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Race report
Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans

Le Mans 24h, H20: Toyota on course for win despite issues

Toyota looks well-placed to record another 1-2 win in the Le Mans 24 Hours with four hours left to run, but fuelling issues for both its Hypercars have become its main cause for concern.

The running order remained unchanged up front across the morning hours, with the #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez still leading the #8 sister car as the #7 crew chases its first Le Mans win.

The #8 car kept losing ground due to an unexplained fuel issue, which limited the car to shorter stints and prompted Sebastien Buemi to pull up on the side of the road to change settings.

The leading #7 car then also started suffering from a similar issue, but Toyota claims the situation is stable and so far it has found a workaround for its drivers to keep up their regular race pace.

The #8 car's shorter stint lengths mean a fightback for Buemi, Hartley and Kazuki Nakajima looks unlikely with four hours remaining.

In the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 car, Matthieu Vaxiviere continued to circulate a comfortable third, four laps down on the leaders.

The better-placed of the Glickenhaus Racing cars, the #708 car, briefly held third but was then passed by the Alpine and now follows a minute in arrears in fourth place with Pipo Derani at the wheel.

Belgian Le Mans debutants Team WRT continued to hold the LMP2 race under lock and key with a trouble-free frun for the leading #31 Oreca-Gibson of Robin Frijns, Ferdinand Habsburg and Charles Milesi.

The GT3 stalwarts enjoyed a healthy two-minute lead on the #41 sister car of Louis Deletraz, Robert Kubica and Yifei, while running fifth and sixth overall.

The #28 JOTA Oreca of Stoffel Vandoorne, Sean Gelael and Tom Blomqvist continued to make progress after having lost several minutes due to penalties.

In the 20th hour Vandoorne took over the Oreca in third, reducing the gap to second place to under two minutes.

Realteam Racing and DragonSpeed squabbled over LMP2 Pro-Am honours, while yet another off-track excursion for Racing Team Nederland further hurt its chances in the sub-class.

GTE: Ferrari keeps Corvette at bay

GTE Pro's two-horse race between the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo and the #63 Corvette C8.R raged on, Ferrari's James Calado defending a 20-second lead on Nicky Catsburg in a finely poised contest which has been the highlight of an incident-strewn race.

The #92 factory Porsche 911 RSR-19 followed in third, nearly a lap behind the leaders, with its #91 sister car a further 20 seconds behind.

The remaining cars in class all hit trouble earlier on, the #52 AF Corse Ferrari losing more time in hour 19 due to a delaminating tyre for Sam Bird following their earlier delay with suspension failure.

The #64 Corvette disappeared into the garage a third time for an alternator issue, while the privately entered WeatherTech and HubAuto Porsches had already been retired.

In GTE Am, the #83 AF Corse Ferrari of Nicklas Nielsen, Francois Perrodo and Alessio Rovera enjoyed a long-standing 1m30s lead on the #33 TF Sport Aston Martin, which it successfully defended overnight.

The #80 Iron Lynx Ferrari remained third, just under two minutes behind the second-placed Aston.

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Previous article Le Mans 24h, H16: Toyotas lead, Ferrari vs. Corvette in GTE Pro
Next article Le Mans 24h: Toyota wins with new hypercar, #7 crew breaks jinx

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