24 Hours of Le Mans – After 7 hours of racing, the Toyotas solid leaders at nightfall

The Toyotas attacked the night of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the lead, on Saturday evening, without giving the impression of putting themselves in danger on the Circuit de la Sarthe. At 11 p.m., ie after seven hours of racing, the Japanese GR010s still benefit from an appreciable margin in terms of speed in the premier category, the Hypercars, against the American Glickenhaus.

The n°8 leader had a one-second lead over the n°7 after four exchanges of positions. At 4:45 p.m., the n°8 Sébastien Buemi, in the lead since the start, given under a bright sun, first gave up its place by coming out of the pits behind its rival driven by Mike Conway. Trapped by the New Zealander, the Swiss had perhaps lost his property by being too aggressive with his tires.

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Change of leader after 45 minutes: the Toyota n°7 passes the n°8

The very retarded Alpine

The Briton and the Swiss having each completed their triple stint, their teammates Jose Maria Lopez and Brendon Hartley in turn reversed their places, three hours later. Under pressure, the Argentinian left the way free for the New Zealander by passing through the gravel at the Mulsanne bend.

With the Japanese pilots Ryo Hirakawa and Kamui Kobayashi at the controls of the n°8 and 7, the two crews once again rocked the race when the first named, integrated into the team this year, had to bow to his experienced compatriot in the 85th lap, at 9:15 p.m. Then, a fourth time, shortly after 11 p.m.

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Behind, the Glickenhaus n°708 of Olivier Pla was in third place at 2’43”, ahead of the sister car n°709 driven by Franck Mailleux, 50″ behind, while the Alpine n°36, third in 2021, had lost its footing around the fourth hour of the race, and fell to 28th place, nine laps down, due to a clutch and then coil problem. An unusual fact for the French car that has been so reliable for a year and a half. In the LMP2 category, the fight continued to keep its promises, with the Jota n°38 leading the pack of 27 machines, ahead of the Prema n°9 and the Jota n°28.

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