Image credit: SportsCarGlobal / Red Firecracker.
What we love about Endurance Motorsport is the shear unpredictability of the game, and this story which appeared quite decided in the early stages is still being written ! The Porsche 919 Hybrid #18 suffers its technical issues, and now the #92 Porsche RSR of Fred Makowiecki nerfs the lead Ferrari 458 in a Yellow flag zone (racing incident?)
No doubt there will be more to come, but here is a brief by category update –
The #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Bernhard/Webber/Hartley continues to lead, but its one car with seemingly fading lap times (allegedly a feature of the battery technology used) pursued by the two Audi R18 e-trons in number order #7 & #8. The #18 despite the multiple stop-n-go penalties of extending duration continues to hold on to fourth place, pursue by the consistently lapping Toyota Hybrid TS040s also in order.
The #4 CLM ByKolles car leads the two Rebellions who have had a complete mare !
Stability in this category after 3-hours with the #47 KCMG leading the two G-Drive Ligiers. However the Oreca KCMG appears to be heavier on its footwear as the race goes on and additional or lengthy stops will cost it victory.. The LMP2 fight is very close. On its latest stop the #47 went from first to sixth within category!
Quick mention for the #43 Team Sard Morand of Ragues/Webb/Hamilton (Archie) that pursues the top three remorselessly. This team had a very challenging start to the weekend with its car being impounded by baliffs. Good to see them performing on track. The Strakka-Racing Gibson continues to run reliably in fifth sometimes fourth.
We have an unhappy Italian next to us so must be careful what we say! After the earlier troubles with championship leading #51 Ferrari 458 of Bruni/ Vilander its sister car #71 of Calado/Rigon was ‘rammed’ from behind by the #92 Porsche RSR of Fred Makowiecki, and it is reported that the Ferrari driver was going ‘mental’ on the radio! Now as a relative neutral we’re calling it a ‘racing incident’ as the Ferrari driver braked (lights on) on exit of the corner whilst running in a Yellow Slow Zone…
Hence the -Pro category is led by Porsche RSRs #91 & #92 with the luckless #71 Ferrari 458 playing catch-up in third.. Lets hope he calms down when he catches them!
In GTE-Am it is great to report that the NorthWest sponsored Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 of Lamy/Dalla Lana/Lauda continues in the lead, eagerly pursued by the 77 Porsche RSR and in third the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari 458.
So far the race is exceeding expectations, with teams changing mentality from getting to half-way to counting back from the finish, strategy-like just 2 more stops for the race leader (as we write this) there is still much to gain and happen.
Keep following and see twitter for some real-time updates, and to pose any questions to the team.