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24H Le Mans

Porsche Re-Takes Lead Heading into Final Hour

Porsche’s No. 2 takes the lead at Le Mans with just over one hour to go…

Photo: Porsche

Porsche has re-taken the lead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the race heads into its final hour after the recovering No. 2 919 Hybrid overhauled the Jackie Chan DC Racing No. 38 Oreca 07 Gibson at the head of the field.

Following the No. 1 Porsche’s dramatic retirement in the 21st hour while enjoying a 13-lap buffer, LMP2 class front-runner Jackie Chan DC Racing moved into an unlikely overall lead with Thomas Laurent behind the wheel.

The No. 2 Porsche lost over an hour in the garage last night following a front axle issue that warranted an MGU change, dropping it towards the back of the field.

However, a seamless race since has seen the crew move back into contention, becoming Porsche’s only hope of victory after Andre Lotterer ground to a halt in the No. 1 car after a loss of oil pressure.

Running 10-15 seconds per lap faster than the No. 38 Oreca, which is struggling with overheating issues, Timo Bernhard made for pass the lead with 66 minutes to go on lap 348, completing a remarkable fightback for the No. 2 team after its earlier struggles.

However, Porsche will be keeping a close eye on the condition of its car, with one hour to survive to make it to the end of the race and claim a 19th overall win at Le Mans.

Bernhard is set to complete one final stop in the last hour, while the Jackie Chan DC Racing crew with Ho-Pin Tung at the wheel appears to have two more trips to the pit lane.

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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