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Hour 2:19 – JOTA car No. 38 was recovered, but Anthony Davidson lost a lap on the LMP2 field. The fastest car in this class has to make up about five minutes on the track if it wants to compete for victory.
Hour 2:41 – The JOTA LMP2 entry number 38, the only car that led the LMP2 and by far the fastest rookie in this class all weekend long, lies deep in the gravel in the Dunlop corners. The car is undamaged, but it will take devastating minutes to be freed. A disaster for the LMP2 favorites.
Hour 2:28 – The rain has already returned, at least in some parts of the track.
This will be a problem in the hypercar class. Toyota # 8 and the Alpine are both ahead of # 7 in fuel, but a rain tire stop will fill that void carefully built in the first two hours of the race.
Hour 2:09 – Toyota No. 8, currently leading the overall standings before its next stop because it is a third of a stint ahead of No. 7 in terms of fuel consumption, has its second incident of the day at the Dunlop Chicane. This time it was contact with car no. 39 LMP2. The Toyota continues without any significant damage, but it’s always a problem to hit cars so early in the race.
Hour 2:05 – Another change in leadership in GTE-Pro, this time between the two AF Corse Ferraris. Just for one more lead switch between the two to make it irrelevant.
Ferrari # 51 is still leading Ferrari # 52, about ten seconds ahead of WeatherTech Porsche # 79 and Corvette No. 63
Hour 1:55 – It is remarkable that the overall lead has dropped to just 41 seconds. At the pace that has closed this gap, the leading Toyota GR010s should be back on the track together in about an hour and a half.
Hour 1:34 – LMP2 car No. 38 is just before the second stop of the day back in fifth place overall. The LMP2 field will require significantly more problems for the hypercar contenders if one of these entries hopes to win overall.
Hour 1:23 – Ferrari No. 52 is back in after entering the first Mulsanne chicane the GTE-Pro leadership. The # 79 Porsche lurks in third place, which means every manufacturer in GTE-Pro has a car in this battle.
The gap between the two is now less than 1 minute, which means they are likely in the same safety car. An exceptional recovery for the # 8 and a dominant performance for Toyota after such a disastrous start. Since both the Alpine and Glickenhaus races suffer early on the track, the GR010s are as much faster than the field as they need to be.
Hour 1:07 – Corvette No. 64 is back in the GTE -Pro-guided tour, a place that should change hands fairly regularly throughout the day. The balance of the performance changes made in this class before the race came way too late at the weekend, but they seem to have kept the three-car group pretty even.
Hour 1:00 – Number 709 Glickenhaus has turned in the Ford chicanes, the second start for this car. This car has dropped to 14th overall, fifth in class.
Hour 0:58 – Car No. 25 G-Drive LMP2 is buried in the sand outside of the Dunlop corners and brings the second slow zone of the race emerged.
Toyota # 8 is in third place after its disastrous open lap, second in LMH. The LMP2 leader is still in second place overall, remains in the overall lead and would still be overtaken by the same safety car if a full course yellow were thrown.
Hour 0:55 – Everyone who stopped is now on dry or intermediate mix for the upcoming smelt. The drying track is still quite sketchy in some places, a bigger issue here, as multi-class racing drivers regularly take the drivers off the ideal ideal line.
Hour 0:42 – The JOTA LMP2 car No. 38, which is the leader in this class, is in second place overall as the pit stops begin and the teams switch to dry tires.
Hour 0:36 – The closest battle on the track is for the lead of GTE-Pro, which will not come as a surprise to longtime Le Mans spectators. AF Corses # 52 Ferrari leads their # 51 after an unexpected early lead for Corvette.
In LMH, the distance from Toyota No. 7 to the two Glickenhaus cars is now up to 40 seconds. Of these two, leading number 708 received a ten-second penalty for the collision at the start of the race. This car also needs a front clip change to fix the defective headlight.
The Alpine is one minute behind the overall leader. The second Toyota is a minute and a half behind the team car.
Hour 0:27 – Toyota No. 8, for those who score at home, did not go behind the wall or lost a lap. However, it is nailed down by traffic in the middle of the GTE-Am field and will lose a considerable amount of time in this opening stint. This race uses its now signed three-step safety car rule, so the gap won’t go if another full yellow is thrown.
Hour 0:20 – The No. 36 Alpine, by far the greatest threat to Toyota’s GR010, went into a skid on lap 3 in Indianapolis. A really catastrophic start for Hypercar will only get worse, but no visible damage for the single car Alpine Entry.
The No. 708 SCG 007 circles the route with only one headlight. The No. 709 had already gone off the track, as was the Toyota No. 8. This means that our overall leader, the Toyota No. 7, is the only hypercar car that stays on track for three laps in a row.
Hour 0:17 – The Toyota No. 8 is in the Arnage run-off zone with a GTE car. The undamaged Glickenhaus car No. 709 has already got off the rails. A catastrophic opening lap for the LMH class.
Hour 0:16 – IDEC Sport LMP2 car no. 48 is lying in the sand outside the second Mulsanne chicane.
Hour 0:15 – Toyota No. 8 is pulled to the side of the road for a full reset and can already drive to the garage. An absolute disaster for one of the two works cars in this race.
Hour 0:14 – The race is green. The number 7 Toyota GR010, leading from pole position, is in the lead after the rolling start, while the number 8 Toyota turns after contact with the number 708 Glickenhaus. The SCG has more damage than the Toyota.
The number 72, the pole sitter in GTE-Pro, also spun in the rain. Another LMP2 car also has.
Another introductory round has been added. The race starts on lap 3, approx. 15 minutes later. When you’re better, the honorary starters watch it all awkwardly with us and seem to enjoy it as much as we do.
Hour 0:01 – Well, the Le Mans 24 Hours has started. At the end of the first introductory lap, the starter flag was waved and the most famous watch in racing started early. The actual racing part of the race begins when the pace car reaches the start / finish line again.
This will especially affect the number of tanks of the vehicles that complete their first stint. We won’t get a real sense of fuel economy by the end of the second stint, which is expected to be a great strength for Toyota’s GR010s over the non-hybrid hypercars.
Hour 0:00 – The No. 20 High Class Racing LMP2 starts slowly after someone has left the movable jacks on the back during the starting grid. An unfortunate start to the most important race of an LMP2 team’s season. According to EuroSport, after the car had come to a standstill on the grid, it was placed on a jack for a restart.
The ACO has added another introductory lap to the race, which should bring us to the start around eight minutes later than planned.
Hour 0:00 – Two months after its planned debut, the hypercar era begins in Le Mans.
Not least thanks to Aston Martin, which is giving up its Valkyrie racing program long before its planned debut in 2021, the LMH class doesn’t look nearly as interesting as it does in 2022 or 2023. Toyota’s two GR010s are the ones only real factory entries in the class. a pedigree that they underpinned with the first and second qualifying times in individual car qualifying more than a second ahead of the other three starters in the class. These cars, an LMP1 car built for Rebellion but now homologated as the Alpine A480 Hypercar, and two brand new SCG 007s produced by Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, were as close to the Toyotas as they could possibly want, and will hope to keep the pressure on these cars during the 24-hour race, as this new set of cars will test reliability for the first time.
In the LMP2, Formula E champion Antonio Felix da Costa 2020 the JOTA start No. 38 to pole position for the class with the most starters. This whole class has an ace up its sleeve: LMH cars are much slower than LMP1 cars, but LMP2 cars are about as fast as last year. In the Hyperpol qualifying, this gap was around four seconds. Add in the expected reliability issues for first year cars and suddenly the extremely competitive second class has a small window in which the winner of that class, if enough mechanical problems can hit the top contenders, could battle for something much more serious than a win in an effective Oreca series.
GTE-Pro is at a weaker point in its history. With Aston Martin out of the category, the starting field in what was once the most competitive class in the starting field consists of only three manufacturers. Two performance adjustments over the weekend resulted in the Ferraris getting slower and the Corvettes lighter, but it was Hub Auto Racing’s private No. 72 Porsche, Dries Vanthoor, who took pole for Porsche in the individual car qualifying. The Porsches and Ferrari are in their 100th 24-hour race, but after COVID travel restrictions kept them from racing last year, this is the first Le Mans for Corvette’s C8.R to be so dominant in IMSA competition.
Porsche has similar success in GTE-Am, where Dempsey-Proton Racing number 88 leads a 1-2-3 for the company’s fire-breathing 911 GT3 RSR-19.
Heavy rain covers the Circuit de la Sarthe. It may not be the most competitive 24-hour race of recent times, but the race is not going to be easy for anyone.
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