A sudden downpour over the Circuit de la Sarthe has resulted in chaos, a lot of damage and the first safety car procedure of the race.
As the leaders went onto lap 25 it began to rain and within moments the whole circuit was wet and teams scrambled out with wet tires.
In the treacherous conditions the No. 8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Nicolas Lapierre spun and collected the No. 3 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Marco Bonanomi and the No. 81 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia of Sam Bird. All three cars were seriously damaged.
Lapierre managed to bring the damaged Toyota back to the pits, Bonanomi and Bird retired on the spot.
At almost the same time the LMP2 class leading No. 47 KCMG Oreca 03R Nissan spun on its own and knocked out the tire barrier at the first Mulsanne Chicane.
Race director Eduardo Freitas deployed the safety car as marshals rushed out to clear the track from debris and stricken cars.
Just before the end of the second hour the sun returned, with cars lined up behind the safety car. Toyota’s Alexander Wurz led from Andre Lotterer, with Timo Bernhard’s Porsche in third place.
Race Performance leads in LMP2 after two hours, followed by the KCMG Oreca, which didn’t suffer too much damage in its accident. Signatech Alpine is in third place.
Corvette Racing was at the top of the GTE-Pro class after two hours, Oliver Gavin in the No. 74 Corvette C7.R leads the two Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSRs.
With the former GTE-Am leading AF Corse Ferrari out of the race following its accident, Dempsey Racing-Proton Competion leads the class now. The RAM Racing and Krohn Racing Ferrari’s are second and third.