Kamui Kobayashi continued to run clear of the #8 Toyota driven by Fernando Alonso, as the battle for third took centre-stage in the fifth hour of Le Mans 24 Hours 2019.
Kobayashi's gap was reduced slightly to just under 50s and the two Toyotas remain on an identical stint-length strategy of 11 laps in which the #8 stops first.
There was excitement in the battle for best-of-the-rest as SMP Racing's Stoffel Vandoorne continued to hunt down the #3 Rebellion of Nathanael Berthon and closed to within a second late in the hour.
Vandoorne continually demonstrated the SMP Racing BRE-AER BR1's top-speed advantage by closing in on the Mulsanne straight and hounding the Rebellion through the Porsche Curves and the Ford Chicanes.
But Vandoorne was baulked by slower cars on consecutive laps and it meant he was unable to overhaul Berthon on track.
But a slow two-minute pitstop by the Rebellion crew when Berthon came into to hand over to Neel Jani cost the #3 the position.
Vandoorne had already got out of his car and had been replaced by ex-IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin, but he was promoted to third by the Rebellion issue.
The sister SMP car also moved ahead of the Rebellion at the same time, with former Williams Formula 1 driver Sergey Sirotkin taking over fourth place.
New Toyota reserve Thomas Laurent is behind the wheel of the #3 Rebellion-Gibson R-13 and ran ahead of fifth-placed Jani.
The ByKolles ENSO CLM-Gibson P1/01 of Oli Webb is ninth overall, while the #10 DragonSpeed BRE-Gibson BR1's made slower progress and Renger van der Zande ended the hour mired in the middle of the GTE Am field.
LMP2 - G-Drive holds the edge
G-Drive Racing continued to lead Signatech-Alpine at the head of the LMP2 class at the five-hour mark, as a late full course yellow allowed the breakaway leading duo to consolidate their advantage over the chasing pack.
After G-Drive's Job Van Uitert took the lead away from Pierre Thiriet's #36 Signatech-Alpine in the fourth hour, the Dutchman proceeded to build a small lead of three seconds before handing the #26 ORECA over to Roman Rusinov.
Rusinov carried on where Van Uitert left off and was 12 seconds ahead at the turn of the hour after a full course yellow was required to clear away the GTE-Am Ferrari of Francesco Castellaci, which had spun into the gravel at the Porsche Curves.
The FCY hampered the chasing #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA, which in Gabriel Aubry's hands had gained 25s on the leaders during his triple stint.
But his stop came before the caution, while both leading cars were able to come in one lap later under the FCY and stretch their advantage back from 50 seconds to around a minute over Tung.
Pastor Maldonado held fourth for DragonSpeed ahead of the #28 TDS Racing ORECA of Francois Perrodo, who took over from Loic Duval under the FCY.
The second Jota-run car of David Heinemeier-Hansson had been ahead of Duval before the stops, but lost out by coming in after the race returned to green and then getting caught behind the slow moving Castelacci.
That dropped the #37 car now driven by Ricky Taylor from fifth down to seventh, with Phil Hanson also benefitting from a well-timed stop to move up a place to sixth in the #22 United Autosports Ligier.
GTE - Title-contending Porsche retains narow lead
Porsche takes over in GTE Pro Porsche assumed a narrow lead in an increasingly frenetic GTE Pro fight, as the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship points-leading #92 machine of Laurens Vanthoor moved to the front.
Vanthoor began the hour running in fourth, joining a four-car train that included the #63 Corvette of Mike Rockenfeller, the #51 Ferrari of Daniel Serra and the #93 Porsche of Earl Bamber.
Serra picked off Rockenfeller to deprive the #63 machine of the net lead for the first time since the opening hour, before Rockenfeller and Bamber pitted.
But Vanthoor was able to leapfrog into the class lead when he and Serra came into the pits, and at the five-hour mark he narrowly led Serra, Rockenfeller and Bamber.
Some 30 seconds behind this group were the leading Ford GTs - the #68 car of Sebastien Bourdais and the #69 machine of Ryan Briscoe - which were closely followed by the #71 Ferrari of Miguel Molina.
The next group of cars, led by the #91 Porsche, was another 20s back.
In GTE Am, the Keating Motorsports Ford GT took over the lead thanks to a rapid stint by Felipe Fraga, who had built a 25s advantage over Christian Ried in the #77 Dempsey-Proton at the top of the hour.
The third-placed JMW Motorsport Ferrari was third in the hands of Wei Lu, albeit one minute and 40 seconds off the class lead, with a narrow advantage over Rob Smith in the WeatherTech Ferrari.
Francesco Castellacci caused a full course yellow when he spun into the gravel at the Porsche Curves in the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari.
That followed a similar excursion for Paul Dalla Lana in the #98 Aston Martin, which led to that car having a 17-minute spell in the garage, all but extinguishing any hopes of a farewell win for the old-generation Vantage.
Positions after five hours
|1||LMP1||#7 Toyota||Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez||84|
|2||LMP1||#8 Toyota||Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso||84||+ 42.388s|
|3||LMP1||#11 BR||Petrov, Aleshin, Vandoorne||82||+ 2 Laps|
|4||LMP1||#17 BR||Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Sirotkin||82||+ 51.862s|
|5||LMP1||#3 Rebellion||Laurent, Berthon, Menezes||82||+ 2m12.223s|
|6||LMP1||#1 Rebellion||Jani, Lotterer, Senna||80||+ 4 Laps|
|7||LMP2||#26 Aurus||Rusinov, Van Uitert, Vergne||79||+ 5 Laps|
|8||LMP2||#36 Alpine||Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet||79||+ 34.604s|
|9||LMP1||#4 Enso||Dillmann, Webb, Ruberti||79||+ 2m59.722s|
|10||LMP2||#38 Oreca||Tung, Richelmi, Aubry||79||+ 4m19.171s|
|11||LMP2||#37 Oreca||Heinemeier-Hansson, King, Taylor||79||+ 4m28.455s|
|12||LMP2||#31 Oreca||Gonzalez, Maldonado, Davidson||79||+ 4m30.937s|
|13||LMP2||#28 Oreca||Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval||79||+ 5m30.216s|
|14||LMP2||#22 Ligier||Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta||79||+ 5m31.455s|
|15||LMP2||#39 Oreca||Gommendy, Capillaire, Hirschi||79||+ 5m45.539s|
|16||LMP2||#32 Ligier||Cullen, Brundle, Owen||78||+ 6 Laps|
|17||LMP2||#48 Oreca||Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas||78||+ 1m42.148s|
|18||LMP2||#23 Ligier||Binder, Canal, Stevens||78||+ 4m36.661s|
|19||LMP2||#43 Oreca||Farano, Maini, Nato||78||+ 5m37.662s|
|20||LMP2||#25 Oreca||Zollinger, Pizzitola, Falb||78||+ 5m48.514s|
|21||LMP2||#20 Oreca||Fjordbach, Andersen, Beche||77||+ 7 Laps|
|22||LMP2||#47 Dallara||Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi||77||+ 2m09.158s|
|23||LMP2||#34 Ligier||Smiechowski, Winslow, Moore||77||+ 3m30.030s|
|24||LMP2||#29 Dallara||Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, De Vries||77||+ 4m32.014s|
|25||LMP2||#30 Oreca||Jamin, Ragues, Dumas||77||+ 5m10.966s|
|26||LMP2||#50 Ligier||Creed, Ricci, Boulle||77||+ 7m53.585s|
|27||LMP2||#49 Ligier||Konopka, Enqvist, Tereschenko||76||+ 8 Laps|
|28||GTE Pro||#92 Porsche||Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor||73||+ 11 Laps|
|29||GTE Pro||#51 Ferrari||Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra||73||+ 1.379s|
|30||GTE Pro||#63 Chevrolet||Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller||73||+ 1.868s|
|31||GTE Pro||#93 Porsche||Pilet, Bamber, Tandy||73||+ 4.099s|
|32||GTE Pro||#68 Ford||Hand, Muller, Bourdais||73||+ 59.378s|
|33||GTE Pro||#69 Ford||Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon||73||+ 1m01.036s|
|34||GTE Pro||#71 Ferrari||Rigon, Bird, Molina||73||+ 1m03.700s|
|35||GTE Pro||#91 Porsche||Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki||73||+ 1m23.586s|
|36||GTE Pro||#64 Chevrolet||Gavin, Milner, Fassler||73||+ 1m25.998s|
|37||GTE Pro||#66 Ford||Mucke, Pla, Johnson||73||+ 1m26.852s|
|38||GTE Pro||#67 Ford||Priaulx, Tincknell, Bomarito||73||+ 1m34.046s|
|39||GTE Pro||#94 Porsche||Muller, Jaminet, Olsen||73||+ 2m15.437s|
|40||GTE Pro||#89 Ferrari||Derani, Jarvis, Gounon||73||+ 2m50.955s|
|41||GTE Pro||#81 BMW||Catsburg, Tomczyk, Eng||73||+ 2m51.608s|
|42||GTE Pro||#95 Aston||Thiim, Sorensen, Turner||73||+ 3m07.209s|
|43||GTE Pro||#97 Aston||Martin, Lynn, Adam||72||+ 12 Laps|
|44||GTE Pro||#82 BMW||Farfus, Da Costa, Krohn||72||+ 32.392s|
|45||GTE Am||#85 Ford||Keating, Bleekemolen, Fraga||72||+ 5m33.405s|
|46||GTE Am||#77 Porsche||Campbell, Ried, Andlauer||72||+ 5m59.074s|
|47||LMP1||#10 BR||Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande||71||+ 13 Laps|
|48||GTE Am||#84 Ferrari||Segal, Baptista, Lu||71||+ 1m44.966s|
|49||GTE Am||#62 Ferrari||Macneil, Vilander, Smith||71||+ 1m53.607s|
|50||GTE Am||#90 Aston||Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood||71||+ 2m37.819s|
|51||GTE Am||#56 Porsche||Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti||71||+ 4m33.787s|
|52||GTE Am||#61 Ferrari||Perez-Companc, Griffin, Cressoni||71||+ 4m45.041s|
|53||GTE Am||#86 Porsche||Wainwright, Barker, Preining||71||+ 5m44.959s|
|54||GTE Am||#78 Porsche||Prette, Prette, Abril||70||+ 14 Laps|
|55||GTE Am||#57 Ferrari||Kimura, Cozzolino, Ledogar||70||+ 1m16.711s|
|56||GTE Am||#54 Ferrari||Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella||70||+ 5m53.921s|
|57||GTE Am||#83 Ferrari||Gostner, Frey, Gatting||70||+ 6m18.897s|
|58||GTE Am||#60 Ferrari||Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Piccini||70||+ 6m24.178s|
|59||GTE Am||#70 Ferrari||Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever||70||+ 6m46.759s|
|60||GTE Am||#88 Porsche||Hoshino, Roda Jr, Cairoli||68||+ 16 Laps|
|61||GTE Am||#98 Aston||Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda||62||+ 22 Laps|