Toyota #8 in control at Le Mans, GTE swings to Porsche
Sunday 12th June, 2022 - 12:10pm
Toyota’s #8 GR010 Hybrid is back in control of the 24 Hours of Le Mans at halfway as Corvette Racing suffered a setback, swinging the GTE-Pro class to Porsche.
Having completed 12 hours at Circuit de la Sarthe, the pole-sitting #8 Toyota of Ryo Hirakawa leads by 20 seconds over Kamui Kobayashi in the sister #7 Toyota.
Kobayashi was out front at the six-hour mark but the #8 returned to the fore after a slow stop for the #7 Toyota in the seventh hour before the circumstance of a slow zone went in favour of the #8.
Glickenhaus Racing’s #709 entry is third in the hands of Ryan Briscoe, inheriting the final podium spot when the sister #708 spun into the barriers at Tertre Rouge.
The driver at the time, Olivier Pla, limped the car back to the pits to undergo repairs before the #708 rejoined the track seven laps down, but still ahead of the #36 Alpine Hypercar.
Porsche now leads the GTE-Pro class after both Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs were delayed while flying in formation at the head of the class as the race settled into the night.
Nick Tandy’s second-placed #64 Corvette was wheeled into the garage to clear debris from the wheel arches and complete a brake change.
Minutes later the class-leading #63 Corvette of Antonio Garcia encountered a left-rear suspension failure which resulted in a lengthy spell in the garage.
Michael Christensen took over the GTE-Pro lead in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR before handing over to Laurens Vanthoor comfortably out front.
Vanthoor has just pitted again to make way for Kevin Estre.
The #64 Corvette remains on the GTE-Pro lead lap in second but is more than three minutes behind leader Vanthoor.
Ferrari occupies third courtesy of James Calado in the #51 AF Corse 488 GTE ahead of the #91 Porsche in fourth driven by Frederic Makowiecki.
AF Corse’s #52 Ferrari runs fifth, followed by Shane van Gisbergen’s Riley Motorsports Ferrari, with the #63 Corvette 20 laps down after its suspension dramas.
JOTA holds on to the lead in LMP2 with its #38 Oreca of Roberto Gonzalez, Antonio Felix Da Costa and Will Stevens.
That car is more than half a lap ahead of the #9 Prema Orlen Team entry which has Louis Deletraz behind the wheel in second place.
WRT runs third with Team Penske and Cool Racing completing the top five in LMP2, while Australian James Allen’s #45 Algarve Pro Racing sits 19th in class.
There was a lead change shortly before the halfway point in GTE-Am with the #33 TF Sport Aston Martin vaulting to the front.
Long-time leader, the #79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche lost a chunk of time on track in the hands of Cooper MacNeil and dropped to second.
Henrique Chaves now holds a 30-second advantage for TF Sport over MacNeil, as the #99 Hardpoint Motorsport Porsche runs third.
Nick Cassidy’s #54 Ferrari sits seventh, while Matt Campbell’s #93 Proton Competition Porsche sustained a hit with the barriers in the hands of Michael Fassbender.
Campbell continues to circulate in 20th in GTE-Am.