Saturday, June 17, 2017

24 HEURES DU MANS | 18:50:00

The 85e 24 Heures du Mans has already been underway for over five hours, longer than any of the races in the European Le Mans Series & most of the races in the I.M.S.A. SportsCar Championship, & yet is only in the early stages. This is so grandly ridiculous!

The № 7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid is leading both the L.M.P.1 category & the race overall, over forty seconds in front of the № 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, followed by the № 8 & № 9 Toyotas. The № 2 Porsche spent over forty-five minutes in the pits with a problem with the hybrid drive on the front axle; they are back on track, but are nineteen laps down.

In L.M.P.2, in the first year of a new specification that sees every car powered by identical Gibson engines, the Oreca 07 chassis dominates: the duo of Vallainte Rebellion Orecas (№ 13 & № 31) are running one-two with the third place № 35 Alpine A470 being simply a rebadged Oreca 07. One has to look down to ninth in the running order to see the first non-Oreca, a Ligier JS P217, the № 32 from United Autosports.

In G.T.E. Pro, the Corvette Racing C7.Rs are running third (№ 64) & eleventh (№ 63) in class. The balance of performance in 2017 has made for much closer racing than the rigged Ford parade that made last year such a scandalous bore. The № 82 Ferrari 488 from Risi Competizione, which finished on the podium last year, has been crashed out by an L.M.P.2 car, the № 28 from T.D.S. Racing, which carries on.

In G.T.E. Am, only two cars are on the lead lap (for the class). Seven cars are one lap down, with another six cars two laps or more down. The № 88 Porsche 911 RSR 991 from Proton Competition was crashed out by an L.M.P.2 car, the № 26 from G-Drive Racing, which was also destroyed.

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