LM24 4 Hour Report: Peugeot leads; Alpine 1-2 in LMP2; Iron Dames on top in LMGTE Am
It’s non-stop action at 24 Hours of Le Mans, round four of FIA WEC. Below are the main headlines after the first four hours of racing at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
- Peugeot leads at Le Mans after incident packed first four hours at centenary edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
- Ferrari AF Corse re-took the lead in the second hour after Nicklas Nielsen had pitted early for fuel only and went on an off-set strategy.
- With the Toyotas having started on the soft compound tire, Ferrari appeared to have the early advantage before a large rain shower turned the race in to chaos early in the fourth hour.
- Remarkably this allowed Peugeot TotalEnergies take sensational lead just before the second Safety Car as Gustavo Menezes surges through in No.94 9X8 after overtaking several cars to electrify the massive crowd.
- Menezes held the lead over the Hertz Team Jota Porsche 963, which started 60 th on the grid!
- Yifei Ye took over the gold liveried car from Antonio Felix da Costa as race got ready to go green again just before the four-hour mark arrived.
- But Ye drops down to sixth as he makes pit stop as pass around shuffle continues in to fifth hour.
- The No.6 Porsche Penske 963 driven by Kevin Estre places second ahead of the pair of Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hybrid Hypercars driven by Jose-Maria Lopez and Brendon Hartley respectively.
- No.75 Porsche Penske places fifth as cars change from wets to slicks as track dries under Safety Car conditions.
- No.93 Peugeot 9X8 driven by Jean-Eric Vergne spins under safety car after switching to slick tires and beaches the car in the gravel trap at Mulsanne Corner.
- Highest placed Cadillac, the No.2 driven by Alex Lynn, is seventh ahead of the pair of Ferrari AF Corse 499Ps.
- The No.3 Cadillac was in strong position in lead group but suffered an incident in the third hour when it is hit by the No.21 AF Corse Ferrari driven by Ulysse de Pauw.
- Repairs are made to the Sebastien Bourdais driven Cadillac V Series.R before Scott Dixon returns to the race but loses over three minutes.
- Bourdais has so far set the fastest lap of the race on a 3m28.298s.
- Real drama comes just before the fourth hour when a cloudburst sees the track drenched at Porsche Curves. Several cars aquaplane, including Scott Dixon in No.3 Cadillac V Series.R. Kiwi pits for repairs after contact with barrier.
- No.709 Glickenhaus Racing car with Esteban Guttierez aboard is still the leading non-Hybrid but requires some repair after receiving damage during spin when rain hits.
- Alpine ELF Team run 1-2 as they take advantage of chaotic fourth hour in wet conditions.
- No.35 driven by Memo Rojas leads the No.36 car of Julien Canal.
- United Autosports place third as No.22 car with Oliver Jarvis at the wheel heads No.30 Duqueine entry in third.
- No.14 Nielsen Racing entry crashes out in second hour as Rodrigo Sales crashes approaching the Dunlop Chicane. American driver emerges unscathed but car is retired.
- Shortly after the No.13 Tower Motorsports Oreca-Gibson also retired after a clash with the barriers on the Mulsanne Straight.
- No.31 WRT car driven by Ferdinand Habsburg is one of several cars to crash in rain shower. Team repair rear wing damage and Habsburg returns to the track.
- After heavy rain shower the No.54 AF Corse Ferrari emerges back in the lead with David Rigon completing epic triple stint.
- But Rigon then hands over to teammate Francesco Castellacci giving the lead over to the Iron Dames Porsche.
- Sarah Bovy takes over from Rahel Frey to take over in the lead as race endures long second Safety Car period to complete new pass around system.
- No.56 Project 1 AO Racing 'Rexy' Porsche 911 RSR-19 places second with PJ Hyett aboard after American takes over from double stinting Matteo Cairoli.
- No.911 Proton Competition Porsche is third ahead of the No.72 TF sport Aston Martin.
- No.83 Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari goes off in rain shower. Lilou Wadoux walks out of the car which retires from the event.
- No.77 Dempsey Proton Porsche 911 RSR-19 suffers damage after being hit by the No.22 United Autosports car driven by Frederik Lubin. Both cars are repaired and return to the race but lose considerable time.
- No.60 Iron Lynx Ferrari hits No.16 Proton Competition Porsche on entry to Tertre Rouge in third hour and both cars retire.
- The Hendrick Motorsports run Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 ends places 44th overall with Jenson Button at the wheel.
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