Behind the first five hours of the marathon at Le Mans, and so far there have been no special surprises at the Sarte ring: the duo of factory sports prototypes Toyota TS050 Hybrid is in the lead; car number 7 is in the first position, piloted by Kamui Kobayashi. The second car of the Japanese team (No. 8) with Brandon Hartley at the wheel is about a minute behind the second position.
Hartley and his teammates were unlucky in the first laps of the race, as they had to spend an extra pit stop due to a puncture of the rear left wheel, this explains the lag, which some time ago was more than a circle, but is gradually decreasing.
Further, losing to the leaders by more than a circle, two sports prototypes Rebellion are riding – Gustavo Menezes, the partner of Bruno Senna and Norman Nato in crew number 1, closes the top three, and the fourth position is taken by Louis Deletraz, who performs with Nathanael Burton and Romano Dumas.
In the LMP2 category, taking the fifth position in the absolute, the Jackie Chan DC Racing team leads, behind the wheel of their Oreca 07 is Ho-Ping Tun, a former Renault F1 test driver, while the G-Drive Racing crew is the second in the class. Jean-Eric Verne was entrusted to start the race in the Russian team, he was replaced by Roman Rusinov, and now the Aurus 01 is piloted by Mikkel Jensen.
And already behind the orange-black G-Drive car are two crews of the United Autosports team.
It is worth noting that the 20th place in the absolute and 16th in the LMP2 class at this stage of the race is taken by the crew of the Polish Inter Europol Competition team, which includes the Russian racer Matevos Isahakyan. He spent the first segment of the race, and now, after another pit stop, his partner Yakub Smekhovsky left the track.
The championship in the GTEPro class was a bitter struggle between Aston Martin Racing driver Harry Tinknell and AF Corse’s Ferrari cars. Tinknell was in the lead for a while, but made a mistake and was ahead of Davide Rigon and then Daniel Serra on the Mulsanne straight.
But in the “youngest” GTEAm class, the opposite is true: in front of there are two crews, driving Aston Martin cars (the leader is Jonathan Adam, TS Sport), and only in third place (and 36th overall) is the Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of the Iron Lynx team with Rino Mastronardi at the wheel.
There were a few sorties, but so far there have been no bright accidents – the main thing is that all the favorites in all classes are still on the track and continue to fight.
Since this year the race takes place not in June, but in the second half of September, it got dark in Le Mans much earlier, and already at the sixth hour of the marathon, twilight began, which smoothly gives way to the darkness of an autumn evening. But further it will be even more interesting, since the forecast promises night rain, and quite strong.
Whose favourite time at #LeMans24 is sunset? 🙋♂️🙋♀️
As @ pechito37 begins his first stint of the race in the #7 #TS050 HYBRID, let’s hear his views on what it’s like to be sat in the car when the sun goes down. 🌅#ToyotaGAZOORacing #PushingTheLimitsForBetter pic.twitter.com/FKhy1f3iQD
— TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WEC (@Toyota_Hybrid) September 19, 2020