Le Mans 2020 – the middle

The 24 Hours of Le Mans 2020 had the longest night in the history of the race.

The G-Drive Racing by Algarve #16 mechanics kept working hard in the garage, but the technical issues on the car were too severe, so the team had to give up, a bit prior to midnight.

The “original” G-Drive Racing #26 got into troubles too, with Roman Rusinov having to limp almost a full lap at reduced speed, having to stop and start the car several times. He managed to get it back to the pits, where the mechanics were very swift to solve the issue, and getting it back on track.

WeatherTech Racing Ferrari #63 had a trip through the gravel, right after the Dunlop Bridge, with Jeff Segal having to pit for new brakes in the pits.

There was drama at MR Racing Ferrari #70, since a bit of fuel was spilt during a fuel stop, and it caught fire. It was thankfully quicked extinguished, so the mechanics would continue their pitstop. The car also had a spin with Takeshi Kimura behind the wheel, and that didn’t improve their position in the race either.

AF Corse Ferrari #71
Photo: JJ Media

Thomas Laurent had a spin in the Signatech Alpine Elf #36, in the middle of the Porsche Curves, very much like we saw earlier in the race with Alexander West. Laurent thankfully avoided the wall, and was able to rejoin without any problems – but definitely with a much higher pulse than prior to the spin.

Jackie Chan DC Racing #37 was disqualified from the race, when it turned out that Gabriel Aubry had received a spare part in the Arnage corner, where the car had stopped earlier in the race. That is very no-no, since you are only allowed to repair the car, with things that you bring in the car itself.

High Class Racing #33 with Mark Patterson, Kenta Yamashita and Anders Fjordbach had to pull out of the race, after all the technical issues with the car.

Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 was leading LMP1 at the halfway point, United Autosports #32 in LMP2, AF Corse Ferrari #51 in GTE Pro, and Aston Martin Racing #98 in GTE Am.

Jackie Chan DC Racing #37
Photo: JJ Media

DragonSpeed #27 had been speeding in a Slow Zone, so they were handed a 1 minute Stop & Go penalty.

IDEC Sport #17, Rebellion Racing #3, Iron Lynx Ferrari #60, Aston Martin Racing #98 had also been a bit too eager in a Slow Zone, but they could get off the hook with a 10-second pitstop penalty, since their speeding hadn’t been quite so severe.

Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 had turbo issues, so they had to change the exhaust. That cost them about half n hour in the pits, so they lost the lead of the race, and dropped to fourth in the LMP1 category.

Aston Martin Racing #97
Photo: JJ Media

Red River Sport Ferrari #62 had also been speeding in a Slow Zone – 1 minute Stop & Go.

Iron Lynx Ferrari #75 had a spin at the exit of the Porsche Curves, but thankfully avoided hitting anything in its two times 360 degrees spin.

DragonSpeed #21 had to retire with engine issues, so that crushed the Triple Crown dreams of Juan Pablo Montoya for this year. After winning both the Monaco F1 Grand Prix and the Indy 500, he only would need to stand on top of the Le Mans podium.

Racing Team Nederland #29 and WeatherTech Racing Ferrari #63 hit each other at Tertre Rouge, which meant that #63 had to retire, while #29 managed to crawl it’s way back to the pits, but many laps down. The stewards looked at the incident, and blamed the Ferrari. That collision resulted in a Safety Car, so the car could be recovered safely.

TF Sport Aston Martin #90
Photo: JJ Media

Inter Europol Competition #34 had to be pushed into the garage, since they had alternator and fuel pump issues. They were already quite a bit down the LMP2 ranks, but still a shame for the Polish team, in their second Le Mans.

MR Racing Ferrari #70 had to retire from the race, when Kei Cozzolino stopped on the track. The Japanese team was basically the Car Guy team this time, and they enjoy Le Mans so much, that they will probably be back in 2021.

Porsche #91 got power steering issues, just like the sister car #92 had earlier in the race. They had to pit to get that solved, and that sent them out of the fight for the very best positions in GTE Pro.

Iron Lynx Ferrari #75 had to pit with technical issues, and never made its way back to the track again.

DragonSpeed #27 was plagued by engine issues too, just like the sister car. The mechanics continued to battle the issues, changing spark plugs, lambda sensor and much much more.

Aston Martin Racing #98 was leading quite nicely in GTE Am, until their rear suspension broke, and the had to pit for repairs. That sent them far down the ranks.

DragonSpeed #27 & JOTA #38
Photo: JJ Media

The things only got worse, when they were caught speeding in Slow Zone, so they were handed a 1 minute Stop & Go penalty.

Nielsen Racing #24 was caught doing the same and received the same penalty.

United Autosports #32 lost the LMP2 lead, when Job van Uitert had to pit with a leaking oil tube, that the mechanics had to change in the garage. That sent them out of Top-10 in the category.

United Autosports #32
Photo: JJ Media

Team Project 1 Porsche #89 had a front-right puncture, having to limp back to the pits to get a new tire mounted.

HubAuto Racing Ferrari #72 spun off the track before Tertre Rouge. Morris Chen was parked in the middle of the track, and chose to reverse out of there. Unfortunately, he reversed into the gravel, and got stuck, so a Slow Zone had to be called, so the recovery vehicle could go there, and get the Taiwanese back on the tarmac.

Spirit of Race Ferrari #54 and Aston Martin Racing #95 got a 5 seconds pitstop penalty, for having made a mistake during an earlier pitstop. #54 hadn’t gotten all their mechanics away from the car, before the engine was started, while #95 started the engine while mechanics were changing the tires.

Rebellion Racing #1
Photo: JJ Media

Racing Team Nederland #29 was back in the garage, after their earlier issues in the race.

Rebellion Racing #1 lost the second position in the race, when the mechanics had problems changing the nose of the car. That made their teammates in #3 move into second.

Proton Competition Porsche #78 got a 30 seconds pitstop penalty, for making an error during a pitstop.

After 20 hours of racing, it was Toyota Gazoo Racing #8 leading LMP1, United Autosports #22 in LMP2, Aston Martin Racing #97 in GTE Pro, and TF Sport Aston Martin #90 in GTE Am.

Aston Martin Racing #95
Photo: JJ Media

Four hours to go…

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