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24H Le Mans

Problems for Contending Ligiers in Hour 20

Panis Barthez, United Autosports Ligiers out of contention, G-Drive still leads LMP2…

Image: ACO

Front-running LMP2 teams Panis Barthez Competition and United Autosports hit problems in the 20th hour of the 24 Hours of Le Mans while G-Drive Racing still leads the class.

Paul di Resta hit the barriers at the Porsche Curves in the No. 22 United Autosports Ligier, forcing he and co-drivers Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque to retire.

In addition, Will Stevens went into the garage with a reported clutch issue on his No. 23 Panis Barthez Ligier JS P217 Gibson which was running second in class at the time.

The car was in the garage for 70 minutes and went back out on track in 14th in class, 18 laps behind the class leader.

The two cars were the best-placed Ligiers in the race while United Autosports has moved its No. 32 car into fifth position, albeit four laps off the class lead.

Andrea Pizzitola is currently driving the No. 26 TDS Racing-run G-Drive Oreca 07 Gibson which has been out front since the first hour and has a two-lap lead over the second-placed Signatech Alpine Matmut entry.

The battle for podium positions in GTE-Pro has been hotting up with overtakes on track between Porsche and Ford Chip Ganassi Racing entries.

Andy Priaulx made his way past Frederic Makowiecki and Sebastien Bourdais on the same lap to move the No. 67 Ford GT into second, while Laurens Vanthoor is in the class lead driving the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR.

The Brit has since pitted, dropping back to fourth and putting Makowiecki back into second in a Porsche 1-2.

The pair of leading Toyota TS050 Hybrids are separated by 80 seconds with Fernando Alonso out front in the No. 8 car ahead of Jose Maria Lopez.

Bruno Senna and Matthias Beche are third and fourth in the Rebellion R13 Gibsons which are circulating 11 laps behind the hybrid-powered prototypes.

Dempsey-Proton Racing’s Julian Andlauer heads the GTE-Am field, running 100 seconds ahead of Luca Stolz in the Keating Motorsports Ferrari 488 GTE. 

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


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