Toyota's #8 crew held a secure lead in the 88th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours with eight hours to go, helped by drama for the #7 car.
Having inherited a one-lap lead as a result of the #7 car's turbo issues just past the halfway point, Brendon Hartley handed over the #8 car to Kazuki Nakajima towards the end of the 14th hour.
Nakajima then proceeded to gain another lap over the second-placed #1 Rebellion R-13, currently driven by Norman Nato, in the 16th hour.
The second Rebellion, the #3 car, was three laps off the pace with Le Mans rookie Louis Deletraz at the wheel, while the #7 Toyota was circulating six laps behind its sister car with Jose Maria Lopez posting some quick lap times.
In LMP2, the all-United Autosports battle for the lead continued to rage. The two ORECAs pitted together at the end of the 15th hour, with the #22 machine taking the advantage by virtue of not changing tyres, putting the two cars on diverging strategies.
Filipe Albuquerque brought in the #22 car to hand over to Phil Hanson midway through the 16th hour, and Job van Uitert in the sister #32 machine was closing fast when the car was hit with a suspected oil leak just shy of the 16-hour mark.
The Goodyear-shod JOTA Sport ORECA had been closing on the lead battle, at one point running only 15 seconds off the lead, but an unscheduled pitstop cost the #38 car around a minute.
Anthony Davidson ran just over a minute off the lead at the 16-hour mark, regaining second place after the problem for the #32 United car.
Matthieu Vaxiviere ran third in the similarly Goodyear-equipped Panis Racing ORECA, but being hunted down rapidly by Roman Rusinov in the G-Drive Racing ORECA, while James Allen was running fifth in the Graff ORECA.
There was more drama for the #29 Racing Team Nederland ORECA, as Nyck de Vries got tangled up with Toni Vilander's WeatherTech Racing Ferrari in an incident at Tertre Rouge - causing terminal damage to the latter car.
In GTE Pro, Aston Martin got the upper hand over Ferrari after Alex Lynn handed over the #97 Vantage GTE to Maxime Martin, who passed Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 Ferrari.
Once Pier Guidi pitted to make way for Daniel Serra, Martin was leading by around 15s until he came in to hand over to Harry Tincknell just before the 16-hour mark.
That meant Serra led by 90s over Tincknell but due a stop, while the second works Aston of Marco Sorensen continued to run third, a lap down.
There was more drama for Porsche as the #91 car, which had been fourth in class, was pushed into the garage to fix an electrical problem, elevating the #71 Ferrari to fourth.
In GTE Am, a superb stint from Jonathan Adam in the #90 TF Sport Aston Martin had given that car a handsome lead, even before its nearest rival, the #98 Aston Martin, was struck by a suspension issue that forced the car being driven by Ross Gunn into the garage.
Charlie Eastwood, having taken over from Adam, ran nearly a lap ahead of Matt Campbell in the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche, while the #56 Project 1 Porsche of Larry ten Voorde was up to third in class ahead of the #83 AF Corse Ferrari of Nicklas Nielsen.
Le Mans 24 Hours - positions after 16 hours
|1||LMP1||#8 Toyota||Buemi, Nakajima, Hartley||254|
|2||LMP1||#1 Rebellion||Senna, Nato, Menezes||252||+ 2 Laps|
|3||LMP1||#3 Rebellion||Dumas, Berthon, Deletraz||250||+ 4 Laps|
|4||LMP1||#7 Toyota||Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez||248||+ 6 Laps|
|5||LMP2||#22 Oreca||Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta||243||+ 11 Laps|
|6||LMP2||#38 Oreca||Davidson, Da Costa, Gonzalez||243||+ 57.426s|
|7||LMP2||#31 Oreca||Jamin, Canal, Vaxiviere||241||+ 13 Laps|
|8||LMP2||#26 Aurus||Rusinov, Vergne, Jensen||241||+ 1m16.481s|
|9||LMP2||#32 Oreca||Owen, Brundle, Van Uitert||240||+ 14 Laps|
|10||LMP2||#39 Oreca||Allen, Capillaire, Milesi||240||+ 8m50.038s|
|11||LMP2||#42 Oreca||Lapierre, Borga, Coigny||240||+ 9m50.949s|
|12||LMP2||#27 Oreca||Hedman, Hanley, Van der Zande||240||+ 11m04.410s|
|13||LMP2||#36 Alpine||Negrao, Ragues, Laurent||240||+ 11m39.458s|
|14||LMP2||#28 Oreca||Lafargue, Chatin, Bradley||239||+ 15 Laps|
|15||LMP2||#25 Oreca||Falb, Trummer, McMurry||239||+ 2m00.578s|
|16||LMP2||#50 Oreca||Calderon, Florsch, Visser||239||+ 2m08.146s|
|17||LMP2||#47 Dallara||Lacorte, Belicchi, Sernagiotto||238||+ 16 Laps|
|18||LMP2||#17 Oreca||Pilet, Tilley, Kennard||238||+ 1m06.962s|
|19||LMP2||#35 Ligier||Yamanaka, Foster, Merhi||232||+ 22 Laps|
|20||LMP2||#29 Oreca||Van Eerd, Van der Garde, De Vries||229||+ 25 Laps|
|21||LMP2||#24 Oreca||Grist, Kapadia, Wells||227||+ 27 Laps|
|22||GTE Pro||#51 Ferrari||Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra||227||+ 20.622s|
|23||GTE Pro||#97 Aston||Martin, Lynn, Tincknell||227||+ 1m30.664s|
|24||GTE Pro||#95 Aston||Thiim, Sorensen, Westbrook||226||+ 28 Laps|
|25||LMP2||#34 Ligier||Smiechowski, Binder, Isaakyan||223||+ 31 Laps|
|26||GTE Pro||#71 Ferrari||Rigon, Molina, Bird||223||+ 1m55.889s|
|27||GTE Pro||#82 Ferrari||Pla, Bourdais, Gounon||223||+ 2m13.240s|
|28||GTE Am||#90 Aston||Yoluc, Eastwood, Adam||223||+ 2m52.185s|
|29||GTE Am||#77 Porsche||Ried, Pera, Campbell||222||+ 32 Laps|
|30||GTE Am||#56 Porsche||Perfetti, Ten Voorde, Cairoli||222||+ 31.386s|
|31||GTE Am||#83 Ferrari||Perrodo, Collard, Nielsen||221||+ 33 Laps|
|32||GTE Am||#86 Porsche||Wainwright, Barker, Watson||221||+ 3m49.869s|
|33||GTE Am||#98 Aston||Dalla Lana, Gunn, Farfus||220||+ 34 Laps|
|34||GTE Am||#66 Ferrari||Heistand, Root, Magnussen||220||+ 5m04.444s|
|35||GTE Am||#99 Porsche||Inthraphuvasak, Legeret, Andlauer||220||+ 7m45.677s|
|36||GTE Pro||#91 Porsche||Bruni, Lietz, Makowiecki||219||+ 35 Laps|
|37||GTE Am||#61 Ferrari||Piovanetti, Negri Jr., Ledogar||219||+ 17m34.872s|
|38||GTE Am||#72 Ferrari||Chen, Blomqvist, Gomes||219||+ 20m08.319s|
|39||GTE Am||#85 Ferrari||Gostner, Frey, Gatting||218||+ 36 Laps|
|40||GTE Am||#60 Ferrari||Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Ruberti||218||+ 39.648s|
|41||GTE Am||#54 Ferrari||Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella||218||+ 2m24.488s|
|42||GTE Am||#78 Porsche||Felbermayr, Beretta, Van Splunteren||215||+ 39 Laps|
|43||GTE Pro||#92 Porsche||Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor||214||+ 40 Laps|
|44||GTE Am||#62 Ferrari||Grimes, Mowlem, Hollings||212||+ 42 Laps|
|45||GTE Am||#75 Ferrari||Mastronardi, Cressoni, Piccini||211||+ 43 Laps|
|46||GTE Am||#57 Porsche||Keating, Fraga, Bleekemolen||211||+ 15m31.501s|
|47||GTE Am||#89 Porsche||Brooks, Piguet, Laskaratos||210||+ 44 Laps|
|48||GTE Am||#88 Porsche||Preining, Bastien, De Leener||130||+ 124 Laps|
|49||LMP2||#21 Oreca||Montoya, Buret, Rojas||192||+ 62 Laps|
|50||GTE Pro||#63 Ferrari||Macneil, Vilander, Segal||185||+ 69 Laps|
|51||GTE Am||#70 Ferrari||Kimura, Abril, Cozzolino||172||+ 82 Laps|
|52||LMP2||#37 Oreca||Tung, Aubry, Stevens||141||+ 113 Laps|
|53||LMP2||#16 Aurus||Cullen, Jarvis, Tandy||105||+ 149 Laps|
|54||LMP2||#30 Oreca||Hirschi, Tereschenko, Gommendy||100||+ 154 Laps|
|55||LMP1||#4 ENSO||Dillmann, Spengler, Webb||97||+ 157 Laps|
|56||LMP2||#33 Oreca||Yamashita, Patterson, Fjordbach||88||+ 166 Laps|
|57||GTE Am||#52 Ferrari||Ulrich, Gorig, West||80||+ 174 Laps|
|58||GTE Am||#55 Ferrari||Cameron, Scott, Griffin||78||+ 176 Laps|
|59||LMP2||#11 Ligier||Tambay, Maris, D'Ansembourg||26||+ 228 Laps|