Racing |

8 Hour report: Porsche Penske Motorsport in the chase for 24 Hours of Le Mans victory

Reading time

2 Mins

Porsche 963
24 Hours of Le Mans

Racing |

8 Hour report: Porsche Penske Motorsport in the chase for 24 Hours of Le Mans victory

Reading time

2 Mins

Porsche 963
24 Hours of Le Mans

UPDATE AFTER 8H - MIDNIGHT

The #5 Porsche Penske Motorsport car is in hot pursuit of the leader at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, running in second place at the eight-hour mark at midnight.

Having lined up 10th for the iconic endurance race, Frédéric Makowiecki took the wheel for the first stint in the car he shares with Matt Campbell and Michael Christensen.

It made steady progress through the pack, and opting to stick with slick tyres instead of switching to wets in the early rain handed the team an advantage. The car went on to make up several more places, entering the podium places on lap 68 as it fought the #50 Ferrari for the lead. It then moved into second as a car ahead stopped, putting it in firm contention heading into the second stage of the race, with the safety car deployed around 10.39pm CEST after an incident at the Mulsanne Chicane and leading the way into the night.

The #6 car started on pole after Kévin Estre’s stunning Hyperpole performance on Thursday, leading off the line in the Porsche 963 he shares with André Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor.

But it was passed on the way down to Indianapolis by the #50 Ferrari before losing second to the sister #51 Ferrari the following lap. It retook the lead after the first round of pitstops before it was again passed by the #50 on the Mulsanne Straight, though it remained in the fight for the lead as the Ferrari was handed a 10-second penalty.

On lap 30, the #6 car stopped for wet tyres as the rain fell, but later returned for slicks amid tricky conditions, losing time in the process and running in 13th before making places back up to run fifth by the safety car period.

I had a small touch with another car that caused some damage. The boys did an awesome job to make [the repair] quick, but quite some time lost.

Mathieu Jaminet, Porsche Penske 963 #4

The #4 car, driven by Mathieu Jaminet, Felipe Nasr and Nick Tandy, lined up 19th after a difficult qualifying session on Wednesday, but had a strong start to the race and was up to 11th by lap 21, running as high as fourth by lap 64.

It was forced to stop on lap 68 with a loose rear wing before receiving a drive-through penalty for contact with the #85 Iron Dames car. 40 minutes later, it stopped again for repairs after losing its number panel and suffering damage to a wheel arch in the earlier contact.

The car came out a lap down on the leaders and was running in 14th before the safety car.

Customer Racing

Hertz Team JOTA’s #12 car, driven by Callum Ilott, Norman Nato and Will Stevens, lined up in eighth, having undergone an extensive rebuild after a late crash in free practice on Thursday evening.

Initially driven by Stevens, it lost places on the opening lap but was back inside the top 10 by lap 20 before making further progress to run in the top five.

It was running in seventh when the safety car was deployed, four places ahead of the sister #38 car - piloted by Jenson Button, Phil Hanson and Oliver Rasmussen - in 11th, which started in 17th before making similarly strong progress.

The #99 Proton Competition car started in 14th, but suffered a door closing mechanism issue and was forced to stop twice for repairs. The car, shared by Julien Andlauer, Neel Jani and Harry Tincknell, came out five laps down and last in class.

LMGT3

Manthey Racing led the fight for victory in the LMGT3 class by the eight-hour mark, with the PureRxcing #92 car running ahead into the night.

After a successful qualifying, the car, shared by Klaus Bachler, Alex Malykhin and Joel Sturm, lined up second, but a difficult start to the race saw it fall back to just outside the top 10. But the team bounced back and fought through the field back to the second-place spot, inheriting the lead once the leading #46 BMW stopped.

The #91 Manthey EMA car, driven by Richard Lietz, Morris Schuring and Yasser Shahin, lined up 16th but made steady progress through the pack to run third by the safety car period.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans still has 16 hours left to run, and finishes at 4pm CEST on Sunday.

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