Le Mans 24 Hours: F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg lead for Porsche

Nico Hulkenberg led the Le Mans 24 Hours at the end of its ninth hour, while his Porsche team-mate Mark Webber had to serve a stop/go penalty

Le Mans 24 Hours: F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg lead for Porsche

Formula 1 driver Hulkenberg passed Webber shortly after a restart early in the hour, which at the time was for second place.

The German then inherited the lead when the out-of-sequence Rene Rast made a pitstop in the #9 Audi, and he edged away from Webber who was defending from the #7 Audi of Marcel Fassler.

However, shortly before the end of Webber's quadruple stint - Porsche's first of the race - his car was given a one-minute drive-through penalty for Brendon Hartley overtaking under yellow flags earlier in the race.

Webber served the penalty, then returned to the pits one lap later to hand the car over to Timo Bernhard.

The stewards also issued Hartley with a suspended nine-minute penalty which will only be enforced if the Kiwi offends again in the race.

Out front, Hulkenberg tried to pull a small gap out ahead of Rast, while Fassler ran third around 22 seconds back, and Bernhard picked up the #17 Porsche two minutes adrift of the lead.

Neel Jani kept the #18 Porsche on the lead lap following its off in the previous hour, running around 50 seconds behind the #17 machine.

LMP2

KCMG remains in control of LMP2, despite serving a drive-through penalty for a pitlane infringement.

An investigation was announced during the seventh hour, with stewards eventually awarding a penalty nearly two hours later, which was promptly served on the very next lap.

When racing resumed after the eighth-hour safety car period, Richard Bradley held a 2m30s lead for KCMG over Tristan Gommendy in TDS Racing's similar ORECA 05.

Gommendy started to chip away at the margin, and after serving the drive-through penalty Bradley led by 1m23s.

The pair both completed trouble-free pitstops for fuel, and at the end of the ninth hour Bradley was 1m20s clear.

The G-Drive (OAK) Ligier remains third with Roman Rusinov behind the wheel, ahead of Nathanael Berthon for Murphy Motorsport.

GTE

Richie Stanaway guided Aston Martin Racing back to the top of the GTE pile, and the Vantage victory bid rests on the #99 after an engine failure for the #97.

The New Zealander took over from struggling team-mate Alex MacDowall and pumped in a series of improvements - including the car's best lap of the race - to establish a lead of more than 40 seconds by the end of the ninth hour.

That was aided by Corvette bringing in Jordan Taylor and swapping him for Oliver Gavin, but the Briton could not match Stanaway's pace out front.

The Chevy remains a comfortable second, though, with the #91 Manthey Porsche third and the #51 AF Corse Ferrari a distant fourth after the smokey exit for the #97 Aston at the end of the Mulsanne straight.

Aston's bid for a GTE double remains intact, thanks to the #98's continued domination of the Am class.

The 72 SMP entry has got ahead of the #83 Ferrari in the battle between the AF Corse entries for second.

POSITIONS AFTER NINE HOURS:

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #19 Porsche Hulkenberg, Bamber, Tandy 141
2 LMP1 #9 Audi Albuquerque, Bonanomi, Rast 140 + 1 Lap
3 LMP1 #7 Audi Fassler, Lotterer, Treluyer 140 + 17.034s
4 LMP1 #17 Porsche Bernhard, Webber, Hartley 140 + 2m07.307s
5 LMP1 #18 Porsche Dumas, Jani, Lieb 140 + 3m05.358s
6 LMP1 #8 Audi Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis 139 + 2 Laps
7 LMP1 #2 Toyota Wurz, Sarrazin, Conway 138 + 3 Laps
8 LMP1 #1 Toyota Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima 134 + 7 Laps
9 LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost, Heidfeld, Beche 134 + 2m39.991s
10 LMP1 #13 Rebellion Imperatori, Kraihamer, Abt 131 + 10 Laps
11 LMP2 #47 Oreca Howson, Bradley, Lapierre 128 + 13 Laps
12 LMP2 #46 Oreca Thiriet, Badey, Gommendy 128 + 1m20.416s
13 LMP2 #26 Ligier Rusinov, Canal, Bird 127 + 14 Laps
14 LMP2 #48 Oreca Chandhok, Patterson, Berthon 127 + 27.079s
15 LMP2 #43 Morgan Ragues, Webb, Amberg 127 + 1m43.352s
16 LMP2 #28 Ligier Yacaman, Derani, Gonzalez 126 + 15 Laps
17 LMP2 #38 Gibson Dolan, Evans, Turvey 125 + 16 Laps
18 LMP2 #34 Ligier Cumming, Vanthoor, Estre 125 + 11.501s
19 LMP2 #42 Dome Leventis, Watts, Kane 125 + 1m17.939s
20 LMP2 #27 BR Mediani, Markozov, Minassian 124 + 17 Laps
21 LMP1 #22 Nissan Tincknell, Krumm, Buncombe 122 + 19 Laps
22 GTE Pro #99 Aston Rees, Macdowall, Stanaway 121 + 20 Laps
23 LMP2 #31 Ligier Brown, Van Overbeek, Fogarty 121 + 42.702s
24 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Taylor 121 + 43.812s
25 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Christensen, Bergmeister 121 + 1m00.789s
26 LMP2 #45 Oreca Ibanez, Perret, Bellarosa 121 + 1m40.495s
27 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Bruni, Vilander, Fisichella 120 + 21 Laps
28 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 120 + 44.863s
29 LMP2 #35 Ligier Nicolet, Merlin, Maris 120 + 2m05.815s
30 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Aguas 120 + 2m13.440s
31 GTE Am #72 Ferrari Shaytar, Bertolini, Basov 120 + 3m10.285s
32 LMP2 #29 Morgan Roussel, Tung, Cheng 119 + 22 Laps
33 GTE Am #77 Porsche Dempsey, Long, Seefried 119 + 32.798s
34 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Sweedler, Bell, Segal 118 + 23 Laps
35 GTE Am #53 Dodge Bleekemolen, Keating, Miller 118 + 1m48.478s
36 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Griffin, Mortimer 117 + 24 Laps
37 GTE Am #66 Ferrari Al Faisal, Giermaziak, Avenatti 117 + 35.207s
38 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Calado, Beretta 117 + 44.099s
39 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Nygaard 117 + 2m56.822s
40 GTE Am #68 Porsche Chen, Vannelet, Parisy 116 + 25 Laps
41 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mann, Giammaria, Cressoni 114 + 27 Laps
42 LMP1 #23 Nissan Pla, Mardenborough, Chilton 114 + 2m24.160s
43 GTE Am #67 Porsche Chen, Kapadia, Maassen 112 + 29 Laps
44 LMP2 #36 Alpine Panciatici, Chatin, Capillaire 110 + 31 Laps
45 GTE Pro #97 Aston Turner, Mucke, Bell 110 + 33m08.020s
46 LMP2 #40 Ligier Krohn, Jonsson, Barbosa 108 + 33 Laps
47 LMP2 #30 Ligier Sharp, Dalziel, Heinemeier Hansson 107 + 34 Laps
48 LMP1 #21 Nissan Matsuda, Shulzhitskiy, Ordonez 106 + 35 Laps
49 LMP2 #37 BR Aleshin, Ladygin, Ladygin 102 + 39 Laps
50 GTE Am #50 Chevrolet Roda, Ruberti, Poulsen 94 + 47 Laps
51 LMP1 #4 CLM Trummer, Kaffer, Monteiro 84 + 57 Laps
52 GTE Am #96 Aston Goethe, Hall, Castellacci 82 + 59 Laps
53 LMP2 #41 Gibson Hirsch, Paletou, Lancaster 71 + 70 Laps
54 GTE Am #88 Porsche Ried, Al Qubaisi, Bachler 44 Retired
55 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Pilet, Makowiecki, Henzler 14 Retired
shares
comments
Le Mans 24 Hours: Safety car closes up Audi/Porsche lead battle

Previous article

Le Mans 24 Hours: Safety car closes up Audi/Porsche lead battle

Next article

Le Mans 24 Hours: Nick Tandy maintains Porsche's lead in 10th hour

Le Mans 24 Hours: Nick Tandy maintains Porsche's lead in 10th hour
Load comments
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge helped Toyota to keep clear Plus

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge helped Toyota to keep clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Toyota hits the ton — charting 100 world championship sportscar starts Plus

Toyota hits the ton — charting 100 world championship sportscar starts

The Japanese manufacturer is celebrating its 100th world championship prototype start in this weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the World Endurance Championship. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
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