Le Mans 24 Hours: #8 Toyota remains in control ahead of Rebellion pair

Toyota remains in control of the 88th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours with four hours remaining, with the #8 crew boasting a five-lap advantage at the head of the field

Le Mans 24 Hours: #8 Toyota remains in control ahead of Rebellion pair

Kazuki Nakajima, who did much of the 'graveyard shift' at the wheel of the leading Toyota TS050 Hybrid, handed over to Sebastien Buemi with a three-lap lead during hour 17.

That advantage was extended when the leading Rebellion R-13, the #1 car of Bruno Senna, was forced to pit in hour 19 due to a problem with the front nose.

The Swiss car was pulled into the garage to allow the mechanics to attend this issue, which was made harder to fix by one of the mounting points becoming twisted.

Gustavo Menezes took over at the wheel of the #1 machine but dropped behind the sister #3 car, which ran second in the hands of Romain Dumas at the 20-hour mark. The two Rebellions ran 15s apart, but five laps in arrears of the leading Toyota.

The #7 Toyota, which lost half an hour in the night as the team replaced the right-hand side turbo, circulates in fourth, seven laps down on the sister car.

United Autosports' #22 ORECA continues to lead the LMP2 class, with Filipe Albuquerque having been two minutes clear of the #38 JOTA Sport car of Antonio Felix da Costa until taking a pitstop just a few minutes shy of the 20-hour mark.

JOTA's silver-rated driver Roberto Gonzalez struggled to maintain the pace of his opposite number in the United car, Paul di Resta, with the gap between the lead two cars growing by around a minute during the Mexican's stint.

The G-Drive ORECA of Jean-Eric Vergne continues to circulate in third and a lap down, following its earlier ECU troubles, followed by countrymen Nico Jamin for Panis Racing and Thomas Laurent in the Signatech Alpine car, which has broken back into the top five.

In GTE Pro, Aston Martin's lead #97 car holds a 40-second advantage over the #51 Ferrari, helped by a brake change for the latter.

The two cars were locked in battle at the start of the 17th hour, with Harry Tincknell passing Daniel Serra for the class lead just after the latter's pitstop. Tincknell pulled a gap of 16s over the Ferrari, but that advantage was whittled down to just a few seconds when James Calado took over the #51 car.

But, not long after Calado took over, the Ferrari was set back by around a minute due to its brake change, and now circulates 40s behind the #97 car.

The #95 Aston remains a lapped third, with the #71 Ferrari a further two laps back in fourth place and the Risi Ferrari in fifth following Sebastien Bourdais' earlier spin, which was caused by a broken front-right damper.

In GTE Am, the TF Sport Aston Martin continue its serene run at the head of the field, with Jonathan Adam back at the wheel and a lap clear of Francois Perrodo in the #83 AF Corse Ferrari. Riccardo Pera was only a further six seconds back in the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche, and 22s clear of Matteo Cairoli in the #56 Project 1 Porsche.

Le Mans 24 Hours - positions after 20 hours

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Hartley 322
2 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Dumas, Berthon, Deletraz 317 + 5 Laps
3 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Senna, Nato, Menezes 317 + 14.063s
4 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 315 + 7 Laps
5 LMP2 #22 Oreca Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 307 + 15 Laps
6 LMP2 #38 Oreca Davidson, Da Costa, Gonzalez 307 + 45.607s
7 LMP2 #26 Aurus Rusinov, Vergne, Jensen 306 + 16 Laps
8 LMP2 #31 Oreca Jamin, Canal, Vaxiviere 306 + 55.112s
9 LMP2 #36 Alpine Negrao, Ragues, Laurent 304 + 18 Laps
10 LMP2 #39 Oreca Allen, Capillaire, Milesi 304 + 29.276s
11 LMP2 #28 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Bradley 303 + 19 Laps
12 LMP2 #42 Oreca Lapierre, Borga, Coigny 303 + 12.276s
13 LMP2 #50 Oreca Calderon, Florsch, Visser 302 + 20 Laps
14 LMP2 #25 Oreca Falb, Trummer, McMurry 302 + 1m42.705s
15 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Belicchi, Sernagiotto 301 + 21 Laps
16 LMP2 #17 Oreca Pilet, Tilley, Kennard 301 + 2m17.943s
17 LMP2 #27 Oreca Hedman, Hanley, Van der Zande 300 + 22 Laps
18 LMP2 #32 Oreca Owen, Brundle, Van Uitert 295 + 27 Laps
19 LMP2 #35 Ligier Yamanaka, Foster, Merhi 291 + 31 Laps
20 GTE Pro #97 Aston Martin, Lynn, Tincknell 287 + 35 Laps
21 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 287 + 39.777s
22 LMP2 #29 Oreca Van Eerd, Van der Garde, De Vries 286 + 36 Laps
23 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Westbrook 285 + 37 Laps
24 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Molina, Bird 283 + 39 Laps
25 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Eastwood, Adam 281 + 41 Laps
26 GTE Pro #82 Ferrari Pla, Bourdais, Gounon 281 + 1m12.841s
27 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Nielsen 280 + 42 Laps
28 GTE Am #77 Porsche Ried, Pera, Campbell 280 + 6.924s
29 GTE Am #56 Porsche Perfetti, Ten Voorde, Cairoli 280 + 22.541s
30 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Watson 279 + 43 Laps
31 GTE Am #99 Porsche Inthraphuvasak, Legeret, Andlauer 278 + 44 Laps
32 LMP2 #24 Oreca Grist, Kapadia, Wells 278 + 31.375s
33 GTE Am #66 Ferrari Heistand, Root, Magnussen 278 + 1m28.041s
34 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Piovanetti, Negri Jr., Ledogar 277 + 45 Laps
35 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Bruni, Lietz, Makowiecki 277 + 1m26.703s
36 GTE Am #85 Ferrari Gostner, Frey, Gatting 275 + 47 Laps
37 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Gunn, Farfus 275 + 28.037s
38 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 275 + 2m09.123s
39 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Ruberti 274 + 48 Laps
40 GTE Am #78 Porsche Felbermayr, Beretta, Van Splunteren 273 + 49 Laps
41 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 273 + 1m16.664s
42 GTE Am #72 Ferrari Chen, Blomqvist, Gomes 271 + 51 Laps
43 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Grimes, Mowlem, Hollings 269 + 53 Laps
44 GTE Am #57 Porsche Keating, Fraga, Bleekemolen 269 + 1m49.881s
45 LMP2 #34 Ligier Smiechowski, Binder, Isaakyan 264 + 58 Laps
46 GTE Am #89 Porsche Brooks, Piguet, Laskaratos 262 + 60 Laps
47 GTE Am #75 Ferrari Mastronardi, Cressoni, Piccini 211 + 111 Laps
48 GTE Am #88 Porsche Preining, Bastien, De Leener 184 + 138 Laps
49 LMP2 #37 Oreca Tung, Aubry, Stevens 141 + 181 Laps
50 LMP2 #21 Oreca Montoya, Buret, Rojas 192 + 130 Laps
51 GTE Pro #63 Ferrari Macneil, Vilander, Segal 185 + 137 Laps
52 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Kimura, Abril, Cozzolino 172 + 150 Laps
53 LMP2 #16 Aurus Cullen, Jarvis, Tandy 105 + 217 Laps
54 LMP2 #30 Oreca Hirschi, Tereschenko, Gommendy 100 + 222 Laps
55 LMP1 #4 ENSO Dillmann, Spengler, Webb 97 + 225 Laps
56 LMP2 #33 Oreca Yamashita, Patterson, Fjordbach 88 + 234 Laps
57 GTE Am #52 Ferrari Ulrich, Gorig, West 80 + 242 Laps
58 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Scott, Griffin 78 + 244 Laps
59 LMP2 #11 Ligier Tambay, Maris, D'Ansembourg 26 + 296 Laps
shares
comments
Le Mans 24 Hours: Nakajima retains lead in #8 Toyota

Previous article

Le Mans 24 Hours: Nakajima retains lead in #8 Toyota

Next article

Top 10 most heartbreaking retirements at the Le Mans 24 Hours

Top 10 most heartbreaking retirements at the Le Mans 24 Hours
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Drivers Rob Bell
Teams Toyota Racing , Rebellion Racing
Author Jamie Klein
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021
Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship Plus

Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship

Beyond the slender grid of headline-grabbing hypercars, there are numerous subplots and changes to look out for in the new season of the WEC, which gets underway at Spa this weekend. Here's the seven key things you need to know about

WEC
Apr 30, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Plus

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Plus

How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no works Aston Martins in the GTE-Pro class. As its new era in Formula 1 begins, Aston leaves behind a legacy of success courtesy of its Prodrive-run factory programme that was a hit from the word go in 2005

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021