Brendon Hartley puts #1 Porsche into lead of Le Mans 24 Hours

Brendon Hartley put the #1 Porsche into the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours in a frantic second hour of the race featuring a three-way lead battle

Brendon Hartley puts #1 Porsche into lead of Le Mans 24 Hours

After Toyota stormed to a one-two at the end of the first hour when the safety car finally came in, the Japanese manufacturer gave away its advantage by switching from wets to slicks later than some of its rivals.

Andre Lotterer - who took slicks on lap 10 - assumed the lead when the Toyotas came in on lap 12, but two laps later the #7 Audi relinquished the position when it pitted for a costly turbo change.

The car rejoined six laps down, while all three manufacturers fought it out on track in the new battle for the lead.

The #1 Porsche of Hartley and the #8 Audi of Loic Duval swapped places twice, with Hartley making the decisive pass on the Mulsanne Straight on lap 18.

Duval stayed on his tail before dropping back in traffic, switching his attention to defending from the Toyota of Mike Conway who was closing rapidly on both lead cars.

Duval managed to resist Conway's attacks until he brought the Audi in for its second stop of the race at the end of lap 23, while Hartley pitted from the lead a lap later.

Conway was able to stay out for two more laps to lead briefly, before coming in at the top of the hour to slot back in to 2nd position ahead of Duval.

LMP2 - MANOR TAKES CHARGE
By Mitchell Adam

Manor timed Roberto Merhi's move onto intermediate tyres at the start of the hour to perfection and moved into the lead of LMP2.

Merhi pitted at the end of the first racing lap from fourth, one lap before erstwhile class leader Rene Rast, while Alpine pair Nicolas Lapierre and Nelson Panciatici stayed out even longer.

Building on the advantage seized by Manor, Merhi pulled away from Thiriet by TDS Racing's Mathias Beche by two seconds a lap to lead by more than 20s before changing to slicks at his next stop.

He finished the second hour 19s ahead of Beche, with Jonny Kane third for Strakka Racing, ahead of fellow Gibson driver Jake Dennis, for G-Drive.

Rast picked up several places during the hour to finish it fifth, just ahead of KCMG's Richard Bradley and SMP Racing's Vitaly Petrov, while Lapierre had fallen to 12th in the class order.

GTE - PORSCHE TAKES THE LEAD
By Scott Mitchell

Porsche moved into the lead of the GTE battle after the early-leading Ford GT dropped back with a slow pitstop.

Frederic Makowiecki completed his rise from seventh to first at the beginning of the second hour, building a lead of almost 16 seconds at one stage.

But after the first stops, Richard Westbrook began to recover after losing ground early on in the #69 Ford.

That car assumed lead-Ford status when early race leader Dirk Muller dropped outside the top 10 with a long stay in the pits, and by the end of the hour Westbrook had caught the lead Porsche.

He breezed past Makowiecki on the run to Mulsanne Corner, but pitted before the end of the lap and thus allowed the Porsche to remain ahead.

James Calado was its nearest challenger in the AF Corse Ferrari, just over a second back, with the Risi Competitzione 488 GTE of Giancarlo Fisichella a few seconds further in arrears.

Muller had moved up to seventh in class by the end of the hour.

The #67 Ford's problems continued. Andy Priaulx had to bring the ailing GT back into the pits towards the end of the hour and it has yet to re-emerge.

KCMG's Wolf Henzler leads the GTE Am runners, but has fellow Porsche driver Patrick Long for close company in the Abu Dhabi Proton Racing RSR 911.

The pair were quickest of those in class to stay on wets at the top of the hour, and regained the top two spots after their stops by reeling in and passing Leh Keen in the Proton Competition Porsche.

Henzler had trailed Long, but passed the American at the end of the hour to take class lead.

Matt Griffin is third in the #55 AF Corse Ferrari but more than a minute behind.

POSITIONS AFTER TWO HOURS:

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #1 Porsche Bernhard, Webber, Hartley 27
2 LMP1 #6 Toyota Sarrazin, Conway, Kobayashi 27 + 4.404s
3 LMP1 #8 Audi Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis 27 + 10.913s
4 LMP1 #5 Toyota Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima 27 + 30.149s
5 LMP1 #2 Porsche Dumas, Jani, Lieb 27 + 42.251s
6 LMP1 #13 Rebellion Tuscher, Imperatori, Kraihamer 26 + 1 Lap
7 LMP2 #44 Oreca Graves, Rao, Merhi 25 + 2 Laps
8 LMP2 #46 Oreca Thiriet, Beche, Hirakawa 25 + 20.134s
9 LMP2 #42 Gibson Leventis, Watts, Kane 25 + 35.330s
10 LMP2 #38 Gibson Dolan, Dennis, Van Der Garde 25 + 44.248s
11 LMP2 #26 Oreca Rusinov, Stevens, Rast 25 + 44.419s
12 LMP2 #47 Oreca Matsuda, Howson, Bradley 25 + 45.111s
13 LMP2 #37 BR01 Petrov, Shaytar, Ladygin 25 + 56.502s
14 LMP2 #43 Ligier Gonzalez, Senna, Albuquerque 25 + 1m05.241s
15 LMP2 #31 Ligier Dalziel, Derani, Cumming 25 + 1m09.473s
16 LMP2 #23 Ligier Barthez, Chatin, Buret 25 + 1m27.647s
17 LMP2 #25 Ligier Munemann, Hoy, Pizzitola 25 + 1m31.885s
18 LMP2 #36 Alpine Menezes, Lapierre, Richelmi 25 + 1m35.722s
19 LMP2 #27 BR01 Minassian, Mediani, Aleshin 25 + 2m02.470s
20 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Makowiecki, Bamber, Bergmeister 24 + 3 Laps
21 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Bruni, Calado, Pier Guidi 24 + 1.544s
22 LMP2 #48 Oreca Keating, Bleekemolen, Goossens 24 + 4.201s
23 GTE Pro #82 Ferrari Fisichella, Vilander, Malucelli 24 + 4.503s
24 LMP2 #35 Alpine Cheng, Tung, Panciatici 24 + 8.863s
25 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 24 + 11.869s
26 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Pilet, Estre, Tandy 24 + 12.646s
27 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Bertolini 24 + 14.418s
28 GTE Pro #66 Ford Pla, Mucke, Johnson 24 + 18.981s
29 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Taylor 24 + 22.618s
30 LMP2 #40 Ligier Krohn, Jonsson, Barbosa 24 + 24.118s
31 GTE Pro #77 Porsche Lietz, Christensen, Eng 24 + 32.558s
32 CDNT #84 Morgan Sausset, Tinseau, Bouvet 24 + 36.963s
33 LMP2 #41 Ligier Rojas, Canal, Berthon 24 + 48.157s
34 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 24 + 58.403s
35 LMP2 #30 Ligier Sharp, Brown, Van Overbeek 24 + 1m07.950s
36 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Taylor 24 + 1m18.312s
37 GTE Am #78 Porsche Ried, Henzler, Camathias 24 + 1m20.634s
38 GTE Am #88 Porsche Al Qubaisi, Heinemeier Hansson, Long 24 + 1m22.203s
39 GTE Pro #97 Aston Stanaway, Rees, Adam 24 + 1m50.051s
40 LMP2 #33 Oreca Pu, Gommendy, De Bruijn 24 + 1m50.089s
41 LMP1 #4 CLM Trummer, Webb, Kaffer 24 + 1m55.753s
42 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Turner 24 + 1m56.770s
43 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Griffin, Scott 24 + 2m42.420s
44 LMP2 #22 Ligier Capillaire, Maris, Coleman 24 + 2m46.823s
45 GTE Am #57 Chevrolet O'Connel, Bryant, Patterson 24 + 2m52.501s
46 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 24 + 2m52.895s
47 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Aguas 24 + 2m54.800s
48 GTE Am #89 Porsche Macneil, Keen, Miller 24 + 3m27.869s
49 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Carroll, Barker 23 + 4 Laps
50 LMP2 #49 Ligier Pew, Negri Jr, Vanthoor 23 + 1m36.156s
51 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mok, Sawa, Bell 23 + 1m40.735s
52 GTE Am #50 Chevrolet Yamagishi, Ragues, Belloc 23 + 1m43.231s
53 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Sweedler, Bell, Segal 23 + 1m43.614s
54 GTE Am #99 Aston Howard, Griffin, Hirsch 23 + 2m18.428s
55 LMP2 #28 Morgan Taittinger, Striebig, Roussel 23 + 3m36.485s
56 LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost, Heidfeld, Piquet Jr 22 + 5 Laps
57 LMP2 #34 Oreca Leutwiler, Nakano, Winslow 22 + 1m52.873s
58 LMP1 #7 Audi Fassler, Lotterer, Treluyer 21 + 6 Laps
59 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Laursen, Mac, Nielsen 20 + 7 Laps
60 GTE Pro #67 Ford Franchitti, Priaulx, Tincknell 17 + 10 Laps
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