The first hour of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans featured Marino Sato starting the race in the #95 United Autosports 720S GT3, with Satoshi Hoshino and Hiroshi Koizumi also making an appearance whilst the two Toyota GR010 Hybrids moved up the field from their unexpected starting positionsAsian Motorsport reviews the action from the start of the race.

By Seb Tirado 

The #8 Toyota, piloted by Sébastien Buemi, would make fast progress in the first 30 minutes of the race, moving up to 6th and behind the #83 AF Corse piloted by Yifei Ye’s teammate Robert Kubica who also made effective moves up the field. Nyck de Vries in the #7 Toyota would his way up to 20th, and the Isotta Fraschini and #311 Cadillac driven by Carl Bennett and Jack Aitken’s teammates Jean-Karl Vernay and Pipo Derani would stay near the rear of the Hypercar field.

In LMP2, Ritomo Miyata’s teammate Malthe Jakobsen would fall back down the pack to 9th in the #37 Cool Racing but would then move back up to 4th in the first round of pit stops.  

In LMGT3, the #82 TF Sport with Daniel Juncadella would also fall back from their starting position to 12th, with the #87 Akkodis ASP Team of Jack Hawksworth falling back to 14th and the #31 Team WRT of Augusto Farfus down to 15th. The other Team WRT entry of Maxime Martin, the #777 D’Station Racing of Marco Sørensen, the #66 JMW Motorsport of Larry ten Voorde and the #95 of Sato would all relatively hold position. Sato would also take an early pit stop, falling back to the back of the LMGT3 field in the process.

The two Toyotas would shuffle upwards and downwards in the first round of pit stops, with the #8 moving up to 4th and the #7 moving down to 21st. Hoshino and Koizumi would replace their teammates in LMGT3 during their stops in this time, coming out 13th and 19th respectively. Having pitted earlier, Sato would shuffle up to 8th and later 6th. The #37 Cool Racing LMP2 would remain in 4th and the #311 Cadillac would move its way up to 11th by the end of the first hour of racing.

Hypercar & LMP2

  • #8 Toyota P5
  • #83 AF Corse P7
  • #311 Cadillac P11
  • #7 Toyota P17
  • #11 Isotta Fraschini P21
  • #37 Cool Racing P25 (P4 LMP2)

LMGT3

  • #66 JMW Motorsport P40 (P3 LMGT3)
  • #95 United Autosports P43 (P6)
  • #46 Team WRT P45 (P8)
  • #87 Akkodis ASP Team P47 (P10)
  • #777 D’Station Racing P53 (P16)
  • #31 Team WRT P55 (P18)
  • #82 TF Sport P57 (P20)

Header image credit: Javier Jimenez / DPPI

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