Toyotas lead Le Mans at 18-hour mark despite scare
Sunday 22nd August, 2021 - 6:31pm
Toyota Gazoo Racing has continued its dominance of the 24 Hours of Le Mans despite its second placed entry briefly stopping on track.
With six hours remaining it’s the #7 Toyota GT010 HYBRID in the hands of Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria-Lopez, and Mike Conway which leads the sister #8 entry (Sebastien Buemi/Brendon Hartley/Kazuki Nakajima)
As the 18th hour approached, the #8 then driven by Buemi ground to a halt at the end of the Mulsanne Straight.
After a brief stoppage and crawl to get back going again, the Hypercar burst back into life and, albeit three minutes adrift of the #7 leader. The #8 had reportedly suffered refuelling issues.
The final spot on the overall podium has been closely fought between the #708 Glickenhaus Racing (Pipo Derani/Franck Mailleux/Olivier Pla) and #36 Alpine Elf Matmut (Andre Negrao, Nico Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere).
Currently, it’s the Alpine that holds sway in third, four laps off the lead. Little has split Alpine and Glickenhaus, with the result looking like it could go either way.
In the LMP2 ranks Team WRT are one and two with the #31 of Robin Frijs/Ferdinand Habsburg/Charles MIlesi leading the sister #41 of Robert Kubica/Louis Deletraz/Ye Yifei.
The #28 Jota Sports entry of Sean Galael/Stoffel Vandoorne/Tom Blomqvist moved into third during the 17th hour, usurping Australian ace James Allen who’s paired with Will Stevens and Julien Canal in the #65 Panis Racing entry.
In the GTE-Pro ranks, AF Corse continues to lead with the #51 of Alessandro Pier Guidi/James Calado/Come Ledogar.
Corvette Racing’s #63 (Antonio Garcia/Jordan Taylor/Nick Catsburg) holds second while the #92 Porsche GT Team of Neel Jani/Kevin Estre/Michael Christensen occupies third. The top three are all still on the lead lap.
New Zealand’s hopes of a GTE-Pro win have gone out the window, however, the WeatherTech Racing entry of Cooper Macneil/Laurens Vanthoor/Earl Bamber suffering terminal damage.
AF Corse also leads the GTE-Am division with the #83 (François Perrodo/Nicklas Nielsen/Alessio Rovera) while three laps down the Dempsey Proton #77 of Matt Campbell/Jaxon Evans/Christian Reid holds fifth.