Three of the eight LMP1s retired overnight. The two Toyotas reign supreme, the #7 TS050 Hybrid in the hands of José-Maria Lopez has a 1.5-minute lead over the #8 sister car with Nakajima at the wheel.
At 07:00 Thomas Laurent handed over to Gustavo Menezes. The car was handed a 3-min stop and go penalty for violation of a tyre ruling. Stoffel Vandoorne took the opportunity to grab third place for SMP Racing.
The Jackie Chan DC Racing #37 Oreca 07-Gibson is the second in the class to retire, following the #49 ARC Bratislava Ligier JS P217.
Still neck and neck, the G-Drive Racing #26 Aurus 01(first in LMP2) and the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470 pit in the same lap.
Shortly after 07:00, Pastor Maldolando went straight on at Terte Rouge Corner, taking off the nose of the #31 DragonSpeed Oreca 07 – Gibson. The accident spelled retirement. Taking advantage of the situation, Gabriel Aubry moved the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07-Gibson up to third place.
The class leaders both pitted during the safety car period, the #63 Corvette C7.R ahead of the #93 Porsche 911 RSR. The American stayed ahead, Mike Rockenfeller at the wheel. Daniel Serra in the AF Corse #51 Ferrari 488 GTE is not far behind.
The Keating Motorsports #85 Ford GT holds onto the lead, with 2 minutes in hand over the Team Project 1 #56 Porsche 911 RSR, which is ahead of the JMW Motorsport #84 Ferrari 488 GTE #. There is a gripping fight for supremacy in this class and the podium is still wide open.
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PHOTO: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DES 24 HEURES DU MANS, RACE, 16 JUNE 2019.
BREAKING NEWS: THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS POSTPONED TO 19–20 SEPTEMBER 2020