LM 24, Hour 2: Leaders settling in

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LM 24, Hour 2: Leaders settling in

Le Mans/WEC

LM 24, Hour 2: Leaders settling in


Hour 2 of the Le Mans 24 Hours wasn’t as frantic as the opening hour, but as the race begins to settle down it’s becoming slightly clearer who the early contenders in each class are.

Up front, Toyota’s 1-2 at the front in Le Mans Hypercar continues, with the No. 7 ahead of the No. 8. Mike Conway has established a comfortable lead of 13 seconds. Sebastien Buemi, at this stage of the race, is unable to keep pace with the No. 7, continuing to complain of oversteer.

Behind, the No. 708 Glickenhaus remains third, Olivier Pla 46 seconds back. It wasn’t a totally trouble-free hour for the U.S.-flagged team, though, as the No. 709 sister car had to make an unscheduled trip to the garage from fourth place, dropping down to 10th after spending just under three minutes in pit lane. Richard Westbrook is now aboard and working on climbing back up the order, though the car is now off the lead lap. Alpine has therefore risen to fourth overall.

“We detected a bad sensor. To be on the safe side we brought the car in and changed the sensor. We are in good shape and wanted to be safe.” Glickenhaus team owner Jim Glickenhaus said of the No. 709’s delay.

In LMP2, there were plenty of changes in the running order. The No. 38 JOTA ORECA of Antonio Felix da Costa still leads, by 22 seconds over Mirko Bortolotti. The Lamborghini ace went on a charge in the hour in the No. 32 WRT example, climbing to second from fifth.

The PREMA ORECA that led early in the race is third, Lorenzo Colombo spending much of the final laps of the hour piling the pressure on Jonathan Aberdein in the No. 28 JOTA car, which pitted just before the turn of the hour.

The No. 5 Penske ORECA is fourth with the No. 65 Panis Racing entry up into fifth — a quiet but strong run up the order thus far for that one.

GTE Pro, after the second round of stops, has seen some changes to the running order. The No. 63 Corvette now leads with Jordan Taylor now aboard; the No. 64 which led the opening hour is down to third with Tommy Milner now installed. Gianmaria Bruni is up to second as a result in the No. 91 Porsche, the team opting to keep the Italian in the car for a third stint. Michael Christensen in the sister No. 92, meanwhile, is in for Kevin Estre and down to fifth, behind the No. 52 AF Corse Ferrari which has had Antonio Fuoco aboard since the start.

GTE Am was the most entertaining class of the hour, with a thrilling battle for the lead being the highlight. Julien Andlauer charged from third to the lead in the No. 79 WeatherTech Ferrari, sneaking past Matteo Cairoli to take the top spot into Indianapolis to cap off his storming run.

The running order then changed again after the second stops, with Sebastien Priaulx climbing in after Harry Tincknell’s opening run and finding himself up to second in the No. 77 Dempsey Proton Porsche. The No. 46 team Project 1 Porsche, which led with Cairoli driving, fell to second behind Andlauer, and is now third with Nicolas Leutwiler driving.

The No. 99 Hardpoint Porsche is fourth, Andrew Haryanto in for Alessio Picariello. The best of the other marques is Aston Martin still, with the Northwest AMR Vantage fifth. The first of the Ferraris, the No. 54 AF Corse 488, is sixth.