The starting phase of the 90th edition

6:37 p.m

Rest at a loss

Rene Rast, who was penalized for the accident at the start, was absolutely uncomprehending on the ‘Nitro’ microphone. He would have done exactly what race director Eduardo Freitas said – accelerate at the green light. Nevertheless, there would have been cars to the right and left of him. He then had to dodge and then touched the cars to his left. WRT didn’t even have the opportunity to challenge the penalty – it is a decision of the sports commissioners.


6:28 p.m

News from the Corvette #64

The Corvette #64 (Milner/Tandy/Sims) has meanwhile fought its way back to second place in the GTE Pro. The lead had been lost as Nick Tandy had problems downshifting in Mulsanne and had to swerve into the roundabout. Meanwhile, Jean Glorieux has spun in the DKR-Oreca #3 (Hörr/Glorieux/Cougnaud).


6:21 p.m

Race ripples to himself

Right now there isn’t really any tension at the top in any of the classes. Toyota decides in the Hypercar class, Jota in the LMP2, Corvette in the GTE Pro and the WeatherTech Porsche in the GTE Am. There is one overtaking maneuver in the battle for fourth place in the GTE Pro: Michael Christensen in the #92 Porsche has left Antonio Fuoco in the #52 Ferrari behind.


6:02 p.m

Collision at the beginning of the Porsche curves

Pierre Ehrlich in the Iron Lynx Ferrari #75 (Ehret/Hook/Varrone) overlooks Francois Perrodo’s AF Corse Oreca #83 (Perrodo/Nielsen/Rovera).

Meanwhile there is an update from Glickenhaus: The pit stop of the #709 (Briscoe/Westbrook/Mailleux) was for a sensor on the engine.


5:59 p.m

Porsche blasts Corvette double lead

The second pit stop in the GTE Pro is over. It still leads the Corvette #63 (Garcia/J. Taylor/Catsburg). Second is now the #91 Porsche (Bruni/Lietz/Makowiecki), 24 seconds behind. There is a certain chance that both cars can catch different safety car trains in the SC case. That would be an instant preliminary decision. What happened to the #64 Corvette (Milner/Tandy/Sims) that led the race in the opening hour? You’re only in P3 and you’re already half a minute behind your sister car.


5:51 p.m

Problem at Glickenhaus!

The Glickenhaus #708 (Pla/Dumas/Derani) comes in for an unscheduled pit stop. Luckily for the team: there is a slow zone at the start/finish, which now takes less time. It took about one lap, now the car is driving again in P10.

By the way, Aberdein just lost P3 to Lorenzo Colombo in Prema-Oreca #9 (Kubica/Deletraz/Colombo) at the end of the Slow Zone.


5:48 p.m

Jota is aiming for a double lead & AF Corse penalty

Jonathan Aberdein drives an outstanding opening stint in the Jota-Oreca #28 (Rasmussen/Jones/Aberdein) who started from P13. He has already worked his way up to P3 and is only three seconds behind Mirko Bortolotti in the WRT-Oreca #32 (Ineichen/Bortolotti/Vanthoor). We wonder what Raffaele Marciello has to say about that, who wasn’t at all happy with Aberdein at the ADAC GT Masters at the Red Bull Ring.

Meanwhile, Jean-Baptiste Lahaye’s Ultimate Oreca #35 (J.-B.Lahaye/M. Lahaye/Heriau) is parked in the gravel at the Dunlop chicane.


5:44 p.m

Albuquerque vents its anger

Kind of understandable, right?


5:37 p.m

Again advantage Toyota

The gap will also be slightly larger at the pit stops. Toyota has that under control. Glickenhaus #708 (Pla/Dumas/Derani) is now 30 seconds behind on P3, Alpine #36 (Negrao/Lapierre/Vaxiviere) on P5 is already 48 seconds behind. Alpine will also lose to Glickenhaus in the long term if the stint disadvantage persists. Pecking order definitely set by pace.

In the GTE Pro we have to wait for the second pit stop, which is coming up soon, because different tire strategies are likely to come into play. The two Vettes are still in the lead, but Antonio Garcia in the #63 Corvette (Garcia/J. Taylor/Catsburg) took nine seconds off poleman Nick Tandy in the #64 (Milner/Tandy/Sims). But it may be that you drive different strategies. It is clear that Porsche and Ferrari have just changed tires. The #92 Porsche (Christensen/Estre/Vanthoor) is just five seconds behind the #64 Corvette. Ferrari is already 38 seconds behind the leaders.

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Meanwhile, there is a spin of the Iron Lynx Ferrari #60 (Schiavoni/Balzan/Giammaria) in Arnage.


5:24 p.m

Alpine in after eleven laps

Okay, that’s going to be difficult with a podium when the hypercars should go through without any problems. The #36 Alpine (Negrao/Lapierre/Vaxiviere) comes back in eleven laps after his first stop. Everyone else keeps going. That means Alpine has the expected stint disadvantage. Because all other hypercars drive twelve laps in this stint.


5:20 p.m

In the starting phase there was another victim

The United-WRT war has said for further problems at United Autosports: The team informed us that the United-Autosports-Oreca #23 (Lynn/Jarvis/Pierson) also clashed with Rene Rast. This caused delamination on the tire. For this reason, the car is “off sequence” in terms of strategy. Alex Lynn is currently in P15 with one stop more, just over 30 seconds ahead of WRT-Oreca #31 (Gelael/Frijns/Rast) after his penalty.


5:11 p.m

That’s only possible through Toyota

Toyota may have given the competition false hopes before stopping. The two GR010 Hybrids are now really taking Glickenhaus and Alpine down again. Status after a little over an hour:

1. Toyota #7 (Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez)
2. Toyota # 8 (Buemi / Hartley / Hirakawa) +5,239
3. Glickenhaus #708 (Pla/Dumas/Derani) +29,454
4. Glickenhaus #709 (Briscoe/Westbrook/Mailleux) +33,844
5. Alpine #36 (Negrao/Lapierre/Vaxiviere) +35,883

Meanwhile, the Idec-Oreca #48 (Lafargue/Chatin/Pilet) comes into the pits with punctures.


4:57 p.m

WRT lost 90 seconds

The WRT-Oreca #31 (Gelael/Frijns/Rast) will have to catch up 1:30 minutes in the rest of the race. This also means there is no hope of making up time with a safety car, but you have to get in a window of 1:15 minutes for that. But that is still possible. Antonio Felix da Costa in the Jota-Oreca #38 (Gonzalez/Felix Da Costa/Stevens) is currently 5.1 seconds ahead of the Prema-Oreca #9 (Kubica/Deletraz/Colombo), third is the Penske-Oreca #5 ( Cameron/Collard/Nasr). Jota’s early stop paid off, because Felix da Costa really lets fly here.


4:53 p.m

The first GT cars come in

Corvette comes in relatively early. The yellow cars held a double lead in front of the two Porsches and the two Ferraris. Nevertheless, Corvette was a lap earlier than Porsche and Ferrari. The RSR get a full service at the first stop.


4:44 p.m

1. Stop Hypercars

A Toyota (#7), a Glickenhaus (#709) and the Alpine come after ten laps, the Toyota #8 and the Glickenhaus #709 after eleven. Alpine still expects a stint disadvantage. Let’s keep that in mind, now comes the first stint without a formation lap.

One lap was enough for the #7 to take the lead. All in all, Toyota made some gains on the opponents at the stop: the first Glickenhaus is now 16 seconds behind, the Alpine 26.


4:40 p.m

LMP2 lead change and balance issues at Buemi

Sebastien Buemi confirms what we observed: There are balance issues on the #8 Toyota (Buemi/Hartley/Hirakawa). Buemi complains about “snap oversteer”, i.e. a rear that suddenly breaks out. Toyota tells him to correct that with the brake balance. But since it happens in fast corners, it may be that something in the aero needs to be changed. This can usually be solved by changing the front end.

In the LMP2 the first stop is over. There has been a change in leadership: Jota may have been short fueling. Antonio Felix da Costa is now leading in Jota-Oreca #38 (Gonzalez/Felix Da Costa/Stevens) ahead of Robert Kubica in Prema-Oreca #9 (Kubica/Deletraz/Colombo). Distance: 2.3 seconds.

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