Photo: Erik Junius
Paul Dalla Lana and Pedro Lamy (#98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage) took pole in GTE Am. Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell (#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing GT) topped GTE Pro, with their teammate in the #66 lining up second.
LMP2’s Top 3 qualifiers were the #44 Manor Racing Oreca 05-Nissan, the #36 Signatech Alpine Nissan, and the #30 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P2-Nissan.
The #1 Team Porsche 919 Hybrid (Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley) led the field to the green topping LMP1 ahead of the #5 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid and the #8 Audi Sport Team Joest R18.
The #5 took the lead in Turn 1, putting the #1 Porsche into P2. The safety car came out less than 2 min into competition, the #45 LMP2 Manor spinning and then getting hit by the #97 Aston. Hartley had passed the #5 right before the safety car period and retained first place after the restart, the #8 Audi taking second during the initial post-restart lap.
At the 5 hr 45 min mark Nicolas Lapierre had the #36 Alpine at the front of LMP2. Within 10 min, however, Alex Brundle had moved the #26 G-Drive racing entry from the P3 to the head of the class.
The #2 Porsche (Neel Jani) took P3 from the #5 Toyota with 5:33 left. Priaulx continued to lead GTE Pro and Lamy GTE Am. The first round of pit stops had the #1 retaining its lead once everyone had cycled through, stretching it to 7.3 sec with 4:55 to go.
At 4:35 the #98 Aston (Dalla Lana) remained on top GTE Am, followed by the #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing Porsche 911 (Khaled Al-Qubasi) and the #76 KCMG Porsche (Christian Reid). Brudle continued to lead LMP2, the #67 GTE Pro, and Hartley overall, with the #2 Porsche having moved into second,17 sec behind his teammate and 9 sec ahead of Stephane Sarrazin in the #6 Toyota.
With 4:19 left the #26 G-Drive Racing remained on point in LMP2, with the #30 ESM 13.3 sec back and the #36 Signatech Alpine (Nicolas Lapierre) in the pits.
Mark Webber (#1 Porsche) held a 30-sec lead on Mike Conway (#6 Toyota) with 2 hrs to go. Kamui Kobayashi had taken P2 from Marc Lieb in the #2 Porsche, who then surrendered third to Sebastian Buemi in the #5 Toyota.
Roman Rusinov and Will Stevens (#26 G-Drive) built a 35-sec LMP2 lead over the #30 ESM Ligier. RGR Sport received a drive-through penalty following contact between Bruno Senna and Gustavo Menezes in the #36 Signatech Alpine which retained third place.
The #67 and #66 Ford GTs ran 1-2 in GTE Pro, with James Calado in the #51 Scuderia Corse Ferrari 488 GTE following in third. The #98 Aston Martin extended its lead in GTE Am.
A fourth win of the season for the #1 Porsche (Timo Bernhard, Webber, Hartley) secured a second straight manufacturer title for the mark. G-Drive (Brundle, Rusinov, Will Stevens) won LMP2, but the #36 Signatech Alpine (Lapierre, Menezes, Stephane Richelmi) took the 2016 title with its P4 finish. Ford GTs finished 1-2 in GTE Pro, Priaulx and Tincknell (#67) ahead of Olivier Pla and Stefan Mucke (#66). Dalla Lana, Lamy, and Matthias Lauda won GTE Am in the #98 Aston Martin.
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