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17-Hour Update: Thrilling Developments at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

LE MANS, France — The 24 Hours of Le Mans continues to deliver intense racing action and dramatic moments as the race reaches the 17-hour mark. Here’s a comprehensive update on the key developments and current standings.

Hypercar Class

The race kicked off with Nicklas Nielsen leading the charge for Ferrari AF Corse. Nielsen’s No. 50 Ferrari 499P made a strong start, advancing from fourth on the grid to the lead by the end of the first hour. However, the No. 50 car faced a 10-second penalty for an unsafe release, complicating their lead.

Sebastien Buemi’s No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid moved up the ranks, with Toyota showing strong pace throughout the early hours. Rain showers added to the challenge, with strategic tire choices playing a crucial role. Ferrari’s decision to remain on slicks during the rain showers initially paid off, maintaining a 1-2 position before adjustments were needed.

Robert Kubica in the No. 83 Ferrari and Ryo Hirakawa in the No. 8 Toyota traded places for the lead multiple times. A collision involving Kubica and the No. 15 BMW M Hybrid V8 driven by Dries Vanthoor resulted in a significant penalty for Kubica, reshuffling the order once more.

As the race entered its ninth hour, Toyota’s No. 8 GR010 Hybrid took the lead, benefitting from the penalties and incidents involving rivals. Persistent rain led to a lengthy safety car period, but racing resumed in the 16th hour with Ryo Hirakawa leading the pack in the No. 8 Toyota.

Current standings show:

1. No. 8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid – Ryo Hirakawa

2. No. 6 Porsche 963 – Laurens Vanthoor

3. No. 50 Ferrari 499P – Nicklas Nielsen

4. No. 83 Ferrari 499P – Robert Kubica

5. No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R – Alex Lynn

LMP2 Class

The LMP2 class has seen dynamic shifts, particularly influenced by the decision to remain on slicks during rain showers. The No. 9 Proton Competition Oreca initially led, but Cool Racing’s No. 37 Oreca 07 Gibson, driven by Malthe Jakobsen, has emerged as the frontrunner after overcoming early challenges.

Ben Barnicoat’s No. 183 AF Corse Oreca leads the class post-restart, followed closely by Jakobsen, who managed to overtake several competitors to secure second place.

Current LMP2 standings:

1. No. 183 AF Corse Oreca 07 Gibson – Ben Barnicoat

2. No. 37 Cool Racing Oreca 07 Gibson – Malthe Jakobsen

3. No. 22 United Autosports Oreca – Bijoy Garg

4. No. 10 Vector Sport Oreca – Stephane Richelmi

5. No. 34 Inter Europol Competition Oreca – Jakub Smiechowski

LMGT3 Class

The LMGT3 category has been equally eventful. The No. 92 Manthey PureRxcing Porsche 911 GT3 R faced a significant setback due to a gearbox issue shortly after the restart, dropping out of contention despite initially leading the class.

Richard Lietz now leads the LMGT3 class in the No. 91 Manthey Porsche, followed by Timur Boguslavskiy in the No. 78 Akkodis ASP Team Lexus RC F GT3. The competition remains fierce, with positions changing frequently as teams navigate through the night.

Current LMGT3 standings:

1. No. 91 Manthey PureRxcing Porsche 911 GT3 R – Richard Lietz

2. No. 78 Akkodis ASP Team Lexus RC F GT3 – Timur Boguslavskiy

3. No. 27 The Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo – Ian James

4. No. 85 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 – Sarah Bovy

5. No. 46 Team WRT BMW M4 GT3 – Ahmad Al Harthy

As dawn approaches, the race remains unpredictable with weather conditions playing a pivotal role. Teams are strategically maneuvering through challenges, aiming to maintain or improve their standings as the race progresses towards its final hours. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to follow the exhilarating action at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.


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