A big crash for Marcel Fässler in the GTE Pro #64 Corvette Racing car, around the six hours mark, signalled the first retirement of the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans.
While running in eighth place in class, the right rear corner of Fässler’s car made contact with the GTE AM #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche of Satoshi Hoshino and speared into the wall at the Porsche Curves, damaging the front and rear.
The Swiss driver had attempted to lap Hoshino and the GTE Am #86 Gulf Racing Porsche, driven by Mike Wainwright, at the same time but was caught out by the closing gap between them.
Three-time outright Le Mans winner Fässler attempted to get the car back to the pits, but could not get the C7.R restarted due to the significant damage – truncating his and team-mates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner’s Le Mans.
The race stewards’ ruling, issued at 21:40 CEST, apportioned the blame to Fässler, for causing “a collision while he passed Car 88” – the punishment stands at a “fine of €7000 and withdraw of 6 penalty points”.
Fässler’s accident prompted a 16-minute Safety Car period while the stricken Corvette was cleared and grouped up the leaders of the GTE Pro category.
The 43-year-old was able to get out of the car unattended.