Le Mans 24 Hours: Alonso catching Lopez at 12-hour mark

Jose Maria Lopez is defending a reduced lead in the #7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID after Fernando Alonso's stint took over a minute out of his advantage

Le Mans 24 Hours: Alonso catching Lopez at 12-hour mark

Alonso continued where he left off against Mike Conway in the 11th hour and took further chunks of time out of Lopez as the race reached the halfway stage.

That meant Alonso has played a key part in recovering the time lost by team-mate Sebastien's Buemi's stop-go penalty that had left the #8 Toyota 2m10s off the race-leading #7.

Alonso is now just 1m16.246s off leader Lopez.

Rebellion Racing's R-13s continued third and fourth in the hands of Mathias Beche and Bruno Senna.

DragonSpeed's Renger Van der Zande took over the BR1 machine and is lapping almost 10s quicker than the LMP2 drivers he is attempting to clear in 22nd overall and fifth in class.

Leo Roussel has the #5 Manor-Ginetta sixth in class but down in 49th overall, and the team retired the #6 car after Oliver Rowland's earlier stoppage on track could not be fixed.

That means Vitaly Petrov is now seventh in class aboard the #11 SMP Racing BR1.

G-Drive still in charge

Roman Rusinov has retained his one-lap advantage in the #26 G-Drive ORECA at half distance in LMP2.

As the top of the hour approached, all the action was behind the Russian, who last pitted on lap 181, as two-time class winner Nicolas Lapierre in the #36 Signatech-Alpine chased after Timothe Buret's Panis-Barthez Competition Ligier.

Lapierre pressured Buret into a mistake at Mulsanne Corner on lap 186 and got past with a better run towards Indianapolis.

Behind them, Paul-Loup Chatin staved off pressure from the #28 TDS Racing ORECA of Matthieu Vaxiviere to consolidate IDEC Sport's hold on fourth place.

Vaxiviere was in turn two minutes ahead of the #39 Graff-So24 ORECA of Tristan Gommendy, who is the first driver two laps down.

GTE Pro-leading Porsche pulling away

The GTE Pro lead enjoyed by the #92 Porsche is edging closer to two minutes with Michael Christensen replacing Kevin Estre at the wheel.

A Porsche one-two is still comfortable with Ginamaria Bruni second in the #91 car ahead of Dirk Muller's #68 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford.

Antonio Giovinazzi has handed driving duties of the #52 AF Corse Ferrari to Toni Vilander who leads the #67 and #69 Fords in fourth.

Antonio Garcia is seventh in class aboard the #63 Corvette.

Dempsey-Proton Racing's #77 Porsche driven by Julien Andlauer is still at the front of the class, but the arrival of Jeroen Bleekemolen in the #85 Keating Motorsports Ferrari has kept the gap at just over 90s.

Positions after 12 hours

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 194
2 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso 194 + 1m21.142s
3 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Laurent, Beche, Menezes 189 + 5 Laps
4 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Lotterer, Jani, Senna 189 + 3m19.662s
5 LMP2 #26 Oreca Rusinov, Pizzitola, Vergne 185 + 9 Laps
6 LMP2 #23 Ligier Buret, Canal, Stevens 184 + 10 Laps
7 LMP2 #36 Alpine Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet 184 + 0.831s
8 LMP2 #48 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas 184 + 49.232s
9 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval 183 + 11 Laps
10 LMP2 #39 Oreca Capillaire, Hirschi, Gommendy 183 + 1m09.282s
11 LMP2 #22 Ligier Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 182 + 12 Laps
12 LMP2 #40 Oreca Allen, Gutierrez, Guibbert 182 + 14.491s
13 LMP2 #34 Ligier Taylor, Ledogar, Heinemeier-Hansson 182 + 1m12.086s
14 LMP2 #32 Ligier De Sadeleer, Owen, Montoya 181 + 13 Laps
15 LMP2 #29 Dallara Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, Lammers 180 + 14 Laps
16 LMP2 #35 Dallara Shaitar, Newey, Nato 180 + 1m12.171s
17 LMP2 #37 Oreca Jaafar, Jeffri, Tan 179 + 15 Laps
18 LMP2 #31 Oreca Gonzalez, Maldonado, Berthon 179 + 6.120s
19 LMP2 #44 Ligier Bertolini, Jonsson, Krohn 178 + 16 Laps
20 LMP2 #33 Ligier Cheng, Boulle, Nicolet 177 + 17 Laps
21 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Nasr 176 + 18 Laps
22 LMP1 #10 BR Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande 173 + 21 Laps
23 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Richelmi, Aubry 173 + 1m00.634s
24 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 172 + 22 Laps
25 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki 172 + 1m53.291s
26 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 171 + 23 Laps
27 GTE Pro #52 Ferrari Vilander, Giovinazzi, Derani 171 + 55.109s
28 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Kanaan 171 + 1m33.360s
29 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 171 + 1m49.885s
30 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller 171 + 2m00.438s
31 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 171 + 3m33.052s
32 LMP2 #50 Ligier Creed, Ricci, Dagoneau 170 + 24 Laps
33 GTE Pro #82 BMW Farfus, Felix Da Costa, Sims 170 + 23m08.182s
34 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Turner 169 + 25 Laps
35 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 169 + 2m15.091s
36 GTE Pro #81 BMW Tomczyk, Catsburg, Eng 168 + 26 Laps
37 GTE Am #77 Porsche Campbell, Ried, Andlauer 168 + 3m28.921s
38 GTE Am #85 Ferrari Keating, Bleekemolen, Stolz 167 + 27 Laps
39 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 167 + 12.525s
40 GTE Pro #97 Aston Lynn, Martin, Adam 167 + 17.313s
41 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Griffin, Macneil, Segal 167 + 48.543s
42 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 167 + 1m53.916s
43 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 167 + 2m04.505s
44 GTE Am #56 Porsche Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti 166 + 28 Laps
45 GTE Am #88 Porsche Cairoli, Al Qubaisi, Roda 166 + 59.513s
46 GTE Am #99 Porsche Long, Pappas, Pumpelly 166 + 2m05.872s
47 GTE Am #80 Porsche Babini, Nielsen, Maris 166 + 3m34.504s
48 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mok, Griffin, Sawa 166 + 4m30.215s
49 LMP1 #5 Ginetta Robertson, Simpson, Roussel 165 + 29 Laps
50 GTE Pro #93 Porsche Pilet, Tandy, Bamber 165 + 42.258s
51 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood 163 + 31 Laps
52 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Davison 163 + 4m56.952s
53 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever 159 + 35 Laps
54 LMP1 #11 BR Petrov, Aleshin, Button 143 + 51 Laps
55 LMP1 #6 Ginetta Rowland, Brundle, Turvey 137 + 57 Laps
56 LMP1 #17 BR Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Isaakyan 123 + 71 Laps
57 LMP2 #25 Ligier Patterson, De Jong, Kim 119 + 75 Laps
58 GTE Pro #94 Porsche Dumas, Bernhard, Muller 92 + 102 Laps
59 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 92 + 6m08.912s
60 LMP1 #4 Enso Webb, Kraihamer, Dillmann 65 + 129 Laps
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Le Mans hour 11: Alonso chasing race-leading #7 Toyota

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Series WEC
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Jose Maria Lopez
Author Tom Errington
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