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The 85th 24 Hours of Le Mans (French: 85e 24 Heures du Mans) was an automobile endurance event held on 17–18 June 2017 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France. It was the 85th running of the 24 hour race organised by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest as well as the third round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship. 258,500 people attended the event.

2017 24 Hours of Le Mans
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Index: Races | Winners
Porsche LMP Team No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, Winner of the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans
Circuit de la Sarthe track

The race was won by the No. 2 Porsche driven by Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber after taking the lead of the race in the final two hours. It was the second victory at Le Mans for Bamber and Bernhard, and Hartley's first. Toyota's Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, and Anthony Davidson finished in eighth place after starting on second position, and were the only other competitor in the LMP1 field to finish the event. The LMP2 category was won by Ho-Pin Tung, Thomas Laurent, and Oliver Jarvis in the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca, who led the race outright for several hours before finishing in second place overall. The second DC Racing entry of David Cheng, Tristan Gommendy, and Alex Brundle were three laps behind for third overall, followed by the No. 35 Signatech Alpine of Nelson Panciatici, Pierre Ragues, and André Negrão.

Aston Martin won the LMGTE Pro category, after the No. 97 car of Darren Turner, Jonathan Adam, and Daniel Serra overtook the stricken No. 63 Corvette of Jordan Taylor, Antonio García, and Jan Magnussen in the final two laps of the race. The No. 67 Ford was also able to pass the Corvette on the final lap to take second place for Harry Tincknell, Andy Priaulx, and Pipo Derani. LMGTE Am was won by the JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Robert Smith, Will Stevens, and Dries Vanthoor. Ferraris also finished in second and third, with Spirit of Race's Duncan Cameron, Aaron Scott, and Marco Cioci in second, and Scuderia Corsa's Townsend Bell, Cooper MacNeil, and Bill Sweedler in third.

BackgroundEdit

The date for the 2017 Le Mans race was confirmed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in a press conference of the sport's organiser, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), at the Musée des 24 Heures du Mans on 16 June 2016.[1] It was the 85th running of the event,[1] and the third of nine scheduled rounds of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship.[2] The race was scheduled to avoid conflicting with other major motorsport events, as was the case in the 2016 edition when it clashed with the European Grand Prix.[3]

Before the race Toyota drivers Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi led the Drivers' Championship with 50 points, 17 ahead of second-placed Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley and a further five in front of Neel Jani, Nick Tandy, André Lotterer in third. Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi were fourth on 19.5 points and their teammate Nicolas Lapierre rounded out the top five with 16 points.[4] Toyota were leading the Manufacturers' Championship on 69.5 points, seven and a half ahead of their sole rival Porsche in second position.[4] Toyota had so far dominated the championship with Davidson, Nakajima and Buemi winning the season's previous two rounds. Bernhard, Bamber and Hartley and Conway and Kobayashi had all finished in second once with their teammates Jani, Tandy, Lotterer having achieved one third-place result.[4]

Regulation changesEdit

Following the 2016 event in which the leading car failed on its final lap and was eventually not classified in the final results, the standards by which a car is classified have been changed. Instead of the mandatory six minutes for the final lap of the race, penalties will be awarded for any lap over six minutes on a gradual scale. Failure to complete the last lap of the race in under fifteen minutes will now lead to a car no longer being classified.[5]

The slow zone system used at Le Mans was also revised, with nine dedicated slow zone sectors laid out around the circuit. Previously individual marshal posts were used to mark the beginning and end of slow zones. The dedicated zones have been located such that the beginning of the 80 km/h (50 mph) is in a slow section of the circuit; previous slow zones could begin in areas of the track where cars were required to slow down from high speeds and cause accidents.[6]

Modifications were made to the circuit from the Porsche Curves to the Ford Chicane. The run-off area where the last right hand turn goes into the left hand corner that begins the entry to Corvette corner was widened with the barrier at the Porsche Curves being moved further back. Further the angle of the wall at the left hand entry to the short straight before the Ford Chicane was altered. The changes led to criticism from Lotterer and Jan Magnussen about the potential loss of challenge. The ACO's sporting manager Vincent Beaumesnil defended the alterations by saying that widening the run-off area was preferable than adding a chicane at the Porsche Curves.[7]

The Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) category was revamped with the introduction of a single specification engine from Gibson, with increased power output compared to 2016 LMP2 cars.[8] Cockpit and chassis designs also mimic the Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) regulations for safety.[9] The four approved chassis manufacturers were Dallara, Ligier, Oreca and Riley.[10]

EntriesEdit

Automatic invitationsEdit

Automatic entry invitations are earned by teams that won their class in the previous running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, or won championships in the European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series, and the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup. The second-place finisher in the European Le Mans Series Le Mans Grand Touring Endurance (LMGTE) championship also earns an automatic invitation. Two participants from the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship are chosen by the series to be automatic entries by the ACO regardless of their performance or category. As invitations are granted to teams, they were allowed to change their cars from the previous year to the next, but not allowed to change their category. The LMGTE class invitations from the European and Asian Le Mans Series are allowed to choose between the Pro and Am categories. European Le Mans Series' Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) champion is required to field an entry in LMP2 while the Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 champion may choose between LMP2 or LMGTE Am. The Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup champions are limited to the LMGTE Am category.[11]

The ACO announced its initial list of automatic entries on 23 January 2017.[11]

Reason invited LMP1 LMP2 LMGTE Pro LMGTE Am
1st in the 24 Hours of Le Mans   Porsche Team   Signatech Alpine   Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA   Scuderia Corsa
1st in the European Le Mans Series (LMP2 and LMGTE)   G-Drive Racing   Aston Martin Racing
2nd in the European Le Mans Series (LMGTE)   JMW Motorsport
1st in the European Le Mans Series (LMP3)   United Autosports
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at-large entries   Keating Motorsport   Scuderia Corsa
1st in the Asian Le Mans Series (LMP2 and GT)   Algarve Pro Racing   DH Racing
1st in the Asian Le Mans Series (LMP3)   Tockwith Motorsports – or –   Tockwith Motorsports
1st in the Michelin GT3 Le Mans Cup   TF Sport

Entry list and reservesEdit

In conjunction with the announcement of entries for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series seasons, the ACO announced the full 60 car entry list for Le Mans, plus two reserves. In addition to the 28 guaranteed entries from the World Endurance Championship, 13 entries came from the European Le Mans Series, six from the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, eleven from the Asian Le Mans Series, while the rest of the field was filled with one-off entries only competing at Le Mans.[12] Two cars were initially named to the reserve entry list for the event; RLR Msport later withdrew their LMP2 Ligier, while a fourth entry from Proton Competition remained without being promoted to the race.[13] With the withdrawal of Audi Sport Team Joest from LMP1, the class was reduced to just six entries for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.[14]

Testing and practiceEdit

A pre-Le Mans testing day was held at the circuit on 4 June, and mandated all entrants for the race to participate in eight hours of track time divided into two sessions.[15] The morning session, held on a dirty track with lap times improving throughout,[16] was led by pre-race favourites Toyota,[14] with Nakajima's No. 8 car setting a lap time of 3 minutes and 20.778 seconds. The second Toyota of Kobayashi followed almost seven-tenths of a second in arrears, and José María López completed a Toyota sweep of the top three in the No. 9 car.[16] Porsche were off Toyota's pace by more than two seconds and completed the LMP1 field with Bernhard fourth and Lotterer fifth.[17] Orecas led LMP2 with 13 cars at the top of the time sheets, led by the No. 36 Signatech Alpine of André Negrão, the sole driver to go under than 3 minutes and 30 minutes with a 3 minutes and 29.809 seconds lap, ahead of Rebellion and Graff.[16] LMGTE Pro was topped by Corvette with Magnussen's lap of 3 minutes and 55.726 seconds, followed by Patrick Pilet's No. 91 Porsche 911 RSR and the second Corvette of Oliver Gavin. The No. 77 Porsche driven by Matteo Cairoli was fastest in LMGTE Am, ahead of the DH Racing Ferrari 488 of Andrea Bertolini.[17]

The second session had Toyota continuing to lead the time sheets with Kobayashi setting a 3 minutes and 18.132 seconds lap, followed by Buemi whose best effort was 1.1 seconds slower and López was a further 2.2 seconds adrift in third. Porsche were still off Toyota's pace with their best effort coming from Bamber in the No. 2 car followed by Jani in the sister No. 1 entry.[18] Nelson Panciatici in the No. 35 Signatech Alpine improved the fastest lap in LMP2 to finish in front of the sole LMP1 privateer, the No. 4 ByKolles Racing ENSO CLM P1/01 of Dominik Kraihamer, for sixth overall, putting him ahead of Jean-Éric Vergne's No. 24 Manor Oreca and the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing car of Alex Brundle.[19] Gavin missed 91 minutes due to a mid-session engine change but recorded the best LMGTE Pro lap of the day at 3 minutes and 54.701 seconds towards the end of testing to displace Frédéric Makowiecki's No. 92 Porsche at the top of the time sheets. Aston Martin led LMGTE Am with Pedro Lamy's 3 minutes and 58.250 seconds lap time to go two-tenths of a second ahead of Fernando Rees in the Larbre Compétition Corvette.[19] The No. 33 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JS P217 of Erik Maris stopped the session by becoming stranded in the Dunlop Curves gravel trap. Paul-Loup Chatin's No. 17 IDEC Sport Ligier and Jan Lammers in the Racing Team Nederland Dallara made contact at the second Mulsanne Chicane but both continued without major damage.[19] The session prematurely ended with less than fifteen minutes remaining when the No. 25 Manor of Roberto González laid oil on the track and stopped.[19][20]

Official practice was held on 14 June with the full 60-car field on track for four hours in hot and sunny weather conditions.[15][21] Toyota led from the offset once again, with Lapierre setting the early pace and remained at the top for most of the session until Bamber bettered Lapierre's effort.[22] Kobayashi improved on Porsche's time until he was overtaken in the final five minutes by Jani with a lap of 3 minutes and 20.362 seconds.[23] Alex Lynn in the No. 26 G-Drive Racing car led LMP2 with less than forty minutes left with a lap of 3 minutes and 30.363 seconds and displaced the No. 13 Rebellion of Nelson Piquet Jr. Bruno Senna's sister No. 31 Rebellion was third.[22] Aston Martins and Corvettes led LMGTE Pro from the start until Sam Bird's No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari topped the time sheets with a 3 minutes and 54.832 seconds effort. The best Aston Martin was placed second with Darren Turner's No. 97 vehicle and the second AF Corse car of James Calado placed third.[21] In LMGTE Am, the quickest vehicle was the No. 98 Aston Martin of Lamy, ahead of a trio of Ferraris led by DH Racing.[22] The safety cars were required for one hour and fifteen minutes after Christian Philippon's Larbre Compétition Corvette went off the track leaving the Porsche Curves and damaged the car's bodywork in an impact with a tyre barrier.[21] Stephane Lemeret's No. 88 Proton Porsche scraped a barrier through the Porsche Curves but continued to the pit lane for repairs. The Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara of Roberto Lacorte slid into the Mulsanne Corner gravel trap and had to abandon the car.[21][24]

QualifyingEdit

The first of three qualifying sessions began late Wednesday night under clear conditions.[15] The start was delayed due to an incident during practice for the first Road to Le Mans race in which a major crash necessitated barrier repairs to the Porsche Curves and the session was shortened by twenty minutes.[25] Slow zones and yellow flags limited the amount of quick running,[26] and the rapidly cooling track meant the best chance to set the fastest lap times was missed.[27] The first timed laps of the session had Porsche lead early on with a benchmark effort from Jani, followed by Bernhard's 3 minutes and 19.710 seconds lap. Fifteen minutes later, Kobayashi had no slower traffic impeding him and topped the session with a time of 3 minutes and 18.793 seconds for provisional pole position.[25] Nakajima followed six-tenths of a second behind in second and Bernhard's effort put him in provisional third.[26] Lapierre was the slowest of the three Toyotas in fourth and Jani was off the pace. Rounding out the LMP1 field was Kraihamer whose fastest time was ten seconds slower than the leading Toyota but clear of the LMP2 field.[27]

Matthieu Vaxivière carried TDS Racing's Oreca to provisional pole in LMP2 with a time of 3 minutes and 29.333 seconds set late in the session.[27] He was half a second clear of Senna who held the class pole until Vaxivière's lap. The No. 25 Manor, driven by Vitaly Petrov, was third-fastest and was followed by teammate Vergne in fourth.[26] Eric Trouillet in the No. 39 Graff Oreca caused the session's first yellow flag when he clouted the barriers leaving the second Mulsanne Chicane. The No. 27 SMP Racing Dallara caused further disruption when it reportedly impacted the barriers and suffered a fire that was extinguished quickly.[27] Aston Martin topped the LMGTE categories, with Nicki Thiim setting the fastest time of 3 minutes and 52.117 seconds in the No. 95 car,[27] while Mathias Lauda was the fastest Amateur class entry with a 3 minutes and 55.134 seconds lap.[25] The No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 was eleventh amongst LMGTEs before ACO officials disallowed their fastest lap times for the team transgressing parc fermé regulations by handling the tyres after the session.[28][29]

 
Kamui Kobayashi (pictured in 2010) broke Neel Jani's 2015 lap record to clinch Toyota's third pole position at Le Mans.

Thursday's first qualifying session began with a stoppage for a crash. Maris spun and crashed his No. 33 car heavily into the outside barriers leaving the first Mulsanne Chicane seventeen minutes in. Maris was unhurt but he was transported to the medical centre for a precautionary check-up. This meant organisers rescheduled second qualifying to end at 21:30 Central European Summer Time (CEST) (UTC+02:00).[30] When it restarted, Kobayashi exited the pit lane early. He was aided by tailwinds on the Mulsanne Straight and headwinds through the Porsche Curves to set a new provisional pole lap of 3 minutes and 14.791 seconds.[31][N 1] The No. 8 Toyota stopped leaving the second Mulsanne Chicane with an oil supply problem that necessitated an engine change. The Toyota returned to the track with ten minutes remaining but fell to fourth as Buemi could not improve on its best time.[31] Jani and Bernhard in the two Porsches bettered their lap times and moved to second and third. Yuji Kunimoto also improved the No. 9 Toyota's best lap but fell to fifth.[33]

Petrov's Manor set a new LMP2 class lap record with a time of 3 minutes and 25.549 more than a second faster than rookie Thomas Laurent in Jackie Chan DC Racing's No. 38 vehicle and the sister Manor of Vergne. Petrov consequently demoted the ByKolles car to seventh overall. The LMGTE categories had some changes with Aston Martin remaining the leaders in Pro but Jonathan Adam bettered Thiim's first qualification session lap with Calado improving to second. Euan Hankey became the provisional LMGTE Am pole sitter before Will Stevens eclipsed his time to take over the position.[31] At the premature end to qualifying with half an hour left, Timothé Buret drove onto grass in the No. 23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier and lost control of his car. Buret heavily damaged the vehicle in an impact with a barrier and was stranded in a gravel trap entering Tertre Rouge corner.[33]

As temperatures cooled for the final qualifying session, more than half the field improved their fastest laps,[34] but Kobayashi's time could not be bettered by any other LMP1 driver. He thus held the record to clinch Toyota's third pole position at Le Mans and their first since 2014.[35] Nakajima improved the No. 8 car's time by more than two seconds to start alongside the sister No. 7 Toyota on the grid's front row. Porsche did not improve on their times from the second qualifying session and settled for third and fourth.[34] Hartley precautionarily slowed and stopped the No. 2 Porsche at Indianapolis corner due to rising oil temperatures.[34] He attempted to return to the pit lane on electric power but was forced to abandon the car.[36] Lapierre improved early on but could only muster fifth position.[34] Oliver Webb used clear air to move the ByKolles car back to sixth overall but was more than nine seconds off the pace.[37] Lynn reset the LMP2 lap record early on by 11.3 seconds over the 2016 time. demoting the No. 25 Manor Oreca to second. Ho-Pin Tung's No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing car took third and battled with Senna for the position. Oreca chassis, as well as the variant Alpine chassis, secured the first nine positions in LMP2, while the Dallara of SMP Racing was the fastest of the other chassis in tenth place.[25][36]

Aston Martin led LMGTE Pro with Richie Stanaway setting a new class record before Turner improved with a 3 minutes and 50.837 lap to secure the British marque's first category pole since 2015.[38] The two cars were separated by Calado in the closing minutes and Bird came within 0.048 seconds of Stanaway's effort. All five manufacturers in LMGTE Pro were within a second of Turner's lap, with the fastest Ford in fifth courtesy of Ryan Briscoe, Antonio García taking sixth for Corvette and Porsche's best time came from Michael Christensen in seventh.[37] The lead in LMGTE Am changed with Rees earning Larbre Compétition's first class pole for ten years with a time of 3 minutes and 52.843 seconds, almost four-tenths of a second clear of Lamy's No. 98 Aston Martin in second and the No. 62 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari of Townsend Bell in third.[38][34]

Qualifying resultsEdit

Provisional pole positions in each class are denoted in bold. The fastest time set by each entry is denoted with a gray background.

Pos. Class No. Team Qualifying 1[28] Qualifying 2[39] Qualifying 3[40] Gap Grid[41]
1 LMP1 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing 3:18.793 3:14.791 3:19.928 1
2 LMP1 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing 3:19.483 No time 3:17.128 +2.337 2
3 LMP1 1 Porsche LMP Team 3:21.165 3:17.259 3:18.210 +2.468 3
4 LMP1 2 Porsche LMP Team 3:19.710 3:18.067 3:20.154 +3.276 4
5 LMP1 9 Toyota Gazoo Racing 3:19.958 3:19.889 3:18.625 +3.834 5
6 LMP1 4 ByKolles Racing Team 3:28.887 3:26.026 3:24.170 +9.379 6
7 LMP2 26 G-Drive Racing 3:31.945 3:28.580 3:25.352 +10.561 7
8 LMP2 25 CEFC Manor TRS Racing 3:30.502 3:25.549 3:26.521 +10.758 8
9 LMP2 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing 3:31.024 3:26.776 3:25.911 +11.120 9
10 LMP2 31 Vaillante Rebellion 3:29.851 3:27.564 3:26.736 +11.945 10
11 LMP2 13 Vaillante Rebellion 3:31.636 3:27.071 3:26.811 +12.020 11
12 LMP2 24 CEFC Manor TRS Racing 3:30.847 3:26.871 3:27.359 +12.080 12
13 LMP2 28 TDS Racing 3:29.333 3:31.085 3:27.108 +12.317 13
14 LMP2 35 Signatech Alpine Matmut 3:31.439 3:29.328 3:27.517 +12.726 14
15 LMP2 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing 3:41.393 3:28.432 3:27.535 +12.744 15
16 LMP2 27 SMP Racing 3:34.407 3:30.262 3:27.782 +12.991 16
17 LMP2 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut 3:31.065 3:28.856 3:28.051 +13.260 17
18 LMP2 39 Graff 3:32.987 3:36.128 3:28.368 +13.577 18
19 LMP2 40 Graff 3:32.477 3:29.396 3:28.891 +14.100 19
20 LMP2 22 G-Drive Racing 3:31.963 3:28.937 3:30.313 +14.146 20
21 LMP2 32 United Autosports 3:34.166 3:30.693 3:29.151 +14.360 21
22 LMP2 21 DragonSpeed – 10 Star 3:34.046 3:30.396 3:29.777 +14.986 22
23 LMP2 29 Racing Team Nederland 3:33.796 3:31.766 3:29.976 +15.185 23
24 LMP2 47 Cetilar Villorba Corse 3:34.846 3:30.014 3:33.412 +15.223 24
25 LMP2 45 Algarve Pro Racing 3:37.814 3:30.164 3:32.425 +15.373 25
26 LMP2 23 Panis Barthez Competition 3:35.559 3:31.346 3:32.888 +16.555 26
27 LMP2 34 Tockwith Motorsports 3:41.628 3:33.739 3:32.536 +17.745 27
28 LMP2 49 ARC Bratislava 3:37.226 3:33.921 No time +19.130 28
29 LMP2 17 IDEC Sport Racing 3:40.162 3:36.362 3:36.230 +21.439 29
30 LMP2 43 Keating Motorsport 3:40.813 3:37.350 3:37.007 +22.216 30
31 LMP2 33 Eurasia Motorsport 3:42.660 3:42.916 No time +27.869 31
32 LMGTE Pro 97 Aston Martin Racing 3:53.296 3:51.860 3:50.837 +36.046 32
33 LMGTE Pro 51 AF Corse 3:53.123 3:52.087 3:51.028 +36.237 33
34 LMGTE Pro 95 Aston Martin Racing 3:52.117 3:52.525 3:51.038 +36.247 34
35 LMGTE Pro 71 AF Corse 3:52.235 3:52.903 3:51.086 +36.295 35
36 LMGTE Pro 69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA 3:55.553 3:52.496 3:51.232 +36.441 36
37 LMGTE Pro 63 Corvette Racing – GM 3:54.847 3:52.886 3:51.484 +36.693 37
38 LMGTE Pro 92 Porsche GT Team 3:54.243 3:52.177 3:51.847 +37.056 38
39 LMGTE Pro 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK 3:55.803 3:52.558 3:51.991 +37.200 39
40 LMGTE Pro 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK 3:54.118 3:53.059 3:52.008 +37.217 40
41 LMGTE Pro 64 Corvette Racing – GM 3:54.876 3:52.391 3:52.017 +37.226 41
42 LMGTE Pro 82 Risi Competizione No time[N 2] 3:52.138 3:54.129 +37.347 42
43 LMGTE Pro 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA 3:55.059 3:52.626 3:52.178 +37.387 43
44 LMGTE Pro 91 Porsche GT Team 3:54.564 3:52.593 3:53.807 +37.802 44
45 LMGTE Am 50 Larbre Compétition 3:56.259 3:54.559 3:52.843 +38.052 45
46 LMGTE Am 98 Aston Martin Racing 3:55.134 3:54.456 3:53.233 +38.442 46
47 LMGTE Am 62 Scuderia Corsa 3:57.267 3:54.576 3:53.312 +38.521 47
48 LMGTE Am 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing 3:55.692 3:54.890 3:53.381 +38.590 48
49 LMGTE Am 55 Spirit of Race 4:01.098 3:54.941 3:53.641 +38.850 49
50 LMGTE Am 84 JMW Motorsport 3:56.890 3:53.981 3:53.977 +39.186 50
51 LMGTE Am 83 DH Racing 3:55.966 3:54.813 3:54.088 +39.297 51
52 LMGTE Am 90 TF Sport 3:55.953 3:54.319 3:54.551 +39.528 52
53 LMGTE Am 99 Beechdean AMR 3:57.463 3:55.046 3:54.328 +39.537 53
54 LMGTE Am 93 Proton Competition 3:58.196 3:54.621 3:59.046 +39.830 54
55 LMGTE Am 61 Clearwater Racing 3:56.333 3:55.995 3:54.955 +40.164 55
56 LMGTE Am 60 Clearwater Racing 3:57.321 4:02.436 3:54.994 +40.203 56
57 LMGTE Am 88 Proton Competition 3:56.507 3:55.468 4:00.323 +40.677 57
58 LMGTE Am 54 Spirit of Race 3:58.904 3:57.005 3:56.301 +41.510 58
59 LMGTE Am 86 Gulf Racing UK 3:58.427 No time 3:56.469 +41.678 59
60 LMGTE Am 65 Scuderia Corsa 3:58.249 3:59.842 No time +43.458 60

RaceEdit

Warm-upEdit

The cars took to the circuit on Saturday morning for a 45-minute warm-up session.[15] The No. 8 Toyota driven by Nakajima set the fastest time with a late lap of 3 minutes and 18.308 seconds. The sister Toyota of Kobayashi was three-tenths of a second slower in second place. The best placed Porsche was Tandy's No. 1 car in third having led the majority of the session. Kunimoto was fourth-fastest and Hartley rounded the top five. The fastest LMP2 lap was set by Lynn with a time of 3 minutes and 27.096 seconds. Briscoe, driving the No. 69 Ford GT, was the quickest driver in LMGTE Pro with the No. 83 DH Racing Ferrari driven by Bertolini the fastest of the LMGTE Am drivers by more than a second.[42][43] Paul Lafargue oversteered the No. 17 IDEC Sport car driving through the Porsche Curves and made contact with the barriers before stopping in the gravel trap. Lafargue returned to the pit lane for repairs.[43]

Race summaryEdit

The weather conditions on the grid at the start of the race were sunny and hot. The air temperature throughout the race was between 19 and 32 °C (66 and 90 °F) and the track temperature ranged from 27 to 38 °C (81 to 100 °F).[44] 258,500 people were in attendance.[45] The race began at 15:00 local time,[15] with the chairman and chief executive of the Formula One Group Chase Carey having the honour of waving the French Tricolour to start the race.[46] After pre-race problems the LMP1 No. 4 ByKolles Racing Team entry retired after completing seven laps due to a loss of compression in the engine.[47] Toyota established a healthy lead in the early hours of the race and the No. 2 Porsche took a lengthy stop after three and a half hours to fix its front axle, losing touch with the leaders. Four and a half hours in the No. 8 Toyota also had to make repairs in the pits, dropping them from contention for the win.[48]

Ten hours in, the overall leader Kobayashi in the No. 7 Toyota, suffered a clutch failure and could not make it back to the pits under hybrid power, forcing its retirement.[49] The No. 7 Toyota's retirement was attributed to Algarve Pro Racing's Vincent Capillare running up to the car and gave Kobayashi the thumbs up which the latter interpreted as a signal to leave the pit lane. Toyota then told Kobayashi over the radio to stop but this created further confusion.[50] This was quickly followed by the No. 9 Toyota colliding with an LMP2 car which caused a puncture. The debris left on the wheel rim caused further damage to the No. 9's gearbox and forced it to retire.[49] These events left the No. 1 Porsche with a large lead in the overall standings. However, with four hours to go, it too failed and retired from the race.[51] This left the No. 38 LMP2 car as the overall leader, meaning that for the first time in history the race was led by an LMP2 runner.[52] The eventual winner was the No. 2 Porsche (coming back from its early repair stop), passing the No. 38 with less than two hours to go and taking victory with 367 laps; the No. 8 Toyota, in eighth, was the only other LMP1 car to finish the race (also after an early repair stop).[53]

Following the race, the third-place overall finisher No. 13 Rebellion Oreca was disqualified by race officials after it was found that the team had modified the rear bodywork by cutting a hole to allow them to hit a faulty starter motor. This modification was deemed as an unnecessary modification of a homologated part of the bodywork. The disqualification promoted the second Jackie Chan DC Racing car to third place overall and second in class.[54]

Race resultEdit

The minimum number of laps for classification (70% of the overall winning car's race distance) was 257 laps. Class winners in bold.[55]

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Tyre Laps Time/Retired
Engine
1 LMP1 2   Porsche LMP Team   Timo Bernhard
  Brendon Hartley
  Earl Bamber
Porsche 919 Hybrid M 367 24:01:14.075
Porsche 2.0 L Turbo V4
2 LMP2 38   Jackie Chan DC Racing   Ho-Pin Tung
  Thomas Laurent
  Oliver Jarvis
Oreca 07 D 366 +1 Lap
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
3 LMP2 37   Jackie Chan DC Racing   David Cheng
  Tristan Gommendy
  Alex Brundle
Oreca 07 D 363 +4 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
4 LMP2 35   Signatech Alpine Matmut   Nelson Panciatici
  Pierre Ragues
  André Negrão
Alpine A470 D 362 +5 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
5 LMP2 32   United Autosports   Will Owen
  Hugo de Sadeleer
  Filipe Albuquerque
Ligier JS P217 D 362 +5 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
6 LMP2 40   Graff   James Allen
  Richard Bradley
  Franck Matelli
Oreca 07 D 361 +6 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
7 LMP2 24   CEFC Manor TRS Racing   Tor Graves
  Jonathan Hirschi
  Jean-Éric Vergne
Oreca 07 D 360 +7 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
8 LMP1 8   Toyota Gazoo Racing   Sébastien Buemi
  Kazuki Nakajima
  Anthony Davidson
Toyota TS050 Hybrid M 358 +9 Laps
Toyota 2.4 L Turbo V6
9 LMP2 47   Cetilar Villorba Corse   Andrea Belicchi
  Roberto Lacorte
  Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217 D 353 +14 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
10 LMP2 36   Signatech Alpine Matmut   Romain Dumas
  Gustavo Menezes
  Matt Rao
Alpine A470 D 351 +16 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
11 LMP2 34   Tockwith Motorsports   Philip Hanson
  Nigel Moore
  Karun Chandhok
Ligier JS P217 D 351 +16 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
12 LMP2 17   IDEC Sport Racing   Patrice Lafargue
  Paul Lafargue
  David Zollinger
Ligier JS P217 M 344 +23 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
13 LMP2 29   Racing Team Nederland   Rubens Barrichello
  Jan Lammers
  Frits van Eerd
Dallara P217 D 344 +23 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
14 LMP2 21   DragonSpeed – 10 Star   Henrik Hedman
  Felix Rosenqvist
  Ben Hanley
Oreca 07 D 343 +24 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
15 LMP2 33   Eurasia Motorsport   Jacques Nicolet
  Pierre Nicolet
  Erik Maris
Ligier JS P217 D 341 +26 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
16 LMP2 31   Vaillante Rebellion   Bruno Senna
  Nicolas Prost
  Julien Canal
Oreca 07 D 340 +27 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
17 LMGTE
Pro
97   Aston Martin Racing   Darren Turner
  Jonathan Adam
  Daniel Serra
Aston Martin Vantage GTE D 340 +27 Laps
Aston Martin 4.5 L V8
18 LMGTE
Pro
67   Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK   Harry Tincknell
  Andy Priaulx
  Pipo Derani
Ford GT M 340 +27 Laps
Ford EcoBoost 3.5 L Turbo V6
19 LMGTE
Pro
63   Corvette Racing – GM   Jan Magnussen
  Antonio García
  Jordan Taylor
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R M 340 +27 Laps
Chevrolet 5.5 L V8
20 LMGTE
Pro
91   Porsche GT Team   Richard Lietz
  Frédéric Makowiecki
  Patrick Pilet
Porsche 911 RSR M 339 +28 Laps
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
21 LMGTE
Pro
71   AF Corse   Davide Rigon
  Sam Bird
  Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE M 339 +28 Laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
22 LMGTE
Pro
68   Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA   Joey Hand
  Tony Kanaan
  Dirk Müller
Ford GT M 339 +28 Laps
Ford EcoBoost 3.5 L Turbo V6
23 LMGTE
Pro
69   Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA   Ryan Briscoe
  Scott Dixon
  Richard Westbrook
Ford GT M 337 +30 Laps
Ford EcoBoost 3.5 L Turbo V6
24 LMGTE
Pro
64   Corvette Racing – GM   Oliver Gavin
  Tommy Milner
  Marcel Fässler
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R M 335 +32 Laps
Chevrolet 5.5 L V8
25 LMGTE
Pro
95   Aston Martin Racing   Nicki Thiim
  Marco Sørensen
  Richie Stanaway
Aston Martin Vantage GTE D 334 +33 Laps
Aston Martin 4.5 L V8
26 LMGTE
Am
84   JMW Motorsport   Robert Smith
  Will Stevens
  Dries Vanthoor
Ferrari 488 GTE M 333 +34 Laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
27 LMGTE
Pro
66   Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK   Stefan Mücke
  Olivier Pla
  Billy Johnson
Ford GT M 332 +35 Laps
Ford EcoBoost 3.5 L Turbo V6
28 LMGTE
Am
55   Spirit of Race   Duncan Cameron
  Aaron Scott
  Marco Cioci
Ferrari 488 GTE M 331 +36 Laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
29 LMGTE
Am
62   Scuderia Corsa   Cooper MacNeil
  Bill Sweedler
  Townsend Bell
Ferrari 488 GTE M 331 +36 Laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
30 LMGTE
Am
99   Beechdean AMR   Andrew Howard
  Ross Gunn
  Oliver Bryant
Aston Martin Vantage GTE D 331 +36 Laps
Aston Martin 4.5 L V8
31 LMGTE
Am
61   Clearwater Racing   Weng Sun Mok
  Keita Sawa
  Matt Griffin
Ferrari 488 GTE M 330 +37 Laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
32 LMP2 45   Algarve Pro Racing   Mark Patterson
  Matt McMurry
  Vincent Capillaire
Ligier JS P217 D 330 +37 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
33 LMP2 27   SMP Racing   Mikhail Aleshin
  Sergey Sirotkin
  Viktor Shaytar
Dallara P217 D 330 +37 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
34 LMGTE
Am
77   Dempsey-Proton Racing   Christian Ried
  Marvin Dienst
  Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR D 329 +38 Laps
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
35 LMGTE
Am
90   TF Sport   Salih Yoluç
  Euan Hankey
  Rob Bell
Aston Martin Vantage GTE D 329 +38 Laps
Aston Martin 4.5 L V8
36 LMGTE
Am
98   Aston Martin Racing   Paul Dalla Lana
  Mathias Lauda
  Pedro Lamy
Aston Martin Vantage GTE D 329 +38 Laps
Aston Martin 4.5 L V8
37 LMGTE
Am
93   Proton Competition   Patrick Long
  Mike Hedlund
  Abdulaziz Al Faisal
Porsche 911 RSR D 329 +38 Laps
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
38 LMGTE
Am
86   Gulf Racing UK   Michael Wainwright
  Ben Barker
  Nick Foster
Porsche 911 RSR D 328 +39 Laps
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
39 LMP2 22   G-Drive Racing   Memo Rojas
  Ryō Hirakawa
  José Gutiérrez
Oreca 07 D 327 +40 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
40 LMGTE
Am
60   Clearwater Racing   Richard Wee
  Álvaro Parente
  Hiroki Katoh
Ferrari 488 GTE M 327 +40 Laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
41 LMGTE
Am
54   Spirit of Race   Thomas Flohr
  Francesco Castellacci
  Olivier Beretta
Ferrari 488 GTE M 326 +41 Laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
42 LMGTE
Am
83   DH Racing   Tracy Krohn
  Niclas Jönsson
  Andrea Bertolini
Ferrari 488 GTE M 320 +47 Laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
43 LMP2 39   Graff   Eric Trouillet
  Enzo Guibbert
  James Winslow
Oreca 07 D 318 +49 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
44 LMGTE
Am
65   Scuderia Corsa   Christina Nielsen
  Alessandro Balzan
  Bret Curtis
Ferrari 488 GTE M 314 +53 Laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
45 LMP2 49   ARC Bratislava   Miroslav Konôpka
  Konstantīns Calko
  Rik Breukers
Ligier JS P217 M 314 +53 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
46 LMGTE
Pro
51   AF Corse   James Calado
  Alessandro Pier Guidi
  Michele Rugolo
Ferrari 488 GTE M 312 +55 Laps
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
47 LMP2 43   Keating Motorsport   Ben Keating
  Ricky Taylor
  Jeroen Bleekemolen
Riley Mk. 30 M 312 +55 Laps
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
48 LMGTE
Am
50   Larbre Compétition   Romain Brandela
  Christian Philippon
  Fernando Rees
Chevrolet Corvette C7.R M 309 +58 Laps
Chevrolet 5.5 L V8
DNF LMP1 1   Porsche LMP Team   Neel Jani
  Nick Tandy
  André Lotterer
Porsche 919 Hybrid M 318 Mechanical
Porsche 2.0 L Turbo V4
DNF LMP2 23   Panis Barthez Competition   Fabien Barthez
  Timothé Buret
  Nathanaël Berthon
Ligier JS P217 M 296 Retired
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
DNF LMP2 28   TDS Racing   François Perrodo
  Emmanuel Collard
  Matthieu Vaxivière
Oreca 07 D 213 Accident
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
DNF LMGTE
Pro
92   Porsche GT Team   Michael Christensen
  Kévin Estre
  Dirk Werner
Porsche 911 RSR M 179 Retired
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
DNF LMP1 9   Toyota Gazoo Racing   José María López
  Nicolas Lapierre
  Yuji Kunimoto
Toyota TS050 Hybrid M 160 Puncture
Toyota 2.4 L Turbo V6
DNF LMP1 7   Toyota Gazoo Racing   Mike Conway
  Kamui Kobayashi
  Stéphane Sarrazin
Toyota TS050 Hybrid M 154 Clutch
Toyota 2.4 L Turbo V6
DNF LMP2 25   CEFC Manor TRS Racing   Roberto González
  Simon Trummer
  Vitaly Petrov
Oreca 07 D 152 Collision
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
DNF LMGTE
Pro
82   Risi Competizione   Toni Vilander
  Giancarlo Fisichella
  Pierre Kaffer
Ferrari 488 GTE M 72 Collision
Ferrari F154CB 3.9 L Turbo V8
DNF LMP2 26   G-Drive Racing   Roman Rusinov
  Pierre Thiriet
  Alex Lynn
Oreca 07 D 20 Collision
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8
DNF LMGTE
Am
88   Proton Competition   Klaus Bachler
  Stéphane Lémeret
  Khalid Al Qubaisi
Porsche 911 RSR D 18 Collision
Porsche 4.0 L Flat-6
DNF LMP1 4   ByKolles Racing Team   Dominik Kraihamer
  Oliver Webb
  Marco Bonanomi
ENSO CLM P01/01 M 7 Retired
Nismo VRX30A 3.0 L Turbo V6
DSQ LMP2 13   Vaillante Rebellion   Nelson Piquet Jr.
  Mathias Beche
  David Heinemeier Hansson
Oreca 07 D 364 Disqualified[N 3]
Gibson GK428 4.2 L V8

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Kobayashi's time was nearly two seconds faster than the qualifying lap record set in 2015 on the current 13.629-kilometre (8.469 mi) version of the Circuit de la Sarthe and averaged 251.882 km/h (156.512 mph) to beat Hans-Joachim Stuck's 1985 qualifying run.[32]
  2. ^ The No. 82 Risi Ferrari had its lap times from the Qualifying 1 session deleted for the team breaking parc fermé regulations by handling the tires after the session.[29]
  3. ^ The No. 13 Rebellion Oreca was disqualified from the race after the team was found to have intentionally modified the bodywork on the car to permit starting it more easily.[54]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit