LMP1, Le Mans 24-Hours – after 9 hours
Porsche 919 Hybrid remains in striking distance of the lead
At midnight in Le Mans the car number 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid is still on the heels of the leading number 7 Toyota. However, both manufacturers have paid the price of the hot conditions. At 18:30, the number 2 Porsche spent an hour in the pit box for repairs. It rejoined running 19 laps behind to fight for points in the constructors’ world championship. Toyota had to pit their number 8 car at 22:47 hrs where it remained until after midnight.
How the race goes for car number 1 since 18:00 hrs:
Nick Tandy (GB) takes over after 39 laps. In the period of his first stop for refuelling he improves from third to second position. After 65 laps the next stop for fuel is due. At the end of lap 78 André Lotterer (DE) takes over and after the tyre change continues in second position. During a period with three ‘slow zones’ in place at the same time, Lotterer refuels again after 90 laps. With 104 laps completed at 21:30 hrs, Lotterer refuels again. Afterwards the gap to the leading number 7 Toyota is reduced to 21 seconds, but on lap 105 Lotterer is overtaken by the number 8 Toyota and back in third position. After 117 laps the next tyre and driver change is due. Start driver Neel Jani (CH) takes over again at 22:16 hrs. The battle for P2 with the number 8 Toyota is over when the latter pits at 22:47 hrs after lap 125. After 130 and 143 laps Jani comes in for refuelling.
How the race goes for car number 2 since 18:00 hrs:
After 38 laps Earl Bamber (NZ) gets behind the wheel of the 919, running in fourth position. With 51 laps completed he refuels but has to pit again after lap 58 at 18:30 hrs when the 919 loses its front axle drive. The car is pushed into the pit box and is repaired. At 19:35 hrs Brendon Hartley (NZ) rejoins the race, 19 laps lost to the leader. After lap 72 for car number 2 (race lap 90) Hartley picks up fuel. Having completed 86 laps (race lap 104) the team decides to change tyres and start driver Timo Bernhard (DE) gets behind the wheel again. He refuels after 98 and 111 laps (race laps 116 and 129 respectively). After 124 laps (race lap 143), a full service to Bamber.
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid car number 1:
André Lotterer (35, Germany): “My stints were interrupted frequently by slow zones which was frustrating because it broke my rhythm but it's a challenge that comes with Le Mans. It was good fighting with the Toyota and we'll continue to push hard and keep them under pressure.”
Nick Tandy (32, Great Britain): “It's great to be in the fight at the front. My stint was good and I managed to get ahead of the lead Toyota at one point during the pit-stop phase. The car was consistent over all three stints on the tyre. I had a small vibration in the last one but think it was due to 'pick-up’.”
Drivers Porsche 919 Hybrid car number 2
Earl Bamber (26, New Zealand): “Everything was going well but suddenly something on the front axle broke. The crew did a fantastic job to get our car repaired and back in to the race and now our aim is to score manufacturers’ points.”
Timo Bernhard (36, Germany): “I had three quite good stints. The first featured many slow zones but the last two were better. We’re making up time, the car is competitive. Our aim is to overtake the LMP2 cars and get back in the top-four overall – or even top-three – to get the maximum points we can.”
Brendon Hartley (27, New Zealand): “The car was flying in my stint after the repairs. Of course I'm gutted there was a problem but it was an incredible effort to get the car back on track so quickly by the team. I don't think we had the pace early in the race but now our lap times are very good. The track conditions were good during my stint although the sun was dropping before I pitted making the visibility poor in places. There were a lot of drivers making mistakes and going off causing many slow zones but that's the nature of Le Mans. Our aim is to take the maximum number of points we can and we'll be fighting to the end.”
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