start (Photo by Melissa Warren)19th victory for Porsche as Toyota’s run of bad luck continues at the 24 Hours of Le Mans

The drama of the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans and the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship unfolded in front of 258,500spectators and was full of emotion, joy and disappointment, heat and drama.

It was Porsche LMP Team’s #2 919 Hybrid which finally conquered all, to take its 19th win at the world’s greatest endurance race.

The crew of the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) fought back from 55th place and the third victory in a row means the team has earned the right to keep the 24 Hours of Le Mans trophy.

Brendon Hartley, who was the only one of the Porsche drivers to have not already won the race said: “This is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life; you cannot write stories like that. It feels great to win the race and the Rolex watch which is steeped in history just like the 24 Hour of Le Mans.”

Second and third places went to two LMP2s Orecas fielded by Jackie Chan DC Racing (#38) and Vaillante Rebellion (#13), the first time ever, there are two LMP2s on the podium of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The three Toyota TS050 Hybrids were expected to play a key role in the race, but the Japanese team once again suffered from cruel bad luck. In the lead from the start, the #7 Toyota (Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin) retired at 1.15am following a clutch problem.

An accident put the #9 of Nicolas Lapierre, Yuji Kunimoto and José María López out just minutes after the #7 stopped, when it was hit from behind by an LMP2 car, causing a puncture and damaging the hydraulics. That left the car unable to shift gear and it retired on track just a few hundred metres from the pits at 1.35am.

Porsche were ready to pounce and the #1 Jani/Lotterer/Tandy took control in the ninth hour. Heading towards victory with less than four hours to go, the car ground to a halt on the Mulsanne Straight and retired a few minutes later.

The remaining Toyota, the #8, finished second in class but in 9th place overall. As Le Mans is a double-points race, Porsche is now leading the FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship by 11 points over the No.8 Toyota crew.

In LMP2, the #13 and #31 dominated the class, swapping from first to second depending on pit-stops. However, the reliability of the #38 Oreca 07-Gibson (Tung/Laurent/Jarvis) was a force to be reckoned with. The #38 overtook the #13 in the 16th hour and with the LMP1s in trouble, it was leading the race with 3 hours to go. It finished the race in second place overall, just ahead of the #13 Oreca 07 - Gibson (Piquet/Heinemeier Hansson/Beche).

Race start with fly pass on the grid (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans from the wheel (Photo by Melissa Warren) Toyota V Porsche in LMP1 battle (Photo by Melissa Warren) Incident  (Photo by Melissa Warren) Incident (Photo by Melissa Warren)

 

 

 

LMGTE Pro the sparks certainly flew between Aston Martin, Corvette, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche. For several hours, the #97 and #95 Aston Martins were in first and second place, staving off attacks from Corvette, Ferrari, Ford and Porsche. The closing stages were enthralling between the #63 Chevrolet Corvette C7R (Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor) and the #97 Aston Martin (Turner/Adam/Serra).

With just over 45 minutes left on the clock, Jonny Adam found himself pitting at the same time as the #63 Corvette for a final fuel stop. With both cars exiting the pit lane together, with Adam in second and it was inevitable that he would have to make the pass while on track.

Wheel at night (Photo by Melissa Warren) Pit (Photo by Melissa Warren) GT battle Lap (Photo by Melissa Warren) Podium (Photo by Melissa Warren) Podium champagne (Photo by Melissa Warren)

 

 

 

After trading places with his rival for much of the final stint, Adam prevailed and overtook the #63 Corvette as he crossed the start/finish line on the penultimate lap. With his rival running wide at the second Mulsanne corner under pressure from the Scot, a slow puncture halted their progress and ensured the victory.

Jonny Adam driving the #97 Aston Martin said: “It was an extremely tough last stint, we nearly pipped the Corvette on the pit exit in the last hour and when he did get the jump there he was fast. He managed to pull at one point a six to eight car length gap, but our goal was not to give up. He looked weak in a few corners and I knew I had to capitalise on them and when I got on to his bumper I knew it was now or never if I wanted to win Le Mans. We got it and it was really cool to get him just before the finish line and to see fans in the grandstands and the team on the pit wall celebrating, and it was then just time to bring it home”.

LMGTE Am was well-balanced in the early stages, with a tussle between Ferrari 488 GTE, Aston Martin and Porsche 911 RSR. However, in the end the class was won by the #84 Ferrari 488 GTE (Smith/Stevens/Vanthoor), followed by two other Ferraris.

Race result
1 2 Porsche LMP Team BERNHARD / BAMBER / HARTLEY Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 H M 367 24:01:14.075 29 85 3:19.782 245.6
2 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing TUNG / LAURENT / JARVIS Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 366 24:01:41.080 1 Laps 1 Laps 38 227 3:28.632 235.2
3 13 Vaillante Rebellion PIQUET JR / HEINEMEIER HANSSON / BECHE Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 364 24:04:32.351 3 Laps 2 Laps 38 244 3:28.785 235.0
4 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing CHENG / GOMMENDY / BRUNDLE Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 363 24:01:41.097 4 Laps 1 Laps 37 243 3:29.418 234.3
5 35 Signatech Alpine Matmut PANCIATICI / RAGUES / NEGRÃO Alpine A470 - Gibson LMP2 D 362 24:01:14.873 5 Laps 1 Laps 40 257 3:30.551 233.0
6 32 United Autosports OWEN / DE SADELEER / ALBUQUERQUE Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 362 24:04:46.653 5 Laps3:31.780 36 4 3:31.678 231.8
7 40 Graff ALLEN / MATELLI / BRADLEY Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 361 24:04:37.555 6 Laps 1 Laps 36 4 3:30.485 233.1
8 24 CEFC Manor TRS Racing GRAVES / HIRSCHI / VERGNE Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 360 24:01:49.553 7 Laps 1 Laps 37 248 3:28.873 234.9
9 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing BUEMI / DAVIDSON / NAKAJIMA Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H M 358 24:02:05.621 9 Laps 2 Laps 27 330 3:18.604 247.0
10 47 Cetilar Villorba Corse LACORTE / SERNAGIOTTO / BELICCHI Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 D 353 24:02:37.198 14 Laps 5 Laps 36 204 3:32.606 230.8
11 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut DUMAS / MENEZES / RAO Alpine A470 - Gibson LMP2 D 351 24:03:52.052 16 Laps 2 Laps 38 229 3:30.060 233.6
12 34 Tockwith Motorsports MOORE / HANSON / CHANDHOK Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 351 24:04:49.751 16 Laps 57.699 36 40 3:33.875 229.4
13 17 Idec Sport Racing LAFARGUE / LAFARGUE / ZOLLINGER Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 M 344 24:02:03.096 23 Laps 7 Laps 38 15 3:37.781 225.3
14 29 Racing Team Nederland LAMMERS / VAN EERD / BARRICHELLO Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 D 344 24:02:23.011 23 Laps 19.915 37 295 3:34.857 228.4
15 21 Dragonspeed - 10 Star HEDMAN / HANLEY / ROSENQVIST Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 343 24:03:10.915 24 Laps 1 Laps 36 227 3:30.336 233.3
16 33 Eurasia Motorsport NICOLET / NICOLET / MARIS Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 341 24:01:16.286 26 Laps 2 Laps 37 5 3:36.750 226.4
17 31 Vaillante Rebellion PROST / CANAL / SENNA Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 340 24:03:26.270 27 Laps 1 Laps 37 225 3:29.072 234.7
18 97 Aston Martin Racing TURNER / ADAM / SERRA Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Pro D 340 24:03:35.578 27 Laps 9.308 24 224 3:50.950 212.4
19 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK PRIAULX / TINCKNELL / DERANI Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 340 24:05:08.283 27 Laps1:32.705 25 224 3:51.438 212.0
20 63 Corvette Racing - GM MAGNUSSEN / GARCIA / TAYLOR Chevrolet Corvette C7.R LMGTE Pro M 340 24:05:11.927 27 Laps 3.644 25 213 3:51.156 212.3
21 91 Porsche GT Team LIETZ / MAKOWIECKI / PILET Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro M 339 24:02:01.725 28 Laps 1 Laps 26 241 3:51.549 211.9
22 71 AF Corse RIGON / BIRD / MOLINA Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Pro M 339 24:03:07.323 28 Laps1:05.598 26 220 3:51.846 211.6
23 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA HAND / MÜLLER / KANAAN Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 339 24:04:38.154 28 Laps1:30.831 25 256 3:51.640 211.8
24 69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA BRISCOE / WESTBROOK / DIXON Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 337 24:04:03.586 30 Laps 2 Laps 26 89 3:51.733 211.7
25 64 Corvette Racing - GM GAVIN / MILNER / FÄSSLER Chevrolet Corvette C7.R LMGTE Pro M 335 24:04:22.104 32 Laps 2 Laps 26 215 3:51.510 211.9
26 95 Aston Martin Racing THIIM / SØRENSEN / STANAWAY Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Pro D 334 24:03:37.016 33 Laps 1 Laps 26 88 3:51.276 212.1
27 84 JMW Motorsport SMITH / STEVENS / VANTHOOR Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 333 24:04:25.339 34 Laps 1 Laps 24 124 3:54.461 209.3
28 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK MÜCKE / PLA / JOHNSON Ford GT LMGTE Pro M 332 24:04:50.601 35 Laps 1 Laps 27 30 3:51.828 211.6
29 55 Spirit of Race CAMERON / SCOTT / CIOCI Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 331 24:01:22.314 36 Laps 1 Laps 24 214 3:53.944 209.7
30 62 Scuderia Corsa MACNEIL / SWEEDLER / BELL Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 331 24:03:50.573 36 Laps2:28.259 25 214 3:55.010 208.8
31 99 Beechdean AMR HOWARD / GUNN / BRYANT Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Am D 331 24:05:07.311 36 Laps1:16.738 23 191 3:53.797 209.9
32 61 Clearwater Racing MOK / SAWA / GRIFFIN Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 330 24:02:35.669 37 Laps 1 Laps 24 56 3:54.977 208.8
33 45 Algarve Pro Racing PATTERSON / MCMURRY / CAPILLAIRE Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 330 24:03:25.479 37 Laps 49.810 36 197 3:32.524 230.9
34 27 SMP Racing ALESHIN / SIROTKIN / SHAITAR Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 D 330 24:04:41.031 37 Laps1:15.552 38 183 3:29.641 234.0
35 77 Dempsey - Proton Racing RIED / CAIROLI / DIENST Porsche 911 RSR 991 LMGTE Am D 329 24:01:25.672 38 Laps 1 Laps 25 213 3:55.191 208.6
36 90 TF Sport YOLUC / HANKEY / BELL Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Am D 329 24:02:03.845 38 Laps 38.173 26 211 3:53.320 210.3
37 98 Aston Martin Racing DALLA LANA / LAMY / LAUDA Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Am D 329 24:02:40.459 38 Laps 36.614 26 250 3:53.684 210.0
38 93 Proton Competition LONG / AL FAISAL / HEDLUND Porsche 911 RSR 991 LMGTE Am D 329 24:05:05.977 38 Laps2:25.518 24 205 3:58.089 206.1
39 86 Gulf Racing UK WAINWRIGHT / BARKER / FOSTER Porsche 911 RSR (2016) LMGTE Am D 328 24:04:29.838 39 Laps 1 Laps 23 184 3:57.456 206.6
40 22 G-Drive Racing ROJAS / HIRAKAWA / GUTIERREZ Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 327 24:01:55.583 40 Laps 1 Laps 38 227 3:31.721 231.7
41 60 Clearwater Racing WEE / KATOH / PARENTE Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 327 24:02:36.037 40 Laps 40.454 25 150 3:54.089 209.6
42 54 Spirit of Race FLOHR / CASTELLACCI / BERETTA Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 326 24:03:26.836 41 Laps 1 Laps 25 143 3:56.298 207.6
43 83 DH Racing KROHN / JÖNSSON / BERTOLINI Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 320 24:02:11.781 47 Laps 6 Laps 27 86 3:55.058 208.7
44 39 Graff GUIBBERT / TROUILLET / WINSLOW Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 318 24:01:24.345 49 Laps 2 Laps 36 233 3:29.210 234.5
45 65 Scuderia Corsa NIELSEN / BALZAN / CURTIS Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Am M 314 24:01:25.608 53 Laps 4 Laps 26 217 3:54.843 208.9
46 49 Arc Bratislava KONOPKA / CALKO / BREUKERS Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 D 314 24:03:12.659 53 Laps1:47.051 36 167 3:33.096 230.2
47 51 AF Corse CALADO / PIER GUIDI / RUGOLO Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Pro M 312 24:02:53.224 55 Laps 2 Laps 22 213 3:51.422 212.0
48 43 Keating Motorsports KEATING / BLEEKEMOLEN / TAYLOR Riley MK30 - GIBSON LMP2 M 312 24:04:03.134 55 Laps1:09.910 33 175 3:37.434 225.7
49 50 Larbre Competition REES / BRANDELA / PHILIPPON Chevrolet Corvette C7.R LMGTE Am M 309 24:04:49.425 58 Laps 3 Laps 28 4 3:53.857 209.8

Retired
1 Porsche LMP Team JANI / LOTTERER / TANDY Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 H M 318 20:08:35.777 24 3 3:18.805 246.8
23 Panis Barthez Competition BARTHEZ / BURET / BERTHON Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 M 296 20:12:46.080 31 266 3:33.049 230.3
28 TDS Racing PERRODO / VAXIVIERE / COLLARD Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 213 14:37:16.976 23 158 3:31.517 232.0
92 Porsche GT Team CHRISTENSEN / ESTRE / WERNER Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro M 179 12:57:03.073 14 156 3:51.699 211.8
9 Toyota Gazoo Racing LAPIERRE / KUNIMOTO / LOPEZ Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H M 160 10:10:31.921 13 75 3:19.321 246.2
7 Toyota Gazoo Racing CONWAY / KOBAYASHI / SARRAZIN Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H M 154 9:43:04.379 12 3 3:18.694 246.9
25 CEFC Manor TRS Racing GONZALEZ / TRUMMER / PETROV Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 152 10:10:31.428 15 106 3:29.143 234.6
82 Risi Competizione VILANDER / FISICHELLA / KAFFER Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE Pro M 72 4:58:37.414 5 38 3:52.298 211.2
26 G-Drive Racing RUSINOV / THIRIET / LYNN Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 D 20 1:28:18.463 3 3 3:31.213 232.3
88 Proton Competition BACHLER / LEMERET / AL QUBAISI Porsche 911 RSR 991 LMGTE Am D 18 1:18:07.557 2 13 4:01.338 203.3
4 Bykolles Racing Team WEBB / KRAIHAMER / BONANOMI Enso CLM P1/01 - Nismo LMP1 M 7 29:52.736 2 4 3:25.919 238.3 By Melissa Warren

STOP PRESS!!!

The #13 Vaillante Rebellion disqualified
During the post-race technical checks, certain irregularities were detected on the Vaillante Rebellion team's #13 Oreca 07-Gibson, resulting in the car's disqualification from the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Two infractions were noted by the technical marshals:
• Modification to the body, found to be in technical non-compliance (decision of the stewards #58)
• Unauthorized intervention in the closed park after the race (decision of the stewards #59)
The Vaillante Rebellion has confirmed its intention to file an appeal with the officials.

This disqualification causes a change to the overall classification for the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans. Jackie Chan DC Racing's second car, the #37 driven by Cheng-Gommendy-Brundle, now claims the third step on the podium just behind its sister car, the #38, and the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid.