Separate incidents involving two of the front-running DPi cars resulted in the third Full Course Yellow period of the Motul Petit Le Mans 10-hour race just before halfway.
The No. 77 Mazda Motorsports RT24-P sustained damage in a collision with the second-placed Scuderia Corsa GTD Ferrari, while Acura Team Penske’s No. 6 car that controlled the opening three hours spun onto the grass at Turn 3 before continuing.
The Mazda, which had Oliver Jarvis at the controls, came off considerably worse after its contact with Alessandro Balzan’s No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.
Jarvis was rising the crest at pit exit when his car and the Ferrari, which was coming around Turn 1 at the start of a new lap, came to blows.
The Mazda then made heavy contact with the right-side wall before being limped back to the paddock by Jarvis, who is sharing the wheel with Tristan Nunez and Olivier Pla.
The cause of Dane Cameron’s spin in the No. 6 Acura is currently unclear, although the Tower Motorsport by Starworks Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 appeared to be involved.
Cameron managed to continue with minor front-end damage to his Penske car, although the American driver subsequently lost the race lead heading into the caution period.
A round of pit stops under caution resulted in Ricky Taylor rising to the top of DPi in the No. 7 Team Penske Acura, ahead of Ryan Briscoe in Wayne Taylor Racing’s Cadillac DPi-V.R.
Pipo Derani emerged third in the No. 31 Action Express/Whelen Cadillac after taking over from Felipe Nasr, while Tristan Vautier was fourth for JDC-Miller/Mustang Sampling Racing.
Antonio Garcia led GT Le Mans during the fifth hour despite Corvette Racing coming under pressure in a three-way fight for the lead.
Before the field was neutralized again, BMW’s John Edwards overtook Porsche’s Mathieu Jaminet for second with the pair running right on Garcia’s tail.
Edwards then cycled to the lead in the FCY stops, as he remained at the wheel of the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE.
Nicky Catsburg was second after taking over the reins of the No. 3 Corvette from Garcia, with Jaminet third and Corvette’s Marcel Fassler fourth.
Bryan Sellers led GTD in the Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, from AIM Vasser Sullivan’s Frankie Montecalvo and Meyer Shank Racing’s Shinya Michimi.
After his involvement in the incident with Nunez’s Mazda, Scuderia Corsa’s Balzan slipped from second to fourth in class.
Heading into the second half of the race, PR/1 Mathiasen Motorsports continued to lead after dominating the first five hours of the second-tier prototype category.