Rebellion Racing continued to control the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas at halfway despite Toyota leading through the pit stops.
Gustavo Menezes held a lead of just under half a minute in the No. 1 Rebellion R13 Gibson when he pitted to set Brendon Hartley and the No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid out front.
Menezes took over from Bruno Senna, who consolidated the non-hybrid Rebellion’s pole position in the opening stages, midway through the second hour and proceeded to maintain the half-minute gap between first and second.
This came down to as little as 23 seconds in the third hour but Hartley was never close enough to pressurize Menezes on-track.
The No. 8 car is now the only real threat to Rebellion’s lead after the Japanese manufacturer’s No. 7 car dropped off the lead lap.
In LMP2, Jackie Chan DC Racing’s Oreca 07 Gibson led going into the fourth round of green-flag pit stops held just before the end of the three-hour mark.
Ho-Pin Tung seized the lead from High Class Racing’s Anders Fjordbach early in the third hour and stayed out front for the rest of the stint.
The Chinese driver then pitted to temporarily cede his place to the United Autosports Oreca, which has led portions of the race courtesy of an off-kilter stop in the second hour.
After three hours, Tung led from Racing Team Nederland’s Nyck de Vries, JOTA’s Roberto Gonzalez and Cool Racing’s Nico Lapierre.
Aston Martin restored its early 1-2 shortly before the halfway mark after Porsche wedged its No. 92 car between the two Vantage GTEs at the second round of pit stops.
Michael Christensen came out ahead of Maxime Martin’s No. 97 Aston and was right on the tail of race leader Marco Sorensen after only taking half a set of tires.
However, Christensen’s pace faded in the latter stages of the stint, which enabled Martin to close in and make a move to reclaim Aston’s 1-2 at the front of the class.
With three hours complete, Sorensen led Martin by nine seconds while Christensen was running third ahead of Ferrari’s Alessandro Pier Guidi.
In GTE-Am, the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR continued to assert itself at the front with Laurents Hörr behind the wheel for his maiden WEC stint.
The two Aston Martin cars from AMR and TF Sport have been involved in the podium battle, along with the No. 57 Project 1 Porsche and the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari.