LM 24, Hour 10: Holding patterns

Nick Dungan/Motorsport Images

LM 24, Hour 10: Holding patterns

Le Mans/WEC

LM 24, Hour 10: Holding patterns


After a flurry of incidents in the ninth hour of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 10th hour was a quiet one. The leaders in each class are pushing hard to build up a comfortable advantage as we approach the halfway mark.

Up front Brendon Hartley in the No. 8 has been tasked with holding back the sister No. 7 Toyota, which dropped 30s back in Hour 9 due to an ill-timed slow zone. During this stint Jose Maria Lopez has managed to claw back a handful of seconds but the interval is 24s. However, with no threat from Glickenhaus behind — the No. 709 is a lap off the lead — there’s no immediate rush to take up the chase.

In LMP2, JOTA’s dominance continues with the No. 38 still out front with a lead of over two minutes. The No. 31 WRT ORECA, however, is up to second as it stands in the current pit cycle, and has managed to fight its way back into contention following its penalty early in the race. The PREMA ORECA remains third. Completing the top five are the No. 37 Cool Racing and No. 65 Panis Racing examples.

GTE Pro’s top three remains the same as the previous hour, with the No. 92 Porsche leading the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari and No. 64 Corvette.

There has been a shift in GTE Am, however, with TF Sport’s No. 33 Aston Martin now past the No. 98 Northwest AMR Aston. Factory driver Marco Sorensen, unsurprisingly, is running much faster than Bronze-rated Paul Dalla Lana at present. Sorensen’s next target is another Bronze driver, Thomas Merrill, who has been a star of the first half of this race. The trouble for the Dane, though, is that the WeatherTech Porsche is over a minute ahead.

Elsewhere in the class, we appear to have another retirement. The No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari, which was having major mechanical issues during Hour 9, rejoined the race with Gabriel Aubry aboard, but returned to the garage shortly after for another trip to the pit box just before the turn of the hour with looks to be an engine failure. Aubry looked rather distressed when he climbed out.