LM24 Hour 7: Into darkness

Sam Bloxham/Motorsport Images

LM24 Hour 7: Into darkness

Le Mans/WEC

LM24 Hour 7: Into darkness


We are into full darkness at the Le Mans 24 Hours and are once again under safety car conditions following two separate incidents that occurred within seconds from one another, including one that involved a pair of top LMP2 contenders.

In addition to those caught up in incidents, the No. 8 Toyota TS050 is in the garage to further investigate a rubber buildup which is causing a brake cooling issue. The No. 8 Toyota was in the pits for just over 10 minutes, leaving the No. 7 Toyota TS050 in control of the lead of the race. The team believes they have solved the issue.

The incident that caused the safety car involved Tristan Gommendy, who spun the No. 30 Duqueine ORECA in the braking zone of the first chicane. The car slid into the barrier rear-first. Gommendy was able to walk away from the car without assistance but the contact damaged the barrier, which is being repaired.

The No. 22 United Autosports was also collected in the incident. Filipe Albuquerque was on the radio to the team to explain that Gommendy and himself were three-wide with another car in the braking zone. When Gommendy spun, he hit the No. 22 ORECA, but Albuquerque was able to continue.

Moments before that incident, Bruno Spengler in the No. 4 ByKolles CLM spun into the gravel trap at the Forrest Esses after the rear wing of the car fell off. Spengler made contact with the tire barrier but was able to continue after being hoisted from the gravel.

There were further dramas for LMP2 front-runners while behind the safety car. The No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA, which was leading the class, stopped on track after losing power. The No. 16 G-Drive Racing by Algarve ORECA also stopped on track with what appeared to be the same issue but was able to resume.

The No. 26 G-Drive ORECA with Jean Eric-Vergne currently leads the class over the No. 32 United Autosports ORECA which has Alex Brundle on board after he replaced Will Owen at the most recent stop.

The No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari still leads in GTE Pro over the No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage, which has Alex Lynn on board.

The No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage in fourth is four minutes behind the leader in class after it got the worse end of the safety car. The No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR 19, which had a power steering issue is back on track but is 12 laps behind the No. 51 Ferrari.

In GTE Am, the No. 98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage (pictured, top) has control of the lead with Paul Dalla Lana. The No. 90 TF Sport Vantage made it an Aston Martin 1-2 at the conclusion of the hour.

The No. 55 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 officially retired from the race following a spin and potential contact with the No. 22 ORECA. There have been no further developments for the No. 52 Ferrari 488 which caused the race’s first safety car in the previous hour.


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