Le Mans 24 Hours: Kobayashi puts #7 Toyota over a minute clear

The #7 Toyota is once again more than a minute clear of its sister car in the Le Mans 24 Hours thanks to an impressive run from Kamui Kobayashi

Le Mans 24 Hours: Kobayashi puts #7 Toyota over a minute clear

Kobayashi's advantage over Fernando Alonso in the sister #8 car was immediately boosted during a slow zone period near the start of the hour, after which his lead went up to 33s.

The Japanese driver had extended that by another seven seconds before Alonso stopped, and ended the hour with 1m15.795s in hand.

The time Alonso lost on track to Kobayashi after the pitstops was minimal, however, as a sluggish pitstop cost him 26s to the lead car.

The #3 Rebellion went a third lap down in the 13th hour, but retained a healthy advantage over the #11 car of privateer rival SMP.

Thomas Laurent was back at the wheel of the Rebellion, and had more than a minute in hand over Mikhail Aleshin - who replaced Stoffel Vandoorne in SMP's sole remaining BR Engineering-AER BR1.

Neel Jani was the final remaining contender still running, but the Rebellion driver remained three laps down on the #11 car in fifth.

LMP2: G-Drive dominating with Vergne

Jean-Eric Vergne maintained G-Drive Racing's lead in the LMP2 class in hour 14, although Nicolas Lapierre made gradual inroads for Signatech Alpine.

Lapierre took over from team-mate Andre Negrao with a 1m48s deficit to Vergne, and proceeded to reduce the gap by seven seconds at the hour mark, although the G-Drive car remained as comfortable as it had since the safety car's appearance in the 10th hour turned its 13-second lead into 80-seconds.

Anthony Davidson jumped up to third in the #31 DragonSpeed ORECA during the pitstop phase, but soon lost the place again to Stephane Richelmi's #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA.

Meanwhile, a mechanical problem for the sister Jota Sport-entered car driven by Ricky Taylor allowed Loic Duval to consolidate fifth in the #28 TDS Racing ORECA, with Filipe Albuquerque moving up to sixth in the #22 United Autosports Ligier.

GTE - Pier Guidi leads epic Porsche battle

Alessandro Pier Guidi continues to lead the GTE Pro class in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE.

The Italian had three quarters of a minute in hand over the squabbling #91 and #93 Porsches - a battle that was once again headed by Gianmaria Bruni, who had 1.3s in hand over the similar 911 RSR of Nick Tandy.

The #63 Corvette remained in touch in fourth, ending the hour 12s away from the fight for second and third.

Porsche's #92 had headed the order until it went back into the garage in the previous hour, but the car did return to the track in the 14th hour and is now 12th in class.

In the Am class, Jeroen Bleekemolen continues to lead in the Keating Ford, but the TF Sport Aston Martin that sat a comfortable second in the hands of Euan Hankey was set to drop back after Hankey got stuck in the gravel at Mulsanne Corner.

As a spell in the garage had previously delayed the #77 Proton Competition Porsche, which now has junior works driver Matt Campbell at the wheel, Jeff Segal was due to inherit second in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari and Edigio Perfetti third in the Project 1 Porsche.

Positions after 14 hours

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 221
2 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso 221 + 1m15.795s
3 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Laurent, Berthon, Menezes 218 + 3 Laps
4 LMP1 #11 BR Petrov, Aleshin, Vandoorne 217 + 4 Laps
5 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Jani, Lotterer, Senna 214 + 7 Laps
6 LMP2 #26 Aurus Rusinov, Van Uitert, Vergne 212 + 9 Laps
7 LMP2 #36 Alpine Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet 211 + 10 Laps
8 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Richelmi, Aubry 211 + 1m43.942s
9 LMP2 #31 Oreca Gonzalez, Maldonado, Davidson 211 + 2m04.764s
10 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval 210 + 11 Laps
11 LMP2 #22 Ligier Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 209 + 12 Laps
12 LMP2 #48 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas 208 + 13 Laps
13 LMP2 #30 Oreca Jamin, Ragues, Dumas 208 + 37.629s
14 LMP2 #23 Ligier Binder, Canal, Stevens 207 + 14 Laps
15 LMP2 #39 Oreca Gommendy, Capillaire, Hirschi 206 + 15 Laps
16 LMP2 #43 Oreca Farano, Maini, Nato 205 + 16 Laps
17 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi 204 + 17 Laps
18 LMP2 #25 Oreca Zollinger, Pizzitola, Falb 203 + 18 Laps
19 LMP2 #50 Ligier Creed, Ricci, Boulle 203 + 4.440s
20 LMP2 #29 Dallara Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, De Vries 203 + 43.515s
21 LMP2 #20 Oreca Fjordbach, Andersen, Beche 203 + 1m29.683s
22 LMP2 #37 Oreca Heinemeier-Hansson, King, Taylor 199 + 22 Laps
23 LMP2 #32 Ligier Cullen, Brundle, Owen 199 + 37m13.155s
24 LMP2 #34 Ligier Smiechowski, Winslow, Moore 198 + 23 Laps
25 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 196 + 25 Laps
26 GTE Pro #93 Porsche Pilet, Bamber, Tandy 196 + 41.156s
27 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki 196 + 42.421s
28 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller 196 + 54.766s
29 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 196 + 1m16.694s
30 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 196 + 1m23.354s
31 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Bomarito 196 + 2m08.751s
32 GTE Pro #94 Porsche Muller, Jaminet, Olsen 195 + 26 Laps
33 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 195 + 14.127s
34 GTE Pro #89 Ferrari Derani, Jarvis, Gounon 195 + 35.392s
35 GTE Pro #82 BMW Farfus, Da Costa, Krohn 194 + 27 Laps
36 GTE Am #85 Ford Keating, Bleekemolen, Fraga 192 + 29 Laps
37 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 192 + 4m08.751s
38 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood 191 + 30 Laps
39 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Segal, Baptista, Lu 191 + 2m10.226s
40 GTE Am #56 Porsche Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti 191 + 2m24.415s
41 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Macneil, Vilander, Smith 191 + 4m40.580s
42 GTE Pro #81 BMW Catsburg, Tomczyk, Eng 191 + 4m43.462s
43 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Perez-Companc, Griffin, Cressoni 191 + 5m02.515s
44 GTE Am #57 Ferrari Kimura, Cozzolino, Ledogar 190 + 31 Laps
45 GTE Am #77 Porsche Campbell, Ried, Andlauer 190 + 1m13.210s
46 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Preining 190 + 1m19.996s
47 GTE Am #78 Porsche Prette, Prette, Abril 189 + 32 Laps
48 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 189 + 2m20.639s
49 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever 188 + 33 Laps
50 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Gostner, Frey, Gatting 188 + 6.982s
51 GTE Pro #97 Aston Martin, Lynn, Adam 187 + 34 Laps
52 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Piccini 185 + 36 Laps
53 LMP1 #4 Enso Dillmann, Webb, Ruberti 163 + 58 Laps
54 LMP1 #17 BR Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Sirotkin 163 + 9300370 Laps
55 LMP2 #49 Ligier Konopka, Enqvist, Tereschenko 160 + 61 Laps
56 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 140 + 81 Laps
57 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Turner 132 + 89 Laps
58 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 87 + 134 Laps
59 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 82 + 139 Laps
60 GTE Am #88 Porsche Hoshino, Roda Jr, Cairoli 79 + 142 Laps
61 LMP1 #10 BR Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande 76 + 145 Laps
shares
comments
Le Mans 24 hours: Alonso can't close gap to leading #7 Toyota

Previous article

Le Mans 24 hours: Alonso can't close gap to leading #7 Toyota

Next article

Le Mans 24 hours: Alonso loses reclaimed time to Lopez at pitstop

Le Mans 24 hours: Alonso loses reclaimed time to Lopez at pitstop
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Drivers Kamui Kobayashi
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Jack Cozens
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