Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota retakes lead from Porsche in 16th hour

The #6 Toyota returned to the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours after Stephane Sarrazin and the #2 Porsche pitted to take advantage of a slow zone

Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota retakes lead from Porsche in 16th hour

The #6 essentially started the 16th hour in second, having pitted at 6am, but returned to the lead when Marc Lieb brought his stint in the #2 Porsche to an end.

But a clever bit of strategy from Porsche allowed Romain Dumas to rejoin the race right on Sarrazin's tail, as the #2 stayed on the tyres that had most recently been fitted - with Lieb having been forced to pit five laps into a stint with a slow puncture - and saved time in the pits.

Sarrazin was then able to build a lead of five seconds before Tommy Milner in the #64 GTE Pro Chevrolet Corvette crashed on the approach to the Dunlop chicane, with race officials deciding to implement a slow zone at the start of the lap.

While Sarrazin was due to pit the #6 anyway at the end of a 14-lap stint, Dumas followed him in and handed over to team-mate Neel Jani who was not ready to take over 45 minutes earlier, with the #2 fitted with a new set of tyres.

Sarrazin emerged 12 seconds clear of the #5 Toyota of Kazuki Nakajima, who stopped two laps earlier, while Jani finished the hour in third a further 5s back.

LMP2 - SIGNATECH STAYS IN CONTROL
By Mitchell Adam

Stephane Richelmi picked up where Signatech Alpine team-mate Nicolas Lapierre left off in LMP2 in the 16th hour.

Lapierre handed the car over to Richelmi as dawn broke, and he led by 1m46s before pitting for fuel late in the piece, when the slow one was deployed.

Having now made its 22nd pitstop, Richelmi leads Pierre Thiriet by one minute, the Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA a pitstop behind.

Roman Rusinov is still third for G-Drive ORECA, one lap down, but the team's second entry has been in the wars.

Simon Dolan reported being hit by the #98 GTE Aston, which sent the Gibson to the wall at the Ford chicane, damaging the front-right corner.

The car has been in the pits for 40 minutes and dropped to 17th in the LMP2 order.

"Braking into the first Ford chicane the Aston I'd just overtaken just punted me straight into the wall," Dolan said.

"It's disgusting, it shouldn't be allowed - not at this level."

GTE - VILANDER FIGHTS FORDS
By Scott Mitchell

Toni Vilander resisted a renewed Ford attack led by Sebastien Bourdais to keep the Risi Ferrari at the head of the GTE pack.

Bourdais was very close to Vilander at the beginning of the hour because the Finn had just taken over the 488 GTE from Giancarlo Fisichella, allowing the Ford to close to within a couple of seconds.

But a strong outlap from Vilander established an immediate buffer and thereafter the Ferrari driver continued to pull away and built a lead of almost 12s.

Bourdais remains second, comfortably clear of the #69 Ford that is still being driven by Scott Dixon.

The attrition-hit GTE race claimed another victim when Milner crashed his Chevrolet.

Milner lost the rear of his Corvette C7.R under braking and speared right into the tyres, causing extensive damage to the #64 car and ending its race.

In GTE, the Scuderia Corse Ferrari holds a two-minute lead over the Abu Dhabi-Proton Porsche.

POSITIONS AFTER 16 HOURS

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #6 Toyota Sarrazin, Conway, Kobayashi 253
2 LMP1 #5 Toyota Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima 253 + 13.166s
3 LMP1 #2 Porsche Dumas, Jani, Lieb 253 + 22.447s
4 LMP1 #8 Audi Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis 251 + 2 Laps
5 LMP1 #7 Audi Fassler, Lotterer, Treluyer 241 + 12 Laps
6 LMP2 #36 Alpine Menezes, Lapierre, Richelmi 235 + 18 Laps
7 LMP2 #46 Oreca Thiriet, Beche, Hirakawa 235 + 57.410s
8 LMP2 #26 Oreca Rusinov, Stevens, Rast 234 + 19 Laps
9 LMP2 #35 Alpine Cheng, Tung, Panciatici 232 + 21 Laps
10 LMP2 #37 BR01 Petrov, Shaytar, Ladygin 232 + 2m59.193s
11 LMP2 #42 Gibson Leventis, Watts, Kane 232 + 4m00.442s
12 LMP2 #33 Oreca Pu, Gommendy, De Bruijn 229 + 24 Laps
13 LMP2 #31 Ligier Dalziel, Derani, Cumming 228 + 25 Laps
14 LMP2 #41 Ligier Rojas, Canal, Berthon 228 + 46.707s
15 LMP2 #27 BR01 Minassian, Mediani, Aleshin 228 + 1m46.123s
16 LMP2 #23 Ligier Barthez, Chatin, Buret 227 + 26 Laps
17 LMP2 #30 Ligier Sharp, Brown, Van Overbeek 226 + 27 Laps
18 LMP2 #49 Ligier Pew, Negri Jr, Vanthoor 226 + 2m13.640s
19 GTE Pro #82 Ferrari Fisichella, Vilander, Malucelli 224 + 29 Laps
20 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 224 + 12.164s
21 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 223 + 30 Laps
22 LMP2 #40 Ligier Krohn, Jonsson, Barbosa 223 + 23.557s
23 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Turner 223 + 1m09.131s
24 LMP2 #38 Gibson Dolan, Dennis, Van Der Garde 222 + 31 Laps
25 LMP2 #25 Ligier Munemann, Hoy, Pizzitola 222 + 36m06.319s
26 GTE Pro #66 Ford Pla, Mucke, Johnson 222 + 37m52.844s
27 GTE Pro #97 Aston Stanaway, Rees, Adam 222 + 38m31.208s
28 LMP2 #43 Ligier Gonzalez, Senna, Albuquerque 222 + 38m31.686s
29 GTE Pro #77 Porsche Lietz, Christensen, Eng 222 + 38m41.614s
30 LMP2 #48 Oreca Keating, Bleekemolen, Goossens 220 + 33 Laps
31 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Taylor 220 + 24.613s
32 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Taylor 219 + 34 Laps
33 LMP2 #44 Oreca Graves, Rao, Merhi 219 + 13m02.812s
34 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Sweedler, Bell, Segal 218 + 35 Laps
35 GTE Am #88 Porsche Al Qubaisi, Heinemeier Hansson, Long 217 + 36 Laps
36 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Aguas 216 + 37 Laps
37 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mok, Sawa, Bell 216 + 1m47.811s
38 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Carroll, Barker 215 + 38 Laps
39 LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost, Heidfeld, Piquet Jr 215 + 1m40.551s
40 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Griffin, Scott 215 + 1m40.610s
41 LMP1 #1 Porsche Bernhard, Webber, Hartley 215 + 1m50.177s
42 GTE Am #50 Chevrolet Yamagishi, Ragues, Belloc 215 + 1m58.706s
43 LMP2 #22 Ligier Capillaire, Maris, Coleman 214 + 39 Laps
44 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 213 + 40 Laps
45 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Laursen, Mac, Nielsen 212 + 41 Laps
46 GTE Am #99 Aston Howard, Griffin, Hirsch 207 + 46 Laps
47 LMP1 #4 CLM Trummer, Webb, Kaffer 203 + 50 Laps
48 CDNT #84 Morgan Sausset, Tinseau, Bouvet 202 + 51 Laps
49 LMP1 #13 Rebellion Tuscher, Imperatori, Kraihamer 200 + 53 Laps
50 LMP2 #28 Morgan Taittinger, Striebig, Roussel 200 + 2h31m53.247s
51 GTE Am #57 Chevrolet O'Connel, Bryant, Patterson 197 + 56 Laps
52 GTE Pro #67 Ford Franchitti, Priaulx, Tincknell 197 + 5m02.999s
53 GTE Am #78 Porsche Ried, Henzler, Camathias 188 + 65 Laps
54 LMP2 #34 Oreca Leutwiler, Nakano, Winslow 183 + 70 Laps
55 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Bertolini 143 + 110 Laps
56 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Makowiecki, Bamber, Bergmeister 140 + 113 Laps
57 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Bruni, Calado, Pier Guidi 179 Retired
58 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Pilet, Estre, Tandy 135 Retired
59 LMP2 #47 Oreca Matsuda, Howson, Bradley 116 Retired
60 GTE Am #89 Porsche Macneil, Keen, Miller 50 Retired
shares
comments
Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche takes lead in three-way fight at dawn

Previous article

Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche takes lead in three-way fight at dawn

Next article

Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota 1-2 after 17 hours but Porsche close

Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota 1-2 after 17 hours but Porsche close
Load comments
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
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