Connect with us

24H Le Mans

Porsche In Control at Halfway Mark of 24H Le Mans

No. 1 Porsche holds decisive advantage at half-way stage in 24H Le Mans…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

The No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid enjoys a decisive nine-lap advantage at the halfway stage of the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans after disaster befell the rival No. 7 and No. 9 Toyota TS050 Hybrids, leaving its closest rival to come from the LMP2 class.

With Nick Tandy now at the wheel, Porsche has adopted an ultra-conservative approach as it seeks a third consecutive victory at Le Mans.

Tandy’s nearest class rival is team-mate Brendon Hartley in the No. 2 Porsche, who is 20 laps down in 16th position overall.

The only other LMP1 car still running, the sole remaining No. 8 Toyota, is even further adrift after an MGU change. Anthony Davidson is 30 laps down in 47th position.  

The massive attrition rate in LMP1 has elevated the LMP2 frontrunners to the overall podium, with Nicolas Prost in the No. 13 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca 07 Gibson currently second overall.

A pitstop shortly before the hour dropped team-mate David Heinemeier-Hansson to third behind the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca of Ho-Pin Tung, who sits 17 seconds off the class lead.

Oreca lock out the top six positions, with Will Owen’s United Autosports Ligier JS P217 the highest non-Oreca in eighth overall. 

The GTE-Pro battle is the closest on-track, with just 3.5 seconds separating the top three after the Safety Car periods in Hour 10 split the pack.

Richie Stanaway leads the class in the No. 95 Aston Martin  Vantage GTE which lost over two minutes with a left-rear puncture and an additional stop to remove debris from the wheel-arch early on, but has team-mate Jonny Adam in the No. 97 Aston Martin and the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE of Alessandro Pier Guidi in close pursuit. 

The No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR with Fred Makowiecki aboard is periodically able to fight with the leading trio, but is the first to pit in each cycle and sat fifth at the hour mark, just behind Miguel Molina in the No. 71 Ferrari.

In GTE-Am, Dries Vanthoor continues to lead by over a lap in the JMW Motorsport Ferrari from Euan Hankey in the TF Sport Aston Martin.

Hankey was able to fend off the challenge of Marvin Dienst in the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche, the German almost two minutes ahead of Cooper MacNeil in the No. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari. 

James Newbold (@James_Newbold) is a UK-based freelance motorsport journalist. A graduate of Politics and International Relations, James is also the editor of Autosport Performance.

Click to comment

More in 24H Le Mans