Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche's Earl Bamber keeps Audi at bay

The #19 Porsche continues to lead the Le Mans 24 Hours with 14 hours completed, in the hands of Earl Bamber

Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche's Earl Bamber keeps Audi at bay

The New Zealander, sharing with Nico Hulkenberg and Nick Tandy has had to get his head down to maintain his advantage over the rapid Benoit Treluyer in the chasing #7 Audi.

The gap was similar at the start of the hour, although Treluyer had yet to make a stop for fuel.

That extended Bamber's lead to over a minute, a gap he maintained so that he was able to make his stop at the end of the 223rd lap and return to the track 12 seconds ahead.

Treluyer then made his stop for fuel just before the top of the hour, which allowed the Porsche to re-establish a lead of just under a minute.

The #9 Audi runs third in the hands of Felipe Albuquerque and remains within two minutes of the lead.

The Portuguese is, however, under pressure with Brendon Hartley in the #17 Porsche setting a strong pace during his stint and closing in.

The #8 Audi, which lost time early in the race when Loic Duval was caught out coming into a slow zone, is over a lap down and runs fifth with Lucas di Grassi at the wheel.

It is battling with the #18 Porsche driven by Romain Dumas, which lost time earlier this morning with an off.

Toyota continues to struggle, with car #2 driven by Stephane Sarrazin and car #1 with Kazuki Nakajima in the cockpit a distant seventh and eighth, ahead of the #13 Rebellion currently driven by Dominik Kraihamer.

Further down the order, two of the three Nissan GTR-LM NISMOs are still running, with Max Chilton in 44th in car #23 and Michael Krumm at the wheel.

LMP2

KCMG's grip on LMP2 tightened when the TDS Racing Ligier that was running second was hit by the #99 GTE Aston at the first Mulsanne chicane.

With both LMP2 squads having completed scheduled stops and changed drivers, Matt Howson led Tristian Gommendy by about 90 seconds before the incident in the final minutes of the hour.

It left the damaged TDS entry in the gravel trap as the hour ended, having already dropped to fifth.

The incident means KCMG now leads by more than one lap, over the #28 G-Drive OAK, despite an unscheduled stop with Roman Rusinov behind the wheel, while Murphy Prototypes and Jota Sport are third and fourth.

GTE

The TDS incident also changed the complexion of the GTE Pro battle.

The #99 Aston had been in the thick of the lead fight all race, and Richie Stanaway had pitted from top spot a short time earlier to hand the car over to Fernando Rees.

Rees started the 15th hour in the garage, with repairs underway on the front-left corner.

Following a pair of pitstops by the #64 Corvette, the lead AF Corse Ferrari holds the class lead.

A Ferrari leads GTE Am, too, with the #72 SMP Racing Ferrari ahead of the #98 Aston, which is now controlled again by Pedro Lamy following Mathias Lauda's stint.

POSITIONS AFTER 14 HOURS

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #19 Porsche Hulkenberg, Bamber, Tandy 226
2 LMP1 #7 Audi Fassler, Lotterer, Treluyer 226 + 10.079s
3 LMP1 #9 Audi Albuquerque, Bonanomi, Rast 226 + 1m49.648s
4 LMP1 #17 Porsche Bernhard, Webber, Hartley 226 + 2m06.649s
5 LMP1 #8 Audi Di Grassi, Duval, Jarvis 225 + 1 Lap
6 LMP1 #18 Porsche Dumas, Jani, Lieb 224 + 2 Laps
7 LMP1 #2 Toyota Wurz, Sarrazin, Conway 222 + 4 Laps
8 LMP1 #1 Toyota Davidson, Buemi, Nakajima 219 + 7 Laps
9 LMP1 #13 Rebellion Imperatori, Kraihamer, Abt 209 + 17 Laps
10 LMP2 #47 Oreca Howson, Bradley, Lapierre 206 + 20 Laps
11 LMP2 #26 Ligier Rusinov, Canal, Bird 204 + 22 Laps
12 LMP2 #48 Oreca Chandhok, Patterson, Berthon 204 + 2m45.403s
13 LMP2 #46 Oreca Thiriet, Badey, Gommendy 203 + 23 Laps
14 LMP2 #38 Gibson Dolan, Evans, Turvey 203 + 5m42.018s
15 LMP2 #28 Ligier Yacaman, Derani, Gonzalez 203 + 9m16.163s
16 LMP2 #34 Ligier Cumming, Vanthoor, Estre 202 + 24 Laps
17 LMP2 #42 Dome Leventis, Watts, Kane 201 + 25 Laps
18 LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost, Heidfeld, Beche 196 + 30 Laps
19 LMP2 #45 Oreca Ibanez, Perret, Bellarosa 195 + 31 Laps
20 LMP2 #31 Ligier Brown, Van Overbeek, Fogarty 194 + 32 Laps
21 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Taylor 194 + 1m13.562s
22 GTE Pro #99 Aston Rees, Macdowall, Stanaway 194 + 2m51.657s
23 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Bruni, Vilander, Fisichella 193 + 33 Laps
24 LMP2 #27 BR Mediani, Markozov, Minassian 193 + 2m23.630s
25 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Christensen, Bergmeister 193 + 3m46.306s
26 LMP2 #35 Ligier Nicolet, Merlin, Maris 192 + 34 Laps
27 GTE Am #72 Ferrari Shaytar, Bertolini, Basov 191 + 35 Laps
28 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 191 + 49.509s
29 LMP2 #29 Morgan Roussel, Tung, Cheng 190 + 36 Laps
30 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Sweedler, Bell, Segal 190 + 58.520s
31 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Nygaard 190 + 1m16.858s
32 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Calado, Beretta 190 + 1m20.578s
33 GTE Am #77 Porsche Dempsey, Long, Seefried 190 + 1m55.475s
34 GTE Am #53 Dodge Bleekemolen, Keating, Miller 189 + 37 Laps
35 GTE Am #55 Ferrari Cameron, Griffin, Mortimer 188 + 38 Laps
36 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Perrodo, Collard, Aguas 187 + 39 Laps
37 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mann, Giammaria, Cressoni 187 + 2m19.066s
38 GTE Am #66 Ferrari Al Faisal, Giermaziak, Avenatti 186 + 40 Laps
39 GTE Am #68 Porsche Chen, Vannelet, Parisy 186 + 29.080s
40 GTE Am #67 Porsche Chen, Kapadia, Maassen 182 + 44 Laps
41 LMP2 #30 Ligier Sharp, Dalziel, Heinemeier Hansson 182 + 15.284s
42 LMP2 #40 Ligier Krohn, Jonsson, Barbosa 181 + 45 Laps
43 LMP2 #37 BR Aleshin, Ladygin, Ladygin 175 + 51 Laps
44 LMP1 #23 Nissan Pla, Mardenborough, Chilton 157 + 69 Laps
45 LMP1 #4 CLM Trummer, Kaffer, Monteiro 157 + 3m40.034s
46 LMP1 #22 Nissan Tincknell, Krumm, Buncombe 154 + 72 Laps
47 GTE Am #96 Aston Goethe, Hall, Castellacci 152 + 74 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 continues to lead in 13th hour

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