Romain Dumas made a strong start from pole position to lead the opening hour of the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Monza for Glickenhaus Racing.
With pole man Dumas at the controls, the No. 708 Glickenhaus 708 Pipo built a 25.5-second advantage over the No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid driven by Jose Maria Lopez.
Dumas and Sebastien Buemi in the No. 8 Toyota ran side-by-side into the first corner but the former emerged from the chicane ahead and went on to extend the gap, as his nearest pursuer came under pressure from Matthieu Vaxiviere’s Alpine A480 Gibson.
The Glickenhaus extended its gap to around seven seconds when the first of two opening-hour Full Course Yellow periods occurred after GTE-Am Ferrari driver Thomas Flohr went around at Parabolica after a touch from Paul Dalla Lana.
Both Toyotas, which initially ran second and fourth between the Alpine, pitted for fuel only under the FCY that lasted for 10 minutes.
Fuel-only stops for the other Hypercar contenders then occurred under the second slow period, which came after only a couple of minutes of green flag running when the No. 93 Peugeot 9X8 driven by Mikkel Jensen came to a halt a short distance beyond Ascari.
Jensen got going just as the second FCY was called but stopped again at pit entry, where he received the necessary push from three marshals to make it back to the garage.
“It’s not the situation we would have wished for, but we are conscious that we have many things to learn,” said Stellantis motorsport director Jean-Marc Finot.
“We are getting experience by racing. For the time being, it seems the issue we have is with the [turbo] boost pressure. The mechanics are working on the car.”
Dumas continued to lead after the second FCY and increased the gap to more than 20 seconds over Buemi, Jose Maria Lopez in the No. 7 Toyota and Vaxiviere.
Buemi then started to experience an electrical issue with his Toyota, which dropped behind the sister car and the Alpine. Loic Duval ran fourth in the No. 94 Peugeot.
The LMP2 lead changed near the end of the first hour as Louis Deletraz overtook pole-sitter Will Owen to put Prema ahead of the No. 22 United Autosports Oreca 07 Gibson.
Charles Milesi had a strong opening stint to bring Richard Mille Racing Team into third, with Rui Andrade fourth for Realteam by WRT.
Alessandro Pier Guidi remained at the head of GTE-Pro through the FCY-affected opening 60 minutes for the factory AF Corse Ferrari squad’s No. 51 crew.
All GTE-Pro contenders bar the No. 52 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo pitted under the first slow period, handing the lead to Antonio Fuoco.
The Italian then came under the second FCY, bringing Pier Guidi back into the lead ahead of Corvette Racing’s Nick Tandy.
Fuoco took fourth from Porsche’s Gianmaria Bruni into Ascari before muscling past Kevin Estre into the first corner, to bring his Ferrari back up to third.
Ben Keating stayed out during the FCY periods to lead GTE-Am in the No. 33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GTE.
Keating led Iron Dames Ferrari driver Sarah Bovy, who made a fuel stop, by 15 seconds, with Christoph Ulrich third for AF Corse.