Live: Follow the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours as it happens

16 Jun 2024
Le Mans 2024

By: Haydn Cobb, Richard Asher, James Newbold, Stephen Lickorish, Benjamin Vinel, Ewan Gale

Still under safety car conditions, the 93 Peugeot has gone off at Indianapolis and into the tyre barriers. Mueller is at the wheel and he has returned to the track with minimal damage.

The #6 and #8 have returned to the track in sixth and seventh.

The #2 Cadillac now leads, ahead of the #5 PPM and the #83 AF Corse.

The Iron Dames Lambo has also pitted as we look forward to the safety cars merging, so that puts Saucy into the lead...oh no, someone pitted before I could finish my sentence again! Scratch that and make the leader Jack Hawksworth. Tell you what, we'll try and do another summing-up when the safety cars merge ;)

Thanks for the tidy summary of matters in the classes! Inevitably they're not capable of all staying out for a minute or three...Europol and United Autosports have just pitted in LMP2. For Smiechowski in the former entry, it's the second visit in as many laps. Some folk really love the pits!

Confirmation from race direction that this is the last lap of the three safety car split.

Thank you very much - I left under safety car earlier and have returned to a safety car so lucky me!

Key pitstops happening now with the #6 race-leading PPM and second-placed #8 Toyota in, with Vanthoor swapping with Estre and Buemi in for Hirakawa.

Meanwhile in the LMP2 class Barnicoat has a buffer back to the next group of cars headed by Jarvis, with Pilet and Fluxa next in line. We're all set for a barnstorming finish to the race, so don't go anywhere! Next up at the wheel are Ewan Gale and Richard Asher. 

Assuming they all stay out, we could have a real scrap on our hands in GT3 when the race resumes as the top five are all bunched right together on track, with Gatting ahead of Saucy, Hawksworth, Lietz and Gelael. 

We've got a tad over six hours remaining in the race - the equivalent of an entire regular WEC round! So still plenty of time for things to change - especially as the top 11 Hypercars are all on the lead lap. 

As the clean-up operation continues down at Indianapolis, de Vries pits from third in the #7 Toyota and hands over to team boss Kobayashi.

Gatting is now the leader in LMGT3, still behind the safety cars of course, with Sato having peeled into the pits. Notably, the Dames have only done 18 pitstops, relative to 21 for Saucy's McLaren that is next in the queue, and 20 for Hawksworth (third) and Lietz (fourth) respectively.

But defending LMP2 winner Smiechowski is under investigation for exiting the pitlane under the same safety car at 9:39 local time. That appears a fairly straightforward penalty call.

Time for an LMP2 update. Barnicoat has stayed out to lead Jarvis. Pilet is now aboard the Vector car, and Fluxa has taken over from Jakobsen at Cool. De Gerus (IDEC) and Inter Europol now pit too, with Smiechowski inserted aboard the Polish car, perhaps to finish off his driving time.

Calado now stopping means all three Ferrari 499Ps are in the pits now. Although, just as we type that Shwartzman and Fuoco are now released.

Pitstops for the P2 runners now. Jakobsen was a little offset from the rest in the #37 Cool ORECA, and he is followed in by Richelmi. Barnicoat, who had just lost the lead on track prior to the safety car, now cycles back to the front.

The #50 and #83 Ferraris have both pitted under this safety car but are now being held at the end of the pitlane. But worth noting that Shwartzman in the privateer car jumped ahead of Fuoco with a faster stop.

The badly-damaged HoR Aston has now been put back on its wheels and is in the process of being recovered.

The safety car immediately prompted Lietz and Gelael to come to the pits, with van der Linde following suit. Sato now shuffles to the lead from Gatting, Olsen and Saucy.

This safety car means the handy advantage that Vanthoor had built with that stop during a slow zone has ben wiped out. And with 11 Hypercars still on the lead lap, there's still plenty of contenders here.

Replays show that he was attempting to leave space on the inside at the right-hand kink approaching Indianapolis, with a Ferrari Hypercar fast-approaching, then lost it on the slighty damp line and spun backwards into the barriers, which turned the car over.

Good news is the Italian has emerged unscathed from his upturned Vantage. 

Big crash for Daniel Mancinelli, his Aston Martin has hit the barriers at Indianapolis and rolled. The safety car is out.

We've had a lead change in P2 as Barnicoat has got back ahead of Jakobsen. 

Corvette isn't currently sure what the problem was for Eastwood, as it has lost all radio comms with the Northern Irishman. 

Gatting got out of the pits ahead of Marino Sato, but the Japanese has now reclaimed fifth in GT3 from the Iron Dames Lambo. The best battle in class now looming is for second with Sean Gelael closing on Daniel Mancinelli's HoR Aston.

All eyes on the battle for third as just millimetres separate the second Toyota from the two chasing Ferraris!

And it all got very dicey there for Fuoco in the #50 Ferrari as he encountered a GT3 BMW through the Esses and the pair made slight contact but they both continue and the Ferrari doesn't lose a place.

Up ahead, once the gaps settled down during the slow zone, Vanthoor's lead stands at 18 seconds.

It's very close in the battle for third with de Vries in the #7 Toyota heading Fuoco in the #50 Ferrari and Shwartzman in the #83 Ferrari by less than a second as they thread their way through a pack of traffic.

Lomko and De Gerus have pitted from the lead and second place in LMP2, cycling Jakobsen - first of the drivers to plump for slicks - into the lead ahead of Barnicoat and Richelmi. Lomko rejoins fourth ahead of Jarvis, with de Gerus now sixth.

Mechanical problem 09:25:27 am

Eastwood's #81 Corvette is now being pushed behind the wall and appears to be out of the race.

Vanthoor has massively benefited from this slow zone and the timing of his stop as he has pulled out a lead of over a minute from Hirakawa - could this be a race-defining moment?

Now that the other P2 runners are having to go through the pain of bringing their tyres in, Jakobsen has blasted past Barnicoat and is 50s back from new leading duo Lomko and De Gerus, who are persisting with wets but circulating around 7s per lap slower.

Vanthoor has pitted from the lead in the #6 Porsche and has bolted on slicks nevertheless - despite the clouds and Nasr's spin in the sister car.

And, on weather watch, some ominous dark clouds are rolling in again. So will those on slicks soon be forced in again?

We've now got a slow zone in place as the stricken #4 Porsche is recovered.

Some notable pit callers in LMP2. Richelmi and Barnicoat come in together from first and second, but swap places as they exit the pits with the Briton's AF Corse car emerging ahead. Jakobsen is now between the two, his tyres fully up to temperature.

Crash for Nasr in the #4 Porsche! The Brazilian was on his outlap on slicks when the car just snapped at high-speed through Indianapolis and he has spun into the barriers.

Hirakawa has some data to draw upon from team-mate de Vries and brings the #8 Toyota in for slicks from the lead. Third-placed Nielsen and fourth-placed Makowiecki are also in.

Eastwood has stopped on track in the Corvette at marshal post 11, we're told by the timing screens. That #81 car had not long ago got back onto the lead lap through the pit cycles, but hopes of a result now appear dashed.

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