Monza 2 Hours: Toyota leads Alpine at Monza; Porsche edging Ferrari in LMGTE Pro
Toyota led the opening two hours of the WEC 6 Hours of Monza as the pole-sitting Toyota GR010-Hybrid Hypercar driven by Mike Conway was ahead of sister car and Sebastien Buemi.
However, there was drama after 1hr35mins as Brendon Hartley suffered several issues and dropped out of contention with long pit-stops leaving the No.7 alone at front.
In the LMGTE Pro class Kevin Estre opened up a small advantage in his Porsche 911 RSR-19 over the Ferrari 488 GTE Evo car of Alessandro Pierguidi. Cars split by just 1.3s after two hours.
Below are the main headlines from the race’s opening two hours…
• No.7 Toyota GR010-Hybrid Hypercar leads first two hours from pole position as Mike Conway opens up gap from No.8 car started by Sebastien Buemi
• Brendon Hartley and Jose-Maria Lopez swaps seats after 90 minutes but drama for No.8 as Hartley hits problems on his out lap
• Hartley tours back to the pits but drops back down to fifth overall as car is wheeled back in pit
• Kiwi rejoins but then experiences massive lock-up at first chicane and then slows before pitting again and losing more time
• Alpine Elf Matmut run third as Andre Negrao and then Matthieu Vaxiviere make solid progress to take advantage of Hartley’s issue to grab second
• No.709 Glickenhaus 007 LMH runs well in third position as Richard Westbrook and Franck Mailleux show strong pace in first two hours
• Pipo Derani hits spark plug issue in opening exchanges in No.708 Glickenhaus but recovers after unscheduled pit-stop to run fourth
• Kevin Estre drives faultless first two stints to lead LMGTE Pro class but under heavy pressure throughout by Alessandro Pier Guidi in No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE
• Pier Guidi applies massive pressure before second pit stop as cars then pit together
• Neel Jani takes over from Estre as James Calado replaces teammate Pier Guidi and battle resumes with Jani enjoying 1.3s lead
• No.52 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo driven by Miguel Molina places third by 15-seconds behind the battling front two
• No.91 Porsche 911 RSR-19 started by Gimmi Bruni battled with No.52 Ferrari but suffered some front bodywork damage after slight contact with already crashing Cetilar Racing LMGTE Am Ferrari.
• Phil Hanson gets drop on Robin Frijns at start as United Autosports USA lead Team WRT for first 90-minutes
• Hanson hands over to teammate Filipe Albuquerque but WRT emerge ahead with Ferdinand Habsburg holding a 5-second advantage
• Racing Team Nederland place third with Nyck de Vries and then Frits van Eerd driving in the first two hours
• Van Eerd loses out to No.28 JOTA car of Sean Gelael just before two hour mark and runs fourth but also first in Pro/Am
• Stoffel Vandoorne fights back through from rear of grid after qualifying accident to run fifth
• Real Team Racing car spun out of position by Inter Europol entry driven by Alex Brundle, which gets penalty for incident
We are under safety car after the @OfficialTFSport #33 has experienced a high speed puncture. Marshals are now clearing the track from carbon debris left by the Vantage AMR.#WEC #6HMonza pic.twitter.com/PaXMWLVPFp— WEC (@FIAWEC) July 18, 2021
• TF Sport Aston Martin leads impressively for much of first hour as Ben Keating leads Ferrari train
• No.83 AF Corse car enjoys phenomenal first stint as Alessio Provera cuts through field after technical infringement relegated them to back of grid.
• Francois Perrodo takes over and spends some time in lead but is caught again by Keating, who takes over at front again
• No.56 Team Project 1 Porsche driven by Riccardo Pera places second after also taking Perrodo
• Cetilar Racing ran third as Roberto Lacorte maintained touch with leaders but car damaged after accident at second Lesmo. Re-joins in 14th place after losing three laps for repairs
• No.88 Dempsey Proton Porsche driven by Andrew Haryanto loses time with spin at Variante Roggia that triggers brief Full Course Yellow