Le Mans 6H Update: Toyota dominate overall, JOTA and Corvette establish strong leads
Toyotas exchange the lead, but go unchallenged by Glickenhaus and hampered Alpine.
The #7 would take the lead after the first round of pitstops, Conway diving to pitlane earlier than the #8 and benefitting from a three second faster stop to take the lead.
Behind the leading duo, Glickenhaus have had a firm hold on the final step of the overall podium, albeit with both cars sharing time in third.
In the opening hour the #709 was keeping tabs on the Toyotas before a sensor issue forced them to make a two minute stop in the garage, handing the spot to the #708 that runs in third at the turn of the six hours.
It has been a difficult race for the #36 Alpine, which was unable to challenge the pair of Glickenhaus Hypercars in the first two hours, before an issue in the electronic clutch at the turn of the fourth forced a 13-minute visit to pitlane and dropped them four laps off the lead.
JOTA's #38 car has displayed a commanding lead at the front of the LMP2 category, holding a consistent 30-second lead over the rest of the class.
#37 COOL Racing ORECA runs in second place, Ricky Taylor narrowly ahead of the Felipe Nasr in the #5 Team Penske ORECA.
Antonio Felix Da Costa took the lead for the #38 inside the first stint before establishing a near half-minute lead before handing over to Will Stevens.
Behind has arguably been the battle of the race, as a multi-car fight for second dominated the television screens around the circuit. Team WRT's #32, #9 PREMA Orlen Team, #5 Team Penske, #65 Panis Racing and #1 Richard Mille Racing ORECA 07s all exchanged positions throughout the opening quarter of the race.
However the complexion of the race in the class was changed as early as the first corner of the race, as contact between Rene Rast's pole-sitting #31 Team WRT and Will Owen in the #22 United Autosports would see the latter spin through the Dunlop Curve gravel at high speed, and the former handed a 1-minute stop-and-go penalty.
CORVETTE OWN GTE PRO CLASS, CHASED BY PORSCHE
The #63 Corvette C8.R leads the final race for the GTE PRO class at Le Mans at the six hour mark, holding and preserving a dominant lead over the sister #64 C8.R and the #92 Porsche.
Nick Tandy held on to his pole position for the majority of the opening quarter before a scary moment on the run down to Mulsanne would see the Englishman avoid the gravel trap but cede the lead to Garcia.
The battle was then ignited between the #64 and the chasing Porsches, #92 and #91 who then were able to match the American marque in a Slow Zone affected third and fourth hours.
Corvette admitted to difficulty in returning the front tyres to operating temperature after running through a yellow zone, costing them valuable time and dropping to fourth after an unfortunately timed pitstop with a Slow Zone going live.
Ferrari have show very little sign of being able to compete for class honours in 2022, with the #51 holding fifth ahead of the #52 before the former was handed a drive-through penalty for constant abuse of track limits. Further behind, the #74 Riley Motorsports 488 dropped from the pack within the first hour.
GTE AM is lead by the #79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche which cut through the field to lead a Porsche-dominated opening six hours.
In the hands of Porsche factory star Julien Andlauer the car had the pace to climb the order, and holds a lead of over a minute to the #98 NorthWest AMR Aston Martin which has displayed a similar ascent of the stadnings. Third place is held by the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche, which briefly held the class lead in the hands of the fast-starting Harry Tincknell.