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

Toyota's #8 crew held a secure lead in the 88th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours with eight hours to go, helped by drama for the #7 car

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

Having inherited a one-lap lead as a result of the #7 car's turbo issues just past the halfway point, Brendon Hartley handed over the #8 car to Kazuki Nakajima towards the end of the 14th hour.

Nakajima then proceeded to gain another lap over the second-placed #1 Rebellion R-13, currently driven by Norman Nato, in the 16th hour.

The second Rebellion, the #3 car, was three laps off the pace with Le Mans rookie Louis Deletraz at the wheel, while the #7 Toyota was circulating six laps behind its sister car with Jose Maria Lopez posting some quick lap times.

In LMP2, the all-United Autosports battle for the lead continued to rage. The two ORECAs pitted together at the end of the 15th hour, with the #22 machine taking the advantage by virtue of not changing tyres, putting the two cars on diverging strategies.

Filipe Albuquerque brought in the #22 car to hand over to Phil Hanson midway through the 16th hour, and Job van Uitert in the sister #32 machine was closing fast when the car was hit with a suspected oil leak just shy of the 16-hour mark.

The Goodyear-shod JOTA Sport ORECA had been closing on the lead battle, at one point running only 15 seconds off the lead, but an unscheduled pitstop cost the #38 car around a minute.

Anthony Davidson ran just over a minute off the lead at the 16-hour mark, regaining second place after the problem for the #32 United car.

Matthieu Vaxiviere ran third in the similarly Goodyear-equipped Panis Racing ORECA, but being hunted down rapidly by Roman Rusinov in the G-Drive Racing ORECA, while James Allen was running fifth in the Graff ORECA.

There was more drama for the #29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA, as Nyck de Vries got tangled up with Toni Vilander's WeatherTech Racing Ferrari in an incident at Tertre Rouge - causing terminal damage to the latter car.

In GTE Pro, Aston Martin got the upper hand over Ferrari after Alex Lynn handed over the #97 Vantage GTE to Maxime Martin, who passed Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 Ferrari.

Once Pier Guidi pitted to make way for Daniel Serra, Martin was leading by around 15s until he came in to hand over to Harry Tincknell just before the 16-hour mark.

That meant Serra led by 90s over Tincknell but due a stop, while the second works Aston of Marco Sorensen continued to run third, a lap down.

There was more drama for Porsche as the #91 car, which had been fourth in class, was pushed into the garage to fix an electrical problem, elevating the #71 Ferrari to fourth.

In GTE Am, a superb stint from Jonathan Adam in the #90 TF Sport Aston Martin had given that car a handsome lead, even before its nearest rival, the #98 Aston Martin, was struck by a suspension issue that forced the car being driven by Ross Gunn into the garage.

Charlie Eastwood, having taken over from Adam, ran nearly a lap ahead of Matt Campbell in the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche, while the #56 Project 1 Porsche of Larry ten Voorde was up to third in class ahead of the #83 AF Corse Ferrari of Nicklas Nielsen.

Le Mans 24 Hours - positions after 16 hours

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Hartley 254
2 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Senna, Nato, Menezes 252 + 2 Laps
3 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Dumas, Berthon, Deletraz 250 + 4 Laps
4 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 248 + 6 Laps
5 LMP2 #22 Oreca Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 243 + 11 Laps
6 LMP2 #38 Oreca Davidson, Da Costa, Gonzalez 243 + 57.426s
7 LMP2 #31 Oreca Jamin, Canal, Vaxiviere 241 + 13 Laps
8 LMP2 #26 Aurus Rusinov, Vergne, Jensen 241 + 1m16.481s
9 LMP2 #32 Oreca Owen, Brundle, Van Uitert 240 + 14 Laps
10 LMP2 #39 Oreca Allen, Capillaire, Milesi 240 + 8m50.038s
11 LMP2 #42 Oreca Lapierre, Borga, Coigny 240 + 9m50.949s
12 LMP2 #27 Oreca Hedman, Hanley, Van der Zande 240 + 11m04.410s
13 LMP2 #36 Alpine Negrao, Ragues, Laurent 240 + 11m39.458s
14 LMP2 #28 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Bradley 239 + 15 Laps
15 LMP2 #25 Oreca Falb, Trummer, McMurry 239 + 2m00.578s
16 LMP2 #50 Oreca Calderon, Florsch, Visser 239 + 2m08.146s
17 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Belicchi, Sernagiotto 238 + 16 Laps
18 LMP2 #17 Oreca Pilet, Tilley, Kennard 238 + 1m06.962s
19 LMP2 #35 Ligier Yamanaka, Foster, Merhi 232 + 22 Laps
20 LMP2 #29 Oreca Van Eerd, Van der Garde, De Vries 229 + 25 Laps
21 LMP2 #24 Oreca Grist, Kapadia, Wells 227 + 27 Laps
22 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 227 + 20.622s
23 GTE Pro #97 Aston Martin, Lynn, Tincknell 227 + 1m30.664s
24 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Westbrook 226 + 28 Laps
25 LMP2 #34 Ligier Smiechowski, Binder, Isaakyan 223 + 31 Laps
26 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Molina, Bird 223 + 1m55.889s
27 GTE Pro #82 Ferrari Pla, Bourdais, Gounon 223 + 2m13.240s
28 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Eastwood, Adam 223 + 2m52.185s
29 GTE Am #77 Porsche Ried, Pera, Campbell 222 + 32 Laps
30 GTE Am #56 Porsche Perfetti, Ten Voorde, Cairoli 222 + 31.386s
31 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Nielsen 221 + 33 Laps
32 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Watson 221 + 3m49.869s
33 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Gunn, Farfus 220 + 34 Laps
34 GTE Am #66 Ferrari Heistand, Root, Magnussen 220 + 5m04.444s
35 GTE Am #99 Porsche Inthraphuvasak, Legeret, Andlauer 220 + 7m45.677s
36 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Bruni, Lietz, Makowiecki 219 + 35 Laps
37 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Piovanetti, Negri Jr., Ledogar 219 + 17m34.872s
38 GTE Am #72 Ferrari Chen, Blomqvist, Gomes 219 + 20m08.319s
39 GTE Am #85 Ferrari Gostner, Frey, Gatting 218 + 36 Laps
40 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Ruberti 218 + 39.648s
41 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 218 + 2m24.488s
42 GTE Am #78 Porsche Felbermayr, Beretta, Van Splunteren 215 + 39 Laps
43 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 214 + 40 Laps
44 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Grimes, Mowlem, Hollings 212 + 42 Laps
45 GTE Am #75 Ferrari Mastronardi, Cressoni, Piccini 211 + 43 Laps
46 GTE Am #57 Porsche Keating, Fraga, Bleekemolen 211 + 15m31.501s
47 GTE Am #89 Porsche Brooks, Piguet, Laskaratos 210 + 44 Laps
48 GTE Am #88 Porsche Preining, Bastien, De Leener 130 + 124 Laps
49 LMP2 #21 Oreca Montoya, Buret, Rojas 192 + 62 Laps
50 GTE Pro #63 Ferrari Macneil, Vilander, Segal 185 + 69 Laps
51 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Kimura, Abril, Cozzolino 172 + 82 Laps
52 LMP2 #37 Oreca Tung, Aubry, Stevens 141 + 113 Laps
53 LMP2 #16 Aurus Cullen, Jarvis, Tandy 105 + 149 Laps
54 LMP2 #30 Oreca Hirschi, Tereschenko, Gommendy 100 + 154 Laps
55 LMP1 #4 ENSO Dillmann, Spengler, Webb 97 + 157 Laps
56 LMP2 #33 Oreca Yamashita, Patterson, Fjordbach 88 + 166 Laps
57 GTE Am #52 Ferrari Ulrich, Gorig, West 80 + 174 Laps
58 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Scott, Griffin 78 + 176 Laps
59 LMP2 #11 Ligier Tambay, Maris, D'Ansembourg 26 + 228 Laps
shares
comments
Le Mans 24 Hours: #8 Toyota takes lead at half-distance, #7 gets turbo issue
Previous article

Le Mans 24 Hours: #8 Toyota takes lead at half-distance, #7 gets turbo issue

Next article

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

Le Mans 24 Hours: #8 Toyota remains in control ahead of Rebellion pair
Load comments
Why an F1-snubbed British world champion has no regrets in retirement Plus

Why an F1-snubbed British world champion has no regrets in retirement

He may not have won the Le Mans 24 Hours - falling agonisingly short in 2016 - and didn't get the opportunities in Formula 1 his talents merited. But after calling time on his professional career last month, Anthony Davidson says his pride in his performances with Peugeot and Toyota in LMP1 mean more than the results he achieved

WEC
Dec 17, 2021
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Plus

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Autosport recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Plus

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Plus

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Plus

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title Plus

How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title

In the penultimate round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship, a better run of tyre wear for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi brought the Toyota trio its third win from five events, as the #7 squad put one hand on the title. Here's how the first of the WEC's two Bahrain enduros played out

WEC
Nov 1, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021