Le Mans 24 Hours: Conway puts the #7 Toyota back in the lead

The #7 Toyota returned to the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours by jumping the sister #8 car during their round of pitstops in the ninth hour

Le Mans 24 Hours: Conway puts the #7 Toyota back in the lead

Kazuki Nakajima had started the hour with a 10-second advantage over Jose Maria Lopez but, when Nakajima pitted to hand over to Sebastien Buemi, Lopez was able to extend the #7 Toyota TS050 HYBRID's lead to one of around a minute.

That meant that even though Buemi produced an outlap that included fastest times of all in the second and third sectors, Mike Conway emerged from the pits after taking over from Lopez with the lead of the race.

Conway steadily increased his advantage before the next round of stops, after which he emerged with a healthier lead.

The #7 therefore ended the hour with just under eight seconds in hand over its sister car.

SMP's #17 and #11 BR Engineering BR1s remain third and fourth respectively in the order, but were being caught by a charging Gustavo Menezes.

Third-placed Stephane Sarrazin now has 21s in hand over the #11 car of Vitaly Petrov, but Gonzales shaved more than a minute off his deficit to the fourth-placed car during the hour, in which he set the #3 Rebellion-Gibson R-13's fastest lap of the race - a 3m18.720s.

Bruno Senna is sixth in the #1 Rebellion, which is four laps down.

The #10 DragonSpeed car was wheeled out into the pitlane after a lengthy spell in the garage, only to be taken back in, but the #4 ByKolles did return to the track after more than an hour away.

LMP2 - G-Drive at the front, Lapierre close on old tyres

Job Van Uitert has returned to the wheel of the LMP2-leading G-Drive ORECA, and had an 11-second lead over Signatech Alpine's Nicolas Lapierre at the 11-hour mark.

G-Drive's advantage had been around 16s before Jean-Eric Vergne stepped out of the car at the 14th round of stops, while Lapierre remained at the wheel of the #36 Alpine-badged ORECA.

Despite his three-stint old Michelin tyres, Lapierre closed to within 3 seconds of Van Uitert but gradually slipped back as the Dunlop-shod Dutchman's fresh boots began to tell.

Stephane Richelmi took third shortly before the hour mark in the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA, after Roberto Gonzalez pitted his DragonSpeed ORECA.

Somtime ChampCar racer Gonzalez had taken over from Anthony Davidson around 30 seconds behind the leading #26 G-Drive car, but had lost over a minute during his first two stints by the time of his pitstop.

The Mexican still held fourth at the hour mark, ahead of Jordan King in the #37 DC Racing ORECA and the #22 United Autosports Ligier of Paul di Resta.

GTE - Calado and Ferrari storm to the front

A surge from AF Corse's James Calado put the #51 Ferrari at the front of the GTE Pro field that had been dominated by the #92 Manthey Porsche.

Calado moved to the front inside the final five minutes of the hour after passing Michael Christensen, who had lost swathes of time after taking over from Kevin Estre and inheriting a 10-second lead.

The Ferrari driver Calado quickly built up a lead of almost one second following the pass on the Porsche.

Early on in the hour, Calado had stormed past Harry Tincknell's Ford GT for second in class, with the #67 Ford remaining third at the ninth hour.

A spin for the fellow Ford of Olivier Pla led to an investigation for the contact between the #66 Ford and the #94 CORE Porsche of Sven Muller.

The #63 Corvette, the sole entry from the brand left in the race, slipped from second to fourth in class during the hour.

BMW's difficult Le Mans farewell continued with Formula E racer Antonio Felix da Costa down in 11th in class, with DTM driver Philipp Eng circulating 16th in class among the GTE Am runners.

Eng's #81 MTEK BMW M8 GTE had lost over 10 minutes at the last pitstop that put it at the bottom of the GTE Pro field.

The GTE Am class-leading Keating Motorsports Ford GT continued to run at the head of the field untroubled in the hands of Jeroen Bleekemolen, managing a buffer of almost two minutes.

Positions after nine hours

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 145
2 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso 145 + 7.284s
3 LMP1 #17 BR Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Sirotkin 143 + 2 Laps
4 LMP1 #11 BR Petrov, Aleshin, Vandoorne 143 + 21.194s
5 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Laurent, Berthon, Menezes 143 + 1m31.288s
6 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Jani, Lotterer, Senna 140 + 5 Laps
7 LMP2 #26 Aurus Rusinov, Van Uitert, Vergne 139 + 6 Laps
8 LMP2 #36 Alpine Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet 138 + 7 Laps
9 LMP2 #31 Oreca Gonzalez, Maldonado, Davidson 138 + 1m33.150s
10 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Richelmi, Aubry 138 + 1m48.753s
11 LMP2 #37 Oreca Heinemeier-Hansson, King, Taylor 138 + 3m04.037s
12 LMP2 #22 Ligier Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 137 + 8 Laps
13 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval 137 + 1m18.325s
14 LMP2 #32 Ligier Cullen, Brundle, Owen 137 + 3m04.600s
15 LMP2 #48 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas 137 + 3m10.041s
16 LMP2 #23 Ligier Binder, Canal, Stevens 136 + 9 Laps
17 LMP2 #30 Oreca Jamin, Ragues, Dumas 136 + 59.264s
18 LMP2 #25 Oreca Zollinger, Pizzitola, Falb 135 + 10 Laps
19 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi 134 + 11 Laps
20 LMP2 #43 Oreca Farano, Maini, Nato 134 + 1m08.417s
21 LMP2 #50 Ligier Creed, Ricci, Boulle 134 + 1m58.841s
22 LMP2 #39 Oreca Gommendy, Capillaire, Hirschi 134 + 2m54.124s
23 LMP2 #29 Dallara Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, De Vries 132 + 13 Laps
24 LMP2 #20 Oreca Fjordbach, Andersen, Beche 132 + 1m20.813s
25 LMP2 #49 Ligier Konopka, Enqvist, Tereschenko 131 + 14 Laps
26 LMP2 #34 Ligier Smiechowski, Winslow, Moore 128 + 17 Laps
27 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 128 + 14m06.009s
28 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 128 + 14m06.797s
29 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Bomarito 128 + 14m16.865s
30 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller 128 + 14m17.935s
31 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 128 + 14m53.434s
32 GTE Pro #93 Porsche Pilet, Bamber, Tandy 128 + 15m33.467s
33 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 128 + 15m34.955s
34 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki 128 + 15m45.917s
35 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 128 + 16m03.633s
36 GTE Pro #94 Porsche Muller, Jaminet, Olsen 128 + 17m34.702s
37 GTE Pro #82 BMW Farfus, Da Costa, Krohn 127 + 18 Laps
38 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Turner 127 + 10.841s
39 GTE Pro #97 Aston Martin, Lynn, Adam 127 + 23.814s
40 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 127 + 37.909s
41 GTE Pro #89 Ferrari Derani, Jarvis, Gounon 127 + 2m16.281s
42 GTE Am #85 Ford Keating, Bleekemolen, Fraga 126 + 19 Laps
43 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Segal, Baptista, Lu 125 + 20 Laps
44 GTE Am #56 Porsche Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti 125 + 12.371s
45 GTE Am #77 Porsche Campbell, Ried, Andlauer 125 + 1m09.740s
46 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood 125 + 1m11.938s
47 GTE Pro #81 BMW Catsburg, Tomczyk, Eng 125 + 1m16.867s
48 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Macneil, Vilander, Smith 125 + 1m45.132s
49 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Perez-Companc, Griffin, Cressoni 124 + 21 Laps
50 GTE Am #78 Porsche Prette, Prette, Abril 124 + 1m24.137s
51 GTE Am #57 Ferrari Kimura, Cozzolino, Ledogar 123 + 22 Laps
52 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Preining 123 + 22.281s
53 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Gostner, Frey, Gatting 123 + 1m40.743s
54 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 123 + 2m03.106s
55 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever 122 + 23 Laps
56 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Piccini 121 + 24 Laps
57 LMP1 #4 Enso Dillmann, Webb, Ruberti 108 + 37 Laps
58 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 87 + 58 Laps
59 GTE Am #88 Porsche Hoshino, Roda Jr, Cairoli 79 + 66 Laps
60 LMP1 #10 BR Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande 76 + 69 Laps
61 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 82 + 63 Laps


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Le Mans 24 Hours: Alonso's #8 Toyota leads after Lopez errors
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Le Mans 24 Hours: #7 Toyota edges clear in lead battle after safety car

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