Disaster for Toyota gives Porsche the lead at Le Mans in hour 10

Porsche claimed the lead of the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours during the 10th hour of the race after the leading Toyota ground to a halt with a suspected clutch problem

Disaster for Toyota gives Porsche the lead at Le Mans in hour 10

A safety car caused by Olivier Pla spinning and spraying gravel all over the track out of Arnage had increased the #7 Toyota's advantage to over two minutes.

But just as the safety car period ended, Kamui Kobayashi slowed going across the startline.

With the whole lap to complete, he was unable to get the TS050 back to the pits by the top of the hour.

This has given Nick Tandy in the #1 Porsche an advantage of over a lap over the #9 Toyota of Nicolas Lapierre.

Kobayashi is still classified third and after a long delay was able to get the car back moving, before stopping again and climbing out at the side of the track.

There was some better news for Toyota as its #8 machine finally returned to the track after lengthy repairs following a front motor problem.

It is 30 laps down, and 11 laps behind the recovering #2 Porsche of Earl Bamber that will take over third in class.

REBELLION STILL IN CHARGE IN LMP2

Rebellion Racing continues to run first and second in LMP2, with the #31 entry of Nicolas Prost regaining the advantage it lost by pitting under the safety car soon after the restart.

The sister #13 car of Mathias Beche is seven seconds behind, with the #38 Jackie Chan DC ORECA of Thomas Laurent running third after briefly leading during the restart phase.

While the top three cars still have a big advantage, the fourth-placed #25 Manor ORECA of Simon Trummer managed to get back onto the lead lap.

The best of the lapped cars is the #35 Signatech Alpine of Andre Negrao in fifth place.

The second Manor ORECA, the #25 car of Jean-Eric Vergne, runs seventh after having a few laps in the lead early on and is one place ahead of the best non-ORECA, the #32 United Autosports Ligier of Filipe Albuquerque.

SAFETY CAR MUDDLES GTE PRO BATTLE

Aston Martin ran one-two for the first time since the fourth hour, as Marco Sorensen passed Ford's Harry Tincknell for second place in the puncture-delayed #95 Vantage.

Ford then suffered further woe as it had to bring the #67 car into the pits during a safety car deployment, which dropped it well clear of the leading group.

Olivier Pla spun the #66 Ford into the gravel run-off at the left-hander after Indianapolis, briefly beaching the car, and after it was towed out and restarted it deposited gravel over the track. This was deemed worthy of deploying the safety cars so that the detritus could be swept away.

The full-course caution lasted 30 minutes, during which Chip Ganassi Racing brought Tincknell in for a full service and to hand over to Luis Derani - who then had to queue at the pit exit for the next safety car to come past.

That meant when the track went green, Derani was in 10th place behind team-mate Tony Kanaan in the #68 Ford, also stuck behind the 'wrong' safety car.

The Astons then pitted shortly before the turn of the hour, enabling James Calado to take the lead in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari, running ahead of Dirk Werner in the #92 Porsche.

The erstwhile leader re-emerged fourth on track, behind Miguel Molina's #71 Ferrari, with the #95 sixth.

The situation remains fluid since circumstances have placed many of the frontrunners on asynchronous pit schedules while running very closely on track.

The #84 JMW Ferrari survived the full-course caution with its GTE Am lead intact, still running ahead of the #90 Aston with the #77 Porsche now seemingly their only meaningful opposition.

POSITIONS AFTER 10 HOURS

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #1 Porsche Jani, Lotterer, Tandy 158
2 LMP1 #9 Toyota Lapierre, Kunimoto, Lopez 157 + 1 Lap
3 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Sarrazin 154 + 4 Laps
4 LMP2 #31 Oreca Prost, Canal, Senna 149 + 9 Laps
5 LMP2 #13 Oreca Piquet Jr, H. Hansson, Beche 149 + 8.580s
6 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Laurent, Jarvis 149 + 49.276s
7 LMP2 #25 Oreca Gonzalez, Trummer, Petrov 149 + 2m33.979s
8 LMP2 #35 Alpine Panciatici, Ragues, Negrao 148 + 10 Laps
9 LMP2 #40 Oreca Allen, Matelli, Bradley 148 + 2m15.146s
10 LMP2 #24 Oreca Graves, Hirschi, Vergne 148 + 2m15.446s
11 LMP2 #32 Ligier Owen, De Sadeleer, Albuquerque 148 + 2m33.009s
12 LMP2 #37 Oreca Cheng, Gommendy, Brundle 148 + 2m35.376s
13 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi 146 + 12 Laps
14 LMP2 #23 Ligier Barthez, Buret, Berthon 145 + 13 Laps
15 LMP2 #21 Oreca Hedman, Hanley, Rosenqvist 144 + 14 Laps
16 LMP2 #34 Ligier Moore, Hanson, Chandhok 144 + 15.174s
17 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Collard 144 + 2m43.708s
18 LMP2 #39 Oreca Guibbert, Trouillet, Winslow 143 + 15 Laps
19 LMP2 #29 Dallara Lammers, Van Eerd, Barrichello 142 + 16 Laps
20 LMP2 #33 Ligier Nicolet, Nicolet, Maris 140 + 18 Laps
21 LMP1 #2 Porsche Bernhard, Bamber, Hartley 139 + 19 Laps
22 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Stanaway 139 + 2m44.739s
23 GTE Pro #97 Aston Turner, Adam, Serra 138 + 20 Laps
24 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Makowiecki, Pilet 138 + 1m12.141s
25 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Calado, Pier Guidi, Rugolo 138 + 1m15.720s
26 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Werner 138 + 1m16.658s
27 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 138 + 1m18.743s
28 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 138 + 1m20.206s
29 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Taylor 138 + 2m29.404s
30 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Kanaan 138 + 2m40.042s
31 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Derani 138 + 3m05.124s
32 LMP2 #17 Ligier Lafargue, Lafargue, Zollinger 138 + 4m55.310s
33 LMP2 #27 Dallara Aleshin, Sirotkin, Shaitar 137 + 21 Laps
34 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Smith, Stevens, Vanthoor 136 + 22 Laps
35 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Bell 136 + 2m40.480s
36 GTE Am #77 Porsche Ried, Cairoli, Dienst 135 + 23 Laps
37 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Macneil, Sweedler, Bell 135 + 1m25.386s
38 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Scott, Cioci 135 + 1m32.987s
39 LMP2 #36 Alpine Dumas, Menezes, Rao 135 + 1m36.285s
40 GTE Am #99 Aston Howard, Gunn, Bryant 135 + 3m06.232s
41 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 134 + 24 Laps
42 GTE Am #65 Ferrari Nielsen, Balzan, Curtis 134 + 13.104s
43 GTE Am #93 Porsche Long, Al Faisal, Hedlund 134 + 43.236s
44 LMP2 #45 Ligier Patterson, Mcmurry, Capillaire 134 + 49.269s
45 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mok, Sawa, Griffin 134 + 1m30.487s
46 LMP2 #22 Oreca Rojas, Hirakawa, Gutierrez 134 + 2m32.388s
47 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Krohn, Jonsson, Bertolini 133 + 25 Laps
48 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Foster 133 + 22.982s
49 GTE Am #50 Chevrolet Rees, Brandela, Philippon 132 + 26 Laps
50 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Beretta 132 + 4.620s
51 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 132 + 37.315s
52 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 132 + 1m32.185s
53 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Wee, Katoh, Parente 131 + 27 Laps
54 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Davidson, Nakajima 128 + 30 Laps
55 LMP2 #43 Riley Keating, Bleekemolen, Taylor 121 + 37 Laps
56 LMP2 #49 Ligier Konopka, Calko, Breukers 111 + 47 Laps
57 GTE Pro #82 Ferrari Vilander, Fisichella, Kaffer 72 Retired
58 LMP2 #26 Oreca Rusinov, Thiriet, Lynn 20 Retired
59 GTE Am #88 Porsche Bachler, Lemeret, Al Qubaisi 18 Retired
60 LMP1 #4 Enso Webb, Kraihamer, Bonanomi 7 Retired
shares
comments
Mike Conway extends #7 Toyota's lead in hour 9 at Le Mans
Previous article

Mike Conway extends #7 Toyota's lead in hour 9 at Le Mans

Next article

Toyota's fading Le Mans hopes disappear as Porsche takes huge lead

Toyota's fading Le Mans hopes disappear as Porsche takes huge lead
Why the WEC should make space for modern garagistes in 2023 Plus

Why the WEC should make space for modern garagistes in 2023

OPINION: There is plenty of excitement over the glut of manufacturers tackling the Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship this season. The selection committee is set to face headaches over who it decides to admit and who gets turned away from the 2023 entry list, but history tells us that the smaller entrants have a place

WEC
Jan 9, 2023
Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022 Plus

Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022

The season just gone was a memorable one for many of our staff writers, who are fortunate enough to cover motorsport around the world. Here are our picks of the best (and in some cases, most eventful) from 2022

Formula 1
Dec 31, 2022
Is Qatar the price motorsport fans have to pay? Plus

Is Qatar the price motorsport fans have to pay?

OPINION: Fresh from hosting a controversial 2022 football World Cup, Qatar has added its name to the 2024 World Endurance Championship calendar. Although questions may be asked about its presence on the calendar, is it simply the price to pay for having a healthy racing championship?

WEC
Dec 21, 2022
How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title Plus

How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title

Toyota #8 trio Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa outscored their rivals in the last season before the World Endurance Championship’s top class gets ultra-competitive. Here's how their Hypercar battle with Alpine and the remaining class tussles played out in LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am

WEC
Dec 5, 2022
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Plus

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Plus

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, were voted as Autosport's greatest sportscar in 2020 - here's why

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Plus

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022