Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche one-two continues, problems for Audi

Porsche continued to pull away from the leading Audi in the Le Mans 24 Hours, while the fourth-placed #7 R18 e-tron Quattro picked up a penalty

Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche one-two continues, problems for Audi

With Rene Rast and Marco Bonanomi struggling to match the pace of the #19 and #17 Porsches out front in their third-placed #9 Audi amid hybrid problems, it was in fact the #7 car in the hands of Andre Lotterer that looked the strongest of the R18s.

But Lotterer's hopes of reeling in his team-mates to get into a podium position were dealt a blow just before the 20-hour mark, when he was ordered to serve a drive-through penalty for an offence committed by Marcel Fassler in the previous hour.

The #7 car was penalised for not respecting the slow zone rules, when Fassler pulled alongside the leading #19 car under the speed restriction, leading to minor contact between the two cars.

Serving the penalty cost Lotterer around half a minute, but he still enjoyed lead of more than that over the #8 Audi of Loic Duval.

LMP2

KCMG set about rebuilding its LMP2 lead following a dramatic 19th hour.

Richard Bradley started the hour with a 30-second advantage over G-Drive (OAK)'s Ligier, with third-placed Mitch Evans 2m16s behind in the recovering Jota Gibson.

With Nicolas Lapierre having taken the ORECA 05 over after 45 minutes, KCMG's lead was back out to 55s by the time G-Drive pitted late in the hour.

After that stop, Lapierre led Roman Rusinov by 1m52s, but the main mover of the hour was Evans, who is within 28s of second place.

Laurens Vanthoor sits fourth in the Honda-powered OAK entry, ahead of Ricardo Gonzales in the second G-Drive car.

Those teams gained places through Murphy Prototypes' long pitstop following a spin by Mark Patterson.

By the time Nathaneal Berthon rejoined the race, the team had dropped to sixth place, 10 laps down.

GTE

Corvette was left clinging to its GTE Pro lead by barely a second at the end of the 20th hour after a charge from Ferrari's Gianmaria Bruni.

Tommy Milner held a lead of more than 25s when AF Corse swapped out Toni Vilander in the #51 458 Italia and gave Bruni new tyres to attack with.

The Italian duly obliged and the gap was halved to 11s after a slow zone remained in place for the Corvette C7.R at Indianapolis but cleared by the time Bruni arrived.

Bruni cut that gap to nothing by the end of the stint, and was poised to attack as the hour ended.

Behind the #91 Porsche in third the second AF Corse Ferrari has moved into a comfortable fourth, thanks to a five-lap spell in the pits for the #95 Aston Martin.

Aston's news makes for better reading in GTE Am, where the #98 car's advantage was strengthened by an off for the #72 SMP Ferrari.

The #98 leads by more than a lap now after Victor Shaitar went into the gravel at Indianapolis - sparking the slow zone that hurt the Pro-class Corvette - and hit the barriers. It was recovered and runs second in class still.

POSITIONS AFTER 20 HOURS

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #19 Porsche Hulkenberg, Bamber, Tandy 325
2 LMP1 #17 Porsche Bernhard, Webber, Hartley 324 + 1 Lap
3 LMP1 #9 Audi Albuquerque, Bonanomi, Rast 324 + 2m03.637s
4 LMP1 #7 Audi Fassler, Lotterer, Treluyer 323 + 2 Laps
5 LMP1 #8 Audi Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis 323 + 33.085s
6 LMP1 #18 Porsche Dumas, Jani, Lieb 322 + 3 Laps
7 LMP1 #2 Toyota Wurz, Sarrazin, Conway 318 + 7 Laps
8 LMP1 #1 Toyota Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima 316 + 9 Laps
9 LMP2 #47 Oreca Howson, Bradley, Lapierre 294 + 31 Laps
10 LMP2 #26 Ligier Rusinov, Canal, Bird 294 + 1m52.772s
11 LMP2 #38 Gibson Dolan, Evans, Turvey 293 + 32 Laps
12 LMP2 #34 Ligier Cumming, Vanthoor, Estre 291 + 34 Laps
13 LMP2 #28 Ligier Yacaman, Derani, Gonzalez 291 + 12.400s
14 LMP2 #48 Oreca Chandhok, Patterson, Berthon 285 + 40 Laps
15 LMP2 #27 BR Mediani, Markozov, Minassian 279 + 46 Laps
16 LMP2 #31 Ligier Brown, Van Overbeek, Fogarty 279 + 37.144s
17 LMP2 #45 Oreca Ibanez, Perret, Bellarosa 279 + 2m01.943s
18 LMP1 #13 Rebellion Imperatori, Kraihamer, Abt 278 + 47 Laps
19 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Taylor 277 + 48 Laps
20 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Bruni, Vilander, Fisichella 277 + 2.081s
21 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Christensen, Bergmeister 277 + 2m49.263s
22 LMP2 #35 Ligier Nicolet, Merlin, Maris 276 + 49 Laps
23 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 275 + 50 Laps
24 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Calado, Beretta 275 + 1m08.996s
25 LMP2 #29 Morgan Roussel, Tung, Cheng 273 + 52 Laps
26 GTE Am #72 Ferrari Shaytar, Bertolini, Basov 273 + 32.439s
27 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Sweedler, Bell, Segal 272 + 53 Laps
28 GTE Am #77 Porsche Dempsey, Long, Seefried 272 + 1m59.771s
29 GTE Am #53 Dodge Bleekemolen, Keating, Miller 272 + 2m54.886s
30 LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost, Heidfeld, Beche 272 + 3m14.638s
31 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Aguas 271 + 54 Laps
32 LMP2 #30 Ligier Sharp, Dalziel, Heinemeier Hansson 270 + 55 Laps
33 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Nygaard 270 + 1m46.671s
34 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mann, Giammaria, Cressoni 268 + 57 Laps
35 LMP2 #42 Dome Leventis, Watts, Kane 264 + 61 Laps
36 LMP2 #40 Ligier Krohn, Jonsson, Barbosa 264 + 1h34m57.713s
37 GTE Am #68 Porsche Chen, Vannelet, Parisy 262 + 63 Laps
38 LMP2 #37 BR Aleshin, Ladygin, Ladygin 261 + 64 Laps
39 GTE Am #66 Ferrari Al Faisal, Giermaziak, Avenatti 261 + 44.926s
40 GTE Am #67 Porsche Chen, Kapadia, Maassen 261 + 2m32.573s
41 GTE Pro #99 Aston Rees, Macdowall, Stanaway 260 + 65 Laps
42 LMP1 #23 Nissan Pla, Mardenborough, Chilton 215 + 110 Laps
43 LMP1 #4 CLM Trummer, Kaffer, Monteiro 214 + 111 Laps
44 LMP1 #22 Nissan Tincknell, Krumm, Buncombe 207 + 118 Laps
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
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Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche ahead overall, Corvette takes GTE lead

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