The 15th hour was full of action in all three categories as we approach the two-thirds distance at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

In Hypercar, the top three remain the key contenders, with the No. 8 Toyota that has been leading getting slowly reeled in by the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi.

The Italian has brought the gap down to 10s to Ryo Hirakawa ahead, shaving 28s off the No. 8’s lead in the past 60 minutes. A battle for the overall lead appears to be around the corner.

Earl Bamber is currently in the No. 2 Cadillac that sits third, two and a half minutes adrift.

In LMP2, there was plenty to report. The main headline was the LMP2 Pro/Am leading (10th in LMP2 overall) AF Corse ORECA crashing out. Ben Barnicoat made a costly error through the Porsche Curves, the 26-year-old tapping a curb and causing the car to snap sideways, sending him flying off the circuit and into the barriers. It was an on-the-spot retirement with heavy damage to its left side. Barnicoat climbed out and was spotted by cameras sitting behind a concrete wall with his head in his hands. Devastating.

There were on-track battles for the podium places shortly after in the LMP2 class. The first was Paul Loup Chatin reeling in Chilean driver Nicolas Pino in the No. 30 Duqueine ORECA and taking third into the second Mulsanne chicane. 

A few laps later the battle for the lead began. With an injured ankle, Fabio Scherer somehow managed to catch and pass Robert Kubica’s No. 41 WRT ORECA for the lead. 

“I just want to drive and win this thing. I don’t want to know if it’s broken or not,” said Scherer before climbing in the car. 

It’s been a heroic effort from him. The entire Inter Europol team will hope he is rewarded for his dedication to the cause.

In GTE Am, the No. 57 Kessel racing continues to consolidate its lead, which is now 1 minute and 42 seconds with Takeshi Kimura at the wheel, over the No. 54 AF Corse Ferrari of Davide Rigon.

Behind, Ricardo Pera has been on a charge in the recovering GR Racing Porsche which suffered costly off in the rain during the first half of the race while leading the class. Pera caught and passed Ahmed Al Harthy at the Dunlop Bridge. Next in his sights is Rigon for second.

Further back, Corvette Racing’s recovery continues too. The American team has moved heaven and earth to gain back the two laps it lost to a front damper failure early in the race. Now back on the lead lap, and with plenty of time left, Nico Varrone is aboard and three minutes off the lead. Will the No. 33 feature in the battle for podium spots this afternoon? It would be quite a story!