The 20th hour of the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours was mostly incident-free, the only major trouble once again involving the No. 3 Rebellion R-13. Further time lost in the garage for repairs means that the car has now fallen outside of the top five.
This means that the LMP2-leading Signatech Alpine, which is 14 laps off the leading Toyotas, is now in the top five overall for the first time.
GTE Am’s only notable occurrence was the No. 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari – Team Project 1’s closest rival in the GTE Am WEC title battle – receiving a huge penalty.
It’s been an awful race for the Swiss-flagged team, which hasn’t had the pace and has had multiple offs. Now, with an additional three minutes to be added to its race time for a driver exceeding their driving time, and its Am Thomas Flohr not driving enough, it will finish way down the order. The car currently sits ninth in Am, and will likely plummet out of the top 10 after the flag falls at 3pm.
With little else going on, it’s a good time to take a look at the retirements list after 20 hours of racing.
There have been three casualties in LMP1. The No. 10 DragonSpeed BR1 had a laundry list of mechanical woes and retired after 76 laps, the ByKolles CLM suffered an engine issue and the No. 17 SMP Racing BR1 had a huge off at the Porsche Curves during the night.
LMP2 is now 17 cars strong after the ARC Bratislava Ligier retired with accident damage, the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA suffered a terminal gearbox issue and the No. 31 DragonSpeed ORECA was pulled from the race after going head-first into the barriers at Tertre Rouge.
GTE Pro is now a 15-car race after three retirements. The No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari’s day ended with an engine failure, the No. 95 Aston was irreparable after Marco Sorensen’s off at the Porsche Curves and the No. 64 Corvette was the first retirement of the race when Marcel Fassler tagged the No. 88 Proton Porsche, causing a big off at Karting.
Just two runners have retired from Am. The aforementioned No. 88 Porsche’s race ended after Satoshi Hoshino opted to stop racing following a troubled run early on, and the No. 98 Aston Martin pulled off to the side of the road in the first half.
The official reason for the AMR Vantage’s retirement was accident damage, but that followed a power steering issue during the opening hours.