Le Mans 24-Hour race: 7 hours in
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At just over third race distance at the 83rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans the four New Zealanders in the field are more than holding their own.
In the top Le Mans Prototype (LMP1) category Brendon Hartley (with Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard) are holding down second place and Earl Bamber (with Nico Hulkenberg and Nick Tandy) are comfortably tucked in behind in third place.
“So far the race has been great,” said Bamber after finishing his first stint.
“I’m having a really good time in the car and enjoying the racing.
It’s fantastic to be out there [on track] and racing.”
Pole sitter in the LMGTE Pro category Richie Stanaway (with Fernando Rees and Alex MacDowall) hasn’t let the occasion go to his head and between now lead the class.
On the other hand, Mitch Evans and his crew of Oliver Turvey and Simon Dolan have had their work cut out. Early on in the piece things were going well until about an hour in when they dropped down the field. However, some solid and precision driving have seen the Jota Sport trio move back up to 10th in class.
If the progress of the defending LMP2 team continues, expect to see them fighting for a podium finish towards the end of the race.
At the time of going to press the leading Audi of Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benolt Treluyer had just been past by Webber, who now leads the Le Mans 24 Hour by 19 seconds.