Corvette Racing’s challenge for the victory in GTE Pro has taken another critical hit in the eighth hour at Le Mans.
After the No. 64 Corvette C8.R suffered from a brake issue in the previous hour, Antonio Garcia picked up a left-rear puncture just after getting aboard the No. 63 Corvette from second position. This elevated the No.91 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR into second position in its class, now in the hands of Gianmaria Bruni, and the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo of Alessandro Pier Guidi up to third.
Leading what is now a factory Porsche 1-2 is the No. 92 car, which had previously been running 30 seconds in arrears of the No. 63 Corvette. Kevin Estre gave way at the end of his stint, Michael Christensen climbing aboard the leading car after the latest round of pit stops.
While Porsche leads GTE Pro, one of its strongest customer cars came to grief in GTE Am when the No. 93 Proton Competition 911 RSR of Michael Fassbender was struck by Vincent Abril in the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari, sending the green and orange Porsche into the gravel at Indianapolis corner.
Fassbender was able to bring his wounded car back to the pits and, after 20 minutes of repairs, co-driver Matt Campbell got aboard and resumed the race. Abril, for his part, was hit with a 60-second penalty stop for avoidable contact.
GTE Am is still led by the Porsche duo of the No.79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche driven by Julien Andlauer, ahead of the No.77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche of second-generation star Sebastian Priaulx. Henrique Chaves in the No. 33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR is third in its class.
As we head into the night, let's ride onboard with the #8 Toyota – with the lights acting as tentacles of perception 🔦
⏱️https://t.co/4J3q5Z45q3 @Michelin_Sport | #LeMans24 | @FIAWEC | @TGR_WEC pic.twitter.com/nhqdH2krpr
— 24 Hours of Le Mans (@24hoursoflemans) June 11, 2022
In the battle for the overall lead, Toyota Gazoo Racing’s crews are separated by mere seconds at midnight, with the No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid of Mike Conway leading the No. 8 of Sebastien Buemi after swapping positions from lap 127.
Conway began the hour eight seconds behind Buemi, but the reigning Le Mans champion was able to close the gap to Buemi down to around two seconds before both cars made their 10th pit stops. Quick pit work helped Buemi resume with the lead, and eventually the two Toyotas were running tail to nose. Buemi let Conway through to the lead down the Mulsanne straight into the first chicane. When the clock struck midnight, they were separated by less than two seconds.
Glickenhaus Racing still has a car running third overall, but it’s now the No. 709 SCG 007 LMH driven by Franck Mailleux. This was after the No. 708 of Olivier Pla clipped the curb at the exit of Tertre Rouge, spun and struck the barrier at the right-hand side.
Pla brought the car back to the pits slowly, and the Glickenhaus crew disassembled the rear of the car to fix the damaged left-rear suspension. After 10 minutes’ worth of repairs, Pla resumed running with the No. 708 SCG 007 trailing the overall leaders by five laps.
In LMP2, the No. 38 JOTA ORECA 07-Gibson resumes at the lead, driven by Antonio Felix da Costa.
Robert Kubica took over from Lorenzo Colombo at the wheel the No. 9 Prema Orlen Team ORECA in second, ahead of Jonathan Aberdein in the No. 28 JOTA ORECA, who got out ahead of the No. 65 Panis Racing ORECA of Job van Uitert after they all pitted on the same lap.
JOTA had two cars in the LMP2 top three, until Mathias Beche in the No.13 TDS Racing x Vaillante ORECA muscled his way past Aberdein at Mulsanne Corner to wrestle third place away.
HOUR 8 STANDINGS