The first hour of the Six Hours of Mexico has been incredibly action-packed, with many of the class’ orders being shuffled in the first 60 seconds. The tight configuration of the Mexican circuit has been the cause of many drivers going off track and missing corners through the weekend, but already multiple incidents have occurred in the race. Luca di Grassi has managed to hold onto the LMP1 lead, with Bruno Senna continuing his blistering pace with a heavily lead in LMP2. LMGTE Pro is still being lead by pole-sitters #95 driven by Nicki Thiim. After being excluded from qualifying, the #98 Aston Martin was forced to start at the back of the LMGTE Am grid, gifting the lead of the class to Patrick Long in the #88 Porsche.

Off the start line, Andrea Lotterer got ahead of Neel Jani to give Audi a 1-2 going into the first corner. The start got worse for the Championship-leading Porsche as the #1 Porsche managed to demote it to fourth in a matter of laps as it headed off to chase down the Audis. The Toyotas looked to be out of the battle but the poor pace of the #2 Porsche brought Sebastian Buemi in the #5 Toyota into a competitive position to challenge for the positions. After trading positions a couple of times, di Grassi held the lead of the race ahead of Lotterer in the #7 Audi. Lotterer radioed with grip issues, meaning that the #7 took it’s pit stop very early – where most take their pit stops towards the end of the hour Lotterer took his with 20 minutes of the hour left. This shook up the order, dropping Lotterer down to P6 in class.

Senna was untouchable through the first hour of the race, holding a dominant lead over the LMP2 field. The battles were happening behind him as a lot of the hour was taken up with the battle for second between the G-Drive #26 and the Signatech Alpine Championship leader #36. The #26 eventually got the edge and pulled ahead of the #36 and this proved to bring more perks as, due to a very slow pit stop by the #43 crew at the end of the hour, #26 inherited the lead. Full Course Yellows hit the track for the first time for the last ten minutes of the hour as the #37 SMP appeared with heavy damage to the front of the car. The car was stopped on the run off of one of the chicanes by Shaitar. It is unknown how the damage occurred on the car but it is assumed that he hit the wall.

LMGTE Pro has continued to be dominated by Aston Martin, with the #95 and #97 holding their 1-2 off the start line. More woes came Ford’s way as the 66 had an early spin off the track, dropping it to the back of the gird. Luckily, the car suffered no damage and was able to carry on immediately. But now the #66’s race will be more of a recovery race rather than a race to try and climb the Pro field. The #77 Porsche sits a comfortable third at the end of the hour, with the two AF Corse Ferrari’s sat at the back of the class looking unable to make any sort of advances up the time sheet.

LMGTE Am was the biggest cause for incident in the first hour. Before the race even begun the #98 pole sitter was demoted to the back of the grid, giving second placed #88 Porsche the front starting position. It is unknown why the #98 was demoted. The day continued to get worse for the #98 as it tangled with Championship-leader AF Corse #83 and took it off the track. The Aston Martin was handed a drive-through penalty for the incident.

(image: fiawec.com)

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