The 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours began with a bang after the #8 Toyota was extraordinarily punted off track at the very first corner, the first of several wild moments for the huge field as cool conditions and rain threw a curve ball into proceedings.

With the race only getting underway with the cars behind the safety car as the clock clicked past 16:00, they completed two slow laps before getting underway.

However, it took just seconds for the race to descend into a farce up front as Olivier Pla in the #708 Glickenhaus completely misjudged his braking into the first corner and biff round the #8 Toyota of Sebastien Buemi.

Leaving Buemi pointing in the wrong direction, the car would stall soon afterwards to force him into the Hypercar equivalent of a ‘ctrl, alt, delete’ before then running off again at Arnage.

Despite this, Buemi kept the car on the lead lap and is making up ground now, while the #7 Toyota being driven by Kamui Kobayashi holds a comfortable lead.

His cause was aided by Nicolas Lapierre spinning the Alpine out of second place at Indianapolis, dropping it down the order. Glickenhaus thus hold second and third, though Pla has a 10secs stop-go penalty to look forward to when he comes in.

Elsewhere, IDEC Sport’s dismal Le Mans worsened as Patrick Pilet spun into the gravel on lap one, which comes after the sister car was withdrawn before the race for damage in an accident on Thursday.