LM24 12 Hour Report: Calado v Buemi at the Front
Ferrari and Toyota battle it out in magical fight for supremacy as half-distance arrives....
The Headlines from Le Mans after 12 hours.......
· Quartet of Hypercar manufacturers battle it out at front of the field as the halfway mark arrives at Le Mans.
· Toyota, Peugeot, Ferrari and Cadillac all spend time in lead as incredible centenary Le Mans continues.
· Nico Muller completed epic triple stint in No.94 Peugeot TotalEnergies 9X8 Hypercar before handing over to Gustavo Menezes at head of field.
· After demise of the No.7 Toyota Gazoo GR010 Hybrid Hypercar just after midnight, the sister No.8 car assumes lead as battle at front is fought between the pair and the No.2 Cadillac V Series.R and No.51 Ferrari AF Corse.
· Ferrari continue to be a threat at the front as No.50 and No.51 499Ps run close together but No.50 pole sitting car is pushed back in to pit at 01.50 under Full Course Yellow with team investigating the problem which loses the car five laps.
· The Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen piloted Ferrari slip down the order to 10th and out of contention at the front.
· At 1.55am the top four of Muller, Pier Guidi, Alex Lynn in No.2 Cadillac and No.8 Toyota of Ryo Hirakawa are just eight seconds apart before pit stops prevail.
· Muller keeps the lead as a four manufacturer dog-fight rages in to the darkness.
· Alessandro Pier Guidi hands over the No.51 Ferrari AF Corse 499 to James Calado in tenth hour and Calado attempts to chase down the Sebastien Buemi driven Toyota he took over from Ryo Hirakawa.
· Disaster for No.94 Peugeot 9X8 as Gustavo Menezes crashes in first Mulsanne Chicane at 03.10am. He returns to pits for front-end repairs but drops down order.
· At 03.30 Calado catches Buemi and takes the lead after pit stops and the pair then trade quick laps as Buemi looks to make fresher tyres a key advantage.
· At 4am the top three order is – No.51 Ferrari (Calado), No.8 Toyota (Buemi), No.2 Cadillac (Westbrook).
· Calado’s advantage over Buemi is 4.2 seconds, with Westbrook 55 seconds further back.
· The No.6 Porsche Penske races in fourth position ahead of the No.3 Cadillac and No.93 Peugeot TotalEnergies 9X8 in fifth and sixth.
· Glickenhaus Racing running strongly with No.709 and No.708 007 on-Hybrid Hypercars in seventh and eighth and on same lap.
· No.5 Porsche Penske 963 endures long pit stop and drops further away and runs ninth in Hypercar.
· Hertz Team Jota place 12th after losing more time in early hours after long pit stop.
· Repaired and recovering No.94 Peugeot 9X8 re-joins in 11th position ahead of the Floyd Vanwall and Action Express Cadillac which crashed on the first lap.
· No.34 Inter Europol Competition continues to lead LMP2 as Jakub Smiechowski goes in to a head-to-head with fellow silver categorised Rui Andrade in the No.41 Team WRT car.
· Andrade is involved in an incident with Sebastien Bourdais in the No.3 Cadillac but emerges undamaged.
· But surprise leader at 4am is the Duqueine Oreca-Gibson driven by Neel Jani who executes memorable triple stint to hold a 20-second advantage.
· That is over the No.65 Panis Racing Oreca-Gibson with Job van Uitert at the wheel.
· No.47 Cool Racing car makes it an ELMS entered 1-2-3 at half distance.
· The No.41 WRT car places fourth as Louis Deletraz aims to get back in to contention at the front of the class.
· Inter Europol run fifth after leading for several hours. Albert Costa takes over from Smiechowski in 12th hour.
· No.28 Jota loses further positions after Pietro Fittipaldi suffers collision with Panis Racing car driven by Manuel Maldonado. All South American clash ends with Fittipaldi beached in gravel trap and car drops to P10 in LMP2.
· No.63 Prema’s fightback ends with spectacular accident for Daniil Kvyat at Porsche Curves. Ex-F1 driver walks away unscathed.
· Jan Magnussen crashes the No.32 Inter Europol Competition LMP2 car heavily at the first Mulsanne Chicane but team attempts to get back in the race.
· Project 1 AO Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 leads for much of the early morning hours but comes under increasing pressure from No.57 Kessel Racing Ferrari 488 GTE Evo
· Daniel Serra eventually makes a move for the lead at 03.30am and starts to pull away.
· But after pit stops ‘Rexy’ cycles back to the front ahead of the Kessel Ferrari.
· Iron Dames Porsche 911 RSR-19 place third with Rahel Frey at the wheel and in touch with leading pair.
· No.54 AF Corse Ferrari still in contention for honours as Thomas Flohr gets his second stint at the wheel.
· No.33 points leading Corvette Racing entry of Ben Keating, Nicky Catsburg and Nicolas Varrone place ninth after suffering with damper issues in first half of the race.
· No.77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche is forced to retire after accident damage proves terminal.
· Hendrick Motorsports run Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 sits 36th overall as Jenson Button, Mike Rockenfeller and Jimmy Johnson continue strong showing at Le Mans as a NASCAR returns after 47 years away.
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