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24 Hours of Le Mans – After 8 hours of racing, the Toyotas are solid leaders as night falls

24 Hours of Le Mans – After 8 hours of racing, the Toyotas are solid leaders as night falls
Written by madishthestylebar

The Toyotas attacked the night of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the lead, on Saturday evening, without giving the impression of putting themselves in danger on the Circuit de la Sarthe. At midnight, ie after eight hours of racing, the Japanese GR010s still benefit from an appreciable margin in terms of speed in the premier category, the Hypercars, against the American Glickenhaus marked with No. 709.

The leading n°8 had a one-second lead over the n°7 after six exchanges of positions. At 4:45 p.m., the n°8 Sébastien Buemi, in the lead since the start, given under a bright sun, first gave up its place by coming out of the pits behind its rival driven by Mike Conway. Trapped by the New Zealander, the Swiss had perhaps lost his property by being too aggressive with his tires.

24 hours of Le Mans

Glickenhaus No. 708 was on the podium when Pla hit the wall

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Watch the 24 Hours of Le Mans live on Eurosport

Change of leader after 45 minutes: the Toyota n°7 passes the n°8

The very retarded Alpine

The Briton and the Swiss having each completed their triple stint, their teammates Jose Maria Lopez and Brendon Hartley in turn reversed their places, three hours later. Under pressure, the Argentinian left the way free for the New Zealander by passing through the gravel at the Mulsanne bend.

With the Japanese pilots Ryo Hirakawa and Kamui Kobayashi at the controls of the n°8 and 7, the two crews once again rocked the race when the first named, integrated into the team this year, had to bow to his experienced compatriot in the 85th lap, at 9:15 p.m. Then, a fourth time, shortly after 11 p.m. And two more times, when Conway easily outflanked Buemi – following a team order? – then finally following the eleventh refueling of the two white racing cars, around midnight.

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Behind, the surviving Glickenhaus n°709 of Franck Mailleux still had a chance to prevent a fifth consecutive success for the Toyota factory, by sailing two laps behind. Still better than the irremediable delay of 6 laps taken by Olivier Pla, trapped it seems at the Tertre Rouge bend by a breakage which sent him spinning and finally into a wall.

Fassbender jostled

Of the five cars at the start in the Hypercar category, out of the 62 lined up in all, another had also lost any chance of doing well at the finish. Plagued by reliability concerns that we did not know about, the Alpine n ° 36 of Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxivière and André Negrao, third in 2021, had let go, taken to 28th place overall, 9 laps , due to clutch and ignition problems author of the fourth hour.

Glickenhaus No. 708 was on the podium when Pla hit the wall

In the LMP2 category, the fight continued to keep its promises, with the n°38 Jota of Antonio Felix Da Costa leading the pack of 27 machines and in a good fourth position overall, ahead of the n°9 Prema of the ex-Formula 1 Grand Prix winner Robert Kubica and Jonathan Aberdein’s #28 Jota.

While one of the attractions of this 90th edition, the German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender, experienced minor misfortunes aboard his Porche 911 n°93, struck at the start of the night by the Ferrari 488 AF Corse n°61 of Vincent Abril, judged responsible by the race direction. Shortly after midnight, the actor put himself off the track on his own following an error, before leaving.

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