The iconic Le Mans 24 Hours endured a lengthy interruption as torrential rain forced the race to be neutralized behind the safety car for an extended period. The treacherous conditions prompted race officials to make the unprecedented decision to park the prototypes and GTs in the pit lane for over four hours.

Race Suspended as Rain Intensifies

As darkness enveloped the Circuit de la Sarthe, the rain began to intensify, creating a deluge that made racing impossible. At 8:16 p.m. local time, the safety car was deployed, initially for a brief period. However, the relentless downpour showed no signs of abating, and at 9:01 p.m., the race was officially suspended.

Pit Lane Haven for Cars as Rain Rages

With the safety of the drivers and teams paramount, race control ordered all cars to return to the pit lane. The prototypes and GTs parked along the pit wall, their engines idling as the rain continued to batter the circuit.

Long Night of Waiting

The extended pause tested the patience of drivers, teams, and spectators alike. As the hours passed, the race organizers closely monitored the weather conditions, hoping for a break in the downpour that would allow racing to resume.

Race Resumes at 1:18 a.m.

Finally, at 1:18 a.m. local time, the safety car pulled back into the pits, signaling the resumption of the race. The rain had subsided, and the circuit was deemed safe for racing.

Toyotas in Control After Restart

The restart brought no major changes to the overall standings, with Toyota Gazoo Racing's No. 8 and No. 7 prototypes maintaining their lead. The ByKolles Glickenhaus and Alpine Elf Team's challengers remained in contention, but the Toyotas held a firm grip on the top spots.

Safety First

The decision to halt the race was a difficult one, but race officials prioritized the safety of the participants. The treacherous conditions would have posed an unacceptable risk to the drivers and teams.

Precedence Set

The four-hour suspension of the Le Mans 24 Hours was an unprecedented event in the race's history. The last time the race was stopped for such an extended period was during the 1988 edition due to fog.

Race Continues with Intrigue

With over 10 hours of racing remaining, the Le Mans 24 Hours remains poised for an exciting conclusion. The Toyota Toyotas look strong, but the challengers are not far behind. The rain-delayed race promises to deliver plenty of drama and suspense in the hours to come.

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