LM24, Hour 11: Toyota claws back overall lead as Ferrari returns

Even at 2:18 a.m. in France, the crowd that remained on the front stretch at the Circuit de la Sarthe gave an audible cheer as the AF Corse team wheeled the No. 50 Ferrari 499P back out onto the pitlane after nearly thirty minutes of repairs to the right front brakes were completed.

Antonio Fouco remained in the car that he put on the pole earlier in the week and watched as his chances of a Le Mans victory slipped away. Eventually, he brought the 499P back to the track seven laps behind the then race-leading No. 94 Peugeot of Nico Muller.

Muller was later passed by Sebastian Buemi who assumed the controls of the No. 8 Toyota GR010 from Ryo Hirakawa. The No. 94 Peugeot eventually dropped to third as James Calado used his Ferrari’s straight-line speed to pull in front of the Peugeot on the straightway leading to Indianapolis. The top runners in Hypercar have all completed pitstops recently but Peugeot is on a slightly different cycle compared to the No. 8 Toyota and the No. 51 Ferrari.


With just minutes remaining in the hour, the No. 32 Inter Europol Competition ORECA 07 — the sister car to the class leader — snapped loose on the brakes into the first chicane and went nose-first into the barriers. A slow zone was implemented as a result of Jan Magnussen’s off.

Elsewhere in the field, it was a rare quiet hour for this year’s centenary rendition of the Le Mans 24 Hours with the only thing encountering issues being the timing and scoring screens which failed halfway through the hour. As of 2:55 am, it was the No. 56 Project 1 – AO Porsche leading GTE Am ahead of the No. 54 AF Corse Ferrari and the No. 85 Iron Dames Porsche 911 RSR. The No. 34 Inter Europol Competition ORECA 07 was still at the helm of the race in LMP2.


Story originally appeared on Racer