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Le Mans 24 Hours sunrise report - Toyota dominating after dramatic night of racing

Le Mans 24 Hours sunrise report - Toyota dominating after dramatic night of racing

F1 News

Le Mans 24 Hours sunrise report - Toyota dominating after dramatic night of racing

Le Mans 24 Hours sunrise report - Toyota dominating after dramatic night of racing

Toyota is dominating the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours with a four-lap lead over third-placed Alpine after a chaotic night of racing.

The gap at the top between the leading #7 and #8 machines has closed right up after the early race issues for the latter threatened to present a procession.

Kamui Kobayashi lost a large chunk of a three-minute lead with a mistake at Indianapolis, the Japanese drive fortunate to get the #7 pulled up before contact was made with the tyre barriers as all four wheels locked up under braking.

Safety cars for issues in other classes also helped cut the deficit as strategies varied through the night.

The #36 Alpine was running nicely and within touching distance of the leading two cars before Matthieu Vaxiviere lost control at the first chicane on the Mulsanne straight and lost two of the four laps waiting for retrieval from the gravel.

Both Glickenhaus entrants are still running with the #708 just 40 seconds adrift of the Alpine for a place on the overall podium.


Things kicked off in LMP2 as darkness fell and rain hit in hour six of the race.

Two of the three United Autosports entries collided at the Dunlop Chicane - the #32 driven by Manuel Maldonado skipping over the chicane and hitting the #23 of Paul di Resta.

That dropped the #23 out of podium contention and saw the #32 retire before the #1 all-female Richard Mille entry was forced into retirement through no fault of their own.

The #26 G-Drive failed to slow for yellow flags and the panicked spin pitched Sophia Floersch into the barriers before the Porsche Curves.

The stranded #1 was then somehow collected by the #74 Racing Team India Eurasia entry despite yellow flags being waved at the scene.

The sister G-Drive #25 car crashed out eight hours into the race with a heavy impact with the wall on the inside of the Dunlop Curve whilst an hour later at the same corner, the #29 Racing Team Nederland entry lost time in the gravel.

Jan Magnussen was taken out by the #26 at Arnage around the 13-hour mark, before the Dane lost control of the #49 High Class car and hit the barriers on the following lap, losing even more time.

All of that leaves a Team WRT one-two led by the #31 entry, with Robert Kubica on course for a podium in the team's first time running an LMP2 car in the race.

The #28 Jota that once led has been battling the #65 Panis Racing car for third position, although the cars are some way back from the class leaders.


Ferrari continues to sit pretty in the GTEPro class although the Italian contingent is only one-strong in the top three after issues for the #52 car.

The #51 holds a 20-second lead over the #63 Corvette after just under 16 hours of racing, with the Corvette Racing entry finding speed in the lower temperatures of the night.

The sister #64 lost some 20 laps in the garage fixing an issue that stemmed back to a pre-race collision with a Ferrari which led to a driveline problem.

The Porsche entrants also found promise through the darkness of Le Mans to drag itself into contention, although the #92 in third place sits around three minutes adrift of the top two.

The #79 Weathertech privateer Porsche was well-positioned before crashing heavily at the Ford Chicane and being forced to retire.


GTEAm was also hit by drama through the night with the former race leading #33 involved in an incident into the first Mulsanne chicane.

The #56 Project 1 Porsche spun into the tyre bundles and out of the race and was followed by the #33 which was suffering from a right-rear puncture.

That leaves the AF Corse #83 in the lead of class with the #33 TF Sport Aston Martin fighting back to just over a minute adrift in second.

Callum Ilott is the final car on the lead lap in GTEAm, piloting the #80 Iron Lynx Ferrari into the morning hours to sit third.

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