The two Toyotas are positioned 1-2 at 08:00 this morning at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The #5 TS 050 Hybrid driven by Sébastien Buemi is in front of the #6 with Mike Conway at the wheel, while Neel Jani, who started out in pole, is third in the #2 919 Hybrid.
The seventeenth hour of the race started with a slow zone at Dunlop, after Tommy Milner in the #64 Corvette C7.R n°64 ran into the tyre barrier in the braking zone. Last year’s GTE Pro class winner left the track in spectacular fashion but was able to get out of the car unassisted.
Then followed a whole series of incidents. At 07:06, Nelson Panciatici in the #35 Alpine A460-Nissan for Baxi DC Racing Alpine made a mistake at the first chicane on the Mulsanne straight. The front end was seriously damaged and the car was unable to restart. At 07:00, as Simon Trummer in the #4 CLM P1/01 approached the Porsche Curves, flames were seen coming from the right-hand rear wheel area. The car stopped and the marshals put the fire out, then pushed the car behind the safety barriers. Slow zones were introduced following each of these incidents but the misadventures continued: at 07:23, Pierre Thiriet in the #46 Oreca 05-Nissan for Thiriet by TDS Racing ran off the track at Mulsanne, hitting the rail to end up in the gravel. Unfortunately, a problem with the steering rack means the race is over for the Oreca. Ed Brown in the #30 Ligier JS P2 soon followed suit, finishing in the gravel at Tertre Rouge but he managed to set off again 15 minutes later. Race control sent out the safety car at 07:24 but the green flag was waved again at 07:48.
At 08:00, things are still very tight in LM P1 and LM GTE Pro. In the battle for overall victory in LM P1, the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid was leading with the two Toyota TS 050 Hybrids just behind. They took advantage of the safety car to refuel and change tyres.
In LM GTE Pro, Ford and Ferrari are putting on a wonderful display. The “American” Ferrari entered by Risi Competizione is in front of two Ford GTs, with the #68 Ford driven by Sébastien Bourdais second in class for the moment.