Le Mans 24 Hours H13: Late slow zone gives Lopez Alonso reprieve

A late slow zone in the 24 Hours of Le Mans gave Jose Maria Lopez breathing space from the chasing Fernando Alonso in the second Toyota TS050 HYBRID

Le Mans 24 Hours H13: Late slow zone gives Lopez Alonso reprieve

Alonso is on a quadruple stint to Lopez's three and radioed Toyota to ask if it wanted him to do a fifth stint, having grown comfortable with night running.

He consistently took several seconds out of Lopez per lap approaching the 13th hour, notably taking a five second cut out of Lopez in the closing minutes.

But a late slow zone ballooned the lead out to almost two minutes, although it is expected to dramatically reduce after the slow zone ends.

The Rebellion Racing R-13s swapped positions after Gustavo Menezes's comfortable third place was blighted by what appeared to be an engine problem, with smoke pouring from the engine.

Menezes spent 11 minutes in the garage, meaning the sister Rebellion #1 machine took third in LMP1 thanks to Bruno Senna and his replacement Neel Jani.

Fifth in class belongs to the DragonSpeed BR1 of Renger van der Zande, who has made little ground up in the LMP2 pack and is down in 22nd overall.

Charlie Robertson is now at the wheel of the sixth-placed #5 Manor-Ginetta, with the #11 SMP Racing BR1 of Vitaly Petrov still 12 places further back but running seventh in LMP1.

G-Drive still LMP2's dominant force

Jean-Eric Vergne re-asserted G-Drive Racing's one-lap lead in LMP2 after Nicolas Lapierre had briefly unlapped himself in the #36 Signatech-Alpine.

Vergne took over the #26 ORECA from Roman Rusinov on lap 191 and made his most recent stop shortly before the hour mark on lap 201.

Timothe Buret was second in the Panis-Barthez Competition Ligier, but was nearing the end of a treble stint and had yet to come in for the car's 20th stop.

Two-time class winner Lapierre exited the Signatech-Alpine on lap 199 with Andre Negrao returning to the cockpit, 1m33s behind Buret.

Paul-Loup Chatin continued to hold fourth for IDEC Sport, with Loic Duval (TDS Racing) fifth and Tristan Gommendy sixth in the #39 Graff-So24 ORECA.

The best battle on track for much of the hour was for seventh in LMP2 between the #40 Graff-entered G-Drive ORECA of Jose Gutierrez and Phil Hanson's #22 United Autosport Ligier, with the two cars separated by little more than a second until Gutierrez crashed at the Porsche Curves, putting the car out on the spot.

Thankfully the Mexican emerged from the wreckage unaided.

Porsche keeps GTE Pro one-two

Michael Christensen maintained the #92 Porsche's lead in GTE-Pro over the sister #91 of Gianmaria Bruni.

The two Manthey cars cycled through their 13th pitstops without incident, the gap rising above two minutes.

The pursuing #68 Ford of 2016 winner Dirk Muller was unable to make any inroads into the deficit and remains an isolated third, 45s behind Bruni.

Toni Vilander remains the final car on the lead lap in the #52 Ferrari, with Andy Priaulx and Ryan Briscoe the first cars one lap down running line astern in the #67 and #69 Fords.

In GTE-Am, Julien Andlauer continues to lead the Risi Ferrari of Jeroen Bleekmolen, while three-time Grand Prix winner Giancarlo Fisichella took third from Patrick Lindsay's Project 1 Porsche shortly after Liam Griffin pitted the JMW Ferrari.

Positions after 13 hours

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 179
2 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso 179 + 1m57.202s
3 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Laurent, Beche, Menezes 175 + 4 Laps
4 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Lotterer, Jani, Senna 173 + 6 Laps
5 LMP2 #26 Oreca Rusinov, Pizzitola, Vergne 170 + 9 Laps
6 LMP2 #36 Alpine Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet 169 + 10 Laps
7 LMP2 #23 Ligier Buret, Canal, Stevens 169 + 0.436s
8 LMP2 #48 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas 169 + 2m28.430s
9 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval 169 + 2m36.345s
10 LMP2 #39 Oreca Capillaire, Hirschi, Gommendy 168 + 11 Laps
11 LMP2 #34 Ligier Taylor, Ledogar, Heinemeier-Hansson 168 + 2m33.011s
12 LMP2 #40 Oreca Allen, Gutierrez, Guibbert 168 + 2m40.655s
13 LMP2 #22 Ligier Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 168 + 3m05.572s
14 LMP2 #32 Ligier De Sadeleer, Owen, Montoya 167 + 12 Laps
15 LMP2 #31 Oreca Gonzalez, Maldonado, Berthon 166 + 13 Laps
16 LMP2 #29 Dallara Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, Lammers 166 + 17.681s
17 LMP2 #35 Dallara Shaitar, Newey, Nato 166 + 1m14.999s
18 LMP2 #37 Oreca Jaafar, Jeffri, Tan 164 + 15 Laps
19 LMP2 #44 Ligier Bertolini, Jonsson, Krohn 163 + 16 Laps
20 LMP2 #33 Ligier Cheng, Boulle, Nicolet 163 + 18.303s
21 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Nasr 162 + 17 Laps
22 LMP2 #50 Ligier Creed, Ricci, Dagoneau 161 + 18 Laps
23 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 159 + 20 Laps
24 LMP1 #10 BR Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande 158 + 21 Laps
25 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Richelmi, Aubry 158 + 40.136s
26 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki 158 + 1m45.277s
27 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 158 + 2m40.325s
28 GTE Pro #52 Ferrari Vilander, Giovinazzi, Derani 158 + 3m18.927s
29 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 157 + 22 Laps
30 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Kanaan 157 + 2.379s
31 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller 157 + 22.573s
32 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 157 + 2m10.606s
33 GTE Pro #82 BMW Farfus, Felix Da Costa, Sims 156 + 23 Laps
34 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Turner 156 + 52.173s
35 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 155 + 24 Laps
36 GTE Pro #81 BMW Tomczyk, Catsburg, Eng 155 + 2m28.812s
37 GTE Am #77 Porsche Campbell, Ried, Andlauer 154 + 25 Laps
38 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 154 + 1m23.123s
39 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Griffin, Macneil, Segal 154 + 1m43.812s
40 GTE Am #85 Ferrari Keating, Bleekemolen, Stolz 154 + 1m52.557s
41 GTE Pro #97 Aston Lynn, Martin, Adam 154 + 2m21.136s
42 GTE Am #88 Porsche Cairoli, Al Qubaisi, Roda 153 + 26 Laps
43 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 153 + 0.547s
44 GTE Am #56 Porsche Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti 153 + 1m06.898s
45 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 153 + 1m29.312s
46 GTE Am #99 Porsche Long, Pappas, Pumpelly 153 + 2m26.421s
47 GTE Am #80 Porsche Babini, Nielsen, Maris 152 + 27 Laps
48 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mok, Griffin, Sawa 152 + 1m31.737s
49 LMP1 #5 Ginetta Robertson, Simpson, Roussel 152 + 4m28.593s
50 GTE Pro #93 Porsche Pilet, Tandy, Bamber 151 + 28 Laps
51 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood 150 + 29 Laps
52 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Davison 149 + 30 Laps
53 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever 146 + 33 Laps
54 LMP1 #6 Ginetta Rowland, Brundle, Turvey 137 + 42 Laps
55 LMP1 #11 BR Petrov, Aleshin, Button 128 + 51 Laps
56 LMP1 #17 BR Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Isaakyan 123 + 56 Laps
57 LMP2 #25 Ligier Patterson, De Jong, Kim 118 + 61 Laps
58 GTE Pro #94 Porsche Dumas, Bernhard, Muller 92 + 87 Laps
59 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 92 + 6m08.912s
60 LMP1 #4 Enso Webb, Kraihamer, Dillmann 65 + 114 Laps
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Le Mans 24 Hours: Alonso catching Lopez at 12-hour mark

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About this article

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