Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche still in control as day breaks

The #7 Audi is struggling to make inroads into the lead of the #19 Porsche with nine hours remaining of the Le Mans 24 Hours as the sun starts to rise

Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche still in control as day breaks

Benoit Treluyer did chip away at Earl Bamber's lead on track, and when the New Zealander was forced to park askew in his pit-box thanks to the proximity of the Scuderia Corsa GTE Am Ferrari in the adjacent pit, the team had to lift him onto the jacks and re-orient him.

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This meant that Bamber spent 10 seconds longer in the pits than he had on his previous stop and Treluyer's stop three laps later was around five seconds faster.

The gap was just over 50 seconds after both had stopped.

But Bamber then responded late in the hour with some fast laps to push his advantage back up to 56s - only a few seconds less than it was an hour ago, suggesting that while the Audi is gaining, it is not doing so anywhere near fast enough.

Filipe Albuquerque holds third place in the #9 Audi and remains within two minutes of the lead, with the #17 Porsche of Brendon Hartley remaining on the lead lap.

Lucas di Grassi holds fifth in the #8 Audi, which has close to a one-lap advantage over the #18 Porsche driven by Romain Dumas.

The Toyotas are down in seventh and eighth, with Mike Conway and Kazuki Nakajima able to do nothing more than just plug away and hope that attrition among the Audis and Porsches allows them to climb the order.

A lengthy stay in the pits means that the lead Rebellion has dropped out of the top 10, with the two cars now running 15th and 27th.

LMP2

KCMG's march at the front of LMP2 continues, as TDS Racing joined the list of retirees.

TDS had been KCMG's closest challenger, and the only other car on the lead lap, before being hit by a GTE Aston in the dying minutes of the 14th hour.

It was carted back to the pits and attempts to repair the ORECA have been in vain.

Matt Howson leads Sam Bird in the G-Drive (OAK) Ligier by more than one lap, with Karun Chandhok third for Murphy Prototypes a further 2m46s behind, while Jota Sport continues in fourth.

GTE

AF Corse's #51 Ferrari ended the hour as the GTE Pro leader, as it alternates top spot with the #64 Corvette between pitstops.

Following its clash with the LMP2 TDS entry, the #99 Aston spent the bulk of the hour in pit lane with repairs being carried out, dropping 13 laps and to sixth before returning to the track in the closing minutes.

Gianmaria Bruni enjoyed a stint on top before pitting to hand the Ferrari over to Giancarlo Fisichella, who sat second until Jordan Taylor pitted in the Corvette at the end of the 15th hour.

In GTE Am, Pedro Lamy has reasserted the #98 Aston's authority, leading the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari by 36s.

POSITIONS AFTER 15 HOURS

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #19 Porsche Hulkenberg, Bamber, Tandy 244
2 LMP1 #7 Audi Fassler, Lotterer, Treluyer 244 + 56.306s
3 LMP1 #9 Audi Albuquerque, Bonanomi, Rast 243 + 1 Lap
4 LMP1 #17 Porsche Bernhard, Webber, Hartley 243 + 1m26.264s
5 LMP1 #8 Audi Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis 242 + 2 Laps
6 LMP1 #18 Porsche Dumas, Jani, Lieb 241 + 3 Laps
7 LMP1 #2 Toyota Wurz, Sarrazin, Conway 239 + 5 Laps
8 LMP1 #1 Toyota Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima 236 + 8 Laps
9 LMP2 #47 Oreca Howson, Bradley, Lapierre 221 + 23 Laps
10 LMP2 #26 Ligier Rusinov, Canal, Bird 220 + 24 Laps
11 LMP2 #48 Oreca Chandhok, Patterson, Berthon 219 + 25 Laps
12 LMP2 #38 Gibson Dolan, Evans, Turvey 219 + 1m57.023s
13 LMP2 #28 Ligier Yacaman, Derani, Gonzalez 218 + 26 Laps
14 LMP2 #34 Ligier Cumming, Vanthoor, Estre 218 + 2m48.739s
15 LMP1 #13 Rebellion Imperatori, Kraihamer, Abt 216 + 28 Laps
16 LMP2 #42 Dome Leventis, Watts, Kane 216 + 50.827s
17 LMP2 #31 Ligier Brown, Van Overbeek, Fogarty 209 + 35 Laps
18 LMP2 #45 Oreca Ibanez, Perret, Bellarosa 209 + 1m26.941s
19 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Bruni, Vilander, Fisichella 208 + 36 Laps
20 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Taylor 208 + 4.920s
21 LMP2 #27 BR Mediani, Markozov, Minassian 208 + 42.430s
22 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Christensen, Bergmeister 207 + 37 Laps
23 LMP2 #35 Ligier Nicolet, Merlin, Maris 207 + 1m37.071s
24 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 206 + 38 Laps
25 GTE Am #72 Ferrari Shaytar, Bertolini, Basov 206 + 39.011s
26 LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost, Heidfeld, Beche 205 + 39 Laps
27 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Calado, Beretta 205 + 54.005s
28 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Nygaard 205 + 1m16.493s
29 LMP2 #46 Oreca Thiriet, Badey, Gommendy 204 + 40 Laps
30 GTE Am #77 Porsche Dempsey, Long, Seefried 204 + 46m49.749s
31 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Sweedler, Bell, Segal 204 + 46m57.087s
32 LMP2 #29 Morgan Roussel, Tung, Cheng 203 + 41 Laps
33 GTE Am #53 Dodge Bleekemolen, Keating, Miller 203 + 4.737s
34 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Griffin, Mortimer 203 + 1m21.575s
35 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Aguas 202 + 42 Laps
36 GTE Am #68 Porsche Chen, Vannelet, Parisy 200 + 44 Laps
37 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mann, Giammaria, Cressoni 199 + 45 Laps
38 LMP2 #30 Ligier Sharp, Dalziel, Heinemeier Hansson 197 + 47 Laps
39 LMP2 #40 Ligier Krohn, Jonsson, Barbosa 196 + 48 Laps
40 GTE Pro #99 Aston Rees, Macdowall, Stanaway 195 + 49 Laps
41 GTE Am #67 Porsche Chen, Kapadia, Maassen 195 + 1m59.958s
42 GTE Am #66 Ferrari Al Faisal, Giermaziak, Avenatti 194 + 50 Laps
43 LMP2 #37 BR Aleshin, Ladygin, Ladygin 190 + 54 Laps
44 LMP1 #4 CLM Trummer, Kaffer, Monteiro 171 + 73 Laps
45 LMP1 #23 Nissan Pla, Mardenborough, Chilton 169 + 75 Laps
46 LMP1 #22 Nissan Tincknell, Krumm, Buncombe 167 + 77 Laps
47 GTE Am #96 Aston Goethe, Hall, Castellacci 164 + 80 Laps
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: Porsche's Earl Bamber keeps Audi at bay

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