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.

shares
comments

Related video

Le Mans 24h, H16: Toyotas lead, Ferrari vs. Corvette in GTE Pro
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

Le Mans 24h: Toyota wins with new hypercar, #7 crew breaks jinx
Load comments
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

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
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

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
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans Prime

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

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
How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload Prime

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

The 23-car GTE Am field promises to be one of the most open in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with the added jeopardy of managing the enthusiasm of amateur drivers to boot, as Absolute Racing Porsche driver Marco Seefried explains

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021