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Toyota disaster #7!

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The #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 HYBRID has been released at the 24 Hours of Le Mans after a freak multi-car accident at Terter Rouge.

It all started at the beginning of the hour when both Guido van der Garde in the #39 Graff Racing Oreca 07-Gibson and Charlie Eastwood in the #25 ORT by TF Aston Martin Vantage GTE both slowed as they approached a slow zone.

Kamui Kobayashi brought the No. 7 Toyota to a close pit stop behind them. But out of nowhere, he was hit in the rear left by the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE EVO of Louis Prette and simultaneously on the rear right by the #35 Alpine Elf Team Oreca of Memo Rojas – both cars following him entered carrying loads of the speed.

Brett’s Ferrari got stuck in the middle of the road and Kobayashi’s wrecked #7 Toyota slowly crawled to a stop not far from where he crashed. Van der Garde returned to the pits for his team to repair the damage, while the No. 35 Alpine was in and out in less than 20 minutes.

Brett manages to get out of his car and is taken to the medical center for further evaluations, but he and the rest of the drivers involved are fine.

The #7 Toyota was running solidly in the top three at the time of the accident, but now Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria López had another big hit at Le Mans, which so far has only been broken by one shot. A shared moment of glory in 2021. They became the second class Hyper to be retired, after the #75 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 (Fuel Pressure).

Soon after, the safety car was deployed for the third time in this race.

The #94 Peugeot TotalEnergies 9X8 will take the lead again in the next hour, with Nico Muller aboard.

Still making sure Toyota has another ball in their arsenal, Ryo Hirakawa is second in the #8 Toyota.

Alex Lynn returned to third in the Cadillac Racing V-Series.R, followed by the two AF Corse 499P Ferraris, Antonio Fuoco’s #50 and Alessandro Pier Guidi’s #51.

Team WRT now leads LMP2 with Rui Andrade at the wheel of the #41 Oreca,

He left ahead of the No. 34 Inter Europol of Jakub Smichowski and Panis Racing No. 65 of Manuel Maldonado, finishing second and third.

Paul-Loup Chatin is fourth in the #48 IDEC Sport and Daniil Kvyat is fifth in the #63 of Prema Racing.

Racing Team Turkey’s #923 Oreca now joins the list of LMP2 class retirees that started with the #13 Tower Motorsports, #14 Nielsen Racing, #14 Nielsen Racing and the collision damage to Salih Yoluc in the rain two hours ago was too much to last.

The #85 Iron Dames Porsche took the lead from the GTE-Am car, selecting the long safety car of the #66 JMW Ferrari and #7 Toyota GR010 to erase the nearly 80-second gap held by the #56 Project 1-AO Porsche.

The safety car split the pair, with the No. 56 Porsche choosing to pull its own safety train, falling to the back of the next safety car train that included the #85 Porsche, as well as the #54 Ferrari AF Corse, now second.

As the wave continues to circle around the wave and back off the line, there are currently only 5 cars left on the first lap. Porsche’s #911 Proton and #57 Kessel Racing Ferrari finished fourth and fifth, two safety cars behind the leading trio.

GTE continued the war of attrition, with an additional car idle since midnight. The #66 JMW Motorsports Ferrari was involved in an incident at the entrance to Tertre Rouge, prematurely ending seven years for the Ferrari 488 chassis that debuted there in 2017.

To pick up the #51 Ferrari at Daytona Chicane Beach, a slow District 3 area was called, including Terter Rouge. Prette was overtaken by the slowing #39 Graff Racing LMP2 and #7 Toyota GR010, and made contact with the back of both cars, with the broadcast showing the Ferrari climbing the back of the #39 Graffiti machine. Brette was taken to the medical center for checkups, but all was well. Okay.

That leaves 14 GTEs still in the race, with the top ten finished by the recovering No. 33 Chevrolet Corvette, two laps down.

The #85 Iron Dames Porsche is perfect with a split in times between both drivers so far. While the #56 Project 1 AO Porsche and the #54 AF Corse Ferrari were faster in the corrections, both teams were so far behind Matteo Cairoli and David Rijon respectively.

Bronze seed Sarah Bovey and Silver seed Michelle Gatting have almost completely done more than their Am-rated counterparts in the top three – an encouraging sign for them as the race continues.

The garage 56 Camaro saw a trouble-free run this hour, finishing 37th overall, one lap behind the GTE-Am leaders.

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