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Attrition Hits LMP1 Non-Hybrids

Thomas Laurent drops back after spinning from third as attrition hits LMP1 non-hybrids…

Photo: ACO

Three LMP1 non-hybrids have hit trouble with the 24 Hours of Le Mans reaching quarter-distance, marked by Thomas Laurent spinning out of the de facto non-hybrid lead.

Laurent, who had just taken third overall from Mikhail Aleshin, appeared to hit a wet spot on the entrance to the second chicane, sending his No. 3 Rebellion R13 Gibson into a violent spin.

This caused considerable damage but he was able to bring it back to the pits to let the Swiss squad perform a rapid repair with a pit time of just 3 minutes, 38 seconds.

He came out fifth overall, running ahead of the sister No. 1 Rebellion which had lost time earlier in the race.

The race entered its third safety car period to clear up debris from the accident, which occurred shortly after a restart following Marcel Fassler and Satoshi Hoshino’s crash.

Laurent’s accident came just minutes after he became the best-placed LMP1 non-hybrid driver by passing Aleshin at the Porsche Curves.

Aleshin is now fourth after a round of pit stops for SMP Racing, dropping behind teammate Sergey Sirotkin in third.

The Russians are separated by 17 seconds, running one lap behind the Toyota TS050 Hybrids which are running neck-and-neck at the head of the field. 

Elsewhere in LMP1, DragonSpeed has dropped to the back of the field as a result of a lengthy period in the pits with damage to the floor its Gibson-powered BR1, while ByKolles is behind the GTE-Pro field, 12 laps down with fuel pump issues.

The LMP2 class is being led by Signatech Alpine with G-Drive Racing in close pursuit, while the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca is in third.

In GTE-Pro, Porsche cycled back into the lead after Daniel Serra spent most of the sixth and early seventh hours out in front in the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.

The No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR leapfrogged the Ferrari in the round of pit stops held under the recent safety car, with Kevin Estre staying behind the wheel as Alessandro Pier Guidi swapped in for Serra.

The No. 63 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R continues to run third with Antonio Garcia at the wheel after the American manufacturer lost its sister car in an accident.

Keating Motorsports is currently running in the lead of GTE-Am, with Jeroen Bleekemolen enjoying a two-minute lead over Jeff Segal in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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