LM24 Hour 21: GTE Pro podium fight intensifies

Image by LePage/LAT

LM24 Hour 21: GTE Pro podium fight intensifies

Le Mans/WEC

LM24 Hour 21: GTE Pro podium fight intensifies


The GTE Pro contest continued to heat up in the 21st hour at Le Mans, with the No. 91 Porsche of Fred Makowiecki and the No. 68 Ford of Sebastien Bourdais [pictured] battling hard for second in the class after Andy Priaulx pitted the No. 67 UK Ford.

Both drivers were on the ragged edge, Makowiecki eventually being investigated for weaving in front of Bourdais down the Mulsanne Straight, but escaping a penalty. Both cars diced for multiple laps, swapping places and running door-to-door before pitting.

Once they rejoined the action, the No. 67 Ford now in sync with them, the No. 91 was back in second thanks to a quicker stop than Priaulx’s car, with the No. 68 (now driven by Joey Hand) third, and Priaulx in the No. 67 down to fourth and off the podium.

Hour 21 Standings

Meanwhile, in LMP2, there was more drama in the top three when the IDEC Sport ORECA fell to eighth in class after being pushed into the garage with mechanical issues shortly after being promoted into the top three.

That means that the SO24 Graff ORECA now occupies the final podium spot behind the G-Drive 07 Gibson and Signatech Alpine.

LMP1 wasn’t without drama, either. The gap between the two Toyotas is now a minute and 40 seconds after a spin at the Dunlop Bridge for Jose Maria Lopez in the No. 7; the No. 8 now looking certain for the win unless it encounters problems of its own.

The battle between the Rebellions for the final podium spot also got hairy, the No. 1 R-13 now back down to fourth behind the No. 3 after pitting and subsequently having an issue with the driver door, which Neel eventually had to pull shut while running out on track.

GTE Am is now spread out again, the No. 77 Dempsey Proton Porsche holding a lead of two minutes over the Keating Ferrari.