Formula 1 star Max Verstappen has crashed out of the lead in the virtual Le Mans 24 Hours as the 12 Hour mark approaches.
Verstappen and Team Redline had inherited the lead when the pole sitting #4 ByKolles LMP2was dealt a drive through penalty for jumping the start.
Further down the field, the Fernando Alonso/Rubens Barrichello #14 entry fell out of contention after the two-time World champion was compelled to pit for repairs and to serve a one-second penalty for a collision with Simona de Silvestro piloting the #94 Porsche.
The race was then temporarily halted as a technical glitch in the early stages saw the field neutralised under red flag conditions.
Once racing did resume again, Verstappen seemed untouchable only to pick up damage in a bizarre pitlane incident which saw him rejoin into the path of a rival car.
The Dutch driver was able to pit for repairs and rejoin in second before relegating the #16 Veloce Esports entry when Mercedes Formula E driver Stoffel Vandoorne made an unscheduled trip to pitlane.
The #13 Rebellion entry with Factory Mercedes driver Raffaele Marciello at the helm, had found themselves in second and began scything into the lead of Verstappen only for the leader to crash heavily into the barriers at Porsche Curves as a result of further technical difficulties.
Marciello was duly promoted into the held which he currently holds over the 2 Seas Motorsport entry as a blanket of darkness engulfs the storied circuit.
Having completed a successful opening stint, kiwi Supercup driver Jaxon Evans currently sees the #92 Porsche sit second in a 1-2-3 for the German marque in the GTE class.
Norwegian sim racer Tommy Ostgard driving the #93 911 RSR currently holds a comfortably lead but early signs are promising for Evans.
Fellow kiwi Brendon Hartley’s woes continue after he spun the #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing at Indianapolis, ruling the team out of contention having suffered heavy damage.