H7: #1 Peugeot pulls away

The #1 Peugeot extended its lead as the light began to fade at Le Mans on Saturday evening

H7: #1 Peugeot pulls away

The gap between Alex Wurz and Nicolas Minassian was artificially extended by the safety car period at the beginning of the seventh hour, but Minassian only fell further behind last year's winner during the next stint.

Wurz now leads the #2 car by more than one minute.

The ORECA Peugeot also lost time during the caution period and has fallen from one and a half to two and a half minutes off the lead.

The #8 Audi has moved ahead of the #9 as Benoit Treluyer caught Mike Rockenfeller and then overtook into the Ford chicane after Rockenfeller ran wide exiting the Porsche Curves.

Dindo Capello is still seventh in the #7 Audi but just set the German manufacturer's fastest lap of the race so far and is closing on Stefan Mucke's #007 Aston Martin.

Nick Leventis threw away Strakka Racing's LMP2 class lead by spinning the team's HPD into the gravel behind the safety car.

He had been losing as much as 10 seconds per lap to the chasing Highcroft HPD. The positioning of the safety cars, thrown for the stopped JMW Aston Martin, extended Strakka's lead but before racing resumed, Leventis spun the car into the gravel on what was due to be the last lap of his stint.

The car was undamaged but by the time Leventis returned it to the pits and handed over to Jonny Kane, Highcroft's Marco Wener was already a minute ahead.

That was not the only incident under the safety car, as Manuel Rodrigues spun the #14 Kolles Audi R10 into the barrier and had to pit for repairs to the front bodywork.

The #60 Matech Ford now has a comfortable lead in GT1 after the #73 Alphand Corvette lost 20 minutes in the pits. Romain Grosjean's nearest challenger is now the other Alphand car, with Jerome Policand currently at the wheel, two laps behind.

But the battle of the race is still in GT2 as the #82 Risi Ferrari and #64 Corvette continue their relentless duel.

Both Jaime Melo and Oliver Gavin were lapping in the 3m59s - matching their qualifying pace - during the hour.

Melo moved ahead earlier in the hour but couldn't pull away from the Chevrolet and the fight raged on and on.

Just five minutes ago, Gavin ducked out from the Ferrari's slipstream and reclaimed the lead into the first Mulsanne chicane, but Melo went straight back ahead on the inside at the second chicane.

As the pair refuse to let up into the eighth hour of the race, Jan Magnussen is third in class - a minute behind in the second works Corvette - and closing in slowly.

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