Le Mans hour 2: Slow zone helps #7 Toyota take the lead

Toyota continues to lead the Le Mans 24 Hours, as Mike Conway jumped team-mate Sebastien Buemi in the second hour of the race

Le Mans hour 2: Slow zone helps #7 Toyota take the lead

Buemi sat a comfortable distance ahead of Conway in the early part of the hour, but Conway made up time on his team-mate as the pair negotiated their way through heavier traffic.

Conway was later able to make up a heap of time after Buemi stopped - aided by a slow zone from Mulsanne corner to Indianapolis for barrier repairs after Michael Wainwright crashed in the #86 GTE Am Porsche - and emerged with a three-second lead in the #7 TS050 HYBRID when he stopped on lap 32.

Thomas Laurent wrestled third place off SMP driver Stephane Sarrazin in the middle of the hour with a well-executed move at the esses before Tertre Rouge, slipping past a Ferrari GTE Pro car on the inside as Sarrazin went the other way round.

Rebellion driver Laurent stretched his legs over the remainder of the hour and now has a 23-second advantage over the #17 SMP car.

Ben Hanley is ahead of the pitstop schedule as a result of an early visit to the pits in the #10 DragonSpeed BRE-Gibson BR1 and went a lap down during his third stop on lap 25.

He still runs fifth and is a minute clear of the #1 Rebellion - the nose of which hit the DragonSpeed car at the start when it broke free.

The ByKolles car spent more than three minutes in the pits at its most recent stop for a change to the rear end of the car after Tom Dillmann was hit while in traffic and runs 15th, two places ahead of the #6 Manor-Ginetta that lost time on track to a reported "electrical control" issue at the end of the first hour.

The #5 Manor is 25th and a further lap down, while the second SMP car spent the second hour in the pits and is last in the classification.

Vergne continues to lead in LMP2

The #26 G-Drive Racing ORECA continued to lead at the end of the second hour in the hands of Jean-Eric Vergne, as DragonSpeed's assault fell by the wayside.

Vergne extended his advantage over the sister TDS-entered machine of Loic Duval during the second sequence of pitstops, building a lead of up to 25 seconds before Duval pegged him back to around 22 seconds.

After Duval's third stop on lap 28, Vergne stayed out one lap longer, but found his lead had grown to 57 seconds by lap 31 at the close of the hour, due to a slow zone on the approach to Indianapolis.

Andre Negrao has taken over the #36 Signatech-Alpine from Nicolas Lapierre and runs third, ahead of Will Stevens in the Panis-Barthez Competition Ligier and Vincent Capillaire's Graff-So24 Racing ORECA.

After a strong triple-stint from Giedo van der Garde aboard the Racing Team Netherlands Dallara, 1988 winner Jan Lammers runs sixth in his 24th appearance at Le Mans, while the pole-sitting IDEC Sport ORECA has fallen to eighth with Silver-rated Paul Lafargue taking over from Paul-Loup Chatin.

The #31 DragonSpeed ORECA which led the early laps in the hands of Nathanael Berthon dropped three laps down after it lost the right-front wheel on approach to Arnage.

Meanwhile defending class winner Jota Sport's difficult start continued, as Ho-Pin Tung trailed back to the pits with a right-front puncture in the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA.

The sister #37 car with Jazeman Jaafar at the wheel runs in 57th overall after losing several laps to a mechanical problem in the opening minutes of the race.

#92 Porsche holds narrow lead in GTE Pro

Porsche continued to hold a small lead in the GTE Pro battle, with the #92 'Pink Pig' car that took the lead in the opening hour keeping the advantage.

Michael Christensen handed over to Laurens Vanthoor at the second round of stops and the Belgian was able to maintain a small lead of two seconds.

Sebastien Bourdais's #68 Ford and Frederic Makowiecki's #91 Porsche were locked in battle for second, having taken over from Dirk Muller and Gianmaria Bruni respectively, with Makowiecki getting the move done just before the top of the hour.

A further 10 seconds behind, Olivier Pla was fourth in the #66 Ford ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa's #82 BMW, which made solid progress thanks to a rapid stint for Alexander Sims.

Both Ferrari and Corvette suffered problems, as James Calado picked up a puncture in the #51 Ferrari and the #64 Corvette stopped for 13 minutes with suspension damage.

There was likewise drama in GTE Am as Michael Wainwright spun the #86 Gulf Racing Porsche, which had led thanks to Ben Barker's efforts in the first two stints, into the barriers at Indianapolis.

That promoted the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari, now driven by Thomas Flohr into a commanding 48 second lead over Cooper MacNeil's #88 JMW Ferrari and Julien Andlauer in the leading Dempsey-Proton Porsche.

Positions after two hours

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 33
2 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso 33 + 1.516s
3 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Laurent, Beche, Menezes 32 + 1 Lap
4 LMP1 #17 BR Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Isaakyan 32 + 21.530s
5 LMP1 #10 BR Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande 32 + 1m02.857s
6 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Lotterer, Jani, Senna 32 + 2m10.841s
7 LMP2 #26 Oreca Rusinov, Pizzitola, Vergne 32 + 3m46.386s
8 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval 31 + 2 Laps
9 LMP2 #36 Alpine Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet 31 + 21.676s
10 LMP2 #23 Ligier Buret, Canal, Stevens 31 + 31.271s
11 LMP2 #39 Oreca Capillaire, Hirschi, Gommendy 31 + 46.721s
12 LMP2 #29 Dallara Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, Lammers 31 + 57.328s
13 LMP2 #34 Ligier Taylor, Ledogar, Heinemeier-Hansson 31 + 1m15.870s
14 LMP2 #48 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas 31 + 1m16.473s
15 LMP1 #6 Ginetta Rowland, Brundle, Turvey 31 + 1m44.258s
16 LMP1 #4 Enso Webb, Kraihamer, Dillmann 31 + 1m44.441s
17 LMP2 #32 Ligier De Sadeleer, Owen, Montoya 31 + 1m56.877s
18 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Nasr 31 + 3m08.542s
19 LMP2 #35 Dallara Shaitar, Newey, Nato 30 + 3 Laps
20 LMP2 #40 Oreca Allen, Gutierrez, Guibbert 30 + 24.559s
21 LMP2 #33 Ligier Cheng, Boulle, Nicolet 30 + 55.533s
22 LMP2 #50 Ligier Creed, Ricci, Dagoneau 30 + 1m58.295s
23 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Richelmi, Aubry 30 + 2m09.421s
24 LMP2 #22 Ligier Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 30 + 2m20.526s
25 LMP1 #5 Ginetta Robertson, Simpson, Roussel 30 + 2m44.433s
26 LMP2 #25 Ligier Patterson, De Jong, Kim 30 + 3m05.990s
27 LMP2 #44 Ligier Bertolini, Jonsson, Krohn 29 + 4 Laps
28 LMP2 #31 Oreca Gonzalez, Maldonado, Berthon 29 + 2m54.505s
29 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 29 + 3m31.201s
30 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 29 + 3m32.943s
31 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki 29 + 3m33.517s
32 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 29 + 3m43.659s
33 GTE Pro #82 BMW Farfus, Felix Da Costa, Sims 29 + 3m46.190s
34 GTE Pro #93 Porsche Pilet, Tandy, Bamber 29 + 3m48.534s
35 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Kanaan 29 + 3m49.236s
36 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 29 + 3m49.917s
37 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller 29 + 4m01.308s
38 GTE Pro #81 BMW Tomczyk, Catsburg, Eng 29 + 4m01.621s
39 GTE Pro #52 Ferrari Vilander, Giovinazzi, Derani 29 + 4m05.911s
40 GTE Pro #94 Porsche Dumas, Bernhard, Muller 29 + 4m14.527s
41 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 29 + 4m55.364s
42 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 29 + 5m58.184s
43 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Turner 29 + 5m59.067s
44 GTE Pro #97 Aston Lynn, Martin, Adam 28 + 5 Laps
45 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Griffin, Macneil, Segal 28 + 21.346s
46 GTE Am #77 Porsche Campbell, Ried, Andlauer 28 + 27.664s
47 GTE Am #88 Porsche Cairoli, Al Qubaisi, Roda 28 + 35.906s
48 GTE Am #99 Porsche Long, Pappas, Pumpelly 28 + 1m22.151s
49 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mok, Griffin, Sawa 28 + 1m24.354s
50 GTE Am #80 Porsche Babini, Nielsen, Maris 28 + 1m24.736s
51 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 28 + 1m30.628s
52 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 28 + 1m57.701s
53 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood 28 + 1m59.978s
54 GTE Am #85 Ferrari Keating, Bleekemolen, Stolz 28 + 2m14.874s
55 GTE Am #56 Porsche Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti 28 + 2m34.944s
56 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever 28 + 2m38.342s
57 LMP2 #37 Oreca Jaafar, Jeffri, Tan 27 + 6 Laps
58 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 26 + 7 Laps
59 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Davison 25 + 8 Laps
60 LMP1 #11 BR Petrov, Aleshin, Button 18 + 15 Laps
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Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota holds early one-two after frantic start

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Author Jack Cozens
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