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24H Le Mans

Toyota Leads Hour 1 at Le Mans

Mike Conway leads 24 Hours of Le Mans after Hour 1…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

The No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid leads the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the end of the first hour after Mike Conway passed the pole-sitting Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani.

The race started behind the safety car in heavy rain for the first time in event history, but as conditions improved and a dry line began to appear, the field were unleashed with 7 minutes of the first hour remaining.

In LMP2, René Rast led from pole before pitting his G-Drive Racing Oreca 05 Nissan shortly after the hour, handing the lead to Nicolas Lapierre in the No. 36 Signatech-Alpine A460 Nissan.

Dirk Mueller led from the start in GTE-Pro, ahead of James Calado’s Ferrari 488 GTE and the two fast-starting Porsches of Fred Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet.

Behind the safety car, the first strategy machinations began to shake themselves out, as Tequila Patron ESM brought Pipo Derani in to hand over to Chris Cumming.

Also running off strategy is the GTE-Am pole-sitter Rob Bell in the Clearwater Racing Ferrari F458 Italia GT, whose early pitstop handed the class lead to Wolf Henzler in the No. 78 KCMG Porsche.

Several cars fell into problems early on, including the No. 67 Ford GT, which lost two laps due to a loss of gearbox pressure and the misfiring No. 12 Rebellion R-One AER.

James Newbold (@James_Newbold) is a UK-based freelance motorsport journalist. A graduate of Politics and International Relations, James is also the editor of Autosport Performance.

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