Le Mans 24 Hours: More Audi dramas strengthen Porsche's lead

Porsche moved even closer to a first overall victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours since 1998 as the chasing Audis hit more trouble in hour 22

Le Mans 24 Hours: More Audi dramas strengthen Porsche's lead

While Earl Bamber continued to lead the race in the #19 car he shares with Nico Hulkenberg and Nick Tandy, the #17 car of Brendon Hartley became safer in second as all three Audis required unscheduled stops.

The #9 car of Marco Bonanomi, which was third until stopping late in the previous hour, rejoined after 18 minutes in the garage for a front-left driveshaft change, dropping it behind the leading Toyota.

The #8 car also made a couple of short unscheduled pit visits, while the new third placed #7 Audi stopped twice in quick succession for an oil top-up and an engine cover fix.

That left the #7 a distant two laps off the lead, while the gap between the two leading Porsches stabilised at just inside one lap before Hartley pitted at the top of the hour.

LMP2

A Nicolas Lapierre off sent another scare through LMP2 leader KCMG, but he continued to lead Sam Bird and Oliver Turvey.

Having stopped on track for two minutes earlier this morning, Lapierre ran off the circuit at Indianapolis, but was able to avoid beaching the ORECA 05 or finding the tyre barriers.

His lead had been as high as 2m15s before the incident, which occurred as Bird pitted in the G-Drive (OAK) Ligier, but soon stabilised as Lapierre managed the gap.

Before Lapierre and Bird pitted just before the end of the hour, the Frenchman led by 1m25s.

Turvey replaced Mitch Evans aboard the Jota Gibson and couldn't make inroads into Bird's advantage, running about 30 seconds behind before also pitting as the hour concluded.

GTE

Ferrari consolidated its GTE Pro lead in the 22nd hour but Corvette remains a genuine threat to the AF Corse team.

Toni Vilander extended his advantage over Jordan Taylor to 13s by the time the 458 Italia and C7.R pit on the same lap, five minutes from the end of the hour.

While AF Corse performed a fuel top-up and sent Vilander on his way, Corvette swapped Taylor for Gavin and also fitted new tyres to the Chevrolet.

That put the Corvette 36s down on the Ferrari, but with better rubber as the race nears its conclusion.

The GTE Am fight is all but over, save for disaster for the #98 Aston Martin that has been in control for so long.

With two hours to run Pedro Lamy was comfortably third overall in GTE in the Vantage, enjoying a class lead of more than three laps.

POSITIONS AFTER 22 HOURS

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #19 Porsche Hulkenberg, Bamber, Tandy 360
2 LMP1 #17 Porsche Bernhard, Webber, Hartley 359 + 1 Lap
3 LMP1 #7 Audi Fassler, Lotterer, Treluyer 357 + 3 Laps
4 LMP1 #8 Audi Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis 357 + 1m30.225s
5 LMP1 #18 Porsche Dumas, Jani, Lieb 356 + 4 Laps
6 LMP1 #2 Toyota Wurz, Sarrazin, Conway 352 + 8 Laps
7 LMP1 #9 Audi Albuquerque, Bonanomi, Rast 352 + 2m26.225s
8 LMP1 #1 Toyota Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima 351 + 9 Laps
9 LMP2 #47 Oreca Howson, Bradley, Lapierre 326 + 34 Laps
10 LMP2 #26 Ligier Rusinov, Canal, Bird 325 + 35 Laps
11 LMP2 #38 Gibson Dolan, Evans, Turvey 325 + 12.021s
12 LMP2 #34 Ligier Cumming, Vanthoor, Estre 322 + 38 Laps
13 LMP2 #28 Ligier Yacaman, Derani, Gonzalez 322 + 1m51.373s
14 LMP2 #48 Oreca Chandhok, Patterson, Berthon 315 + 45 Laps
15 LMP2 #27 BR Mediani, Markozov, Minassian 309 + 51 Laps
16 LMP2 #31 Ligier Brown, Van Overbeek, Fogarty 308 + 52 Laps
17 LMP2 #45 Oreca Ibanez, Perret, Bellarosa 308 + 2m16.057s
18 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Bruni, Vilander, Fisichella 307 + 53 Laps
19 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Taylor 307 + 36.423s
20 LMP2 #35 Ligier Nicolet, Merlin, Maris 305 + 55 Laps
21 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 304 + 56 Laps
22 LMP1 #13 Rebellion Imperatori, Kraihamer, Abt 304 + 51.783s
23 LMP2 #29 Morgan Roussel, Tung, Cheng 303 + 57 Laps
24 GTE Am #72 Ferrari Shaytar, Bertolini, Basov 302 + 58 Laps
25 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Calado, Beretta 302 + 1m31.850s
26 GTE Am #77 Porsche Dempsey, Long, Seefried 301 + 59 Laps
27 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Sweedler, Bell, Segal 301 + 15.335s
28 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Aguas 300 + 60 Laps
29 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Nygaard 299 + 61 Laps
30 LMP2 #30 Ligier Sharp, Dalziel, Heinemeier Hansson 298 + 62 Laps
31 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Christensen, Bergmeister 297 + 63 Laps
32 LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost, Heidfeld, Beche 297 + 9.010s
33 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mann, Giammaria, Cressoni 297 + 21.092s
34 GTE Am #53 Dodge Bleekemolen, Keating, Miller 296 + 64 Laps
35 LMP2 #40 Ligier Krohn, Jonsson, Barbosa 295 + 65 Laps
36 LMP2 #37 BR Aleshin, Ladygin, Ladygin 291 + 69 Laps
37 GTE Am #68 Porsche Chen, Vannelet, Parisy 290 + 70 Laps
38 GTE Am #66 Ferrari Al Faisal, Giermaziak, Avenatti 290 + 1m02.564s
39 GTE Pro #99 Aston Rees, Macdowall, Stanaway 289 + 71 Laps
40 GTE Am #67 Porsche Chen, Kapadia, Maassen 288 + 72 Laps
41 LMP1 #4 CLM Trummer, Kaffer, Monteiro 246 + 114 Laps
42 LMP1 #23 Nissan Pla, Mardenborough, Chilton 226 + 134 Laps
43 LMP1 #22 Nissan Tincknell, Krumm, Buncombe 215 + 145 Laps
44 LMP2 #42 Dome Leventis, Watts, Kane 264 Retired
45 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Griffin, Mortimer 241 Retired
46 LMP2 #46 Oreca Thiriet, Badey, Gommendy 204 Retired
47 GTE Am #96 Aston Goethe, Hall, Castellacci 187 Retired
48 LMP2 #43 Morgan Ragues, Webb, Amberg 162 Retired
49 LMP1 #21 Nissan Matsuda, Shulzhitskiy, Ordonez 115 Retired
50 LMP2 #36 Alpine Panciatici, Chatin, Capillaire 110 Retired
51 GTE Pro #97 Aston Turner, Mucke, Bell 110 Retired
52 GTE Am #50 Chevrolet Roda, Ruberti, Poulsen 94 Retired
53 LMP2 #41 Gibson Hirsch, Paletou, Lancaster 71 Retired
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: Audi troubles leave Porsche comfortable up front

Previous article

Le Mans 24 Hours: Audi troubles leave Porsche comfortable up front

Next article

Le Mans 24 Hours: Nico Hulkenberg leads into final hour for Porsche

Le Mans 24 Hours: Nico Hulkenberg leads into final hour for Porsche
Load comments
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Plus

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Plus

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness

WEC
Aug 22, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Plus

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Plus

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans Plus

The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans

The rising HubAuto team steps up to GTE Pro at Le Mans this year for an ambitious bid to take on the three works giants – and has every reason to be optimistic of achieving its goal in becoming the first privateer on the podium since 2016

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Plus

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and were considered heavy favourites to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen

Le Mans
Aug 14, 2021
Why Argentina’s current great isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Plus

Why Argentina’s current great isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally

WEC
Aug 14, 2021