Race updates from the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Kazuki Nakajima is out front of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with two hours on the clock, in what was a contrasting hour for Toyota Gazoo Racing.
Nakajima took over the No. 5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid from Anthony Davidson and currently leads Neel Jani’s Porsche 919 Hybrid by around 30 seconds.
However, it wasn’t quite smooth sailing for the No. 6 Toyota, which was pushed back into the garage to fix bodywork. Nevertheless, Stephane Sarrazin’s car didn’t lose any positions, and remained in third position with the pair of Audi R18s a few laps down.
Signatech Alpine is still on top out of the LMP2 runners, with Stephane Richelmi continuing in the No. 36 Alpine A460 Nissan. G-Drive Racing is second ahead of SMP Racing, with Roman Rusinov and Victor Shaytar respectively.
Platinum-rated Danny Watts sits behind the pair of Silver drivers in the Strakka Racing Gibson 015S Nissan.
The GTE-Pro battle is still between the No. 68 Ford GT and No. 82 Ferrari 488 GTE. Dirk Mueller has just taken over the Ford from Joey Hand, with Giancarlo Fisichella behind but only by 36 seconds despite a spin from the Risi Competizione car.
Behind the leading duo are two more Ford Chip Ganassi Racing entries; namely the Nos. 69 and 66 of Scott Dixon and Olivier Pla. Dixon has just set a GTE track record lap of 3:51.582.
Jeff Segal is driving the GTE-Am-leading No. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari F458 Italia, with the similar car of AF Corse’s Rui Aguas behind him.
David Heinemeier Hansson is on the final provisional podium position in the Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR.
Having slowed at the Dunlop Chicane, the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE ended up retiring in Hour 22 with a gearbox issue, while there was a drive-through penalty for the Formula Racing Ferrari after refuelling with the engine still on.
Problems for the No. 6 Toyota:
The No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid has been pushed back into the Toyota Gazoo Racing garage with an unconfirmed mechanical issue.
Stephane Sarrazin was behind the wheel of the car that was running in third position, and that had led a lot of the race early on.
There appears to be some damage to the car’s bodywork, but it is currently unclear as to the exact cause of the issue.
Oliver Jarvis is in fourth position in the No. 8 Audi R18, and 12 laps behind the No. 6. Meanwhile, the sister No. 5 Toyota leads the race ahead of Neel Jani’s No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
Stephane Richelmi, Joey Hand and Townsend Bell lead LMP2, GTE-Pro and GTE-Am respectively.
The final four hours of the 24 Hours of Le Mans promise to be some of the most open and exciting in recent memory, with the No. 5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid driven by Anthony Davidson holding a narrow advantage over his sister car driven by Kamui Kobayashi.
Running on a fresh set of Michelins after taking over from Sebastien Buemi, Davidson passed Marc Lieb’s treble-stinting No. 2 Porche 919 Hybrid on the exit of the second chicane, shortly before the hour-mark.
Lieb then came into the pits just after a Slow Zone was brought out for Mark Patterson’s stranded No. 57 Team AAI Corvette C7.R, again without changing tires.
Meanwhile, Audi’s dramas continued, as Oliver Jarvis brought the No. 8 R18 slowly back to the pits from fourth place. However, the winners of the Spa 6 Hours last time out still held a six-lap lead over Andre Lotterer in the No. 7 car.
Signatech-Alpine continue to lead by a lap over the No. 26 G-Drive Oreca 05 in LMP2. Rene Rast had been gradually chipping away at Stephane Richelmi during a quadruple morning stint, but his teammate Will Stevens has been unable to make similar ground against the impressive American Gustavo Menezes.
The battle for third between SMP Racing and Strakka Racing looks set to rage on however, with SMP’s Vitaly Petrov claiming the position from Nick Leventis. It came after Jonny Kane had earlier managed to pass Petrov’s team-mate Viktor Shaitar.
In GTE-Pro, the No. 68 Ford GT driven by Joey Hand tracked down and passed Matteo Malucelli’s No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE to resume the class lead.
It came after Hand’s teammate Dirk Mueller was forced to serve a drive-through penalty for refuelling while the engine was still running.
Ryan Briscoe continues to hold third in class after taking over from Richard Westbrook in the No. 69 Ford.
However, Ferrari do still retain the lead in the GTE-Am class, courtesy of the No. 62 Scuderia Corse 458 Italia. Townsend Bell has a lap in hand over the rest of the field, headed by Patrick Long in the No. 88 Abu Dhabi Proton Porsche 911 RSR.
The field has settled down after a hectic early morning period as the 24 Hours of Le Mans reaches three-quarter race distance, with six hours left on the clock.
Sebastien Buemi continues to lead the way in the No. 5 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Toyota Gazoo Racing, 31 seconds up the road from teammate Mike Conway in the No. 6 car. Mark Lieb runs in third position for the No. 2 Porsche crew having taken over from Neel Jani.
The two Audi R18s are fourth and fifth but look to be out of contention for the overall win after a troublesome race so far for the Audi Sport Team Joest crew.
Stephane Richelmi paces the LMP2 field with his No. 36 Signatech Alpine A460 Nissan, which has been out front for a while. G-Drive Racing is back up to second position with Rene Rast behind the wheel of its Oreca 05 Nissan.
Victor Shaytar is currently third in the No. 37 SMP Racing-run BR Engineering BR 01 Nissan, while Jonny Kane is fourth for Strakka Racing, which has thus far run a quiet but consistent race.
It’s still between Risi Competizione and the No. 68 Ford GT in GTE-Pro, as Matteo Mallucelli heads the class in the No. 82 Ferrari 488 GTE, while Dirk Mueller is in the Ford.
Mueller had to serve a drive-through penalty as the result of refuelling with the engine still on, but he didn’t lose position for it.
Bill Sweedler is behind the wheel of the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari F458 Italia, which tops the GTE-Am category. The American is ahead of Khaled Al Qubaisi’s Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR in second.
An eventful 17th hour to the 24 Hours of Le Mans saw several cars in the gravel trap before a three-way battle broke out for the overall lead.
After Toyota Gazoo Racing pitted both cars during a safety car intervention, the two Toyota TS050 Hybrids competed for the lead of the race, with Sebastien Buemi passing Mike Conway into the second Mulsanne Straight chicane.
Soon after, Neel Jani closed up in his No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid. The fourth-placed No. 8 Audi R18 is two laps down.
Signatech Alpine continues to lead the way in LMP2 with the No. 36 Alpine A460 Nissan, although that car did have a brief excursion into the garage from first place.
However, the real troubles were for three other LMP2 cars.
The hour started with Nelson Panciatici planting his No. 35 Alpine into the wall, with a suspected brake failure.
Pierre Thiriet then clipped the barrier on the entry to Mulsanne Corner, sending his No. 46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca 05 Nissan into the gravel trap.
Ed Brown went off at Tertre Rouge in the No. 30 Ligier JS P2 Nissan of Tequila Patron ESM. The safety car came out as a result of these last two incidents.
The ByKolles CLM P1/01 AER suffered from more issues, and caught fire at Porsche Curves. It is possible that Simon Trummer’s car had spilt oil on the track, explaining the odd incidents for Thiriet and Brown.
Risi Competizione heads the GTE-Pro field, with Matteo Mallucelli at the wheel of the No. 82 Ferrari 488 GTE. Dirk Mueller is second in the No. 68 Ford GT.
An American Ferrari leads in GTE-Am as well, with the Scuderia Corsa F458 Italia out front in the hands of Bill Sweedler. David Heinemeier Hansson’s Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR is second.
The defending GTE-Pro race-winning No. 64 Corvette Racing squad is out of the 24 Hours of Le Mans following a heavy accident by Tommy Milner in the 16th hour.
Milner lost control of the Corvette C7.R heading into Turn 1 and made heavy contact with the barrier. He climbed from the car without any apparent injury.
The car was battling for a top-five position in class at the time, with the accident bringing out a Slow Zone. It was the first significant accident of the race so far.
There have been no changes up front, with the No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Stephane Sarrazin ahead of teammate Kamui Kobayashi in second, with Neel Jani running third in the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.
All three cars are in the middle of scheduled pit stops and remain on the lead lap.
Stephane Richelmi leads LMP2 in the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A460b Nissan, with the No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferraru 488 GTE of Toni Vilander out front in GTE-Pro.
GTE-Am continues to be led by the No. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT, with Jeff Segal still at the wheel.
Toyota is running 1-2 after 14 hours in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, after Marc Lieb in the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid was forced into an extra stop due to a slow puncture.
Marc Lieb had moved into the lead halfway the 14th hour after another round of pit stops, returning to the track with an 8.645s advantage over Kamui Kobayashi in the No. 6 TS050 Hybrid.
A slow zone as a result of the No. 13 Rebellion Racing R-One coming to a stop on the Hunaudieres straight meant Lieb was unable to pull away and, shortly after the slow zone ended, the Porsche driver hit gravel on the track.
It caused a slow puncture on the Porsche and Lieb was forced to return to the pit just 19 minutes after he had left it. Kobayashi and teammate Anthony Davidson passed the Porsche and Lieb returned one minute behind the leader.
While the No. 13 Rebellion R-One AER was still stopped out on the track, the team’s second car spun at Mulsanne corner, before Nelson Piquet Jr. returned it to the pit with clutch issues.
In LMP2 the No. 36 Signatech-Alpine A460 continues to lead, but Ryo Hirakawa’s No. 46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca 05 Nissan is still within striking distance. The No. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 05 Nissan is in third place, despite a stop-go penalty.
GTE-Pro is still a battle between the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE and the Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Ford GTs, with the teams swapping the lead during pit stops.
In GTE-Am the No. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia has moved into the lead, at the expense of the No. 88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR. AF Corse’s No. 83 Ferrari 458 Italia.
Toyota retain the lead at half-distance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but a strong stint by Romain Dumas in the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid means they can’t afford to rest on their laurels.
Kamui Kobayashi took over the No. 6 TS050 Hybrid from teammate Mike Conway shortly before the hour mark and the additional time in the pits required for the driver change meant Dumas, the 2010 Le Mans winner, was just 44 seconds behind.
The second Toyota of Anthony Davidson continues to run well in third, one minute behind the Porsche and comfortably ahead of the best-placed of the Audis, the No. 8 R18 of Oliver Jarvis.
As the problems for the hybrid cars continued to rack up, with Marcel Fassler’s No. 7 R18 coming to a halt at the Dunlop Curve, the No. 13 Rebellion R-One AER of Dominik Kraihamer was able to consolidate fifth position.
In LMP2, Gustavo Menezes continued to lead in the No. 36 Signatech-Alpine A460b, but had Will Stevens in the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 05 Nissan and Ryo Hirakawa’s No. 46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca 05 Nissan in close attendance.
Matteo Malucelli was able to maintain Risi Competizione’s advantage in the GTE-Pro class over the chasing Ford GTs of Ryan Briscoe in the No. 69 car and Joey Hand in the No. 68 car.
Both Fords were held at the end of the pitlane when they came in under the Safety Car, presenting the Ferrari which had pitted under green with the lead.
Marco Sorensen in the No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE and Tommy Milner in the No. 64 Corvette C7.R gave valiant chase in fourth and fifth.
The order remained unchanged in GTE-Am, as the No. 88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche of Khaled al Qubaisi led Townsend Bell’s No. 52 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia.
The No. 41 SRT41 by Oak Racing Morgan Nissan featuring quadruple amputee Frederic Sausset is still running, down in 36th position.
The No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid continued to lead after the 10th hour of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which ended behind the safety car when Kevin Estre’s No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR suffered an engine failure and dropped oil at the Porsche Curves.
After taking over from Stephane Sarrazin, Mike Conway briefly relinquished the lead to Neel Jani in the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, only for the Swiss to pit just a few laps later and hand over to Romain Dumas.
The second Toyota of Sebastien Buemi holds third, with a lap in hand over Loic Duval in the No. 8 Audi, which had to make an additional pitstop to replace a slow puncture.
The race-contending No. 1 Porsche spent over an hour in the pits while the team attended to an overheating issue, but was only able to complete one slow tour before returning to the garage.
After very long stop for Mathias Beche in the TDS by Thiriet Racing Oreca 05 Nissan, Nicolas Lapierre is back in the LMP2 lead in the Signatech-Alpine A460b.
The Frenchman has a minute in hand over the No. 26 G-Drive Oreca 05 Nissan of Rene Rast, with Beche now third and Jake Dennis fourth in G-Drive’s Gibson 015S Nissan.
After completing a full system reset, the No. 47 KCMG Oreca 05 Nissan briefly returned to the race, only for Richard Bradley to abandon the car at the Porsche Curves due to an unspecified problem.
The timing of the safety car proved beneficial for Ferrari, as Toni Vilander retook the lead in GTE-Pro.
The No. 82 Risi Competizione 488 GTE completed its 10th stop under green and when erstwhile leader Dirk Mueller pitted in the No. 68 Ford GT, he was held at the end of the pitlane.
Richard Westbrook now runs second in the No. 69 Ford, with Mueller third and Nicki Thiim fourth in the best-placed of the Aston Martins Vantage GTEs.
The No. 66 Ford GT had been in podium contention in the hands of Olivier Pla when it lost a lap with electrical problems and was then wheeled into the garage shortly before the hour mark.
After an eventful stint for Paul dalla Lana in the No. 98 Aston Martin, David Heinemeier-Hansson is back in the GTE-Am lead in the No. 88 Abu Dhabi Proton Racing Porsche.
The Dane has a two minute lead over the No. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia of Bill Sweedler.
Just moments after both Audis made trips to the garage, the No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid has hit major trouble in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Brendon Hartley pitted his No. 1 Porsche just past the nine-hour mark from third place, after the defending FIA World Endurance Championship-winning car was struggling for pace with co-driver Timo Bernhard at the wheel.
Porsche has yet to confirm the issue for the car but it remains in the garage on its high jacks with extensive work ongoing.
It is the third factory LMP1 car to run into issues, just past the one-third mark of the race.
Both Audi R18s have battled undisclosed issues with the front of its diesel-powered contenders and currently run 4th and 7th, with the No. 13 Rebellion R-One in sixth.
The No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Stephane Sarrazin continues to lead the race, ahead of the No. 2 Porsche of Neel Jani.
An accident for the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Paul Dalla Lana, who slammed into the wall at the Porsche Curves, has put the race under only the second safety car of the race.
Audi has hit trouble in the eighth hour of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid continued to lead with Stephane Sarrazin at the wheel.
Shortly before the hour, the best placed of the R18’s driven by Oliver Jarvis was wheeled into the garage from fifth place, where the Audi mechanics completed a bodywork change at the front-end to resolve an as-yet unspecified problem.
It came after the team had completed an identical job on the recovering No. 7 car, which is 9 laps down on the leaders after a turbo problem in the second hour of the race.
Out front, the No. 6 Toyota crew led by 18 seconds from Neel Jani in the No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid after benefiting from a fortunately-timed Slow Zone when Kamui Kobayashi pitted to hand over to Sarrazin.
Jani took second from teammate Timo Bernhard in the No. 1 car after the reigning WEC champion was unsighted by the low sun entering a Slow Zone at the Porsche Curves and had to pit to replace his flat-spotted tires.
The second Toyota runs in fourth place, with Kazuki Nakajima currently at the wheel, but is almost two minutes behind their teammates.
In LMP2, the No. 46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca 05 Nissan continued to lead from the No. 36 Signatech-Alpine A460b, although Nicolas Lapierre was closing on Pierre Thiriet.
After the front-running Manor Oreca 05 Nissan dropped back first with a spin and then with rising oil and water temperatures, defending winners KCMG also hit trouble, as third-placed Tsugio Matsuda came to a halt on the Mulsanne Straight.
KCMG’s misfortune promoted the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 05 Nissan of Rene Rast to third and the team’s Gibson 015S Nissan to fourth.
GTE-Pro continued to be all about Ford and Ferrari, with Dirk Mueller taking over the leading No. 68 Ford GT from Sebastien Bourdais.
Bourdais had worked his way past the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE of Matteo Malucelli, which continues to be a thorn in the Blue Oval’s side preventing them from a clean sweep of the top three positions.
Olivier Pla holds third place in the No. 66 car, with Richard Westbrook fourth in the No. 69 car after taking over from Scott Dixon. The No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Nicki Thiim is the best of the rest in fifth.
The best battle on track was for the lead in GTE-Am, with just two seconds separating Pedro Lamy’s No. 98 Aston Martin, Pat Long in the No. 88 Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR and Jeff Segal’s No. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia.
Kamui Kobayashi has taken over the lead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a quarter of the race completed, in the No. 6 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid.
Mark Webber had been in the lead for just over four hours in his Porsche 919 Hybrid, but lost the lead to Kobayashi in the seventh round of pit stops. Kobayashi is yet to pit, which could end a triple stint from the Japanese driver.
Anthony Davidson and Neel Jani complete the top four, while the two Audi R18s have had less luck. The No. 7 car is climbing back up the field after troubles early in the race, but the No. 8 is in fifth position after a delayed stop to replace a door.
Ryo Hirakawa heads the LMP2 field in the No. 46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca 05 Nissan, ahead of the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A460 Nissan of Stephane Richelmi.
The No. 31 Tequila Patron ESM Ligier JS P2 Nissan suffered from a puncture and had two offs, losing a few laps to the class leaders in the process.
Tracy Krohn spun the No. 40 Krohn Racing Ligier Nissan at the first chicane, while the No. 28 Pegasus Racing Morgan Nissan spun into the barrier and took some damage to its nose.
Also of note was a drive-through penalty for the pole-sitting No. 26 Ligier Nissan of G-Drive Racing, for refuelling with the engine on.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and Risi Competizione share the top four spots in GTE-Pro, all very close on track.
Matteo Mallucelli in the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE leads GTE-Pro, in front of Sebastien Bourdais’ No. 68 Ford GT.
Khaled Al Qubaisi is the GTE-Am leader in the No. 88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR, with Christian Reid in second for KCMG.
The No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid continued to lead the 24 Hours of Le Mans after hour 4, with Mark Webber leading by 24 seconds from Kamui Kobayashi in the No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid.
The two cars have alternated the lead during the pit cycles, with Toyota typically going one lap further during a stint in the hope of saving themselves a pitstop later in the race.
Kobayashi took over after a strong opening quadruple stint from Mike Conway, who set the fastest lap of the race so far on Lap 48.
Oliver Jarvis runs third in the No. 8 Audi R18, ahead of Marc Lieb in the second Porsche 919 Hybrid.
The German was able to capitalize when the No. 5 Toyota of Anthony Davidson made two pitstops in as many laps due to a vibration.
Le Mans rookie Roberto Merhi’s excellent opening stint meant Matt Rao inherited a 28-second lead in LMP2.
The Manor Oreca 05 Nissan is still being pursued by the identical Thiriet by TDS Racing machine, now driven by Ryo Hirakawa, with defending winners KCMG due a pitstop from third.
Will Stevens ran fourth in the No. 26 G-Drive Oreca 05 Nissan after René Rast lost time with a puncture.
In GTE-Pro, the No. 69 Ford held the lead after Toni Vilander pitted his No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE shortly before the hour mark.
Vilander’s team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella had taken the lead from Richard Westbrook’s No. 68 Ford during the pitstops. As Westbrook’s teammate Ryan Briscoe fell away, a charging Joey Hand took over second the No. 69 car, but still had some ground to make up on Vilander.
The No. 91 Porsche had been enjoying a promising run in fourth when Nick Tandy brought the car in for a radiator change, which cost them two laps.
However, Porsche’s dominance of the GTE-Am class continues, with Joel Camathias in the No. 78 KCMG 911 RSR leading David Heinemeier-Hansson in the No. 88 Dempsey Proton Raching machine.
All 60 cars are still classed as running, although Marc Miller’s No. 89 WeatherTech Racing Porsche sustained heavy damage when he spun into the wall at the Dunlop Curves.
Miller is competing in the entire 24 Hours with Leh Keen after an unwell Cooper MacNeil was ruled out by the FIA Doctor.
Brendon Hartley leads the 24 Hours of Le Mans after the second hour, in the No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, ahead of Mike Conway’s No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid.
Conway had led after the first hour, but the next stage of the race saw countless lead changes at the front. Hartley was the leader before pit stops and he re-took the position after the second round of stops.
There were problems for the No. 7 Audi R18 which went inside the Audi Sport Team Joest garage for a turbocharger change. Benoit Treluyer rejoined the race having lost six laps.
Roberto Mehri is out front in LMP2 in the No. 44 Manor Oreca 05 Nissan, while Mathias Beche is second in the Thiriet by TDS Racing Oreca.
Earl Bamber assumed the GTE-Pro lead after pit stops on the hour mark. Co-driver in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR, Frederic Makowiecki, had earlier had a battle with Richard Westbrook’s Ford GT.
Wolf Henzler is the GTE-Am leader in the No. 78 KCMG Porsche, while Patrick Long is second in the Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing car.
The No. 60 Ferrari F458 Italia of Formula Racing lost a wheel on the Mulsanne Straight. Mikkel Mac runs in last position as a result.
The No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid leads the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the end of the first hour after Mike Conway passed the pole-sitting Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani.
The race started behind the safety car in heavy rain for the first time in event history, but as conditions improved and a dry line began to appear, the field were unleashed with 7 minutes of the first hour remaining.
In LMP2, René Rast led from pole before pitting his G-Drive Racing Oreca 05 Nissan shortly after the hour, handing the lead to Nicolas Lapierre in the No. 46 Signatech-Alpine A460b Nissan.
Dirk Mueller led from the start in GTE-Pro, ahead of James Calado’s Ferrari 488 GTE and the two Porsches of Fred Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet.
Behind the safety car, the first strategy machinations began to shake themselves out, as Tequila Patron ESM brought Pipo Derani in to hand over to Chris Cumming.
Also running off strategy is the GTE-Am pole-sitter Rob Bell in the Clearwater Racing Ferrari F458 Italia GT and the Mikkel Mac-driven Formula Racing Ferrari.
Several cars fell into problems early on, including the No. 67 Ford GT, which lost two laps due to a loss of gearbox pressure, and the misfiring No. 12 Rebellion R-One AER.
The 84th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans started behind the Safety Car.
Heavy rain began to fall while the cars lined up on the grid, and the decision was taken to give the drivers a few laps to acclimate to the standing water before the green flags was thrown.
Adverse weather has been a feature of much of the week’s running, with Thursday’s qualifying 3 interrupted by red flags due to the rain.
58 cars took the start, with the No. 67 Ford GT, that was due to start fourth in GTE-Pro, and the No. 4 ByKolles CLMP1/01 AER both undergoing repairs in the garage.
The Ford rejoined the race two laps down with Andy Priaulx at the wheel.