Heartbreak for Hartley and Bamber with axle failure early in Le Mans 24 Hour

Autosport

Toyota continues to lead the Le Mans 24 Hours comfortably, while Porsche got one car up to second place while the other hit serious trouble.

Kamui Kobayashi has maintained a 38-second lead in the #7 Toyota while Anthony Davidson lost second in the #8 sister car during the fourth round of pitstops to the #1 Porsche of Nick Tandy.

Tandy had been closing in on Davidson beforehand and emerged ahead.

To compound the Toyota driver’s misery he was then caught out by a slow zone shortly afterwards and lost a further 20s.

But there was also woe for Porsche as the #2 car headed into the garage when it lost front-axle drive.

It has now lost fourth place to the third Toyota of Jose Maria Lopez and the Porsche remains in the garage, having dropped eight laps to the leaders at the top of the hour.

REBELLION ONE-TWO IN LMP2

The #13 Rebellion ORECA lost and regained the lead during the fourth hour, with David Heinemeier Hansson ending it with a lead of around 10 seconds over the sister #31 car driven by Julien Canal.

Having been passed on track in the third hour, Nicolas Prost in the #31 car moved back ahead during a round of pitstops, but the slow zone the was in force when the two Rebellions pitted one lap apart meant that it dropped to second place.

Jonathan Hirschi runs third in the #24 Manor ORECA ahead of Pierre Ragues in the #35 Sigantech Alpine but the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA, recently taken over by Ho-Pin Tung, did spend some time running behind the Rebellion cars and gaining on them as it is out-of-sequence on pitstops.

GTE: PUNCTURE HALTS LEADING ASTON

A puncture cost Marco Sorensen’s leading #95 Aston Martin dearly during the fourth hour, putting it to the rear of the class.

The #97 car driven by Daniel Serra inherited the lead but quickly came under pressure, and at the end of the hour the pitstops had shaken out with the #66 Ford of Billy Johnson, which is running out of sequence after puncture in the second hour, in the lead.

Harry Tincknell was Ford’s biggest thorn in the Astons’ side, putting clear air between himself and the #92 Porsche of Michael Christensen and then closing in on Serra.

This became a battle for the lead when Sorensen slowed with a deflating rear-left 20 minutes into the hour, right at the start of a lap.

Sorensen was able to make it round to the pits with minimal damage to the rear of the car, and Richie Stanaway took over, leaving it at the tail of the GTE Pro field but without losing a lap.

Tincknell pitting to hand over to Luis Derani relieved some of the immediate pressure on Serra shortly before the turn of the hour, but after Serra came in to swap seats with Jonny Adam, the #97 Aston emerged with only fractions of a second in hand, and with the added disadvantage of being boxed in behind the new race leader, the out-of-sequence #66 Ford driven by Johnson.

The #98 Aston Martin retains the GTE Am class lead after briefly losing out during the pitstops when Mathias Lauda took over from Paul Dalla Lana.

Lauda caught and passed the #84 Ferrari of Dries Vanthoor to reclaim the lead, and the two cars have over a minute in hand over the third-placed #62 Ferrari.

POSITIONS AFTER FOUR HOURS

POSCLASSCARDRIVERSLAPSGAP
1LMP1#7 ToyotaConway, Kobayashi, Sarrazin65
2LMP1#1 PorscheJani, Lotterer, Tandy65+ 37.300s
3LMP1#8 ToyotaBuemi, Davidson, Nakajima65+ 1m56.989s
4LMP1#9 ToyotaLapierre, Kunimoto, Lopez64+ 1 Lap
5LMP2#13 OrecaPiquet Jr, H. Hansson, Beche61+ 4 Laps
6LMP2#31 OrecaProst, Canal, Senna61+ 11.128s
7LMP2#38 OrecaTung, Laurent, Jarvis61+ 42.243s
8LMP2#24 OrecaGraves, Hirschi, Vergne61+ 58.353s
9LMP2#37 OrecaCheng, Gommendy, Brundle61+ 1m02.502s
10LMP2#35 AlpinePanciatici, Ragues, Negrao60+ 5 Laps
11LMP2#25 OrecaGonzalez, Trummer, Petrov60+ 6.964s
12LMP2#27 DallaraAleshin, Sirotkin, Shaitar60+ 17.850s
13LMP2#40 OrecaAllen, Matelli, Bradley60+ 48.414s
14LMP2#32 LigierOwen, De Sadeleer, Albuquerque60+ 1m06.217s
15LMP2#47 DallaraLacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi60+ 1m10.035s
16LMP2#23 LigierBarthez, Buret, Berthon59+ 6 Laps
17LMP2#21 OrecaHedman, Hanley, Rosenqvist59+ 35.256s
18LMP2#34 LigierMoore, Hanson, Chandhok59+ 49.099s
19LMP2#36 AlpineDumas, Menezes, Rao59+ 1m33.381s
20LMP2#28 OrecaPerrodo, Vaxiviere, Collard59+ 2m09.595s
21LMP1#2 PorscheBernhard, Bamber, Hartley58+ 7 Laps
22LMP2#29 DallaraLammers, Van Eerd, Barrichello58+ 21m26.360s
23LMP2#17 LigierLafargue, Lafargue, Zollinger58+ 21m55.056s
24LMP2#33 LigierNicolet, Nicolet, Maris58+ 24m07.301s
25LMP2#39 OrecaGuibbert, Trouillet, Winslow57+ 8 Laps
26LMP2#43 RileyKeating, Bleekemolen, Taylor56+ 9 Laps
27GTE Pro#71 FerrariRigon, Bird, Molina56+ 43.104s
28GTE Pro#66 FordMucke, Pla, Johnson56+ 1m25.915s
29GTE Pro#97 AstonTurner, Adam, Serra56+ 1m27.647s
30GTE Pro#67 FordPriaulx, Tincknell, Derani56+ 1m28.209s
31GTE Pro#69 FordBriscoe, Westbrook, Dixon56+ 1m29.994s
32GTE Pro#91 PorscheLietz, Makowiecki, Pilet56+ 1m36.408s
33GTE Pro#51 FerrariCalado, Pier Guidi, Rugolo56+ 1m49.019s
34GTE Pro#92 PorscheChristensen, Estre, Werner56+ 1m53.962s
35GTE Pro#64 ChevroletGavin, Milner, Fassler56+ 1m55.050s
36GTE Pro#82 FerrariVilander, Fisichella, Kaffer56+ 2m07.238s
37GTE Pro#63 ChevroletMagnussen, Garcia, Taylor56+ 2m07.953s
38GTE Pro#68 FordHand, Muller, Kanaan56+ 2m18.933s
39GTE Pro#95 AstonThiim, Sorensen, Stanaway55+ 10 Laps
40GTE Am#84 FerrariSmith, Stevens, Vanthoor55+ 29.826s
41GTE Am#98 AstonDalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda55+ 1m48.374s
42GTE Am#62 FerrariMacneil, Sweedler, Bell55+ 1m48.841s
43GTE Am#90 AstonYoluc, Hankey, Bell55+ 2m24.479s
44GTE Am#55 FerrariCameron, Scott, Cioci55+ 3m03.436s
45GTE Am#77 PorscheRied, Cairoli, Dienst55+ 3m12.958s
46GTE Am#65 FerrariNielsen, Balzan, Curtis55+ 3m47.892s
47GTE Am#61 FerrariMok, Sawa, Griffin55+ 4m12.084s
48GTE Am#99 AstonHoward, Gunn, Bryant54+ 11 Laps
49GTE Am#93 PorscheLong, Al Faisal, Hedlund54+ 32.252s
50GTE Am#86 PorscheWainwright, Barker, Foster54+ 2m30.311s
51GTE Am#83 FerrariKrohn, Jonsson, Bertolini54+ 3m15.858s
52GTE Am#54 FerrariFlohr, Castellacci, Beretta54+ 3m42.247s
53GTE Am#50 ChevroletRees, Brandela, Philippon53+ 12 Laps
54GTE Am#60 FerrariWee, Katoh, Parente53+ 2m15.457s
55LMP2#45 LigierPatterson, Mcmurry, Capillaire48+ 17 Laps
56LMP2#22 OrecaRojas, Hirakawa, Gutierrez47+ 18 Laps
57LMP2#49 LigierKonopka, Calko, Breukers42+ 23 Laps
58LMP2#26 OrecaRusinov, Thiriet, Lynn20Retired
59GTE Am#88 PorscheBachler, Lemeret, Al Qubaisi18Retired
60LMP1#4 EnsoWebb, Kraihamer, Bonanomi7Retired

Heartbreak for Hartley and Bamber with axle failure early in Le Mans 24 Hour

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