#1 Porsche edges away from #6 Toyota in fourth hour at Le Mans 24

Porsche extended its lead over Toyota and Audi in the Le Mans 24 Hours during the fourth hour of the race, with Mark Webber taking over the #1 car at the front of the field

#1 Porsche edges away from #6 Toyota in fourth hour at Le Mans 24

Brendon Hartley stretched the previously tight lead battle out in his final stint in the 919, pulling away from the #6 Toyota of Mike Conway and the #8 Audi of Loic Duval.

The Audi lost third position to the #5 Toyota during the pitstops and first driver changes, but the Toyota fell back when it pitted at the end of its outlap for another set of tyres after Anthony Davidson reported a serious vibration.

That dropped the #5 car back to fifth place, behind the #8 Audi with Jarvis now at the wheel, and the #2 Porsche of Marc Lieb.

Webber pulled away from Kobayashi early in their first stints at the wheel, solidifying the Porsche's advantage as it tries to combat the fact the Toyotas are able to go one lap longer on a tank of fuel.

While the #8 Audi was as close as three seconds off the lead at times during the previous hour, in Duval's final stint and Jarvis's first the car lost more than half a minute to the race leader.

LMP2 - MANOR IN CONTROL

By Mitchell Adam

Matt Rao has taken over the Manor ORECA with a healthy class lead, following Roberto Merhi's opening stint.

Merhi stopped twice during the hour, once at the start and once at the end, and his lead had grown from 45s to 60s by the time he handed the Le Mans debutant team's car over to Rao.

KCMG's Richard Bradley jumped Thiriet by TDS Racing's Mathias Beche during the first stop and held second place for the bulk of the hour, but Beche was also able to get past before pitting again and relinquishing the seat to Ryo Hirakawa.

Hirakawa was second at the end of the hour, 28s behind Rao, with Gustavo Menezes third, having taken over the Signatech Alpine from Nicolas Lapierre.

Ex-Formula 1 drivers Will Stevens and Giedo van der Garde turned their first Le Mans race laps, after taking over G-Drive's ORECA and Gibson from Rene Rast and Jake Dennis respectively.

His car out of sequence after a puncture in the third hour, Stevens is fourth in the class order and 50s behind Rao.

Matt Howson - who took over from Bradley at the end of the hour - is fifth, ahead of Extreme Speed Motorsports' Ryan Dalziel, Strakka's Danny Watts and van der Garde.

GTE PRO - RISI EDGES AHEAD

By Scott Mitchell

The Risi Competizione Ferrari edged ahead in its GTE Pro fight with Ford after the first driver changes.

Toni Vilander assumed the Risi 488 GTE from Giancarlo Fisichella and moved clear of the #69 Ford GT that Ryan Briscoe took over from Richard Westbrook.

Briscoe struggled substantially in the first half of his stint and fell 15s behind the Ferrari that had trailed the Ford in the previous hour.

Such was Briscoe's lack of performance that Joey Hand, who took over the #68 car from Dirk Muller, managed to catch his team-mate by an average of 1.6s a lap and pass him before the end of the hour.

Porsche had gamely given chasing to the quicker Fords and Ferraris, but its lead 911 RSR ended the hour in the garage for a quick radiator change after Nick Tandy spent a strong stint in fourth.

GTE AM - ABU DHABI PORSCHE UP FRONT

By Jack Cozens

The #88 Abu Dhabi-Proton Porsche leads the GTE Am field for a second-consecutive hour after Wolf Henzler pitted his #78 KCMG Porsche.

Henzler had enjoyed a comfortable margin over his closest class rival after regaining the lead when Patrick Long stopped and handed over to David Heinemeier Hansson.

That driver change left Henzler with a 25-second advantage over the #88 car, which the German was able to extend before his final stop of his run, handing the #78 over to Joel Camathias who now sits second.

The #89 Proton Competition Porsche shunted just before the four-hour mark, with Marc Miller losing his 911 RSR on the run to the Dunlop chicane shortly after exiting the pits.

POSITIONS AFTER FOUR HOURS:

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #1 Porsche Bernhard, Webber, Hartley 60
2 LMP1 #6 Toyota Sarrazin, Conway, Kobayashi 60 + 24.650s
3 LMP1 #8 Audi Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis 60 + 44.498s
4 LMP1 #2 Porsche Dumas, Jani, Lieb 60 + 54.504s
5 LMP1 #5 Toyota Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima 60 + 1m27.812s
6 LMP1 #13 Rebellion Tuscher, Imperatori, Kraihamer 57 + 3 Laps
7 LMP2 #44 Oreca Graves, Rao, Merhi 56 + 4 Laps
8 LMP2 #46 Oreca Thiriet, Beche, Hirakawa 56 + 25.858s
9 LMP2 #36 Alpine Menezes, Lapierre, Richelmi 56 + 39.391s
10 LMP2 #26 Oreca Rusinov, Stevens, Rast 56 + 44.531s
11 LMP2 #47 Oreca Matsuda, Howson, Bradley 56 + 47.672s
12 LMP2 #31 Ligier Dalziel, Derani, Cumming 56 + 1m23.842s
13 LMP2 #42 Gibson Leventis, Watts, Kane 56 + 1m33.442s
14 LMP2 #38 Gibson Dolan, Dennis, Van Der Garde 56 + 1m41.417s
15 LMP2 #35 Alpine Cheng, Tung, Panciatici 56 + 2m23.364s
16 LMP2 #37 BR01 Petrov, Shaytar, Ladygin 55 + 5 Laps
17 LMP2 #23 Ligier Barthez, Chatin, Buret 55 + 47.977s
18 LMP2 #27 BR01 Minassian, Mediani, Aleshin 55 + 1m19.304s
19 LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost, Heidfeld, Piquet Jr 55 + 2m34.519s
20 LMP2 #25 Ligier Munemann, Hoy, Pizzitola 55 + 3m35.870s
21 LMP2 #41 Ligier Rojas, Canal, Berthon 54 + 6 Laps
22 LMP1 #7 Audi Fassler, Lotterer, Treluyer 54 + 20.009s
23 LMP2 #33 Oreca Pu, Gommendy, De Bruijn 54 + 38.716s
24 LMP2 #40 Ligier Krohn, Jonsson, Barbosa 54 + 1m48.722s
25 LMP2 #30 Ligier Sharp, Brown, Van Overbeek 54 + 2m21.622s
26 GTE Pro #82 Ferrari Fisichella, Vilander, Malucelli 54 + 2m35.866s
27 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 54 + 2m43.103s
28 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 54 + 2m45.266s
29 GTE Pro #66 Ford Pla, Mucke, Johnson 54 + 3m14.194s
30 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Makowiecki, Bamber, Bergmeister 53 + 7 Laps
31 GTE Pro #77 Porsche Lietz, Christensen, Eng 53 + 2.530s
32 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Turner 53 + 32.661s
33 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Taylor 53 + 33.388s
34 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Bertolini 53 + 35.891s
35 GTE Pro #97 Aston Stanaway, Rees, Adam 53 + 1m10.390s
36 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Taylor 53 + 1m43.616s
37 GTE Am #88 Porsche Al Qubaisi, Heinemeier Hansson, Long 53 + 2m22.561s
38 GTE Am #78 Porsche Ried, Henzler, Camathias 53 + 2m54.243s
39 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 52 + 8 Laps
40 LMP2 #49 Ligier Pew, Negri Jr, Vanthoor 52 + 13.451s
41 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Pilet, Estre, Tandy 52 + 21.133s
42 GTE Am #50 Chevrolet Yamagishi, Ragues, Belloc 52 + 54.863s
43 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Sweedler, Bell, Segal 52 + 1m17.652s
44 CDNT #84 Morgan Sausset, Tinseau, Bouvet 52 + 1m22.835s
45 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Carroll, Barker 52 + 1m33.346s
46 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mok, Sawa, Bell 52 + 1m39.985s
47 GTE Am #57 Chevrolet O'Connel, Bryant, Patterson 52 + 2m08.459s
48 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Griffin, Scott 52 + 3m05.311s
49 LMP2 #22 Ligier Capillaire, Maris, Coleman 51 + 9 Laps
50 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Aguas 51 + 7m40.551s
51 GTE Am #89 Porsche Macneil, Keen, Miller 50 + 10 Laps
52 GTE Am #99 Aston Howard, Griffin, Hirsch 50 + 5m55.221s
53 LMP2 #34 Oreca Leutwiler, Nakano, Winslow 49 + 11 Laps
54 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Laursen, Mac, Nielsen 48 + 12 Laps
55 LMP2 #43 Ligier Gonzalez, Senna, Albuquerque 48 + 2m59.438s
56 LMP2 #28 Morgan Taittinger, Striebig, Roussel 48 + 3m22.740s
57 LMP2 #48 Oreca Keating, Bleekemolen, Goossens 47 + 13 Laps
58 LMP1 #4 CLM Trummer, Webb, Kaffer 45 + 15 Laps
59 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Bruni, Calado, Pier Guidi 41 + 19 Laps
60 GTE Pro #67 Ford Franchitti, Priaulx, Tincknell 31 + 29 Laps
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Porsche #1 leads Le Mans 24 Hours, but Toyota and Audi close
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