LM24 Hour 22: Toyota maintains stranglehold with two hours remaining

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LM24 Hour 22: Toyota maintains stranglehold with two hours remaining

Le Mans/WEC

LM24 Hour 22: Toyota maintains stranglehold with two hours remaining

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The LMP1 category continues to provide the most intrigue as the Le Mans 24 Hours enters the penultimate hour, the two Rebellions the center of attention.

With the No. 8 Toyota running steady, solidifying its five lap lead, the two Rebellions behind still swapping places.

The No. 1 R-13 is now back ahead of the No. 3 by a clear margin. The No. 3 wouldn’t fire after its 33rd stop, Romain Dumas looking on in despair after he put so much effort into securing second for the No. 3 crew, only to see his car immediately drop back down to third.

The gap is still small though, with just 17 seconds between the two Swiss-flagged LMP1s, Norman Nato leading Louis Deletraz.

Will Rebellion’s crew on the pit wall let the pair race, or will they manage the finish? Recent hours would lead us to believe it is the latter, as Gustavo Menezes explained after his final stint of the race that the team has spent the entire race trying to manage the condition of its cars.

“We knew our only chance to win this was to stay reliable and hope the Toyotas hit trouble,” he said.

Thus far the Rebellions have run extremely well, and managed to stay mostly fault-free. Whether the team wins this race or not, its efforts must be applauded. The R-13 has been rapid, and reliable. Keeping any sort of sustained pressure on Toyota is a real achievement when the disparity in resources and car performance is taken into consideration.

Beyond that it’s time to start thinking about WEC points scenarios. If the race finishes in its current order, then the big news would be Aston Martin Racing securing the FIA WEC GTE Manufacturers’ World Championship with a 1-3 finish in GTE Pro. Le Mans, lest we forget, isn’t the season finale this year. The final race is still to come at Bahrain in November.

As it stands, the No. 22 United Aurtosports ORECA is on course to win LMP2, the No. 97 Aston Martin continues to pace the field in GTE Pro and TF Sport is on course to win GTE Am.

HOUR 22 STANDINGS

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