LM24 Hour 4: Ferraris to the fore in GTE Pro

JEP/Motorsport Images

LM24 Hour 4: Ferraris to the fore in GTE Pro

Le Mans/WEC

LM24 Hour 4: Ferraris to the fore in GTE Pro


Four hours down now in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Toyota still leads overall and very little has changed in LMP1 over the past 60 minutes. It is notable, however, that after four hours of racing that the lead Rebellion is still on the lead lap, although the No.1 continues to fade away slowly, almost three minutes back from the No. 7 TS050 HYBRID that leads.

In LMP2, the top contenders are beginning to emerge. The No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA was up front until pitting just before the end of the hour — as previously noted, the car is out of sync. The No. 32 United Autosports ORECA leads following that stop, Will Owen now behind the wheel after a rapid run from Job van Uitert.

The No. 38 JOTA ORECA is second, Roberto Gonzalez giving his all to keep pace with those around him and hand over the car in a top-three spot. Konstantin Tereschenko is third driving the Duqueine ORECA, pushing hard to keep Phil Hanson in the No. 22 United ORECA at bay.

One contender hit trouble during the hour, that being the GRAFF ORECA. Vincent Capillaire, who took over from the hard-charging James Allen who had the first stint, had an off at the Porsche Curves into the gravel while running fifth. Thankfully he was able to reverse out and back onto the track but he lost valuable time, the car now down to eighth.

In GTE Pro, the balance of power is shifting. The current conditions are favoring the AF Corse Ferraris. Sam Bird in the No. 71 (pictured, top) has taken charge now, while Harry Tincknell fights tooth and nail to hold off Daniel Serra in the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari who is looking to make it a 1-2 for the Italian marque.

Fourth is Richard Westbrook in the No. 95 Aston Martin. The former Ford factory man in his first race start aboard a Vantage AMR is now 30 seconds off.

The Porsches continue to struggle in fifth and sixth, although one does have to wonder whether their crews are sitting back and waiting for the predicted rain to arrive later in the race before mounting an attack?

With a cycle of many amateur drivers taking the wheel in the GTE Am cars now over, the border has changed once again. The No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari of Manu Collard now leads the No. 72 HubAuto Ferrari of Tom Blomqvist. The No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche has dropped to third since Egidio Perfetti has taken over from Larry Ten Voorde, who starred during his stint and took the lead.

The TF Sport Aston which once led is down to fourth, while the No. 98 Aston which led in Hour 1 is down to sixth. But it is so tight, with everyone still on the same lap and within a couple of minutes of each other.