• Tim Fullbrook

Le Mans 12 Hours: Toyota extend two lap lead over the rest of the field

The pair of GR010s extend a multiple-lap advantage over the chasing #709 Glickenhaus

Toyota hold a two lap advantage over the rest of the field as the 2022 24H Le Mans reaches the halfway point – #8 leading the #7 by 20sec.


The Japanese manufacturer has dominated proceedings, with the two cars exchanging the lead through pitstop strategy and team orders in a race that has run without Full Course Yellow or Safety Car periods.


Hirakawa leads Kobayashi thanks to a localised Slow Zone forcing the latter to reduce his speed, gifting some crucial seconds to the sister car.


From the start of the race the Toyotas were able to push out a lead over the chasing #709 Glickenhaus – which still holds the final step on the overall podium despite a two minute pitstop for a sensor change in the opening three hours.


The #708 SCG007 runs in P6 overall, a spin for Olivier Pla on cold tyres at Tetre Rouge would see the Frenchman limping back to pitlane with suspected broken suspension.


Alpine's #36 car runs well down the order, P22 overall and last in the Hypercar class after a 13-minute visit to pitlane to fix an electronic clutch issue.


The #38 JOTA ORECA continues to lead the LMP2 class as the race elapses 12 hours. The British team have been able to extent a near-lap's advantage over the #9 PREMA Orlen Team car, which has become a mainstay in second place in class.


Antonio Felix Da Costa set about generating a 30sec lead in his opening stints from the green flag, before Will Stevens was able to solidify their position as favourites in class.

Pitstop cycle has the #31 Team WRT ORECA in third place, the pole-sitting car fighting its way back into contention after Rene Rast was handed a minute stop-and-go penalty for contact at the start of the race that saw the #22 United Autosport car spin at high speed through the Dunlop Curve gravel.




#92 PORSCHE INHERITS LEAD AS #63 CORVETTE SUFFERS PUNCTURE

The #92 Porsche is currently leading the GTE PRO class in the early morning after the dominant #63 Corvette suffered a major front left puncture as the clock struck 11pm local time.


Laurens Vanthoor heads a Porsche 1-2, with Fred Makowiecki 1m40sec off the leading car but ahead of the early pole-sitting #64 Corvette by 10sec.


Under braking for Mulsanne, the #63 C8.R was dragging along the floor, the front left Michelin severely punctured and forcing Antonio Garcia to limp back to pitlane – however subsequent damage would see the car lose 15 laps in pitlane, with recurring issues setting it back some 22 laps from the leading Porsche.


Aston Martin lead the GTE AM class for the first time, with the #33 TF Sport Vantage moving up the order as the sun set at La Sarthe. Hugo Chaves at the wheel currently sits 50sec ahead of the net-class leader #79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche who will cycle to the front after pitstops.


Third place in class is occupied by the #99 Hardpoint Motorsports Porsche, with the Alesso Picariello and Martin Rump's triple stints keeping the car in the fight.

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