LM24 Hour 17: Dawn breaks on a Toyota fightback

Bloxham/Motorsport Images

LM24 Hour 17: Dawn breaks on a Toyota fightback

Le Mans/WEC

LM24 Hour 17: Dawn breaks on a Toyota fightback


Sunlight is finally here after a long night, and the No. 8 Toyota TS050 still holds onto the lead of the race with a two-lap advantage over the No. 1 Rebellion R13. Meanwhile, the recovery drive from the No. 7 Toyota TS050 continues as Mike Conway tries to reel in the third-placed No. 3 Rebellion, the gap between the two is now just one lap.

Phil Hanson in the No. 22 United Autosports ORECA leads in LMP2 with little fanfare after the No. 32 sister car ran into trouble. Hanson showed impressive pace in the hour to keep veteran driver Anthony Davidson in the No.38 JOTA Sport ORECA over one minute behind him.

The No. 31 Panis Racing ORECA is in third, but amazingly, the No. 26 G-Drive Aurus, which suffered electrical issues that caused it stop and start on track multiple times earlier in the race, is knocking on the door of the podium. Mikkel Jensen is in the No. 26 ORECA and is right on the rear of the No. 31 ORECA for third.

The No. 32 ORECA, meanwhile, rejoined the race after 45 minutes in the garage to address the oil leak. Job Van Uitert is 15th in class.

In GTE Pro, it’s the same story that’s been all race. The No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage and the No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE have nothing between them as they leave the rest of the field, and making a two-car battle for the class win feel more and more like a formality. For now, the No. 97 Aston Martin has the lead, but as we have seen, that lead is fickle as the No. 51 Ferrari looms near.

The No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage is in third, but still a lap down on the leaders.

Salih Yoluc controls the lead in GTE Am in the No. 90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage, but that lead may be at risk. TF Sport did not run Yoluc, the Bronze-rated driver, at all during the night. That opens the window for other teams to put their Pro-rated drivers in while Yoluc does his drive time.

For now, Yoluc is being pursued by the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche 911 RSR, which has Porsche young driver Matt Campbell behind the wheel. The No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR is in third.

With daylight here and a cool track, quick lap times seem imminent.