No. 7 Toyota leads LeMans at halfway

The #7 Toyota leads at halfway with Alonso's #8 Toyota chasing it down
The #7 Toyota leads at halfway with Alonso's #8 Toyota chasing it down

The No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid has been given a 60-second stop-and-hold penalty, dropping it to two minutes behind the sister Toyota Gazoo Racing entry shortly after midnight and the two Toyotas held a 5-lap lead at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the race reached its midway point.

Jose Maria Lopez was behind the wheel of the leading No. 7 Toyota TS050 at the 12th hour, 1 minute 21 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso in the No. 8 car.

A 60-second stop and hold penalty for Alonso’s teammate Sebastien Buemi widened the gap between the two Toyotas.

At the halfway milestone, the nearest non-hybrid LMP1 car was the No. 3 Rebellion Racing R13 Gibson with Mathias Beche at the controls but they do not have a chance to win because God did not give them a BoP adjustment so they can be competitive. In sportscar racing, God determines who will be fast and who won't be.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]The Swiss driver was five laps down and a lap ahead of the No. 1 Rebellion in fourth place, driven by Bruno Senna.

G-Drive Racing has continued to dictate the pace of the LMP2 category since taking the lead during the first round of pit stops in the opening hour.

Jean-Eric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola and Roman Rusinov’s No. 26 Oreca 07 Gibson put a lap on the field shortly after midnight to put the trio in a commanding position heading toward morning.

Porsche 1-2 in GTE-Pro

GTE-Pro has seen the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR shared between Kevin Estre, Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor lead much of the way since it assumed the lead during a fortuitous fourth-hour safety car.

#92 Porsche continues to lead GTE-Pro
#92 Porsche continues to lead GTE-Pro

The ‘Pink Pig’-themed car hasn’t relinquished its sizeable advantage, which stood at 1 minute 53 seconds with 12 hours to go.

Almost two minutes behind was the Rothmans-liveried No. 91 Porsche of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki.

Third at halfway was the No. 68 Ford GT, some 45 seconds behind Bruni’s Porsche, while the No. 52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE ran fourth.

Porsche also led in GTE-Am, with the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR of Matt Campbell, Julien Andlauer and Christian Ried holding a 1 minute 50s advantage over the No. 85 Keating Motorsports Ferrari.

Quotes

Mike Conway (TS050 HYBRID #7): “We are only halfway so there’s still a long way to go. We are running as a team and trying not to take too many risks. It was quite close for a while but we got the buffer and now we will try to keep that. We have seen how you can lose a lot of time with slow zones and safety cars. Even though we have a decent lead it can disappear quickly so we have to keep doing what we are doing."

Kamui Kobayashi (TS050 HYBRID #7): “I think my stint was quite good but for most of the session I struggled with traffic. It’s a long race so I tried to be cool and not push like crazy. It’s quite difficult. I tried not to take any risks but sometimes things can happen so we have to be careful and have a quiet race. We are in good shape; the most important target is to keep the car in one piece."

Sebastien Buemi (TS050 HYBRID #8): “I was unlucky with the slow zone at my pit stop which cost us some time; until then I had been very close to the #7. It was unfortunate to have the drive through as that put us quite a bit behind but there is half the race remaining so many things can happen. We are in the game and that’s the main thing at this stage."

Kazuki Nakajima (TS050 HYBRID #8): “It’s a good position for the team to have two cars at the front but we have to stay calm and take care to have a clean race until the end. The traffic was pretty bad for me and I wasn’t taking any risks on my stint. It went well and I was running very close to Kamui for most of it. There’s still a long way to go so we need to keep our heads down."

Standings at 12-Hour Mark

POS NO. DRIVER CAR BEHIND
LAPS CAT.
1 #7 LOPEZ Jose Maria Toyota TS050 – Hybrid 0.000s 194 P1
2 #8 ALONSO Fernando Toyota TS050 – Hybrid 1:21.142 194 P1
3 #3 BECHE Mathias Rebellion R13 – GIBSON 5 Laps 189 P1
4 #1 SENNA Bruno Rebellion R13 – GIBSON 6 Laps 188 P1
5 #26 RUSINOV Roman Oreca 07 – Gibson 9 Laps 185 P2
6 #23 BURET Timothe LIGIER JSP217 – Gibson 10 Laps 184 P2
7 #36 LAPIERRE Nicolas Alpine A470 – Gibson 0.831 184 P2
8 #48 CHATIN Paul Loup LIGIER JSP217 – Gibson 49.232 184 P2
9 #28 VAXIVIERE Matthieu Oreca 07 – Gibson 11 Laps 183 P2
10 #39 GOMMENDY Tristan Oreca 07 – Gibson 1:09.282 183 P2
11 #22 HANSON Philip LIGIER JSP217 – Gibson 12 Laps 182 P2
12 #40 GUTIERREZ Jose Oreca 07 – Gibson 14.491 182 P2
13 #34 HEINEMEIER-HANSSON David LIGIER JSP217 – Gibson 1:12.086 182 P2
14 #32 MONTOYA Juan Pablo LIGIER JSP217 – Gibson 13 Laps 181 P2
15 #29 VAN EERD Frits Dallara DALLARA P217 GIBSON 14 Laps 180 P2
16 #35 NEWEY Harrison Dallara P217 – Gibson 1:12.171 180 P2
17 #37 JAAFAR Jazeman Oreca 07 – Gibson 15 Laps 179 P2
18 #31 MALDONADO Pastor Oreca 07 – Gibson 6.120 179 P2
19 #44 BERTOLINI Andrea LIGIER JSP217 – Gibson 16 Laps 178 P2
20 #33 BOULLE Nicholas LIGIER JSP217 – Gibson 17 Laps 177 P2
21 #47 NASR Luis Felipe Dallara DALLARA P217 – GIBSON 18 Laps 176 P2
22 #10 VAN DER ZANDE Renger BR ENGINEERING BR1 – GIBSON 21 Laps 173 P1
23 #38 RICHELMI Stéphane Oreca 07 – Gibson 1:00.634 173 P2
24 #92 CHRISTENSEN Michael Porsche 911 RSR 22 Laps 172 Pro
25 #91 BRUNI Gianmaria Porsche 911 RSR 1:53.291 172 Pro
26 #68 MÃœLLER Dirk Ford GT 23 Laps 171 Pro
27 #52 VILANDER Toni Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 55.109 171 Pro
28 #67 TINCKNELL Harry Ford GT 1:33.360 171 Pro
29 #69 BRISCOE Ryan Ford GT 1:49.885 171 Pro
30 #63 GARCIA Antonio Chevrolet Corvette C7.R 2:00.438 171 Pro
31 #51 CALADO James Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 3:33.052 171 Pro
32 #50 DAGONEAU Thomas LIGIER JSP217 – Gibson 24 Laps 170 P2
33 #82 FELIX DA COSTA Antonio BMW M8 GTE 23:08.182 170 Pro
34 #95 SØRENSEN Marco Aston Martin VANTAGE AMR 25 Laps 169 Pro
35 #66 JOHNSON Billy Ford GT 2:15.091 169 Pro
36 #81 TOMCZYK Martin BMW M8 GTE 26 Laps 168 Pro
37 #77 ANDLAUER Julien Porsche 911 RSR 27 Laps 167 Am
38 #85 BLEEKEMOLEN Jeroen Ferrari F488 GTE 1:33.465 167 Am
39 #71 BIRD Sam Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 1:45.990 167 Pro
40 #97 MARTIN Maxime Aston Martin VANTAGE AMR 1:50.778 167 Pro
41 #84 GRIFFIN Liam Ferrari F488 GTE 2:22.008 167 Am
42 #64 GAVIN Oliver Chevrolet Corvette C7.R 3:27.381 167 Pro
43 #54 CASTELLACCI Francesco Ferrari F488 GTE 3:37.970 167 Am
44 #56 LINDSEY Patrick Porsche 911 RSR 28 Laps 166 Am
45 #88 AL QUBAISI Khaled Porsche 911 RSR 59.513 166 Am
46 #99 LONG Patrick Porsche 911 RSR 2:05.872 166 Am
47 #80 NIELSEN Christina Porsche 911 RSR 3:34.504 166 Am
48 #61 SAWA Keita Ferrari F488 GTE 4:30.215 166 Am
49 #5 ROUSSEL Léo Ginetta G60-LT-P1 – MECACHROME 29 Laps 165 P1
50 #93 PILET Patrick Porsche 911 RSR 42.258 165 Pro
51 #90 HANKEY Euan Aston Martin VANTAGE 31 Laps 163 Am
52 #86 BARKER Benjamin Porsche 911 RSR 32 Laps 162 Am
53 #70 CHEEVER Edward Ferrari F488 GTE 35 Laps 159 Am
54 #11 PETROV Vitaly BR ENGINEERING BR1 – AER 51 Laps 143 P1
55 #6 ROWLAND Oliver Ginetta G60-LT-P1 – MECACHROME 57 Laps 137 P1
56 #17 ISAAKYAN Matevos BR ENGINEERING BR1 – AER 71 Laps 123 P1
57 #25 DE JONG Ate Dirk LIGIER JSP217 – Gibson 75 Laps 119 P2
58 #94 DUMAS Romain Porsche 911 RSR 102 Laps 92 Pro
59 #98 DALLA LANA Paul Aston Martin VANTAGE 6:08.912 92 Am
60 #4 KRAIHAMER Dominik ENSO CLM P1/01 – Nismo 129 Laps 65 P1

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