitola – Jean-Eric Vergne
  2. #28 TDS Racing – Oreca 07 – Gibson – François Perrodo – Matthieu Vaxiviere – Loïc Duval
  3. #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut – Alpine A470 – Gibson – Nicolas Lapierre – Andre Negra0 – Pierre Thiriet

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

GTE-Am

  1. #54 Spirit Of Race – Ferrari 488 GTE – Thomas Flohr – Francesco Castellacci – Giancarlo Fisichella
  2. #84 JMW Motorsport – Ferrari 488 GTE – Liam Griffin – Cooper Macneil – Jeff Seagal
  3. #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing – Porsche 911 RSR – Matt Campbell – Christian Ried – Julien Andlauer
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