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24H Le Mans

Race-Leading No. 1 Porsche Stops on Track in 21st Hour

No. 1 Porsche slows on track, putting its 13-lap lead at risk…

In the latest twist in the battle to win this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid has stopped on track after losing oil pressure with just under four hours to go, with its race apparently over.

Following the demise of Toyota with its trio of mechanical setbacks through the night, Porsche was in firm control of the race following sunrise at the Circuit de la Sarthe, with the No. 1 car running 13 laps ahead of the field.

As Porsche’s last bullet in the gun following the earlier issues for the No. 2 car, drivers Andre Lotterer, Nick Tandy and Neel Jani were lapping at a conservative pace in a bid to prevent any late mechanical issues.

Their efforts appear to have been in vain however, with Lotterer reporting a loss of oil pressure that caused him to slow 10 minutes into the fourth hour.

Lotterer had a 13-lap lead at the time over the lead LMP2 car, the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 Gibson, but started to slow at the Dunlop Curves, leaving the German with the majority of the lap to complete to get back to the pits.

It came to a stop on the Mulsanne straight, after Lotterer attempted to complete nearly a lap entirely on electric power. 

Lotterer climbed out of the car, with their day appearing to be over.

The No. 1 Porsche’s issue means that all six LMP1 runners in Le Mans have encountered a mechanical issue of some sort.

The No. 2 Porsche – which spent an hour in the pits on Saturday night after a hybrid issue – is now the German marque’s only chance of victory.

It currently runs fifth, two laps behind Oliver Jarvis in the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca which leads the LMP2 class in second overall.

Luke Smith is a British motorsport journalist who has served as NBC Sports’ lead Formula 1 writer since 2013, as well as working on its online sports car coverage.

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