Toyota driver Buemi heads Toyota 1-2 after Le Mans first hour

Toyota has a 1-2 at the end of the first hour of the 2017 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours with Sebastien Buemi ahead of Mike Conway

Toyota driver Buemi heads Toyota 1-2 after Le Mans first hour

Conway led the early stages in the #7 machine from Neel Jani in the leading #1 Porsche.

But after the first round of stops, Buemi emerged in second and was much closer to Conway.

Buemi then went around the outside of the leader through Arnage to claim the place later around the lap and he now leads by 1.6 seconds.

Porsche sits third and fourth with Jani ahead of Timo Bernhard in the #2 example.

The top five is rounded out by Nicolas Lapierre in the third Toyota, which suffered damage on the opening lap and had to have its nose changed during its stop.

The ByKolles car initially passed Lapierre at the start before running wide at Terte Rouge and hitting the barriers.

It limped back to the pits but, after briefly rejoining the track, returned to the garage and is now 10 laps down on the leaders.


With polesitter Roman Rusinov plummeting to 14th on the opening lap in the TDS-run #26 G-Drive ORECA, Oliver Jarvis led the early stages.

The #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing driver kept the #31 Rebellion ORECA of Bruno Senna at bay until making its first stop at the end of lap eight.

But a delay getting away cost Jarvis around 25 seconds, and once the first round of stops had shaken out he was down in sixth and almost half-a-minute down.

This meant Senna moved into the lead, chased by the #25 Manor ORECA of Vitaly Petrov and the sister #24 car of Jean-Eric Vergne, who briefly led after staying out a lap longer before stopping.

Initially, Petrov closed the gap, but at the end of the first hour it had settled at nine seconds.

The #13 Rebellion ORECA of Nelson Piquet Jr runs fourth ahead of the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA in the hands of Tristan Gommendy and sixth-placed Jarvis.

The lead non-ORECA is the #27 SMP Dallara of Mikhail Aleshin, which runs seventh, with the best of the Ligiers, the #32 United Autosports car, 10th with Filipe Albuquerque at the wheel.

Rusinov did climb back into the top 10, but he pitted early for a new nose and now runs a distant 19th.

The way he entered the pits, cutting back across the runoff area to join the pit entry, possibly after a spin, is being investigated by the stewards.

Last year's LMP2 winner, the #36 Signatech ORECA, had a disastrous start to the race.

Gustavo Menezes plunged into the gravel at Mulsanne Corner and ended up stuck in the gravel up against the barrier.

He was eventually recovered and returned to the pits to hand over to Matt Rao but has dropped two laps off the lead.

The #22 DragonSpeed ORECA also hit trouble, as it pitted at the end of the fifth lap but has yet to re-emerge.


The GTE Pro battle proved as tight as expected as second-place qualifier Alessandro Pier Guidi (#51 AF Corse Ferrari) got the drop on polesitter Darren Turner (#97 Aston Martin), but his lead lasted only until the third lap.

Nicki Thiim (#95 Aston Martin) passed both Turner and Pier Guidi and then gradually built up a margin as the remaining GTE Pros ran nose-to-tail.

Fourth-place qualifier Sam Bird had a tough opening stint in the #71 Ferrari, dropping behind Richard Westbrook (#69 Ford), Antonio Garcia (#63 Corvette), Kevin Estre (#92 Porsche) and Stefan Mucke (#66 Ford) to run eighth ahead of Oliver Gavin's #64 Corvette.

Frederic Makowiecki gained three places in the opening lap to put the #91 Ferrari into 10th ahead of Toni Vilander's #82 Risi Ferrari and the #67 and #68 Ganassi Team USA Fords of Andy Priaulx and Joey Hand.

Porsche played a blinder in the pitstops, enabling Estre to emerge third behind Thiim and Turner, only to be robbed by Pier Guidi the following lap.

Westbrook was the biggest casualty of the pitstops, dropping from fourth to eighth behind Thiim, Turner, Pier Guidi, Estre, Mucke, Bird and Garcia.

Makowiecki and Priaulx jumped Gavin in the stops to run ninth and 10th, and Hand jumped Vilander for 12th.

GTE Am polesitter Fernando Rees got off to an explosive start in the #50 Larbre Viper, briefly passing Hand's GTE Pro Ford, but still had enough pace in hand to pull well clear of second-place qualifier Pedro Lamy's #98 Aston Martin once Hand got by.

During the stops, though, Scuderia Corsa and TF Sport turned round their cars faster to put Townsend Bell (#62 Ferrari) and Rob Bell (#90 Aston) ahead of both of them.


Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Davidson, Nakajima 16
2 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Sarrazin 16 + 1.490s
3 LMP1 #1 Porsche Jani, Lotterer, Tandy 16 + 3.843s
4 LMP1 #2 Porsche Bernhard, Bamber, Hartley 16 + 11.248s
5 LMP1 #9 Toyota Lapierre, Kunimoto, Lopez 16 + 36.045s
6 LMP2 #31 Oreca Prost, Canal, Senna 15 + 1 Lap
7 LMP2 #25 Oreca Gonzalez, Trummer, Petrov 15 + 11.533s
8 LMP2 #24 Oreca Graves, Hirschi, Vergne 15 + 13.859s
9 LMP2 #13 Oreca Piquet Jr, H. Hansson, Beche 15 + 16.381s
10 LMP2 #37 Oreca Cheng, Gommendy, Brundle 15 + 18.010s
11 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Laurent, Jarvis 15 + 29.209s
12 LMP2 #35 Alpine Panciatici, Ragues, Negrao 15 + 33.469s
13 LMP2 #27 Dallara Aleshin, Sirotkin, Shaitar 15 + 38.339s
14 LMP2 #21 Oreca Hedman, Hanley, Rosenqvist 15 + 39.584s
15 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Collard 15 + 52.088s
16 LMP2 #32 Ligier Owen, De Sadeleer, Albuquerque 15 + 54.646s
17 LMP2 #26 Oreca Rusinov, Thiriet, Lynn 15 + 1m15.675s
18 LMP2 #40 Oreca Allen, Matelli, Bradley 15 + 1m16.398s
19 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi 15 + 1m18.078s
20 LMP2 #34 Ligier Moore, Hanson, Chandhok 15 + 1m19.951s
21 LMP2 #33 Ligier Nicolet, Nicolet, Maris 15 + 2m02.555s
22 LMP2 #43 Riley Keating, Bleekemolen, Taylor 15 + 2m03.270s
23 LMP2 #17 Ligier Lafargue, Lafargue, Zollinger 15 + 2m12.780s
24 LMP2 #23 Ligier Barthez, Buret, Berthon 15 + 2m41.288s
25 LMP2 #45 Ligier Patterson, Mcmurry, Capillaire 14 + 2 Laps
26 LMP2 #29 Dallara Lammers, Van Eerd, Barrichello 14 + 1.897s
27 LMP2 #39 Oreca Guibbert, Trouillet, Winslow 14 + 1m28.395s
28 LMP2 #49 Ligier Konopka, Calko, Breukers 14 + 1m40.197s
29 LMP2 #36 Alpine Dumas, Menezes, Rao 14 + 2m00.346s
30 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Stanaway 14 + 2m01.719s
31 GTE Pro #97 Aston Turner, Adam, Serra 14 + 2m06.533s
32 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Calado, Pier Guidi, Rugolo 14 + 2m09.412s
33 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Werner 14 + 2m09.935s
34 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 14 + 2m11.810s
35 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 14 + 2m13.517s
36 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Taylor 14 + 2m14.194s
37 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 14 + 2m15.863s
38 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Makowiecki, Pilet 14 + 2m16.685s
39 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Derani 14 + 2m18.398s
40 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 14 + 2m20.624s
41 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Kanaan 14 + 2m24.230s
42 GTE Pro #82 Ferrari Vilander, Fisichella, Kaffer 14 + 2m24.366s
43 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Macneil, Sweedler, Bell 14 + 3m04.554s
44 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Bell 13 + 3 Laps
45 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Scott, Cioci 13 + 6.390s
46 GTE Am #77 Porsche Ried, Cairoli, Dienst 13 + 9.756s
47 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Smith, Stevens, Vanthoor 13 + 10.456s
48 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Wee, Katoh, Parente 13 + 22.983s
49 GTE Am #65 Ferrari Nielsen, Balzan, Curtis 13 + 29.800s
50 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Foster 13 + 50.691s
51 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 13 + 1m09.916s
52 GTE Am #50 Chevrolet Rees, Brandela, Philippon 13 + 1m10.925s
53 GTE Am #99 Aston Howard, Gunn, Bryant 13 + 1m24.604s
54 GTE Am #88 Porsche Bachler, Lemeret, Al Qubaisi 13 + 1m26.539s
55 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Beretta 13 + 1m40.506s
56 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mok, Sawa, Griffin 13 + 1m45.394s
57 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Krohn, Jonsson, Bertolini 13 + 1m45.751s
58 GTE Am #93 Porsche Long, Al Faisal, Hedlund 13 + 1m53.648s
59 LMP1 #4 Enso Webb, Kraihamer, Bonanomi 7 + 9 Laps
60 LMP2 #22 Oreca Rojas, Hirakawa, Gutierrez 5 + 11 Laps
Toyota 24 Hours of Le Mans strategy could change in hot conditions

Previous article

Toyota 24 Hours of Le Mans strategy could change in hot conditions

Next article

Le Mans 24 Hours: #7 Toyota takes the lead in second hour

Le Mans 24 Hours: #7 Toyota takes the lead in second hour
Load comments
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

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
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Plus

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and were considered heavy favourites to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen

Le Mans
Aug 14, 2021