Le Mans Halfway: Toyotas still 1-2, Ferrari leads LMGTE-Pro

The 24 Hours of Le Mans has reached the halfway point and after 12 hours the two Toyotas continue to lead the two Rebellions by 2 laps for the overall lead of the race.

Toyota stretched its advantage at the front of the Le Mans 24 Hours field in darkness at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

World Championship leaders Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López, in the #7 TS050 HYBRID, led the race by a lap after 12 hours, having started from pole position.

The #8 TS050 HYBRID of Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley had briefly led the race at the one-quarter point when the #7 lost time pitting under a safety car, but fell behind in the seventh hour due to a technical issue.

High brake temperatures had necessitated work and minor delays for the #8 at both previous driver changes but, when an LMP2 accident caused a lengthy safety car, the team decided to change the complete duct system on the front right of the car. After 10 minutes in the pits, Kazuki returned to action in third.

#8 Toyota screams into the pits

With all cars driving slowly under the safety car, the #8 lost only a lap and when racing resumed, Kazuki immediately put pressure on the second-placed #1 Rebellion, overtaking soon after to restore a TOYOTA GAZOO Racing one-two.

Meanwhile, José was establishing a clear advantage at the front in the #7 whilst avoiding risks among the traffic, with various incidents creating slow zones around the circuit and a further brief safety car in the eighth hour all complicating that stage of the race.

Nearly seven hours into the race there was an accident on track that caused extensive damage to the guardrail on part of the circuit. The safety car was deployed for a lengthy time while the Armco was repaired/replaced.

A relentlessly consistent pace from both cars pulled them comfortably clear of the chasing pack as the contest moved deep into a long night, with race starters Mike and Sébastien returning to their respective cockpits for a second stint.

Rebellion Racing’s two Oreca-designed R13-Gibsons are still running third and fourth, separated by one lap. The #1 Rebellion of Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes, and Norman Nato is running third. The #3 of Nathanaël Berthon, Romain Dumas, and Louis Déletraz is in fourth. It’s Menezes driving the #1, Dumas driving the #3.

In 5th overall, and first in class in LMP2 is the #32 United Oreca (Will Owen, Alex Brundle, and Job van Uitert) ahead of the sister #22 United Oreca of Phil Hanson, Filipe Albuquerque, and Paul di Resta.

The #51 Ferrari leads in GTE-Pro

At the mid- point GTE-Pro the AF Corse Ferrari team is leading but they are down to one car in contention after the #71 suffered a tire puncture and lost 5 laps limping back to the pits. Last year’s winners James Calado, Daniel Serra and Alessandro Pier Guidi lead in the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.


•    No. 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid has led the LMP1 field since the seventh hour with Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi now at the helm
•    The sister No. 8 car is one full lap behind after spending a lengthy stint in the pits for a full front right brake change just before the race’s seventh hour
•    Third and fourth place occupied by Rebellion Racing’s No. 3 and No.1 Rebellion R13 Gibson cars – the Swiss team not yet able to catch the Hybrid powered Toyotas
•    ByKolles Racing retired in the race’s eighth hour.  The No. 4 Enso CLM P1/01 lost eight laps due to an early alternator problem, with further problems to follow when Bruno Spengler went off the track shortly after


The #8 Toyota lost a lap due to brake issues and still remains a lap down





Kazuki Nakajima (Toyota #8): “From the early part of the race we had some difficulties and we were struggling with a brake cooling issue. When I was in the car finally we decided to change it under the safety car. We lost one lap but managed to minimise the damage. I just stayed calm and focused on my job because it’s always tricky to drive at night and it wasn’t easy to manage the tyre pressures behind the safety car. It’s tough at the moment to be one lap behind the sister car but we seem to be back at a good pace so we will keep pushing and see what we can do.”

•    AF Corse Ferrari enjoying a closely-fought battle with LMGTE Pro title rivals Aston Martin Racing
•    The No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of James Calado has a 6 second lead over the No. 97 Aston Martin Racing entry with Alex Lynn taking over from Harry Tincknell at the wheel
•    No.71 Ferrari 488 GTE EVO was running third before a right-rear puncture in the 11th hour relegated the crew to sixth. Bird managed to get the car back to the pits where the AF Corse spent significant time repairing the rear of the car
•    The Porsche GT Team entries have had a difficult race so far with the No. 91 and No. 92 cars fifth and eight respectively.  The No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR – 19 dropped to the bottom of the leaderboard after a lengthy stint in the pits fixing the car’s power steering

The #82 Risi Ferrari runs 4th overall in class, 2 laps back

•    WEC category leaders United Autosports dominate the LMP2 category, the No. 32 and No. 22 ORECA 07 Gibsons first and second in class
•    Will Owen in the No. 32 car currently 31s ahead of Paul Di Resta in the sister car
•    JOTA’s No. 38 entry round out the top three in LMP2 with Anthony Davidson at the wheel going into the race’s 13th hour
•    Early leaders Jackie Chan DC Racing encountered difficulties in seventh hour when the No. 37 ORECA driven by Will Stevens ground to a halt coming out of Arnage.  The team eventually returned to the pits where the JOTA team worked hard to repair the damage.  However, the car was later disqualified by the stewards for receiving outside assistance
•    No. 29 Racing Team Nederland continues to struggle with intermittent engine problems
•    No. 36 Signatech Alpine Elf entry continues to climb the leaderboard after early water pressure problems. The French squad are currently eighth overall, one spot ahead of the No. 42 Cool Racing entry

#98 Aston Martin tops LMGTE-Am

•    Aston Martin Racing continues to lead the LMGTE Am category after a near-perfect performance from the No. 98 trio made up of Paul Dalla Lana, Ross Gunn and Agusto Farfus
•    Just 1s behind is the No.90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage – both cars enjoying an extremely close battle for the top spot
•    Third in class is the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo now with Emmanuel Collard at the wheel
•    No.56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 still in close podium contention with Egidio Perfetti driving going into the 13th hour
•    No. 55 Spirit of Race and No. 52 AF Corse entries have both retired from the race

Hour 12 Standings (Halfway)

1 7 LMP1 Toyota TS050 – Hybrid Mike CONWAY Kamui KOBAYASHI Jose Maria LOPEZ 191 0.000s 0.000s
2 8 LMP1 Toyota TS050 – Hybrid Sébastien BUEMI Kazuki NAKAJIMA Brendon HARTLEY 190 1 Laps 1 Laps
3 1 LMP1 Rebellion R13 – Gibson Bruno SENNA Norman NATO Gustavo MENEZES 189 2 Laps 1 Laps
4 3 LMP1 Rebellion R13 – Gibson Romain DUMAS Nathanaël BERTHON Louis DELETRAZ 188 3 Laps 1 Laps
5 32 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Will OWEN Alex BRUNDLE Job VAN UITERT 182 9 Laps 6 Laps
6 22 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Philip HANSON Filipe ALBUQUERQUE Paul DI RESTA 182 9 Laps 0.428
7 38 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Anthony DAVIDSON Antonio Felix DA COSTA Roberto GONZALEZ 182 9 Laps 1’14.663
8 31 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Nicolas JAMIN Julien CANAL Matthieu VAXIVIERE 181 10 Laps 1 Laps
9 39 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson James ALLEN Vincent CAPILLAIRE Charles MILESI 180 11 Laps 1 Laps
10 26 LMP2 Aurus 01 – Gibson Roman RUSINOV Jean-Eric VERGNE Mikkel JENSEN 180 11 Laps 18.816
11 27 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Henrik HEDMAN Ben HANLEY Renger VAN DER ZANDE 180 11 Laps 47.708
12 36 LMP2 Alpine A470 – Gibson André NEGRÃO Pierre RAGUES Thomas LAURENT 179 12 Laps 1 Laps
13 42 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Nicolas LAPIERRE Antonin BORGA Alexandre COIGNY 179 12 Laps 17.777
14 28 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Paul LAFARGUE Paul Loup CHATIN Richard BRADLEY 179 12 Laps 2.209
15 50 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Tatiana CALDERON Sophia FLÖRSCH Beitske VISSER 179 12 Laps 56.134
16 25 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson John FALB Simon TRUMMER Matthew MCMURRY 179 12 Laps 16.145
17 47 LMP2 Dallara P217 – Gibson Roberto LACORTE Andrea BELICCHI Giorgio SERNAGIOTTO 179 12 Laps 10.817
18 21 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Juan Pablo MONTOYA Timothé BURET Memo ROJAS 179 12 Laps 20.272
19 34 LMP2 Ligier JSP217 – Gibson Jakub SMIECHOWSKI René BINDER Matevos ISAAKYAN 178 13 Laps 1 Laps
20 17 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Patrick PILET Kyle TILLEY Jonathan KENNARD 178 13 Laps 16.608
21 29 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Frits VAN EERD Giedo VAN DER GARDE Nyck DE VRIES 177 14 Laps 1 Laps
22 35 LMP2 Ligier JSP217 – Gibson Nobuya YAMANAKA Nicholas FOSTER Roberto MERHI 172 19 Laps 5 Laps
23 51 LMGTE Pro Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Alessandro PIER GUIDI James CALADO Daniel SERRA 171 20 Laps 1 Laps
24 97 LMGTE Pro Aston Martin Vantage AMR Maxime MARTIN Alexander LYNN Harry TINCKNELL 170 21 Laps 1 Laps
25 24 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Garett GRIST Alex KAPADIA Anthony WELLS 170 21 Laps 3’09.629
26 95 LMGTE Pro Aston Martin Vantage AMR Nicki THIIM Marco SØRENSEN Richard WESTBROOK 169 22 Laps 1 Laps
27 82 LMGTE Pro Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Olivier PLA Sébastien BOURDAIS Jules GOUNON 169 22 Laps 11.680
28 91 LMGTE Pro Porsche 911 RSR – 19 Gianmaria BRUNI Richard LIETZ Frédéric MAKOWIECKI 169 22 Laps 2’00.877
29 98 LMGTE Am Aston Martin Vantage AMR Paul DALLA LANA Ross GUNN Augusto FARFUS 167 24 Laps 2 Laps
30 90 LMGTE Am Aston Martin Vantage AMR Salih YOLUC Charles EASTWOOD Jonathan ADAM 167 24 Laps 0.530
31 71 LMGTE Pro Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Davide RIGON Miguel MOLINA Sam BIRD 166 25 Laps 1 Laps
32 83 LMGTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo François PERRODO Emmanuel COLLARD Nicklas NIELSEN 166 25 Laps 25.005
33 56 LMGTE Am Porsche 911 RSR Egidio PERFETTI Larry TEN VOORDE Matteo CAIROLI 166 25 Laps 21.990
34 77 LMGTE Am Porsche 911 RSR Christian RIED Riccardo PERA Matt CAMPBELL 166 25 Laps 44.056
35 63 LMGTE Pro Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Cooper MACNEIL Toni VILANDER Jeffrey SEGAL 165 26 Laps 1 Laps
36 86 LMGTE Am Porsche 911 RSR Michael WAINWRIGHT Benjamin BARKER Andrew WATSON 165 26 Laps 1’02.589
37 66 LMGTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Richard HEISTAND Maxwell ROOT Jan MAGNUSSEN 165 26 Laps 10.987
38 61 LMGTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Francesco PIOVANETTI Oswaldo NEGRI JR Côme LEDOGAR 165 26 Laps 18.844
39 99 LMGTE Am Porsche 911 RSR Vutthikorn INTHRAPHUVASAK Lucas LÉGERET Julien ANDLAUER 165 26 Laps 1’07.374
40 78 LMGTE Am Porsche 911 RSR Horst Jr FELBERMAYR Michele BERETTA Max VAN SPLUNTEREN 164 27 Laps 1 Laps
41 85 LMGTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Manuela GOSTNER Rahel FREY Michelle GATTING 164 27 Laps 20.107
42 72 LMGTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Morris CHEN Tom BLOMQVIST Marcos GOMES 164 27 Laps 1’29.612
43 60 LMGTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Claudio SCHIAVONI Sergio PIANEZZOLA Paolo RUBERTI 163 28 Laps 1 Laps
44 54 LMGTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Thomas FLOHR Francesco CASTELLACCI Giancarlo FISICHELLA 163 28 Laps 1’37.055
45 62 LMGTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Bonamy GRIMES Johnny MOWLEM Charles HOLLINGS 162 29 Laps 1 Laps
46 75 LMGTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Rino MASTRONARDI Matteo CRESSONI Andrea PICCINI 160 31 Laps 2 Laps
47 92 LMGTE Pro Porsche 911 RSR – 19 Michael CHRISTENSEN Kevin ESTRE Laurens VANTHOOR 158 33 Laps 2 Laps
48 89 LMGTE Am Porsche 911 RSR Steve BROOKS Julien PIGUET Andreas LASKARATOS 157 34 Laps 1 Laps
49 57 LMGTE Am Porsche 911 RSR Ben KEATING Felipe FRAGA Jeroen BLEEKEMOLEN 156 35 Laps 1 Laps
50 70 LMGTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Takeshi KIMURA Vincent ABRIL Kei COZZOLINO 153 38 Laps 3 Laps
51 88 LMGTE Am Porsche 911 RSR Thomas PREINING Dominique BASTIEN Adrien DE LEENER 106 85 Laps 47 Laps
52 37 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Ho-Pin TUNG Gabriel AUBRY Will STEVENS 141 50 Laps -35 Laps
53 16 LMP2 Aurus 01 – Gibson Ryan CULLEN Oliver JARVIS Nicholas TANDY 105 86 Laps 36 Laps
54 30 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Jonathan HIRSCHI Konstantin TERESCHENKO Tristan GOMMENDY 100 91 Laps 5 Laps
55 4 LMP1 ENSO CLM P1/01 – Gibson Tom DILLMANN Bruno SPENGLER Oliver WEBB 97 94 Laps 3 Laps
56 33 LMP2 Oreca 07 – Gibson Kenta YAMASHITA Mark PATTERSON Anders FJORDBACH 88 103 Laps 9 Laps
57 52 LMGTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Christoph ULRICH Steffen GÖRIG Alexander WEST 80 111 Laps 8 Laps
58 55 LMGTE Am Ferrari 488 GTE Evo Duncan CAMERON Aaron SCOTT Matthew GRIFFIN 78 113 Laps 2 Laps
59 11 LMP2 Ligier JSP217 – Gibson Adrien TAMBAY Erik MARIS Christophe D’ANSEMBOURG 26 165 Laps 52 Laps