The #8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID's hunt of the leading sister car was boosted in an incident-filled sixth hour of the Le Mans 24 Hours, which featured two safety car periods.
Fernando Alonso initially lost around 15 seconds for the #8 Toyota when he pitted under the safety car caused by John Farano crashing the RLR Msport ORECA-Gibson 07 at Tertre Rouge.
Alonso handed the car over to Kazuki Nakajima, who had to wait at the end of the pitlane before rejoining behind the safety car.
That meant the #7 Toyota - shared by Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez in the sixth hour - had its lead increased to over a minute.
But the damage was lessened significantly by the consquences of a bizarre crash caused by the GTE Am #88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche of Satoshi Hoshino clipping the rear-right wheel of the GTE Pro #64 Corvette of Marcel Fassler at the Porsche Curve.
The contact sent the Corvette into the inside wall of the Porsche Curve at high speed and destroyed the front-end of the car.
The resulting safety car train picked up the two Toyotas and closed the gap to around 35 seconds between Nakajima and leader Lopez at the end of the hour.
The rivalry between SMP Racing and Rebellion continued to swing back and forth, with the #11 machine driven by Mikhail Aleshin currently in third.
A slow stop had cost the #4 Rebellion its third place in the previous hour, but a swift stop allowed Thomas Laurent to overhaul the #17 SMP machine of Sergey Sirotkin for fourth.
The second Rebellion of Neel Jani continues in sixth behind Sirotkin. ByKolles plummeted down the order to 44th overall - 10 laps down on nearest LMP1 rival Jani - due to a water leak that consigned it to the garage for 34 minutes.
The #10 DragonSpeed of Renger van der Zande is rock bottom in 61st overall after he went off at Tertre Rouge during the hour.
The car has suffered a multitude of problem during the race and it remained in the garage at the close of the hour.
LMP2 - Signatech-Alpine battles back into the lead
Signatech-Alpine reclaimed the lead in LMP2 in the sixth hour as Andre Negrao edged out G-Drive's Roman Rusinov in battle.
Negrao entered the fray in place of Pierre Thiriet at the start of the hour, mirroring G-Drive's strategy by short-filling under a full course yellow brought out by Francesco Castelacci's GTE Am Ferrari and then coming in for a full service one lap later.
Negrao quickly whittled away Rusinov's four-second advantage when racing resumed and took the lead with an aggressive pass into the second chicane on the Mulsanne.
The two cars again followed each other into the pits when the safety car was called for the Fassler crash, and were just under two seconds apart at the close of the hour.
After being disadvantaged by the timing of the FCY in the fifth hour, the chasing #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA of Ho-Pin Tung fell back into the clutches of Pastor Maldonado's #31 DragonSpeed ORECA, and Maldonado wasted no time in taking third place.
Maldonado handed over to Anthony Davidson before the hour ended, with the British driver holding a three second advantage over Tung.
The #22 United Autosports Ligier of Filipe Albuquerque is the best non-ORECA in fifth, just ahead of Ricky Taylor's #37 DC Racing ORECA.
GTE - Porsche takes first as leading Pro pack edges clear
Ferrari briefly moved into the lead of the GTE Pro division after Daniel Serra passed Laurens Vanthoor shortly before the safety car period induced by the #64 Corvette's crash.
That had the effect of bunching up the top five while putting them approximately 1m20s ahead of the next batch of cars, with the leaders all pitting just before the end of the hour.
In those stops, the #92 Porsche, which Kevin Estre took over from Vanthoor, retook the class lead from Serra in the #51 Ferrari, while the surviving #63 Corvette of Antonio Garcia held third ahead from Harry Tincknell's #67 Ford GT.
Nick Tandy ran fifth in the #93 Porsche, but was still to make his seventh stop, ahead of three other cars that were caught out by the safety car - the #91 Porsche, the #71 Ferrari and the #69 Ford.
The Keating Motorsports Ford GT continued to dominate GTE Am, with its lead further boosted by the safety car periods.
After six hours, Jeroen Bleekmolen's lead in the #85 machine was out to massive three minutes over Jeff Segal in the #84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari.
TF Sport's Aston Martin, driven by Euan Hankey, and the lead Dempsey-Proton Porsche of Christian Ried were locked in a close fight for third in class.
Positions after six hours
|1||LMP1||#7 Toyota||Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez||97|
|2||LMP1||#8 Toyota||Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso||97||+ 17.988s|
|3||LMP1||#11 BR||Petrov, Aleshin, Vandoorne||96||+ 1 Lap|
|4||LMP1||#3 Rebellion||Laurent, Berthon, Menezes||96||+ 2.221s|
|5||LMP1||#17 BR||Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Sirotkin||96||+ 8.987s|
|6||LMP1||#1 Rebellion||Jani, Lotterer, Senna||94||+ 3 Laps|
|7||LMP2||#36 Alpine||Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet||93||+ 4 Laps|
|8||LMP2||#26 Aurus||Rusinov, Van Uitert, Vergne||93||+ 1.797s|
|9||LMP2||#31 Oreca||Gonzalez, Maldonado, Davidson||92||+ 5 Laps|
|10||LMP2||#38 Oreca||Tung, Richelmi, Aubry||92||+ 3.403s|
|11||LMP2||#22 Ligier||Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta||92||+ 1m28.405s|
|12||LMP2||#37 Oreca||Heinemeier-Hansson, King, Taylor||92||+ 1m30.715s|
|13||LMP2||#39 Oreca||Gommendy, Capillaire, Hirschi||92||+ 2m38.468s|
|14||LMP2||#28 Oreca||Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval||92||+ 2m44.686s|
|15||LMP2||#48 Oreca||Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas||91||+ 6 Laps|
|16||LMP2||#32 Ligier||Cullen, Brundle, Owen||91||+ 9.115s|
|17||LMP2||#23 Ligier||Binder, Canal, Stevens||91||+ 1m36.580s|
|18||LMP2||#29 Dallara||Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, De Vries||91||+ 2m56.843s|
|19||LMP2||#47 Dallara||Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi||90||+ 7 Laps|
|20||LMP2||#30 Oreca||Jamin, Ragues, Dumas||90||+ 5.793s|
|21||LMP2||#25 Oreca||Zollinger, Pizzitola, Falb||90||+ 6.540s|
|22||LMP2||#34 Ligier||Smiechowski, Winslow, Moore||90||+ 1m41.934s|
|23||LMP2||#50 Ligier||Creed, Ricci, Boulle||90||+ 2m58.339s|
|24||LMP2||#43 Oreca||Farano, Maini, Nato||89||+ 8 Laps|
|25||LMP2||#49 Ligier||Konopka, Enqvist, Tereschenko||88||+ 9 Laps|
|26||LMP2||#20 Oreca||Fjordbach, Andersen, Beche||87||+ 10 Laps|
|27||GTE Pro||#51 Ferrari||Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra||86||+ 11 Laps|
|28||GTE Pro||#92 Porsche||Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor||86||+ 0.859s|
|29||GTE Pro||#63 Chevrolet||Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller||86||+ 4.602s|
|30||GTE Pro||#69 Ford||Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon||86||+ 5.367s|
|31||GTE Pro||#67 Ford||Priaulx, Tincknell, Bomarito||86||+ 10.074s|
|32||GTE Pro||#93 Porsche||Pilet, Bamber, Tandy||86||+ 1m17.137s|
|33||GTE Pro||#91 Porsche||Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki||86||+ 1m19.911s|
|34||GTE Pro||#68 Ford||Hand, Muller, Bourdais||86||+ 1m20.547s|
|35||GTE Pro||#71 Ferrari||Rigon, Bird, Molina||86||+ 1m21.091s|
|36||GTE Pro||#66 Ford||Mucke, Pla, Johnson||85||+ 12 Laps|
|37||GTE Pro||#94 Porsche||Muller, Jaminet, Olsen||85||+ 1.883s|
|38||GTE Pro||#82 BMW||Farfus, Da Costa, Krohn||85||+ 10.569s|
|39||GTE Pro||#97 Aston||Martin, Lynn, Adam||85||+ 11.985s|
|40||GTE Pro||#95 Aston||Thiim, Sorensen, Turner||85||+ 17.364s|
|41||GTE Pro||#81 BMW||Catsburg, Tomczyk, Eng||85||+ 1m37.492s|
|42||GTE Pro||#89 Ferrari||Derani, Jarvis, Gounon||85||+ 1m38.334s|
|43||GTE Am||#85 Ford||Keating, Bleekemolen, Fraga||84||+ 13 Laps|
|44||LMP1||#4 Enso||Dillmann, Webb, Ruberti||84||+ 5.385s|
|45||GTE Am||#84 Ferrari||Segal, Baptista, Lu||84||+ 1m48.738s|
|46||GTE Am||#56 Porsche||Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti||84||+ 3m12.451s|
|47||GTE Am||#62 Ferrari||Macneil, Vilander, Smith||83||+ 14 Laps|
|48||GTE Am||#77 Porsche||Campbell, Ried, Andlauer||83||+ 2m16.154s|
|49||GTE Am||#90 Aston||Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood||83||+ 2m19.414s|
|50||GTE Am||#61 Ferrari||Perez-Companc, Griffin, Cressoni||83||+ 3m21.923s|
|51||GTE Am||#78 Porsche||Prette, Prette, Abril||83||+ 5m01.282s|
|52||GTE Pro||#64 Chevrolet||Gavin, Milner, Fassler||82||+ 15 Laps|
|53||GTE Am||#57 Ferrari||Kimura, Cozzolino, Ledogar||82||+ 17m17.159s|
|54||GTE Am||#86 Porsche||Wainwright, Barker, Preining||82||+ 19m22.586s|
|55||GTE Am||#83 Ferrari||Gostner, Frey, Gatting||82||+ 20m27.012s|
|56||GTE Am||#70 Ferrari||Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever||82||+ 22m02.482s|
|57||GTE Am||#54 Ferrari||Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella||82||+ 22m10.863s|
|58||GTE Am||#60 Ferrari||Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Piccini||81||+ 16 Laps|
|59||GTE Am||#88 Porsche||Hoshino, Roda Jr, Cairoli||78||+ 19 Laps|
|60||GTE Am||#98 Aston||Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda||74||+ 23 Laps|
|61||LMP1||#10 BR||Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande||73||+ 24 Laps|