Pescarolos Lead After Three Laps

Battle has begun and it's Jean-Christophe Boullion in the lead after three laps for Pescarolo Sport, with teammate Soheil Ayari sitting three seconds behind and the best of the rest already more than 15 seconds behind

Pescarolos Lead After Three Laps

Boullion had won the drag away from the rolling start in his pole-starting Pescarolo and led into the Dunlop Chicane for the first time from Ayari. Emanuele Pirro had hoped to be able to hold on to third place in his Champion Racing, but lost out on the sprint past the pits, with Ryo Michigami diving past into the first corner in the Jim Gainer International Dome.

The highest-placed of the junior prototype classes, LMP2, is Sam Hancock in Intersport Racing's Lola in 12th place, two positions ahead of the Paul Belmondo Racing Courage-Ford with Didier Andre at the wheel.

The GT1 class is living up to its billing as a battle between newcomers Aston Martin and Le Mans regulars Chevrolet, with Darren Turner leading the way for Aston in 13th place from teammate Peter Kox and Oliver Gavin's Corvette.

Mike Rockenfeller was the early leader in GT2 for Alex Job Racing ahead of the better of the works Panoz Esperantes piloted by Bill Auberlen, but the American worked his way into the class lead on the third lap.

Already in trouble are the number 8 Rollcentre Racing Dallara-Nissan that is still in its garage having its engine worked on, the number 36 Paul Belmondo Racing Courage that failed to fire up on the grid and had to be pushed into the pitlane with Claude-Yves Gosselin the frustrated driver at its wheel, the number 23 WR that was already planning to start from the pitlane after last-minute remedial work and the number 39 Chamberlain-Synergy Lola which came out to play two laps into the race after another race against time to get it ready for the off. Of those who started but stumbled, Jan Lammers brought the Racing for Holland in at the end of the opening lap.

With air and track temperatures soaring, there will be many a team manager wanting their drivers to keep a cool head and remember that it's an endurance race not a sprint. After all, no racing adage is more true than the one that states that to finish first, first you must finish. Indeed, Henri Pescarolo, whose cars started first and second, stated simply: "My pre-race instruction to my drivers is that the race starts after 12 hours."

shares
comments
Le Mans Enters Final Countdown

Previous article

Le Mans Enters Final Countdown

Next article

Hour 1: Boullion Leads

Hour 1: Boullion Leads
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Teams Pescarolo Team
Author Bruce Jones
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021
Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship Plus

Seven things to watch in the 2021 World Endurance Championship

Beyond the slender grid of headline-grabbing hypercars, there are numerous subplots and changes to look out for in the new season of the WEC, which gets underway at Spa this weekend. Here's the seven key things you need to know about

WEC
Apr 30, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Plus

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Plus

How Aston Martin Racing scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no works Aston Martins in the GTE-Pro class. As its new era in Formula 1 begins, Aston leaves behind a legacy of success courtesy of its Prodrive-run factory programme that was a hit from the word go in 2005

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021