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Red Flags, Accidents Halt Le Mans Warmup

Two red flags halt incident-filled warmup at Le Mans…

Photo: Alpine

Photo: Alpine

Andre Lotterer put the Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 on top in a warmup session that was plagued by accidents and red flags, that brought it to an early end.

Paul-Loup Chatin and David Cheng crashed their LMP2 cars, resulting in damage to both cars and limiting the amount of track time for the other teams.

Chatin caused the first red flag just eight minutes into the session, losing control and hitting the barriers on the right hand site at Karting.

The No. 23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier JS P2 Nissan ended up in the gravel and the session was stopped to recover the car.

Cheng hit a wet patch on the run down to Indianapolis and spun into the barrier with just 10 minutes remaining. The No. 35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine sustained damage to the right-hand side and the session was ended with another red flag.

Lotterer’s time of 3:25.886 put the No. 7 Audi R18 at the top of the timing screens, 1.243s clear of the No. 6 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050-Hybrid of Kamui Kobayashi and 1.469s of the No. 2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid of Marc Lieb.

G-Drive Racing’s René Rast put the No. 26 Oreca 05 Nissan on top in LMP2 with a lap time of 3:40.724, ahead of the No. 49 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 HPD and the No. 36 Signatech Alpine.

The warmup session would have been the first time the GTE-Pro teams had the opportunity to test after the ACO announced several pre-race Balance of Performance adjustments, but the red flags meant just seven cars in the class were able to put in a lap time.

Dirk Mueller, driving the No. 68 Ford GT, set the fastest time in GTE-Pro with a 3:57.397.

Richie Stanaway put the No. 97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 in second place, with the No. 77 Dempsey – Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR taking third.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans will start at 3:00 p.m. CET, 9:00 a.m. ET.

Marcel ten Caat (@marceltencaat) is a contributor to Sportscar365 and other publications including

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