Fernando Alonso led the majority of the fourth hour at the Le Mans 24 Hours before a late stop handed Jose Maria Lopez the lead in the #7 Toyota HYBRID TS050.
Alonso enjoyed a comfortable lead after Lopez was forced to pit due to a left-rear puncture and the gap ballooned to several minutes when the two Toyotas were split by a safety car caused by the punctured tyre on Gabriel Aubry's #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA on the Mulsanne straight.
But Alonso pitted within the final minutes of the hour to give Lopez the lead by a few seconds, having previously breezed past him approaching the Porsche Curves meaning Toyota enacted its well-established protocol of allowing the faster car through.
With the two Toyotas now the only cars on the lead lap, SMP Racing's Egor Orudzhev is the highest-placed LMP1 privateer having got ahead of Mathias Beche's Rebellion Racing R-13 for third.
The sister Rebellion driven by Bruno Senna also moved ahead to claim fourth, after Beche was held at the pit exit during the safety car period.
But a stop late in the hour shuffled Beche back in front of Senna.
The DragonSpeed BR1 of Henrik Hedman is in sixth and Dominik Kraihamer is closing in aboard the ByKolles machine, meaning it is close to clearing the LMP2 field and rejoining the leading LMP1 cars.
Williams F1 young driver Oliver Rowland made some progress in the #6 Manor-Ginetta to run in 13th before he pitted and fell to the fringes of the top 15, with Leo Roussel close in the sister car back in 18th.
G-Drive still in charge in LMP2
Andrea Pizzitola continues to lead the class in the #26 ORECA after four hours, as the safety car stretched G-Drive Racing's lead to 1m27s over Pierre Thiriet's #36 Signatech-Alpine.
Pizzitola ran as high as sixth overall prior to making the car's sixth pitstop when the safety car period ended on lap 60.
Signatech's Andre Negrao had taken almost 10s out of Pizzitola under a slow zone caused by Felipe Nasr (#47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara) going off and chipped his deficit to 1m06s on lap 53, but lost six seconds on the following lap to negate the advantage.
When the safety car appeared, Negrao was caught in the next safety car queue, but the net loss was only around 10 seconds after the Brazilian handed over to Thiriet.
Graff-So24 Racing pitted Vincent Capillaire for Jonathan Hirschi just before the safety car, and resumed third when Julien Canal pitted his Panis-Barthez Competition Ligier on the hour mark.
Behind Canal, Memo Rojas was fifth in the pole-sitting IDEC Sport ORECA, having also pitted prior to the safety car, while Francois Perrodo was the final car on the lead lap in P6.
Juan-Pablo Montoya has completed his first racing laps aboard the #32 United Autosports Ligier, but is a lap off the lead in 11th after a lengthy pitstop under the safety car.
Safety car blows GTE Pro fight open
The caution period completely changed the complexion of the GTE Pro fight, as two of the leading cars in class got held at the end of the pit lane.
Laurens Vanthoor had just passed Porsche team-mate Frederic Makowiecki before making his fourth stop, a lap before the majority of the field.
Managing to hand over the #92 car to Kevin Estre before the safety car was deployed, he gained a lead of over a minute when racing resumed as both Richard Lietz (taking over from Makowiecki) and Joey Hand (replacing Sebastien Bourdais in the #68 Ford) were forced to wait for the next safety car.
Also benefitting from this were Scott Dixon, who moved up to second after jumping in the #69 Ford, and Nick Catsburg in the #81 BMW, with the Dutch driver passing the IndyCar star for second in class before the end of the hour.
Antonio Giovinazzi (#52 Ferrari) moved ahead of Harry Tincknell (#67 Ford) for fourth moments later, having also pitted on the same lap as the leading Porsche.
After their cars battled for the lead just before the safety car was deployed, Hand and Lietz dropped to eighth and ninth in class, while the #66 Ford, #82 BMW and #93 Porsche also lost ground.
In GTE Am, the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche continues to lead comfortably, now in the hands of Matt Campbell, by 1m27s from Matt Griffin in the #84 JMW Ferrari.
The erstwhile class-leading #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari has dropped back to fifth behind the #56 Project 1 Porsche and the #98 Aston Martin.
Positions after four hours
|1||LMP1||#7 Toyota||Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez||65|
|2||LMP1||#8 Toyota||Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso||65||+ 5.703s|
|3||LMP1||#17 BR||Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Isaakyan||64||+ 1 Lap|
|4||LMP1||#3 Rebellion||Laurent, Beche, Menezes||63||+ 2 Laps|
|5||LMP1||#1 Rebellion||Lotterer, Jani, Senna||62||+ 3 Laps|
|6||LMP1||#10 BR||Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande||62||+ 5.776s|
|7||LMP2||#26 Oreca||Rusinov, Pizzitola, Vergne||62||+ 55.962s|
|8||LMP1||#4 Enso||Webb, Kraihamer, Dillmann||62||+ 1m03.668s|
|9||LMP2||#36 Alpine||Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet||61||+ 4 Laps|
|10||LMP2||#23 Ligier||Buret, Canal, Stevens||61||+ 3.190s|
|11||LMP2||#39 Oreca||Capillaire, Hirschi, Gommendy||61||+ 59.251s|
|12||LMP2||#48 Oreca||Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas||61||+ 1m15.270s|
|13||LMP2||#28 Oreca||Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval||61||+ 1m30.777s|
|14||LMP2||#34 Ligier||Taylor, Ledogar, Heinemeier-Hansson||61||+ 2m09.352s|
|15||LMP1||#6 Ginetta||Rowland, Brundle, Turvey||60||+ 5 Laps|
|16||LMP2||#29 Dallara||Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, Lammers||60||+ 46.100s|
|17||LMP2||#35 Dallara||Shaitar, Newey, Nato||60||+ 3m07.611s|
|18||LMP1||#5 Ginetta||Robertson, Simpson, Roussel||60||+ 3m11.761s|
|19||LMP2||#40 Oreca||Allen, Gutierrez, Guibbert||60||+ 3m14.628s|
|20||LMP2||#32 Ligier||De Sadeleer, Owen, Montoya||60||+ 3m17.633s|
|21||LMP2||#22 Ligier||Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta||60||+ 3m28.514s|
|22||LMP2||#33 Ligier||Cheng, Boulle, Nicolet||60||+ 4m38.099s|
|23||LMP2||#31 Oreca||Gonzalez, Maldonado, Berthon||59||+ 6 Laps|
|24||LMP2||#44 Ligier||Bertolini, Jonsson, Krohn||59||+ 5.407s|
|25||LMP2||#47 Dallara||Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Nasr||59||+ 1m27.388s|
|26||LMP2||#25 Ligier||Patterson, De Jong, Kim||58||+ 7 Laps|
|27||LMP2||#50 Ligier||Creed, Ricci, Dagoneau||57||+ 8 Laps|
|28||GTE Pro||#92 Porsche||Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor||57||+ 7m44.848s|
|29||LMP2||#37 Oreca||Jaafar, Jeffri, Tan||57||+ 8m09.908s|
|30||GTE Pro||#81 BMW||Tomczyk, Catsburg, Eng||57||+ 8m51.801s|
|31||GTE Pro||#69 Ford||Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon||57||+ 8m54.525s|
|32||GTE Pro||#52 Ferrari||Vilander, Giovinazzi, Derani||57||+ 8m55.137s|
|33||GTE Pro||#67 Ford||Priaulx, Tincknell, Kanaan||57||+ 8m57.384s|
|34||GTE Pro||#93 Porsche||Pilet, Tandy, Bamber||57||+ 9m02.208s|
|35||GTE Pro||#94 Porsche||Dumas, Bernhard, Muller||57||+ 9m02.989s|
|36||GTE Pro||#68 Ford||Hand, Muller, Bourdais||57||+ 9m03.336s|
|37||GTE Pro||#91 Porsche||Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki||57||+ 9m04.069s|
|38||GTE Pro||#66 Ford||Mucke, Pla, Johnson||57||+ 9m04.513s|
|39||GTE Pro||#82 BMW||Farfus, Felix Da Costa, Sims||57||+ 9m07.110s|
|40||GTE Pro||#63 Chevrolet||Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller||57||+ 9m10.195s|
|41||GTE Pro||#71 Ferrari||Rigon, Bird, Molina||57||+ 9m10.899s|
|42||LMP2||#38 Oreca||Tung, Richelmi, Aubry||56||+ 9 Laps|
|43||GTE Pro||#51 Ferrari||Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra||56||+ 12m53.411s|
|44||GTE Pro||#97 Aston||Lynn, Martin, Adam||56||+ 13m05.778s|
|45||GTE Pro||#95 Aston||Sorensen, Thiim, Turner||56||+ 13m09.618s|
|46||GTE Am||#77 Porsche||Campbell, Ried, Andlauer||56||+ 13m11.949s|
|47||GTE Am||#84 Ferrari||Griffin, Macneil, Segal||56||+ 14m35.786s|
|48||GTE Am||#56 Porsche||Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti||56||+ 15m35.559s|
|49||GTE Am||#98 Aston||Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda||56||+ 15m39.471s|
|50||GTE Am||#54 Ferrari||Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella||55||+ 10 Laps|
|51||GTE Am||#88 Porsche||Cairoli, Al Qubaisi, Roda||55||+ 9.576s|
|52||GTE Am||#99 Porsche||Long, Pappas, Pumpelly||55||+ 1m16.831s|
|53||GTE Am||#90 Aston||Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood||55||+ 1m25.386s|
|54||GTE Am||#85 Ferrari||Keating, Bleekemolen, Stolz||55||+ 1m33.119s|
|55||GTE Am||#80 Porsche||Babini, Nielsen, Maris||55||+ 1m35.136s|
|56||GTE Am||#61 Ferrari||Mok, Griffin, Sawa||55||+ 2m42.042s|
|57||GTE Am||#70 Ferrari||Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever||55||+ 2m53.427s|
|58||GTE Pro||#64 Chevrolet||Gavin, Milner, Fassler||53||+ 12 Laps|
|59||GTE Am||#86 Porsche||Wainwright, Barker, Davison||51||+ 14 Laps|
|60||LMP1||#11 BR||Petrov, Aleshin, Button||18||+ 47 Laps|