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24H Le Mans

Rebellions Contest Second Position with Three Hours to Go

Front end replacement for No. 1 Rebellion brings sister car into contention for second place…

Image: FIA WEC

Romain Dumas was keeping Gustavo Menezes at bay in a battle for second place between the two Rebellion R13 Gibsons with hours remaining in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Menezes, driving the No. 1 Rebellion got to within a second of Dumas in the sister No. 3 car before the Frenchman pittted just before the 22-hour mark was met.

The Rebellions switched positions in the 19th hour when Senna brought the No. 1 car in for a pit garage visit so the team could change the front end, costing around five minutes.

This put the car driven by Menezes, Senna and Norman Nato a further lap behind the leading No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid and also vaulted Dumas up to seconds place after the car he shares with Louis Deletraz and Nathanael Berthon ran a lap down in the night.  

Menezes’ stop came during a Slow Zone period which softened the blow slightly, but the American still had just under a minute to make up to Dumas.

The gap was reduced both on track and in the pits, with Menezes’ quick pace supported by a slow 20th-hour pit call for Dumas that cost the No. 1 car around 13 seconds.

Menezes was under 10 seconds behind his teammate in the early stages of Hour 21 and with three hours to go was right on the tail.

The No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid continued to lead in the hands of Brendon Hartley, who had a five-lap cushion between him and the Rebellion pair.

Toyota’s No. 7 car gained a lap on the R13s on-track through Kamui Kobayashi and the Japanese driver is now one lap behind the Swiss-entered non-hybrid vehicles.

United Autosports held the lead in LMP2 heading into hour 22 with Filipe Albuquerque enjoying a near-two minute advantage over Antonio Felix da Costa of Jota Sport.

Aston Martin maintained the upper hand in the GTE-Pro battle with Ferrari after Maxime Martin overtook Daniel Serra back in hour 17.

The No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage GTE’s lead over the No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo fluctuated between 30 seconds and a minute over the mid-morning period.

TF Sport’s customer Aston Martin has been dominant in GTE-Am so far, having led the race for approximately six hours.

Salih Yoluc was three and a half minutes and almost a full lap up the road from Dempsey-Proton Racing’s Riccardo Pera with three hours to go.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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