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24H Le Mans

Drama Causes Lead Changes in Hypercar, GTE-Pro

No. 7 Toyota, Porsche lose lead in quick succession after encountering significant issues…

Image: ACO

The 24 Hours of Le Mans has seen lead changes in the overall standings as well as the GTE-Pro class after Toyota and Porsche both encountered problems early on Sunday morning.

Out front, the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid, driven by Brendon Hartley, has inherited the lead after teammate Jose Maria Lopez encountered issues out on track.

The Argentinean brought the No. 7 car to a halt on the exit of Arnage to perform a power cycle before returning to the pit lane, where several more resets followed.

Lopez has rejoined the track in second position, a lap down on Hartley.

Glickenhaus’ No. 709 007 Pipo holds third overall, third laps down with Richard Westbrook currently in the

Meanwhile, Porsche has lost the GTE-Pro lead in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with just over eight hours racing remaining after high-speed puncture for Michael Christensen.

Christensen was leading the class aboard the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 when he locked up approaching the Mulsanne corner, resulting in a trip through the gravel.

The Dane rejoined the track shortly before the right-front tire spectacularly gave way on the run down to Indianapolis, ripping the entire front bumper off the car and leaving him crawling back to the pits.

The Porsche has the second lockup in a relatively short span after a brake change for the car at the break of dawn, with the No. 92 car also locking up at Arnage earlier

The failure has promoted the No. 64 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R of Alexander Sims to the lead of the class, with AF Corse’s No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Daniel Serra now in second position.

Christensen’s Porsche teammate Richard Lietz has inherited third place with the Porsche dropping to sixth in class behind the N0. 52 Ferrari and Riley Motorsports’ No. 74 car.

In LMP2, JOTA’s No. 38 Oreca 07 Gibson continues to lead the class with Roberto Gonzalez at the wheel.

The Mexican leads Robert Kubica’s No. 9 Prema Oreca, with third being held by Ed Jones in the sister No. 28 Oreca.

TF Sport has gained the lead in the GTE-Am category as Ben Keating’s No. 33 Aston Martin Vantage AMR a minute clear of the No. 99 Hardpoint Motorsport Porsche of Andrew Haryanto. Sebastian Priaulx holds third in the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche.

WeatherTech Racing’s No. 79 Porsche, one of the podium contenders in the class, has dropped away from the top five after Thomas Merrill endured a spin in the Porsche Curves and was forced to slowly bring the car back to the pits.

Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 reporter based in The Netherlands, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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