Corvette Racing’s lone remaining GTE-Pro challenger has crashed out of the 24 Hours of Le Mans after contact with AF Corse’s LMP2 car on the Mulsanne straight.
The No. 64 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, which was at the head of the class with Alexander Sims at the wheel, made side-by-side contact with the No. 83 Oreca 07 Gibson of Francois Perrodo on the Mulsanne straight.
While Sims was engaged in a lead battle with the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of James Calado, Perrodo was in the middle with Sims’ Corvette to his left and the No. 47 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca of John Falb on the right, with the Frenchman appearing to get squeezed between the two cars and swerving left and making contact with the Corvette.
The touch pitched Sims hard into the barriers, with the car coming to a rest against the wall on the left hand side. Sims walked away from the crash under his own power.
The crash came moments after Corvette confirmed the retirement for its sister No. 63 car due to ‘significant mechanical damage’.
The No. 51 Ferrari now holds the lead of the class with James Calado at the wheel, leading by 19 seconds over the No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Fred Makowiecki and Miguel Molina, who sits in third in the No. 52 Ferrari.
The overall lead of the race is held by the No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley, who leads by roughly a lap from the No. 7 sister car driven by Jose Maria Lopez.
Lopez fell from the lead of the race after coming to a halt on track earlier in the morning, followed by several power cycles in the pitlane.
Ryan Briscoe holds third place for Glickenhaus aboard the No. 709 Glickenhaus 007 Pipo.
Alpine, which is far from the lead after earlier troubles, suffered further delays as Matthieu Vaxiviere had an off at the Porsche Curves, but has rejoined the track.
JOTA continues the lead the LMP2 class with Will Stevens at the wheel of the No. 38 Oreca, with Louis Deletraz second for Prema and the sister car of Oliver Rasmussen in third.
Henrique Chaves leads an Aston Martin one-two in GTE-Am aboard the No. 33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR, although the No. 98 NorthWest AMR Aston Martin is on a charge with Nicki Thiim at the wheel in second position.