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24H Le Mans

Toyota Leads At Halfway; No. 37 DC Racing Oreca DQ’ed

Toyota 1-2 as drama hits LMP2, GTE-Pro contenders as race hits halfway mark…

Photo: Toyota

Toyota Gazoo Racing leads the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the halfway mark, in what has continued to be a dominant run by the pair of Toyota TS050 Hybrids.

Kamui Kobayashi holds a one-lap lead over the sister No. 8 entry of Brendon Hartley, which has remained in contention despite facing several setbacks.

A left-front puncture for Sebastien Buemi in the opening hour put the defending race winners out of sequence, while it lost nearly two laps in the garage undergoing repairs to the car’s right-front brake duct in the seventh hour.

The No. 1 Rebellion R13 Gibson of Gustavo Menezes runs in third, two laps behind the race-leading Toyota.

United Autosports holds control of LMP2, with the Anglo-American squad’s Oreca 07 Gibsons running 1-2 in class.

The No. 32 entry of Will Owen holds a narrow lead over Paul Di Resta in the sister class pole-sitting No. 22 entry after Owen underwent a tail change during its most recent pit stop.

United’s dominant run has came after drama for a number of its competitors, including the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing entry, which has been disqualified for receiving outside assistance when Gabriel Aubry stopped on track in the seventh hour.

A stewards’ decision, issued at 12:35 a.m., stated that a member of the team met Aubry and supplied a component which the Frenchman fitted to the car, which is a breach of the regulations.

It has left the No. 38 Jota Sport as the team’s sole remaining entry, which runs third in class.

Drama struck the GTE-Pro class-contending No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE in the 12th hour when Sam Bird lost more than ten minutes due to a right-rear puncture while running in third.

It has promoted the No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE to third in class, behind the class-leading No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari and No. 97 Aston, which remain 1-2 at the halfway mark.

GTE-Am continues to be an Aston Martin affair, with the No. 98 entry of Augusto Farfus out front ahead of the No. 90 TF Sport entry.

While there have been no major on-track incidents, several GTE-Am cars have found the gravel in the last few hours, resulting in Slow Zones.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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