LM24, Hour 18: Porsche back to the fore after timely safety car

We have reached the 18-hour mark at Le Mans and unfortunately, the race is back under safety car.

At the head of the field, it’s advantage Porsche now, with the No. 6 leading and Laurens Vanthoor installed.

Vanthoor regained the lead after an incident at Indianapolis caused a slow zone which gifted the car the chance to take a ‘free pit stop’ while the No. 8 Toyota that led was running at a snail’s pace under caution.

This caused a lead change – but there was a catch: the incident involved the No. 4 Penske Porsche. Felipe Nasr got it all wrong at the kink and ended up in the tires, the car out of the race.


Before the safety car came out later in the hour, a battle then raged for third overall between Nyck de Vries in the No. 7 Toyota, Antonio Fuoco in the No. 50 Ferrari and Robert Shwartzman in the No. 83 Ferrari.

The three cars came together, but before a move could be made the field was neutralised. However, the No. 83 and No. 50 did swap places in the pits when they came in for their next stops.

The order as the safety car procedure continues into Hour 19 is now the No. 6 Porsche leading the No. 8 Toyota, No. 2 Cadillac, No. 5 Porsche, No. 83 Ferrari, No. 50 Ferrari and No. 7 Toyota.

LMP2 was uneventful during the hour, with the No. 183 AF Corse ORECA holding the lead over the No. 10 Vector and No. 37 COOL cars.

LMGT3 on the other hand, continued to provide drama.

After Pure Rxcing hit trouble in Hour 17, it was the Heart of Racing team that would suffer next with just over six hours remaining.

Daniel Mancinelli, with a train of Hypercars coming up behind him, took a wider line into Indianapolis. A wet patch caught him out, sending him backwards at high speed into the tires.

The hit was heavy and saw the car end up on its roof after climbing the tire wall and flipping over.

Thankfully, despite the violent impact, Mancinelli climbed out of the car, as the situation for the team began to sink in.

To this point, it had been a highly encouraging run for the U.S.-flagged team with the new-for-2024 Vantage. With a title to fight for, and a major victory for Aston’s new car on the line, it was a double blow.

Under safety car, this leaves the running order with a different feel. The Iron Dames Lamborghini is leading, with the No. 59 United McLaren second, and the No. 87 AKKODIS ASP third.


Story originally appeared on Racer