Le Mans 24 Hours lead battle closes up during sixth hour

Toyota continues to hold the advantage at quarter-distance of the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours, although Stephane Sarrazin's lead has been cut slightly during a lengthy slow zone period

Le Mans 24 Hours lead battle closes up during sixth hour

Barrier repairs were required after contact between the #28 TDS ORECA of Matthieu Vaxiviere and the Risi Compeitizione Ferrari 488 GTE of Pierre Kaffer pitched the GTE car into the guardrail at the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight, and during that time the leading cars concertinaed together.

The #7 Toyota's advantage has now been cut to 26 seconds by the leading Porsche of Andre Lotterer, who in turn has been caught dramatically by Kazuki Nakajima in the second Toyota, which is now just five seconds further back.

The third Toyota is still losing time after its pitstop to close an ajar door in the previous hour put it in an unfortunate position during the slow zone and dropped it almost a whole lap behind Sarrazin up front.

The #2 Porsche continues to run after its earlier front-axle issue but is still 17 laps behind the leaders.

LMP2: REBELLION IN CHARGE

The Rebellion team's pair of ORECA-Gibson 07s were running one-two in LMP2 as the race hit one-quarter distance.

Bruno Senna in the #31 car emerged from the ninth round of pitstops to emerge with a comfortable lead over team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr in the #13.

Julien Canal was a couple of seconds up on David Heinemeier Hansson when the slow zone for the Vaxiviere/Kaffer clash on the Mulsanne Straight began.

The vagaries of the slow zone proceedure increased the gap to more than a minute before the race briefly went green.

Senna was 45s ahead during a brief period of green-flag running, before another slow zone extended his advantage to 1m38s.

Third place was held by Ho-Pin Tung in the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA from the #35 Signatech Alpine entry with Pierre Ragues at the wheel.

ASTON MARTIN STILL LEADS IN GTE

Aston Martin held its GTE Pro lead through to the end of the sixth hour, though the full extent of its net advantage was not clear during the slow zone phase.

Jonny Adam pitted to hand over to Darren Turner on schedule 10 minutes before the turn of the hour and the #97 Vantage emerged still in the lead from the #67 Ford.

Andy Priaulx took over the #67 car from Luis Derani during its routine stop and came under heavy pressure from Marcel Fassler in the #64 Corvette until Fassler stopped to hand over to Oliver Gavin.

That elevated the #66 Ford, now driven by Stefan Mucke, to third in class, but this will be short-lived since it is running out of sync after its puncture during the second hour.

AF Corse took advantage of the long-running slow zone to put Michele Rugolo, the last minute substitute for Lucas di Grassi, into the #51 Ferrari for the first time during this race. It is currently running fourth, ahead of Oliver Gavin in the second Corvette, but will be due a stop shortly after the #66 Ford.

Paul Dalla Lana leads GTE Am in the #98 Aston from the #84 Ferrari of Robert Smith, but this car is due a pitstop that will clear the way for Salih Yoluc in the #90 Aston.

POSITIONS AFTER SIX HOURS

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Sarrazin 93
2 LMP1 #1 Porsche Jani, Lotterer, Tandy 93 + 28.806s
3 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Davidson, Nakajima 93 + 32.718s
4 LMP1 #9 Toyota Lapierre, Kunimoto, Lopez 92 + 1 Lap
5 LMP2 #31 Oreca Prost, Canal, Senna 88 + 5 Laps
6 LMP2 #13 Oreca Piquet Jr, H. Hansson, Beche 88 + 1m38.437s
7 LMP2 #24 Oreca Graves, Hirschi, Vergne 87 + 6 Laps
8 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Laurent, Jarvis 87 + 9.254s
9 LMP2 #37 Oreca Cheng, Gommendy, Brundle 87 + 1m14.507s
10 LMP2 #35 Alpine Panciatici, Ragues, Negrao 87 + 1m41.128s
11 LMP2 #25 Oreca Gonzalez, Trummer, Petrov 87 + 2m20.167s
12 LMP2 #40 Oreca Allen, Matelli, Bradley 87 + 2m57.725s
13 LMP2 #27 Dallara Aleshin, Sirotkin, Shaitar 87 + 3m53.002s
14 LMP2 #32 Ligier Owen, De Sadeleer, Albuquerque 87 + 4m00.920s
15 LMP2 #21 Oreca Hedman, Hanley, Rosenqvist 86 + 7 Laps
16 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Collard 86 + 2m32.658s
17 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi 85 + 8 Laps
18 LMP2 #34 Ligier Moore, Hanson, Chandhok 85 + 34.510s
19 LMP2 #23 Ligier Barthez, Buret, Berthon 85 + 1m41.857s
20 LMP2 #17 Ligier Lafargue, Lafargue, Zollinger 84 + 9 Laps
21 LMP2 #33 Ligier Nicolet, Nicolet, Maris 83 + 10 Laps
22 LMP2 #39 Oreca Guibbert, Trouillet, Winslow 83 + 2m06.290s
23 LMP2 #29 Dallara Lammers, Van Eerd, Barrichello 82 + 11 Laps
24 LMP2 #43 Riley Keating, Bleekemolen, Taylor 82 + 2m57.661s
25 GTE Pro #97 Aston Turner, Adam, Serra 81 + 12 Laps
26 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Derani 81 + 1m57.150s
27 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 81 + 1m58.166s
28 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Kanaan 81 + 2m35.291s
29 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 81 + 2m39.533s
30 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 81 + 2m54.550s
31 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 81 + 3m05.268s
32 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Calado, Pier Guidi, Rugolo 81 + 3m09.229s
33 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Makowiecki, Pilet 81 + 3m28.566s
34 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Taylor 81 + 3m43.611s
35 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Stanaway 81 + 3m48.902s
36 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Werner 81 + 4m16.071s
37 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 80 + 13 Laps
38 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Smith, Stevens, Vanthoor 80 + 2.114s
39 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Bell 79 + 14 Laps
40 GTE Am #77 Porsche Ried, Cairoli, Dienst 79 + 3.721s
41 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Macneil, Sweedler, Bell 79 + 28.634s
42 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Scott, Cioci 79 + 2m42.720s
43 GTE Am #65 Ferrari Nielsen, Balzan, Curtis 79 + 3m24.932s
44 GTE Am #99 Aston Howard, Gunn, Bryant 79 + 4m03.625s
45 GTE Am #93 Porsche Long, Al Faisal, Hedlund 79 + 5m17.246s
46 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mok, Sawa, Griffin 78 + 15 Laps
47 LMP2 #36 Alpine Dumas, Menezes, Rao 78 + 1m18.931s
48 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Foster 78 + 1m26.666s
49 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Krohn, Jonsson, Bertolini 78 + 1m54.636s
50 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Beretta 78 + 2m28.418s
51 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Wee, Katoh, Parente 77 + 16 Laps
52 GTE Am #50 Chevrolet Rees, Brandela, Philippon 77 + 53.198s
53 LMP2 #45 Ligier Patterson, Mcmurry, Capillaire 75 + 18 Laps
54 LMP1 #2 Porsche Bernhard, Bamber, Hartley 75 + 1m47.143s
55 LMP2 #22 Oreca Rojas, Hirakawa, Gutierrez 74 + 19 Laps
56 GTE Pro #82 Ferrari Vilander, Fisichella, Kaffer 72 + 21 Laps
57 LMP2 #49 Ligier Konopka, Calko, Breukers 67 + 26 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 after swap but #1 Porsche closing in
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