Charles Milesi, Lilou Wadoux and Sébastien Ogier glow in the dark
In keeping with tradition, dawn promises to be crucial at Le Mans
The Richard Mille Racing Team made an excellent start to the race, running just outside the top three in the first few hours of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but its momentum was cut short by a penalty for a pitlane entry deemed dangerous.
Back in the top ten thanks to Charles Milesi, the No. 1 Oreca-Gibson was entrusted to Lilou Wadoux at 9.37 pm. Lilou avoided the dangers of the Le Mans twilight in her first stint while the yellow flags became more prevalent around the Circuit de la Sarthe. Her triple stint allowed the team to remain in the intense battle for tenth place before Sébastien returned to the track in total darkness for a quadruple run.
Charles Milesi then took over for a quadruple stint during which he was regularly one of the fastest drivers until Lilou Wadoux took over from him shortly before half-distance.
After the first 12 hours of the race, the Richard Mille Racing Team is in 12th place in the LMP2 category.
"My first-night stint at Le Mans was very nice, said Sebastien Ogier. We increased our pace a bit compared to Saturday afternoon, so we're heading in the right direction. The traffic is sometimes frustrating as it's difficult to get a clear lap. I managed to take care of my tyres, which was maybe one of my weak points in the first two rounds of the season. So far, the assessment is pretty good, but it's a shame we got this penalty from my first triple stint with my mistake at the pitlane entry. If not for that, we would have had a great first half of the race, but there is still a long way to go."
"The stop-and-go dropped us from the leading group where the fight is incredibly fierce as it always is in the LMP2 category, added team manager Philippe Sinault. The car is well balanced and tyre-friendly, which is extremely satisfying. Lilou made her debut and it went quite well with no mistakes. Sébastien then showed good improvement compared to his opening stint with a faster pace, and Charles is among the fastest as soon as he gets behind the wheel. Their performances allow us to fight for tenth place, even though the gaps remain very tight. The race still has to settle down, and we know that the end of the night and the dawn always have some surprises at Le Mans."
Start : 12th / 7th LMP2
Hour 1: 10th / 5th LMP2 - 17 laps
Hour 2: 13th / 8th LMP2 - 33 laps
Hour 3: 12th / 7th LMP2 - 49 laps
Hour 4: 8th / 4th LMP2 - 63 laps
Hour 5: 13th / 9th LMP2 - 79 laps
Hour 6: 15th / 11th LMP2 - 95 laps
Hour 7: 15th / 11th LMP2 - 111 laps
Hour 8: 16th / 12th LMP2 - 126 laps
Hour 9: 17th / 13th LMP2 - 141 laps
Hour 10: 16th / 12th LMP2 - 157 laps
Hour 11: 17th / 13th LMP2 - 174 laps
Hour 12: 16th / 12th LMP2 - 189 laps