Team Penske’s return to sports car racing got off to a rough start in the opening minutes of the Motul Petit Le Mans, as polesitter Helio Castroneves was involved in an incident with Matteo Cressoni in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 in the opening hour.
With the race beginning on a wet track surface, Castroneves in his No. 6 Oreca 07 Gibson lost the lead to Tequila Patron ESM’s Pipo Derani on the first lap, but held down second through a flurry of pit stops as teams begin pitting for slick tires with the track drying very quickly.
After rejoining the race, still in second behind Derani, Castroneves was lapping the aforementioned Cressoni when the Ferrari driver broke loose entering the Turn 10 chicane.
Castroneves was an innocent victim as Cressoni subsequently spun into him, sending both drivers into the gravel.
However, even though he lost a lap getting removed from the gravel trap, Castroneves only sustained minor damage to the rear bodywork.
Team Penske immediately went to work replacing the damaged bodywork, and Castroneves was able to quickly rejoin the fight.