2018 24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour 20 update – Alonso Leads but Di Resta Crashes Out


Credit: Craig Robertson

Just four hours remain but Toyota Gazoo Racing remain on course to clinch their first ever 24 Hours of Le Mans victory, with Fernando Alonso in the #8 continuing to pull away from the sister #7 car of Jose Maria Lopez.

Around eighty seconds separate the Alonso car from the Lopez machine, with the Japanese marquee remaining in a class of their own in LMP1.

Rebellion Racing team are still running third and fourth, while the SMP Racing machine of Mikhail Aleshin now fifth despite the #11 having lost considerable time in the early running of the race.  The car, which also has Jenson Button and Vitaly Petrov in its driver line-up, is more than fifty laps down on the race leaders however.

The slow zone remained until forty-seven minutes past the hour at Tertre Rouge despite the repairs of the drain cover from the previous hour being completed.

LMP2

The safety car was deployed for a fourth time as Paul Di Resta crashed the #22 United Autosports Ligier heavily at Porsche Curves.  The Scot was able to get out of the car unaided but there was heavy damage to the front end of the car after head on contact with the wall.  He was taken to the medical centre as a precaution.

There was also misfortune for the #23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier of Will Stevens, who took the car into the pits whilst running second, only for it to be pulled back into the pits with a potential engine problem.

The #23’s problem ensured the race leading #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca of Jean-Eric Vergne, Roman Rusinov and Andrea Pizzitola now holds an advantage of more than two laps over the new second placed machine, which is the #36 Signatech Alpine of Pierre Thiriet, while the #48 IDEC Sport Oreca of Paul Loup Chatin runs third, around two and a half minutes down on the Alpine.

Credit: Craig Robertson

GTE Pro

The Porsche GT Team continue to dominate in GTE Pro, with the ‘Pink Pig’ #92 of Laurens Vanthoor well clear of the field.

Unfortunately for the sister #91 911 RSR of Frédéric Makowiecki, a small off at Porsche Curves towards the end of the hour saw him come under attack from the #67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing machine of Andy Priaulx, with the Briton edging ahead of the Frenchman heading into Mulsanne Corner.

The #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing machine of Sébastien Bourdais had also lost a position to Priaulx on the very same lap and was on the tail of Makowiecki as the hour came to an end.

There was some positive news for Aston Martin Racing, who were able to get the #97 back into the race after more than fifty-three minutes in the pits for repairs.  Jonny Adam is behind the wheel but they are six laps behind the car ahead of them and fourteenth overall in class.

The #64 Corvette Racing machine of Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler was finally forced to call it a day with an overheating engine.

GTE Am

The #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche remain at the top of the order in GTE Am, with Julien Andlauer just under half a minute clear of the #85 Keating Motorsports Ferrari, currently in the back in the hands of Jeroen Bleekemolen after he took over from Ben Keating.

The #34 Spirit of Race Ferrari also remains on the lead lap, with Thomas Flohr behind the wheel, with the #35 Team Project 1 Porsche and #99 Proton Competition Porsche rounding out the top five.

Credit: Craig Robertson

2018 24 Hours of Le Mans – Standings After 19 Hours

LMP1

  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. #1 Rebellion Racing – Rebellion R13 – Gibson – André Lotterer – Neel Jani – Bruno Senna

LMP2

  1. #26 G-Drive Racing– Oreca 07 – Gibson – Roman Rusinov – Andrea Pizzitola – Jean-Éric Vergne
  2. #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut– Alpine A470 – Gibson – Nicolas Lapierre – André Negrâo – Pierre Thiriet
  3. #48 IDEC Sport – Oreca 07 – Gibson – Paul Lafargue – Paul Loup Chatin – Memo Rojas

GTE Pro

  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 Bourdais – Joey Hand – Dirk Müller

GTE Am

  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