WEC - Dramatic Start to the 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

WEC - Dramatic Start to the 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans

21.08.21

After heavy rain saw the race start behind the Safety Car, there was drama at the first corner as the #708 Glickenhaus 007 LMH hit the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010.  There were plenty of spinners and gravel trap moments as the tricky conditions caught drivers out.

After 60-minutes of racing the no7 Toyota of Mike Conway is leading overall.  Corvette lead in LMGTE Pro, while Antonio Felix da Costa stars in the #38 JOTA in LMP2, while #83 AF Corse Ferrari is ahead in LMGTE Am category. 

Hypercar  
  • #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Hypercar driven by Mike Conway leads majority of first hour and holds comfortable lead 
  • Conway leads 61 car field after safety car start due to wet conditions for 89th running of the great race 
  • Dramatic start to race as Sebastien Buemi is hit by Olivier Pla and spun down the field 
  • #8 Toyota then stops for a systems re-set and also has excursion at Arnage amid difficult start to race 
  • But Buemi fights back and is able to run in second place in Hypercar albeit 57-seconds behind teammate Conway in #7 Toyota GR010-Hybrid 
  • Alpine ELF Matmut of Nicolas Lapierre initially places second but spins at Indianapolis on second lap. Lapierre re-joins and is able to lead briefly during pit stops. But he soon follows suit and after first hour before he sit in third position  
  • Despite damage from first corner incident #708 Glickenhaus 007 LMH places second but damage to front right of car 
  • Pla also forced to take a 10-second penalty for the accident when he makes first scheduled stop and slips back to fifth in Hypercar 
  • #709 Glickenhaus driven by Richard Westbrook places fourth after cautious start to race 
  • But British driver spins at final corner just as first hour ends. He re-joins but drops back behind sister car of Pla 

LMGTE Pro  
  • Corvette took initiative at start of race but drop back to allow charging AF Corse Ferraris to run 1-2 with No.51 car driven James Calado holding off #52 Miguel Molina  
  • After pit stop shake-out to take on slick tyres as track dries out the Corvette re-assume the lead as #64 car driven by Tommy Milner leads #52 Ferrari driven by Molina 
  • James Calado has off-track excursion at Esses just before end of first hour and slips back fifth position in LMGTE Pro 
  • WeatherTech Porsche sits third as Laurens Vanthoor sits on tail of second place Ferrari 
  • Tough start for Porsche GT Team as Kevin Estre has two incidents in re-built #92 911 RSR-19. This drops him down to seventh place 
LMP2  
  • Antonio Felix da Costa leads from pole and is quickest car on track after starting on Goodyear intermediate tyres 
  • But JOTA driver relinquishes the lead as he pits to slick tyres and the #26 G-Drive car driven by Nyck de Vries takes over temporary lead 
  • After an hour da Costa re-assumes lead and enjoys a sizeable 20-second lead over de Vries and places second overall 
  • Third in class is #41 Team WRT car driven by Robert Kubica who fought closely with de Vries in first laps of the race 
  • Racing Team Nederland places fourth as Giedo van der Garde cuts through the field and ensures Dutch car also leads Pro/Am class and closes on Kubica 
  • #23 United Autosports USA entry hits trouble on opening lap as Nico Jamin spins but re-joins to continue 
  • #25 G-Drive car of Roberto Merhi loses two laps after beaching car in Esses gravel just before end of first hour 

LMGTE Am  
  • Julien Andlauer leads from pole in the No.88 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche  
  • But Cetilar Racing Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Antonio Fuoco surges to the front 
  • But #83 AF Corse Ferrari comes through the field to take lead after first stops as Niklas Nielsen enjoys 8-second lead over Andlauer’s Porsche 
  • #80 Iron Lynx Ferrari of Matteo Cressoni impressive as he places in third position 
  • In the Innovation class Matthieu Lahaye has trouble free stint to place encouraging 23rd overall in adapted car he races with Takuma Aoki and Nigel Bailley