Le Mans 24 Hours: Nico Hulkenberg leads for Porsche amid safety car

Nico Hulkenberg continues to lead the Le Mans 24 Hours for Porsche, with the race under the safety car at the end of the 17th hour

Le Mans 24 Hours: Nico Hulkenberg leads for Porsche amid safety car

The #19 Porsche driver held a lead of over two minutes over the #9 Audi driven by Rene Rast when the #96 GTE Am Aston Martin driven by Roald Goethe spun unto the wall at the exit of Porsche Curves moments after being lapped by Hulkenberg - potentially as a result of light contact with the leader.

The impact with the wall did significant damage to the Aston Martin. The team has confirmed that Goethe has been communicating after the accident and is on his way to the medical centre.

With Rast having made a pitstop just before the safety car, the top two cars are currently running nose-to-tail with Hulkenberg almost a lap ahead.

But with a pitstop for fuel imminent for Hulkenberg, he is set to drop into the next safety-car group back, which will reduce his lead.

Mark Webber holds third place in the #17 Porsche and is running in the same one of the three safety-car packs as the top two, just over a lap off the lead.

The #7 Audi of Marcel Fassler holds fourth place after repairs for engine-cover damage in the previous hour.

It runs ahead of the #8 Audi driven by Oliver Jarvis, with the #18 Porsche of Neel Jani in sixth.

Toyota rounds out the top eight with Alex Wurz and Sebastien Buemi at the wheel of its two cars.

LMP2

Defending LMP2 winner Jota Sport moved into the top three for the first time since the opening hour of the race.

The car lost two laps with a gear selection problem early, and suffered a puncture overnight, but Oliver Turvey climbed into third place during the 17th hour.

He did so when Karun Chandhok pitted the Murphy Prototypes ORECA for the first time in the hour, with Mark Patterson now in fourth place after a second stop during the safety car period.

KCMG remains in control, with Richard Bradley back behind the wheel, and it remains a lap clear of the second-placed G-Drive (OAK) Ligier, with Julien Canal replacing Sam Bird.

The safety car groupings have been kind to Jota, which is now back on the same lap as the G-Drive entry.

GTE

Corvette Racing's #64 entry leads GTE once again, through Oliver Gavin.

Giancarlo Fisichella led by 64 seconds in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari before pitting and handing over to Toni Vilander, the team using the stop to make its brake change.

That meant Gavin reclaimed an 11s advantage, which grew when Vilander pitted during the safety car period and had to wait for the next group.

After replacing Pedro Lamy, Paul Dalla Lana leads GTE Am in the #98 Aston Martin, with a sizeable buffer over the SMP Racing Ferrari currently driven by Andrea Bertolini.

POSITIONS AFTER 17 HOURS

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #19 Porsche Hulkenberg, Bamber, Tandy 275
2 LMP1 #9 Audi Albuquerque, Bonanomi, Rast 274 + 1 Lap
3 LMP1 #17 Porsche Bernhard, Webber, Hartley 274 + 5.316s
4 LMP1 #7 Audi Fassler, Lotterer, Treluyer 273 + 2 Laps
5 LMP1 #8 Audi Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis 273 + 4m18.749s
6 LMP1 #18 Porsche Dumas, Jani, Lieb 272 + 3 Laps
7 LMP1 #2 Toyota Wurz, Sarrazin, Conway 269 + 6 Laps
8 LMP1 #1 Toyota Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima 267 + 8 Laps
9 LMP2 #47 Oreca Howson, Bradley, Lapierre 249 + 26 Laps
10 LMP2 #26 Ligier Rusinov, Canal, Bird 248 + 27 Laps
11 LMP2 #38 Gibson Dolan, Evans, Turvey 248 + 4m43.458s
12 LMP2 #48 Oreca Chandhok, Patterson, Berthon 247 + 28 Laps
13 LMP2 #28 Ligier Yacaman, Derani, Gonzalez 247 + 1m25.929s
14 LMP2 #34 Ligier Cumming, Vanthoor, Estre 246 + 29 Laps
15 LMP2 #42 Dome Leventis, Watts, Kane 244 + 31 Laps
16 LMP2 #31 Ligier Brown, Van Overbeek, Fogarty 236 + 39 Laps
17 LMP2 #27 BR Mediani, Markozov, Minassian 236 + 7.539s
18 LMP1 #13 Rebellion Imperatori, Kraihamer, Abt 235 + 40 Laps
19 LMP2 #45 Oreca Ibanez, Perret, Bellarosa 235 + 18.419s
20 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Taylor 235 + 3m07.674s
21 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Bruni, Vilander, Fisichella 234 + 41 Laps
22 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Christensen, Bergmeister 234 + 7m34.317s
23 LMP2 #35 Ligier Nicolet, Merlin, Maris 233 + 42 Laps
24 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 233 + 1m25.937s
25 GTE Am #72 Ferrari Shaytar, Bertolini, Basov 232 + 43 Laps
26 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Nygaard 232 + 4m34.419s
27 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Calado, Beretta 232 + 4m35.156s
28 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Sweedler, Bell, Segal 231 + 44 Laps
29 GTE Am #77 Porsche Dempsey, Long, Seefried 231 + 2.844s
30 GTE Am #53 Dodge Bleekemolen, Keating, Miller 229 + 46 Laps
31 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Aguas 228 + 47 Laps
32 LMP2 #29 Morgan Roussel, Tung, Cheng 228 + 11.019s
33 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Griffin, Mortimer 228 + 11.742s
34 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mann, Giammaria, Cressoni 226 + 49 Laps
35 LMP2 #30 Ligier Sharp, Dalziel, Heinemeier Hansson 226 + 1m29.277s
36 LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost, Heidfeld, Beche 225 + 50 Laps
37 GTE Am #68 Porsche Chen, Vannelet, Parisy 223 + 52 Laps
38 LMP2 #40 Ligier Krohn, Jonsson, Barbosa 223 + 3m07.430s
39 GTE Am #67 Porsche Chen, Kapadia, Maassen 221 + 54 Laps
40 GTE Am #66 Ferrari Al Faisal, Giermaziak, Avenatti 220 + 55 Laps
41 LMP2 #37 BR Aleshin, Ladygin, Ladygin 218 + 57 Laps
42 GTE Pro #99 Aston Rees, Macdowall, Stanaway 218 + 1m26.493s
43 LMP1 #4 CLM Trummer, Kaffer, Monteiro 189 + 86 Laps
44 GTE Am #96 Aston Goethe, Hall, Castellacci 187 + 88 Laps
45 LMP1 #22 Nissan Tincknell, Krumm, Buncombe 186 + 89 Laps
46 LMP1 #23 Nissan Pla, Mardenborough, Chilton 185 + 90 Laps
47 LMP2 #46 Oreca Thiriet, Badey, Gommendy 204 Retired
48 LMP2 #43 Morgan Ragues, Webb, Amberg 162 Retired
49 LMP1 #21 Nissan Matsuda, Shulzhitskiy, Ordonez 115 Retired
50 LMP2 #36 Alpine Panciatici, Chatin, Capillaire 110 Retired
51 GTE Pro #97 Aston Turner, Mucke, Bell 110 Retired
52 GTE Am #50 Chevrolet Roda, Ruberti, Poulsen 94 Retired
53 LMP2 #41 Gibson Hirsch, Paletou, Lancaster 71 Retired
54 GTE Am #88 Porsche Ried, Al Qubaisi, Bachler 44 Retired
55 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Pilet, Makowiecki, Henzler 14 Retired
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Le Mans 24 Hours: Lead Audi chasing Hulkenberg Porsche hits trouble

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