Photo: Erik Junius
Toyota Gazoo Racing started at the front of the grid, the #7 TS050 Hybrid (Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez) turning in the fastest qualifying time. The #26 G-Drive Racing LMP2 entry qualified quickest in its class but failed subsequent inspection, giving the top spot to the Le Mans-winning #38 Jackie Chan-DC Racing Oreca-Gibson (Oliver Jarvis, Thomas Laurent). Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre brought Porsche its firsts GTE Pro pole since 2013 in the #92 911. The #98 Aston Martin Vantage (Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy) started on GTE Am pole, its eighth consecutive.
The #8 Toyota (Sebastien Buemi) slowed during the formation lap, leaving the #7 at the point to contend with the #2 (Timo Bernhard) and #3 (Andre Lotterer) Porsche Team 919 Hybrids. An extra formation lap allowed the #8 to get safely to the pits. The #92 Porsche locked up its breaks going into Turn 1, the #95 Aston (Marco Sorensen), #92 sister car (Frederic Makowiecki), and the #66 Ford Ganassi Racing Team UK GT (Olivier Pla) all getting past. The #31 Vaillante Rebellion (Bruno Senna) entry took the LMP2 lead.
The #91 Porsche passed the Aston for the GTE Pro lead with 5hr 12 min remaining. The #7 and #2 pitted at 5:03, the #1 having already stopped. Lopez got behind the wheel of the Toyota and Brendon Hartley the Porsche. Both cars changed tires. The #1 passed the #2 at pit out. The #91 Porsche, meanwhile, had built a 7.7-sec lead in GTE Pro.
Hartley moved into second with 4:56 to go. The #38 (Jarvis) passed the #31 (Senna) for the LMP2 lead at 4:49. The #92 Porsche led GTE Pro on pit cycle. Hartley passed Lopez on track for the overall lead.
The #2 (Bernhard, Hartley, Earl Bamber) held on for the win, its second of the 2017 season, narrowly beating the #1 sister car (Lotterer, Neel Jani, Nick Tandy). The win extended the #2’s lead in the championship to 30 points. The #7 Toyota (Kobayashi, Lopez, Mike Conway) finished third, nearly 1 lap down.
Jackie Chan-DC Racing #38 (Jarvis, Laurent, Ho-Pin Tung) took the LMP2 win, its third victory in four races, passing the #31 in traffic and never looking back. The #31 (Senna, Felipe Albuquerque, Julien Canal) finished second and the #36 Signatech Alpine entry (Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes, Matt Rao) third.
James Calado (#51 AF Corse Ferrari 488) took the lead from the #92 and held it with co-driver Alessandro Per Guidi for the rest of the race. The Ferrari finished 50 sec ahead of the #91 (Makowiecki, Richard Lietz) and #92 Porsche.
The #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 (Christian Ried, Matteo Cairoli, and Marvin Dienst) won GTE Am, topping the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 (Miguel Molina, Francesco Castellacci, and Thomas Flohr) by 4.3 sec. The #98 Aston Martin finished third. The win was the first in WEC competition for both Cairoli and Ried and moved the team into a tie for first place for the GTE title.