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Second Red Flag Halts Virtual Le Mans with Under 5 Hours to Go

Rebellion-Williams lead car’s advantage comes down as server reset prompts stoppage…

Image: Xynamic

The virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans has been put under red flag conditions for the second time due to a server reset, with Rebellion-Williams Esport leading at the stoppage.

Nikodem Wisniewski had recently completed the No. 1 Rebellion-Williams Oreca 07’s 33rd pit stop when he was ordered to lead the field back to the grid for the recalibration.

It marked the second incidence of the race being stopped, after around 14 hours of uninterrupted running through the night since the first interruption on Saturday evening.

Wisniewski held a minute and a half lead over Jesper Pedersen in the second-placed No. 4 ByKolles Burst Esport car, who had benefited from staying out as Jack Aitken brought the No. 13 Rebellion in from second moments before the red flag.

Under the red flag Wisniewski handed the lead car over to Kuba Brzezinski whose advantage had contracted to under 15 seconds.

The Rebellion-Williams cars have remained out front through the night since the No. 1 took the lead in Hour 10 when Max Verstappen crashed out in the Team Redline car.

In fourth at the red flag stoppage was Isa Bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa in the 2 Seas Motorsport car, which is the only other LMP entry remaining on the lead lap.

Khalifa was ahead of Hany Alsabti, who had overtaken Yifei Ye and double Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne on Sunday morning to claim a top-five spot for Panis Racing.

The red flag enabled former leader Team Redline to return to the race at the rear of the LMP field, following Verstappen’s accident which stemmed from a system glitch.

In the GTE class, the No. 93 factory-operated Porsche 911 RSR held sway at the time of the interruption with Porsche junior Ayhancan Güven behind the wheel.

The Turkish driver, who is working with Josh Rogers, Tommy Ostgaard and 2015 Le Mans winner Nick Tandy, was running a comfortable two and a half minutes up the road from sim racer Risto Kappet in the No. 80 R8G Esports Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.

Porsche’s leading car has been in charge since the restart after the first red flag near one-quarter distance, when Güven overtook Kappet’s co-driver Mathias Beche into Turn 1.

The R8G Esports team, which is managed by Formula 1 drier Romain Grosjean, was the only other outfit with a car on the lead lap when the race went back to red.

In third was Jaxon Evans in the No. 92 works Porsche, almost two minutes ahead of Richard Westbrook in the No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

Rounding out the top five with four and a half hours to go was the Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche.

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

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