Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche holds one-two into race's final quarter

The #19 Porsche driven by Nick Tandy is firmly in control of the Le Mans 24 Hours with a quarter of the race remaining

Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche holds one-two into race's final quarter

Tandy took over the leading 919 Hybrid when Nico Hulkenberg brought it into the pits for refuelling under the safety car, which had been deployed because of a big accident for the #96 GTE Am Aston Martin of Roald Goethe at the exit of the Porsche Curves.

Porsche rolled the car into the garage for some minor bodywork repairs during this stop, but it did not cost any time because Tandy would have had to queue at the pit exit to wait for the next safety car anyway.

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The Porsche had been in the same group as the second-placed #9 Audi of Rene Rast and the #17 Porsche of Mark Webber, so dropped into the next safety-car pack when it re-emerged.

As a result, the lead of a little over two minutes that Hulkenberg had before the safety car period was preserved.

Webber passed Rast for second shortly after the restart and started to pull away from the Audi as Porsche established itself in first and second positions.

Following a stop for fuel late in the hour, Tandy has a lead of approach two-and-a-half minutes over Webber.

The #7 Audi, delayed this morning by shedding some bodywork in the Porsche Curves, runs fourth ahead of the sister machine driven by Oliver Jarvis.

The third Porsche of Neel Jani is still running after losing time to a couple of off-track excursions earlier in the race, running two laps down.

As they have throughout the race, the two Toyotas have not been able to get close to the Audis or Porsches on pace.

They run seventh and eighth, with Alex Wurz and Sebastien Buemi at the wheel.

LMP2

KCMG maintains a one-lap lead in LMP2, with Richard Bradley behind the wheel.

Another hour in the class ticked by without drama, barring a spin for Krohn Racing, as Bradley added to the team's advantage over Julien Canal in the G-Drive (OAK) Ligier.

At the same time, Oliver Turvey has been chipping away at Jota Sport's deficit to Canal, reducing the gap from 3m30s to an even three minutes during the hour.

Murphy Prototypes remains fourth with Mark Patterson, ahead of Pipo Derani in the second G-Drive entry and OAK Racing's Honda-powered Ligier, driven by Christopher Cumming.

GTE

Toni Vilander in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari holds a seven-second lead in GTE Pro over Oliver Gavin's #64 Corvette.

Gavin led before the safety car period late in hour 17, and both entries took the opportunity to pit while the field was slowed early in the 18th.

However, Vilander pitted a lap before Gavin, enough to gain a spot further up the queue in their safety car group, and he set about building a lead, while Jorg Bergmeister is third in the best of the Porsches, two minutes adrift.

The #98 Aston is continuing its march towards GTE Am honours, with Paul Dalla Lana three minutes ahead of Victor Shaitar in the SMP Racing Ferrari.

POSITIONS AFTER 18 HOURS

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #19 Porsche Hulkenberg, Bamber, Tandy 291
2 LMP1 #17 Porsche Bernhard, Webber, Hartley 290 + 1 Lap
3 LMP1 #9 Audi Albuquerque, Bonanomi, Rast 290 + 48.338s
4 LMP1 #7 Audi Fassler, Lotterer, Treluyer 289 + 2 Laps
5 LMP1 #8 Audi Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis 288 + 3 Laps
6 LMP1 #18 Porsche Dumas, Jani, Lieb 287 + 4 Laps
7 LMP1 #2 Toyota Wurz, Sarrazin, Conway 284 + 7 Laps
8 LMP1 #1 Toyota Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima 282 + 9 Laps
9 LMP2 #47 Oreca Howson, Bradley, Lapierre 264 + 27 Laps
10 LMP2 #26 Ligier Rusinov, Canal, Bird 263 + 28 Laps
11 LMP2 #38 Gibson Dolan, Evans, Turvey 262 + 29 Laps
12 LMP2 #48 Oreca Chandhok, Patterson, Berthon 261 + 30 Laps
13 LMP2 #28 Ligier Yacaman, Derani, Gonzalez 261 + 1m07.778s
14 LMP2 #34 Ligier Cumming, Vanthoor, Estre 260 + 31 Laps
15 LMP2 #42 Dome Leventis, Watts, Kane 258 + 33 Laps
16 LMP1 #13 Rebellion Imperatori, Kraihamer, Abt 250 + 41 Laps
17 LMP2 #27 BR Mediani, Markozov, Minassian 250 + 1m04.152s
18 LMP2 #31 Ligier Brown, Van Overbeek, Fogarty 249 + 42 Laps
19 LMP2 #45 Oreca Ibanez, Perret, Bellarosa 249 + 1m25.612s
20 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Bruni, Vilander, Fisichella 248 + 43 Laps
21 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Taylor 248 + 8.103s
22 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Christensen, Bergmeister 247 + 44 Laps
23 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 246 + 45 Laps
24 LMP2 #35 Ligier Nicolet, Merlin, Maris 246 + 1m54.854s
25 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Calado, Beretta 246 + 2m56.376s
26 GTE Am #72 Ferrari Shaytar, Bertolini, Basov 245 + 46 Laps
27 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Nygaard 245 + 12.451s
28 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Sweedler, Bell, Segal 244 + 47 Laps
29 GTE Am #77 Porsche Dempsey, Long, Seefried 243 + 48 Laps
30 GTE Am #53 Dodge Bleekemolen, Keating, Miller 243 + 1m55.063s
31 LMP2 #29 Morgan Roussel, Tung, Cheng 242 + 49 Laps
32 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Aguas 242 + 2m22.689s
33 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Griffin, Mortimer 241 + 50 Laps
34 LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost, Heidfeld, Beche 240 + 51 Laps
35 LMP2 #30 Ligier Sharp, Dalziel, Heinemeier Hansson 239 + 52 Laps
36 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mann, Giammaria, Cressoni 239 + 4m37.940s
37 LMP2 #40 Ligier Krohn, Jonsson, Barbosa 235 + 56 Laps
38 GTE Am #68 Porsche Chen, Vannelet, Parisy 235 + 2.684s
39 GTE Am #66 Ferrari Al Faisal, Giermaziak, Avenatti 233 + 58 Laps
40 GTE Am #67 Porsche Chen, Kapadia, Maassen 233 + 1m44.079s
41 LMP2 #37 BR Aleshin, Ladygin, Ladygin 232 + 59 Laps
42 GTE Pro #99 Aston Rees, Macdowall, Stanaway 231 + 60 Laps
43 LMP1 #4 CLM Trummer, Kaffer, Monteiro 199 + 92 Laps
44 LMP1 #23 Nissan Pla, Mardenborough, Chilton 193 + 98 Laps
45 LMP1 #22 Nissan Tincknell, Krumm, Buncombe 192 + 99 Laps
46 GTE Am #96 Aston Goethe, Hall, Castellacci 187 + 104 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: Nico Hulkenberg leads for Porsche amid safety car

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