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Racing Round Up – Le Mans 24 Hours Special

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Le Mans 24 Hours

 

A big weekend for motor sport fans as 24 Hours of Le Mans took to the the track at Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans in France. Even die hard F1 fans cannot deny the sheer spectacle of more than 50 cars taking to the track for 24 solid hours of racing, let alone how advanced these cars are. Some would argue the leading ‘LMP1’ class has taken Formula One’s ‘pinnacle of motorsport’ accolade this season.

LMP1

In the LMP1 class there were really only two teams people expected to win, Audi and Porsche, everyone knew the competition would be fierce. Audi, having won the last five encounters were the favourites, however it was Porsche who claimed a decisive 1-2 win with Audi #7 rounding off the podium.

The win was even more special as it marks their first win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 1998! With both team fielding three vehicles each can imagine what the top five looked like. 1st: #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid 2nd: #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid 3nd: #7 Audi r-18 e-tron Quattro 4th: #8 Audi r-18 e-tron Quattro 5th: #18 Porsche 919 Hybrid Despite qualifying third and being the least favourites of the three Porsche teams, it was Nico Hulkeberg, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber who brought home the win for team Porsche. A big day for Nico Hulkenberg, usually in the seat of an F1 car, the World Endurance Championship newbie is the first Rookie winner of Le Mans 24 Hours for 17 years.

Concerns about reliability from Porsche turned out to be unfounded, a near faultless run from each and every Porsche team, the only issue was a braking problem from #18 but this was temporary.

It was no walk over for Porsche though, Audi kept them in check for most of the race, until the final quarter when Porsche started to pull out their lead. Audi suffered from a drive through penalty and lost some time due to aerodynamic issues with some of their rear body work. LMP2 KCMG ORECA 05-Nissan claimed a well deserved victory in the LMP2 class, leading for almost the entirety of the 24 hours, losing the front spot very briefly in hour one and two. The British JOTA sports team gave it their all and despite KCMG leading most of the race, JOTA definitely gave them something to think about towards the end of the race. A couple of run offs on to the escape road from KCMG gave JOTA a few opportunities to breathe down their necks although nothing ever came of it. A superb race from the G-Drive boys meant that they weren’t too far behind the action either. It might be a slower class by LMP2 has all the thrills of LMP1 and you’d hard pressed to say otherwise.

LMGTE Pro & LMGTE Am

Corvette had a successful days racing too. Oliver Gavin, Jordan Taylor and Tommy Milner piloted it ‘Vette to class success, despite suffering some issues in qualifying where they lost their sister car in an accident. Aston Martin had an absolute nightmare, they were on for a certain LMGTE Am class win until a crash in the last 45 minutes. An utterly gutting result for a team that were doing so well. That’s the Le Mans 24 Hours though.’

Only the best and most prepared win the Le Mans 24 Hours, it truly tests the metal of even the most experienced teams. That is what makes it such a special event.

Moto GP

Jorge Lorenzo consolidated the string of wins with a fourth at the Catalan Grand Prix over the weekend. Marc Marquez scuppered his chances early on by pushing too hard and crashing out, he will lose vital points now and the championship could be anyone’s at this point. Lorzenzo led his team mate Valentino Rossi in for a Yamaha 1-2 finish.

Lorenzo led right off the bat in to turn one, Adrea Dovizioso following up behind, then Marquez and Pol Espargaro who had a fantastic start, jumping up from eleventh on the grid. Rossi also got a great start, getting up to fifth from seventh on the grid, saying after the race that the low qualifying time stopped him from winning the race.

Marquez outmanoeuvred Doviizioso to take second but at turn ten he brakes too hard and wiped out, skidding in to the gravel nearly taking Lorenzo with him. Lorenzo was in the clear after that, having been gifted a nice lead and some clean space behind him to concentrate on building that lead.

Rossi eventually took second from Dovizioso and pushed hard to close the gap to Lorenzo. There was just 1.1s between the pair with three laps remaining but Lorenzo kept his cool and brought home the win. Rossi still leads the championship but now Lorenzo is just a single point behind the old favourite.

A great MotoGP, with some exciting racing and now the running is even closer for the championship.

That’s it then, that’s your lot. Get outta here. Just joking! It’s cool, you can stay. Maybe check out some of our other blog below?

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