24h Le Mans: Porsche consolidate race lead

posted in: Homepage, Le Mans, LMGTE-Am, LMGTE-Pro, LMP1, LMP2 | 0

The #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of André Lot­ter­er, Neel Jani and Nick Tandy leads the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans by a com­fort­able 12 laps after eigh­teen hours of the endurance clas­sic. The real sto­ry, how­ev­er, is that a flock of LMP2 cars are in with a gen­uine shout of scor­ing an over­all podi­um and, if trou­ble were to beset the lead Porsche, even vic­to­ry.

Overnight the pair of Vail­lante Rebel­lions put them­selves in prime posi­tion to cap­i­talise on the fail­ures of LMP1 fac­to­ry teams, but a num­ber of nig­gly issues saw the #38 Jack­ie Chan DC Rac­ing car dri­ven by Thomas Lau­rent, Oliv­er Jarvis and Ho-Ping Tung leads the #13 Vail­lante Rebel­lion of David Heine­meier-Hans­son, Nel­son Piquet Jr. and Math­ias Beche by two-and-a-half min­utes.

The GTE Pro class has more than made up for the lack of head-to-head bat­tles in LMP1, with the #91 Porsche 911 RSR, the #67 Ford GT, the #63 Corvette C7.R and the #97 and #95 Aston Mar­tin Van­tages seem­ing­ly swap­ping places at will both on the track and through the pit stop cycles. John­ny Adam in the #97 Aston Mar­tin Van­tage cur­rent­ly leads the class by a mar­gin of just half a sec­ond ahead of Jor­dan Tay­lor in the #63 Corvette.

Else­where, the #66 Ford GT, the #51 AF Corse Fer­rari and the #92 Porsche 911 RSR all ran into trou­ble dur­ing the ear­ly hours, either through con­tact with oth­er cars or col­li­sions with the guard rails. The #92 Porsche 911 RSR suc­cumbed to crash dam­age after an inci­dent at the Ford Chi­cane, while the oth­er two cars are still run­ning but have been sig­nif­i­cant­ly delayed.

GTE Am remains firm­ly in the clutch­es of the #84 JMW Fer­rari 488, as it has been for most of the night, with dri­ver Dries Vanthoor, Will Stevens and Robert Smith not putting a foot wrong yet. Their lead over the sec­ond-placed #55 Spir­it of Race Fer­rari 488 of Dun­can Cameron, Aaron Scott and Mar­co Cio­ci is around one lap, with the #62 Scud­e­ria Cor­sa Fer­rari 488 of Christi­na Nielsen, Alessan­dro Balzan and Bret Cur­tis back in third.

Images © WEC-Mag­a­zin / Wal­ter Schruff