Le Mans 24 Hours: #7 Toyota maintains lead after first driver swaps

The #7 Toyota has strengthened its position in the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours after the third hour with Kamui Kobayashi now at the wheel

Le Mans 24 Hours: #7 Toyota maintains lead after first driver swaps

When Mike Conway pitted from the lead, his advantage over the sister #8 car was just two seconds but pole lap record-holder Kobayashi has now extended that to 31 seconds.

Anthony Davidson, replacing Sebastien Buemi in the #8, has started to drop back into the clutches of the top Porsche of Nick Tandy, having been unable to consistently match the pace of the leading car.

The #2 Porsche remains fourth around half a minute ahead of the final Toyota.

LMP2: REBELLION STAYS AHEAD WITH #13 CAR

Mathias Beche, driving the #13 Rebellion, chased down and passed the sister #31 car of Nicolas Prost to take the lead with just over 10 minutes of the hour remaining.

Prost appeared to struggle in traffic, and the lead that was 21s over his team-mate when the pair started their respective stints was gradually whittled away.

Beche quickly extended that lead to around five seconds as the pitstop phase began just before the hour mark.

Thomas Laurent, driving the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA, had closed to just six seconds off the leading duo, but he went straight on at the second part of Indianapolis and lightly struck the barrier.

He recovered to the pits for a nose change, but rejoined almost two-and-a-half minutes down - but still in sixth place.

Jean-Eric Vergne ran fourth in the #24 Manor ORECA that he has been in since the start of the race, the consequence of the team making an early change of tyres when concerning wear was spotted.

He runs 20s ahead of team-mate Simon Trummer, who runs fifth in the #25 car.

At the end of the hour, Ben Keating had a high-speed spin at the Dunlop Esses while attempting to pass the GTE Pro Porsche of Richard Lietz, but avoided major damage and was able to get back to the pits.

GTE: ASTON 1-2 BACK ON TRACK

Aston Martin's two factory entries continue to lead GTE Pro, having repelled a challenge from Porsche during the third hour.

Marco Sorensen led throughout in the #95 Vantage, while Daniel Serra had to fight past Michael Christensen's #92 Porsche to reclaim second place after losing out during the pitstop in which he took over the #97 car from Darren Turner.

Behind them, Harry Tincknell led the chasing pack in the #67 Ford before he and Christensen became the first of the frontrunning group to pit, 15 minutes before the turn of the hour, enabling the out-of-sequence #66 Ford of Olivier Pla to inherit third.

Tincknell then bullied his way past at Arnage to claim fourth place from Christensen.

The fastest of the Ferraris, James Calado in the #51 AF Corse 488, is just over seven seconds further back in sixth.

Porsche's other car is now running at the back of the class after a clash with the Keating LMP2 entry at the Dunlop chicane.

An Aston Martin also leads GTE Am in the hands of Paul Dalla Lana, who passed William Sweedler's Ferrari 488 early in the hour and now has nearly 30s in hand over Dries Vanthoor in the #84 Ferrari, who also passed the American.

POSITIONS AFTER THREE HOURS

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Sarrazin 48
2 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Davidson, Nakajima 48 + 28.382s
3 LMP1 #1 Porsche Jani, Lotterer, Tandy 48 + 36.208s
4 LMP1 #2 Porsche Bernhard, Bamber, Hartley 48 + 1m00.055s
5 LMP1 #9 Toyota Lapierre, Kunimoto, Lopez 48 + 1m22.617s
6 LMP2 #13 Oreca Piquet Jr, H. Hansson, Beche 46 + 2 Laps
7 LMP2 #31 Oreca Prost, Canal, Senna 46 + 2.000s
8 LMP2 #37 Oreca Cheng, Gommendy, Brundle 46 + 30.266s
9 LMP2 #24 Oreca Graves, Hirschi, Vergne 46 + 53.275s
10 LMP2 #25 Oreca Gonzalez, Trummer, Petrov 45 + 3 Laps
11 LMP2 #27 Dallara Aleshin, Sirotkin, Shaitar 45 + 56.718s
12 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Laurent, Jarvis 45 + 1m25.848s
13 LMP2 #35 Alpine Panciatici, Ragues, Negrao 45 + 1m30.738s
14 LMP2 #32 Ligier Owen, De Sadeleer, Albuquerque 45 + 1m59.503s
15 LMP2 #40 Oreca Allen, Matelli, Bradley 45 + 2m14.080s
16 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Collard 45 + 2m15.743s
17 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi 45 + 2m24.304s
18 LMP2 #21 Oreca Hedman, Hanley, Rosenqvist 45 + 3m12.217s
19 LMP2 #34 Ligier Moore, Hanson, Chandhok 44 + 4 Laps
20 LMP2 #23 Ligier Barthez, Buret, Berthon 44 + 21.556s
21 LMP2 #17 Ligier Lafargue, Lafargue, Zollinger 44 + 1m44.610s
22 LMP2 #43 Riley Keating, Bleekemolen, Taylor 44 + 2m06.579s
23 LMP2 #36 Alpine Dumas, Menezes, Rao 44 + 2m07.338s
24 LMP2 #29 Dallara Lammers, Van Eerd, Barrichello 43 + 5 Laps
25 LMP2 #33 Ligier Nicolet, Nicolet, Maris 43 + 0.098s
26 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Stanaway 42 + 6 Laps
27 GTE Pro #97 Aston Turner, Adam, Serra 42 + 8.354s
28 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 42 + 9.155s
29 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Derani 42 + 14.480s
30 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Werner 42 + 15.007s
31 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Calado, Pier Guidi, Rugolo 42 + 23.873s
32 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 42 + 25.719s
33 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 42 + 29.798s
34 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 42 + 30.438s
35 GTE Pro #82 Ferrari Vilander, Fisichella, Kaffer 42 + 36.019s
36 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Makowiecki, Pilet 42 + 39.937s
37 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Taylor 42 + 41.912s
38 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Kanaan 42 + 46.441s
39 LMP2 #39 Oreca Guibbert, Trouillet, Winslow 41 + 7 Laps
40 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Smith, Stevens, Vanthoor 41 + 2.833s
41 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Macneil, Sweedler, Bell 41 + 16.377s
42 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Bell 41 + 16.881s
43 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Scott, Cioci 41 + 32.508s
44 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 41 + 43.578s
45 GTE Am #77 Porsche Ried, Cairoli, Dienst 41 + 1m23.679s
46 GTE Am #65 Ferrari Nielsen, Balzan, Curtis 41 + 1m56.083s
47 GTE Am #99 Aston Howard, Gunn, Bryant 41 + 2m30.851s
48 GTE Am #50 Chevrolet Rees, Brandela, Philippon 40 + 8 Laps
49 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Foster 40 + 2.315s
50 GTE Am #93 Porsche Long, Al Faisal, Hedlund 40 + 21.367s
51 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mok, Sawa, Griffin 40 + 26.286s
52 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Krohn, Jonsson, Bertolini 40 + 1m27.790s
53 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Beretta 40 + 2m27.508s
54 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Wee, Katoh, Parente 39 + 9 Laps
55 LMP2 #45 Ligier Patterson, Mcmurry, Capillaire 33 + 15 Laps
56 LMP2 #22 Oreca Rojas, Hirakawa, Gutierrez 32 + 16 Laps
57 LMP2 #49 Ligier Konopka, Calko, Breukers 27 + 21 Laps
58 LMP2 #26 Oreca Rusinov, Thiriet, Lynn 20 Retired
59 GTE Am #88 Porsche Bachler, Lemeret, Al Qubaisi 18 Retired
60 LMP1 #4 Enso Webb, Kraihamer, Bonanomi 7 Retired
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Le Mans 24 Hours: #7 Toyota takes the lead in second hour

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