The gap between the two Toyotas in the Le Mans 24 Hours lead battle again increased during an hour dominated by an extended safety car period caused by Pastor Maldonado.
The margin between Jose Maria Lopez in the #7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID and team-mate Kazuki Nakajima stood at more than two and a half minutes at the end of the hour in which Pastor Maldonado crashed the DragonSpeed ORECA-Gibson 07 (pictured above) out of the race.
Lopez had gained a couple of seconds during the pitstop cycle shortly after the 16-hour mark and eked out a few more on pace before the yellow flags came out when Maldonado hit the barriers at Tertre Rouge.
The #7 won more time during the safety car and was around 90s ahead when Nakajima came into the pits just before the 17-hour mark.
Lopez was due a pitstop at the top of an hour.
The battle for third place between the LMP1 privateers swung in favour of SMP Racing and the #17 BR Engineering BR1 with Stoffel Vandoorne at the wheel.
The AER-powered car moved ahead of the #3 Rebellion-Gibson R-13 when Gustavo Menezes had to take a three-minute stop-and-go penalty for a procedural error concerning tyre usage.
LMP2 - G-Drive's advantage still comfortable
The LMP2 order remained largely in status quo following Maldonado's crash.
The safety car period allowed G-Drive Racing's Job van Uitert to extend his lead by almost a minute from his previous total of 1m30s.
G-Drive's gap will likely drop as van Uitert pitted the ORECA-Gibson 07 right at the end of the hour to hand over to Roman Rusinov.
Signatech-Alpine's Andre Negrao had been lapping slightly quicker than van Uitert, but remained in a lonely second place after pitting at the top of the hour.
Negrao has been replaced by Pierre Thiriet in the car.
Gabriel Aubry is piloting the Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA-Gibson 07 in third, with the TDS Racing squad promoted into fourth following Maldonado's shunt.
Aubry also pitted at the close of the hour, but he remains in the Jota-run car.
Behind TDS' Francois Perrodo is the United Autosports Ligier of Paul di Resta and he is under pressure from Nico Jamin in the Duqueine Engineering ORECA-Gibson 07.
Jamin and his team-mates had suffered early problems, but the Duqueine crew climbed up the order progressively as other cars fall out of contention.
GTE - Safety car helps Ferrari
The safety car period played directly into the hands of the #51 Ferrari, allowing it to build a lead of over a minute in GTE Pro.
Because James Calado had pitted to hand over the AF Corse-run car to Daniel Serra just prior to Maldonado's incident, it was in prime position to capitalise as the three leading cars all came onto the pitlane
The #91 Porsche lost over two minutes being held at the end of the pits as Richard Lietz handed over to Frederic Makowiecki, dropping that car to a net fourth, while the #63 Corvette and #93 Porsche both came in just as the race resumed.
Serra pitted the #51 just before the 17-hour mark, putting it six seconds down on Mike Rockenfeller's Corvette but with a net lead of over a minute, while Patrick Pilet ran 14s down on the class lead in the #93 Porsche.
Behind the #91 Porsche of Makowiecki was Harry Tincknell's #67 Ford GT in fifth.
Ben Keating maintained a comfortable two-minute lead in GTE Am in his own team's privateer Ford GT, surviving a scare when he spun off at the Dunlop chicane.
Patrick Lindsey in the Project 1 Porsche enjoyed a similar buffer over the JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Rodrigo Baptista in third.
Positions after 17 hours
|1||LMP1||#7 Toyota||Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez||268|
|2||LMP1||#8 Toyota||Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso||267||+ 1 Lap|
|3||LMP1||#11 BR||Petrov, Aleshin, Vandoorne||263||+ 5 Laps|
|4||LMP1||#3 Rebellion||Laurent, Berthon, Menezes||263||+ 1.254s|
|5||LMP1||#1 Rebellion||Jani, Lotterer, Senna||260||+ 8 Laps|
|6||LMP2||#26 Aurus||Rusinov, Van Uitert, Vergne||256||+ 12 Laps|
|7||LMP2||#36 Alpine||Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet||256||+ 2m25.303s|
|8||LMP2||#38 Oreca||Tung, Richelmi, Aubry||255||+ 13 Laps|
|9||LMP2||#28 Oreca||Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval||254||+ 14 Laps|
|10||LMP2||#22 Ligier||Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta||253||+ 15 Laps|
|11||LMP2||#30 Oreca||Jamin, Ragues, Dumas||253||+ 9.124s|
|12||LMP2||#48 Oreca||Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas||253||+ 1m05.988s|
|13||LMP2||#23 Ligier||Binder, Canal, Stevens||251||+ 17 Laps|
|14||LMP2||#39 Oreca||Gommendy, Capillaire, Hirschi||251||+ 1m12.314s|
|15||LMP2||#47 Dallara||Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi||247||+ 21 Laps|
|16||LMP2||#29 Dallara||Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, De Vries||247||+ 1m26.823s|
|17||LMP2||#25 Oreca||Zollinger, Pizzitola, Falb||247||+ 1m45.419s|
|18||LMP2||#43 Oreca||Farano, Maini, Nato||246||+ 22 Laps|
|19||LMP2||#50 Ligier||Creed, Ricci, Boulle||246||+ 56.425s|
|20||LMP2||#20 Oreca||Fjordbach, Andersen, Beche||246||+ 1m18.765s|
|21||LMP2||#34 Ligier||Smiechowski, Winslow, Moore||242||+ 26 Laps|
|22||LMP2||#32 Ligier||Cullen, Brundle, Owen||241||+ 27 Laps|
|23||GTE Pro||#51 Ferrari||Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra||238||+ 30 Laps|
|24||GTE Pro||#63 Chevrolet||Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller||238||+ 55.461s|
|25||GTE Pro||#93 Porsche||Pilet, Bamber, Tandy||238||+ 1m09.212s|
|26||GTE Pro||#91 Porsche||Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki||238||+ 1m27.585s|
|27||GTE Pro||#67 Ford||Priaulx, Tincknell, Bomarito||237||+ 31 Laps|
|28||GTE Pro||#68 Ford||Hand, Muller, Bourdais||237||+ 24.904s|
|29||GTE Pro||#69 Ford||Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon||237||+ 1m11.400s|
|30||GTE Pro||#94 Porsche||Muller, Jaminet, Olsen||237||+ 2m52.626s|
|31||GTE Pro||#66 Ford||Mucke, Pla, Johnson||236||+ 32 Laps|
|32||GTE Pro||#89 Ferrari||Derani, Jarvis, Gounon||236||+ 13.483s|
|33||GTE Pro||#82 BMW||Farfus, Da Costa, Krohn||235||+ 33 Laps|
|34||GTE Am||#85 Ford||Keating, Bleekemolen, Fraga||233||+ 35 Laps|
|35||GTE Pro||#92 Porsche||Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor||233||+ 9.009s|
|36||GTE Am||#56 Porsche||Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti||232||+ 36 Laps|
|37||GTE Pro||#81 BMW||Catsburg, Tomczyk, Eng||232||+ 29.666s|
|38||GTE Am||#84 Ferrari||Segal, Baptista, Lu||232||+ 2m09.827s|
|39||GTE Am||#61 Ferrari||Perez-Companc, Griffin, Cressoni||231||+ 37 Laps|
|40||GTE Am||#62 Ferrari||Macneil, Vilander, Smith||231||+ 3.314s|
|41||GTE Am||#77 Porsche||Campbell, Ried, Andlauer||231||+ 1m48.694s|
|42||GTE Am||#57 Ferrari||Kimura, Cozzolino, Ledogar||230||+ 38 Laps|
|43||GTE Am||#78 Porsche||Prette, Prette, Abril||230||+ 19.961s|
|44||GTE Am||#54 Ferrari||Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella||230||+ 52.624s|
|45||GTE Am||#86 Porsche||Wainwright, Barker, Preining||229||+ 39 Laps|
|46||GTE Am||#83 Ferrari||Gostner, Frey, Gatting||228||+ 40 Laps|
|47||GTE Am||#70 Ferrari||Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever||228||+ 2m49.026s|
|48||GTE Am||#90 Aston||Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood||226||+ 42 Laps|
|49||GTE Am||#60 Ferrari||Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Piccini||225||+ 43 Laps|
|50||GTE Pro||#97 Aston||Martin, Lynn, Adam||222||+ 46 Laps|
|51||LMP2||#31 Oreca||Gonzalez, Maldonado, Davidson||245||+ 23 Laps|
|52||LMP2||#37 Oreca||Heinemeier-Hansson, King, Taylor||199||+ 69 Laps|
|53||LMP1||#17 BR||Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Sirotkin||163||+ 105 Laps|
|54||LMP1||#4 Enso||Dillmann, Webb, Ruberti||163||+ 2h35m00.370s|
|55||LMP2||#49 Ligier||Konopka, Enqvist, Tereschenko||160||+ 108 Laps|
|56||GTE Pro||#71 Ferrari||Rigon, Bird, Molina||140||+ 128 Laps|
|57||GTE Pro||#95 Aston||Thiim, Sorensen, Turner||132||+ 136 Laps|
|58||GTE Am||#98 Aston||Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda||87||+ 181 Laps|
|59||GTE Pro||#64 Chevrolet||Gavin, Milner, Fassler||82||+ 186 Laps|
|60||GTE Am||#88 Porsche||Hoshino, Roda Jr, Cairoli||79||+ 189 Laps|
|61||LMP1||#10 BR||Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande||76||+ 192 Laps|