24 Hours of Le Mans: Six hour report

The 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans began with a Porsche 1-2-3 grid, but it was clear from the start that it would be a fight between the three LMP1 manufacturers that composed the top 8 grid positions.

After the first hour, the order was the #17 Porsche, followed by the #18 Porsche, the #8, #7 and #9 Audi trio and then the #19 within ten seconds of each other.

However at the end of the first hour, the first retirement took place. The #92 factory Porsche GT car blew an engine heading into the first Mulsanne chicane and spun in its own oil.

While the Porsche was in the process of being engulfed in fire at the rear of the car, the #13 Rebellion Racing machine slid on the dropped oil and made contact with the #42 LMP2 car.

The lead went to Audi for the first time on track at the 93rd minute as the #7 Audi took control after passing two Porsches before the first left hander.

The lead wouldn’t last too long as after the second pit stop for the #7 Audi, a puncture forced it back to the pit lane.

That would be the least of Audi’s worries.

During a slow zone heading toward Indianapolis, Loic Duval was driving the #8 Audi and green flags were curiously waving while a trackside yellow light was flashing.

Duval took the Audi into the garage where a new nose was fitted in addition to other parts.

Because of the #8’s issues, it fell back in the order by the end of five hours. After five hours, the order was #17 Porsche, #9 Audi, #7 Audi, #19 Porsche, #18 Porsche, #1 Toyota, #2 Toyota and #8 Audi.

One other car has retired, the number #88 GTE-Am Porsche for Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing. Forty seven laps were logged by that car.

At the six hour mark, the order was #17, #7, #9, #18, #19, #8, #2, #12 (Rebellion Racing) and #1. The #1 Toyota was in the pits for several minutes getting a new nose in the garage.

Moving to LMP2, the pole sitters at KCMG are leading over Thiriet by TDS Racing in second while Murphy Prototypes are in third.

In GTE-Pro, the #99 Aston Martin is leading over the #64 Corvette and the #97 Aston Martin, all three being on the same lap.

In GTE-Am, the #98 Aston Martin leads the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari and the #83 AF Corse Ferrari. All three are on the same lap, as is the fourth placed #53 Riley Motorsports SRT Viper.

Image: Porsche

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.

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