55 cars Raced
Qualifying 3:16.887 Porsche
Weather mainly fine but with minor shower
The the 83rd running of the Le Mans 24 Hours race had Nissan, Toyota, Porsche and Audi enteries. Audi have won thirteen recent Le Mans 24 races. Behind the LMP1s, one of the most competitive GT fields, with Ferraris, Porsches, Corvettes, Aston Martins etc.
Porsche took pole ahead of 2 more Porsches, followed by 3 Audis and 3 Toyotas with the front wheel drive Nissans well back.
As Bill Ford of Ford Motor Company waved the tricolour the race was truly one in fine weather with pit temperature of about 77F.
In the first hour No.92 Porsche dropped oil and spun at first chicane on Mulsanne and then caught fire further down the straight 20 minutes followed behind the safety car. Next safety car deployment was for Audi 8 which hit the barriers head on after clipping the Ferrari No 51but got back to the pits and was repaired. After the usual shuffle and pit stops René Rast lead for Audi.
After the 6 hour mark another safety car period: Paul-Loup Chatin crashed his Signatech Alpine at Mulsanne Corner. When racing resumed, Hulkenberg was able to attack the leaders, first overtaking Webber's Porsche on the opening lap then passing Rast when he made a scheduled pit stop
As the race approached its halfway point, Lotterer gained on the No. 9 Audi and moved into second place, becoming Audi's lead challenger to Porsche. The No. 26 G-Drive Ligier took over second place in LMP2, although still a lap behind the leading KCMG Oreca while the lead in LMGTE Pro was now left to the No. 64 Corvette and the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari on the same lap.In the early morning the No. 7 Audi's hold on second place was relinquished when the rear bodywork of the Audi came apart on the circuit, requiring a seven-minute stop for repairs and dropping the car down the race order.The No. 7 Audi of Lotterer made contact with Tandy's leading Porsche while both cars were in the slow zone, earning Lotterer a penalty.
Light rain began to fall on portions of the circuit in the final hour, but it was not heavy enough to affect the race. Paul Dalla Lana, having led the previous 125 laps in LMGTE Am and within forty five minutes of the race finish, went straight on at the Ford Chicane and crashed into a barrier, ending the car's run and promoting the SMP Ferrari to the class lead which it held to the finish.
Nico Hulkenberg took the chequered flag for the No. 19 Porsche, a lap ahead of Hartley's No. 17 Porsche. Audi, in only their third defeat at Le Mans since 2000, were a further lap behind in third place with the No. 7 car. Toyota, unable to match the pace of Audi and Porsche, were twelve laps behind for a seventh place finish, while debutants Nissan successfully finished the race with one of their cars, although it failed to complete enough laps for classification. So Porsche, Porsche, Audi, Audi, Porsche then Toyota. Oreca won LMP2, LMGTE Pro won by Corvette, LMGTE Am won by SMP Racing's Ferrari
Sports Car Races