LM24 Hour 22: Potential issues for LMP2 WRT leader
With two hours remaining at Le Mans, fatigue has almost certainly set in among the fans by the track, although the action on the track remains calm and generally clean at this late stage.
Toyota practically won this race, with its pair of GR010s continuing to hold dominant positions. No.7 is once again one lap ahead of No.8 as the team was forced to bring in No.8 for a passenger door change which cost the crew precious time. .
Behind, the gap between the Alpine and the Glickenhaus lead 708 is 31 seconds, with the thriftiest 007 still leading with a third-place shot, although it is due to make a pitstop shortly.
In LMP2, a small drama for the No. 31 WRT ORECA, leader of the category, woke up the crew on the pit wall. The car’s pneumatic cylinders are not functioning properly, so to change a full set of tires the team now has to go through the pits twice: once to change the fronts, a second time to change the rears. Depending on how the riders deal with tire wear, this could cost the No.31 a victory over its No.41 sister, who is just nine seconds behind as it stands.
JOTA’s # 28 ORECA isn’t too far either, just 54’s from third place. Could there be a surprising result for the British team after hours and hours of comfortable driving for the Belgian pillars of GT3?
In the GTE categories, Corvette’s challenge for Pro victory seems to be fading, and the gap between Antonio Garcia on No.63 and Alessandro Pier Guidi on the leading No.51 Ferrari AF Corse is now 51s. The C8.R doesn’t seem to have the pace to catch up and pass, although it’s still there if the leading 488 has trouble.
GTE Am’s leading battle also seems to be settled. After a somewhat heroic effort by Ben Keating to put TF Sport’s No.33 Aston in the lead on No.83, Alessio Rovera managed to widen the gap and bring the balance back to AF’s No.83. Corsica.
TF Sport then had to pit Keating against early due to an engine misfire, meaning he will have to keep driving, exceeding his minimum driving time as a Bronze driver by six hours. This costs the team time on each lap and potentially forces the team to make an extra stop. The chances of victory for Tom Ferrier’s team suddenly seem slim …
22 TIME CLASSIFICATION