Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche ahead overall, Corvette takes GTE lead

Porsche strengthened its Le Mans 24 Hours advantage, with its two top cars outpacing the lead Audi in the 19th hour, while Corvette took over the GTE lead

Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche ahead overall, Corvette takes GTE lead

Nick Tandy continued to lead the race by a comfortable margin in the #19 car that has led for several hours, while a rapid stint from Timo Bernhard after he jumped in the #17 car gave him a pitstop in hand over the #9 Audi driven by Rene Rast. He took that stop just before the completion of the hour.

There was a minor drama for the leading #19 Porsche when Tandy and the #7 Audi of Marcel Fassler made minor side-to-side contact while passing through a slow zone on the start/finish straight.

Tandy appeared to be moving over to give himself a clear shot past a GTE car for when the track went back to green, but Fassler had pulled almost alongside him at the start of the slow zone and the two made contact, before the Audi pulled ahead as they cleared the caution area.

The incident was only small, but it was placed under investigation by the stewards shortly before the top of the hour.

LMP2

A mystery problem for Richard Bradley in the #47 KCMG ORECA significantly reduced his LMP2 advantage.

The Briton was over four minutes ahead of the #26 G-Drive Ligier of Julien Canal before the ORECA ground to a halt for two-and-a-half minutes.

Bradley has now returned to the track and is lapping at a pace similar to his LMP2 rivals, suggesting the problem has been rectified. A recent pitstop means his current advantage is just 30 seconds.

Behind Canal, Oliver Turvey and then Mitch Evans in the #38 Jota Gibson have closed in on the second-placed car as they have consistently set quicker times.

Further back, there have been gearbox-related troubles for the seventh-placed #42 Strakka Dome, which has twice ground to a halt at the side of the track.

GTE

Corvette beat Ferrari in a wheel-to-wheel battle in the pitlane to snatch the lead of GTE Pro.

Having started the hour behind the #71 AF Corse-run 458 Italia, Oliver Gavin handed the C7.R over to Tommy Milner and the American was released alongside the Toni Vilander in the pitlane.

Milner edged it, and proceeded to build a 10-second lead over the Finn in the Ferrari behind - surviving an investigation into the pit release in the process.

The #91 Porsche remains a lonely third, while Nicki Thiim's strong pace in the #95 Aston has moved it to within touching distance of the #71 Ferrari in the fight for fourth.

In GTE Am, Paul Dalla Lana got away with a trip across the gravel at the start of the hour.

Mathias Lauda is now in the #98 Aston, which leads the #72 SMP Ferrari by a minute and a half.

POSITIONS AFTER 19 HOURS

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #19 Porsche Hulkenberg, Bamber, Tandy 308
2 LMP1 #17 Porsche Bernhard, Webber, Hartley 307 + 1 Lap
3 LMP1 #9 Audi Albuquerque, Bonanomi, Rast 307 + 1m12.670s
4 LMP1 #7 Audi Fassler, Lotterer, Treluyer 306 + 2 Laps
5 LMP1 #8 Audi Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis 306 + 29.865s
6 LMP1 #18 Porsche Dumas, Jani, Lieb 305 + 3 Laps
7 LMP1 #2 Toyota Wurz, Sarrazin, Conway 301 + 7 Laps
8 LMP1 #1 Toyota Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima 299 + 9 Laps
9 LMP2 #47 Oreca Howson, Bradley, Lapierre 278 + 30 Laps
10 LMP2 #26 Ligier Rusinov, Canal, Bird 278 + 1m33.810s
11 LMP2 #38 Gibson Dolan, Evans, Turvey 278 + 3m27.339s
12 LMP2 #28 Ligier Yacaman, Derani, Gonzalez 276 + 32 Laps
13 LMP2 #48 Oreca Chandhok, Patterson, Berthon 276 + 1m17.783s
14 LMP2 #34 Ligier Cumming, Vanthoor, Estre 275 + 33 Laps
15 LMP2 #42 Dome Leventis, Watts, Kane 264 + 44 Laps
16 LMP2 #27 BR Mediani, Markozov, Minassian 264 + 32m29.713s
17 LMP2 #31 Ligier Brown, Van Overbeek, Fogarty 264 + 35m50.821s
18 LMP2 #45 Oreca Ibanez, Perret, Bellarosa 264 + 36m26.090s
19 LMP1 #13 Rebellion Imperatori, Kraihamer, Abt 263 + 45 Laps
20 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Taylor 263 + 11m54.628s
21 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Bruni, Vilander, Fisichella 263 + 12m04.663s
22 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Christensen, Bergmeister 262 + 46 Laps
23 LMP2 #35 Ligier Nicolet, Merlin, Maris 261 + 47 Laps
24 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 260 + 48 Laps
25 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Nygaard 260 + 1m07.086s
26 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Calado, Beretta 260 + 1m13.497s
27 GTE Am #72 Ferrari Shaytar, Bertolini, Basov 260 + 1m37.076s
28 LMP2 #29 Morgan Roussel, Tung, Cheng 258 + 50 Laps
29 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Sweedler, Bell, Segal 258 + 10.969s
30 GTE Am #77 Porsche Dempsey, Long, Seefried 257 + 51 Laps
31 GTE Am #53 Dodge Bleekemolen, Keating, Miller 257 + 1m28.668s
32 LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost, Heidfeld, Beche 256 + 52 Laps
33 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Aguas 256 + 2.975s
34 LMP2 #30 Ligier Sharp, Dalziel, Heinemeier Hansson 255 + 53 Laps
35 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mann, Giammaria, Cressoni 253 + 55 Laps
36 LMP2 #40 Ligier Krohn, Jonsson, Barbosa 249 + 59 Laps
37 GTE Am #68 Porsche Chen, Vannelet, Parisy 248 + 60 Laps
38 GTE Am #66 Ferrari Al Faisal, Giermaziak, Avenatti 247 + 61 Laps
39 LMP2 #37 BR Aleshin, Ladygin, Ladygin 247 + 1m37.057s
40 GTE Am #67 Porsche Chen, Kapadia, Maassen 246 + 62 Laps
41 GTE Pro #99 Aston Rees, Macdowall, Stanaway 246 + 2m15.007s
42 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Griffin, Mortimer 241 + 67 Laps
43 LMP1 #4 CLM Trummer, Kaffer, Monteiro 204 + 104 Laps
44 LMP1 #23 Nissan Pla, Mardenborough, Chilton 203 + 105 Laps
45 LMP1 #22 Nissan Tincknell, Krumm, Buncombe 194 + 114 Laps
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
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Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche holds one-two into race's final quarter
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