U.S. Markets open in 6 hrs 38 mins

Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche back in GTE lead, Lopez pulls away

Gary Watkins, Tom Errington, Jamie Klein
H16: Porsche back in GTE lead, Lopez edges clear

Porsche reclaimed the lead from Ferrari in the close-fought Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro battle as the race hit two-thirds distance, while the #7 Toyota extended its overall advantage.

LMP1 - #7 Toyota over a minute clear

The #7 Toyota continued to extend its lead in the Le Mans 24 Hours with Jose Maria Lopez at the wheel through hour 16.

The Argentinian started the hour just over a minute up on the sister TS050 HYBRID of Fernando Alonso and gained a handful of seconds while the double Formula 1 world champion remained in the car.

He then gained another chunk of time when Kazuki Nakajima took over the #8 car during the 22nd round of stops for the Toyotas.

The lead for #7 stood at 1m17s after a full course yellow period and had edged up to 1m20s as the race hit the two thirds mark.

LMP2 - G-Drive maintains its cushion

H16: Porsche back in GTE lead, Lopez edges clear

Job van Uitert managed G-Drive's LMP2 class lead through the 16th hour, having now taken over from Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne.

Van Uitert initially lost time to the Signatech-Alpine driven by Nicolas Lapierre, but the gap then stabilised.

Following a late full-course yellow, the LMP2 class lead grew to just under 1m30s.

Lapierre completed his stint within the hour and handed the Signatech over to Andre Negrao.

Negrao is starting to come under pressure from the fourth-placed DragonSpeed ORECA of Pastor Maldonado as the gap slimmed to just over 20s.

Maldonado took the first pitstop of his stint inside the last five minutes of the hour, which exaggerated the gap to 1m40s, and he momentarily dropped behind the Jackie Chan DC Racing entry of Gabriel Aubry.

TDS Racing's Mathieu Vaxiviere is matching the DragonSpeed on strategy, but it is over a minute behind Maldonado in fifth place.

GTE - Porsche back ahead

Ferrari surrendered its lead in GTE Pro through the last pitstop cycle, as James Calado stopped to hand over the #51 AF Corse Ferrari to Daniel Serra.

That meant Porsche retook the advantage with Richard Lietz at the wheel of the #91 car, six seconds ahead of Jan Magnussen's #63 Corvette and Patrick Pilet in the #93 Porsche.

Serra rejoined fourth, 29s down on Lietz at the top of the hour, and 35s up on the best-placed Ford GT, the #68 machine of Joey Hand.

The Keating Motorsports Ford continued to hold a lap's advantage over the rest in GTE Am in the hands of owner-driver Ben Keating, with Patrick Lindsey keeping the Project 1 Porsche a lapped second and Jeff Segal holding third in the JMW Motorsports Ferrari.

Positions after 16 hours

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 254
2 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso 254 + 1m19.981s
3 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Laurent, Berthon, Menezes 250 + 4 Laps
4 LMP1 #11 BR Petrov, Aleshin, Vandoorne 250 + 2m18.549s
5 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Jani, Lotterer, Senna 246 + 8 Laps
6 LMP2 #26 Aurus Rusinov, Van Uitert, Vergne 243 + 11 Laps
7 LMP2 #36 Alpine Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet 243 + 1m29.616s
8 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Richelmi, Aubry 242 + 12 Laps
9 LMP2 #31 Oreca Gonzalez, Maldonado, Davidson 242 + 1m25.900s
10 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval 241 + 13 Laps
11 LMP2 #22 Ligier Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 240 + 14 Laps
12 LMP2 #30 Oreca Jamin, Ragues, Dumas 239 + 15 Laps
13 LMP2 #48 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas 239 + 35.175s
14 LMP2 #23 Ligier Binder, Canal, Stevens 238 + 16 Laps
15 LMP2 #39 Oreca Gommendy, Capillaire, Hirschi 237 + 17 Laps
16 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi 234 + 20 Laps
17 LMP2 #29 Dallara Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, De Vries 234 + 1m14.327s
18 LMP2 #25 Oreca Zollinger, Pizzitola, Falb 234 + 1m54.752s
19 LMP2 #43 Oreca Farano, Maini, Nato 233 + 21 Laps
20 LMP2 #50 Ligier Creed, Ricci, Boulle 233 + 58.383s
21 LMP2 #20 Oreca Fjordbach, Andersen, Beche 232 + 22 Laps
22 LMP2 #34 Ligier Smiechowski, Winslow, Moore 229 + 25 Laps
23 LMP2 #32 Ligier Cullen, Brundle, Owen 228 + 26 Laps
24 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki 225 + 29 Laps
25 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller 225 + 6.097s
26 GTE Pro #93 Porsche Pilet, Bamber, Tandy 225 + 18.592s
27 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 225 + 30.014s
28 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 225 + 1m05.247s
29 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Bomarito 225 + 1m26.324s
30 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 224 + 30 Laps
31 GTE Pro #94 Porsche Muller, Jaminet, Olsen 224 + 1m16.410s
32 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 224 + 1m38.568s
33 GTE Pro #89 Ferrari Derani, Jarvis, Gounon 223 + 31 Laps
34 GTE Pro #82 BMW Farfus, Da Costa, Krohn 222 + 32 Laps
35 GTE Am #85 Ford Keating, Bleekemolen, Fraga 221 + 33 Laps
36 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 220 + 34 Laps
37 GTE Pro #81 BMW Catsburg, Tomczyk, Eng 220 + 2m24.701s
38 GTE Am #56 Porsche Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti 219 + 35 Laps
39 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Segal, Baptista, Lu 219 + 1m27.317s
40 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Perez-Companc, Griffin, Cressoni 219 + 1m47.286s
41 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood 219 + 2m34.041s
42 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Macneil, Vilander, Smith 219 + 3m04.696s
43 GTE Am #77 Porsche Campbell, Ried, Andlauer 219 + 3m34.613s
44 GTE Am #57 Ferrari Kimura, Cozzolino, Ledogar 218 + 36 Laps
45 GTE Am #78 Porsche Prette, Prette, Abril 218 + 3m10.738s
46 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 217 + 37 Laps
47 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Preining 217 + 3m05.781s
48 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Gostner, Frey, Gatting 216 + 38 Laps
49 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever 216 + 3m15.145s
50 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Piccini 212 + 42 Laps
51 GTE Pro #97 Aston Martin, Lynn, Adam 210 + 44 Laps
52 LMP2 #37 Oreca Heinemeier-Hansson, King, Taylor 199 + 55 Laps
53 LMP1 #17 BR Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Sirotkin 163 + 91 Laps
54 LMP1 #4 Enso Dillmann, Webb, Ruberti 163 + 2h35m00.370s
55 LMP2 #49 Ligier Konopka, Enqvist, Tereschenko 160 + 94 Laps
56 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 140 + 114 Laps
57 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Turner 132 + 122 Laps
58 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 87 + 167 Laps
59 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 82 + 172 Laps
60 GTE Am #88 Porsche Hoshino, Roda Jr, Cairoli 79 + 175 Laps
61 LMP1 #10 BR Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande 76 + 178 Laps


Get unlimited access to the world’s best motorsport journalism with Autosport Plus