Le Mans hour 22: Nakajima takes over leading Toyota from Alonso

Kazuki Nakajima is in the in the leading #8 TS050 HYBRID with a buffer of more than 90 seconds in his run to the chequered flag at the Le Mans 24 Hours

Le Mans hour 22: Nakajima takes over leading Toyota from Alonso

Kamui Kobayashi is in the seat of the #7 Toyota, and there will not be another driver change for either of the Japanese manufacturer's cars before the end of the race if everything goes to plan.

The battle for best privateer took another twist when Neel Jani was forced to abandon a stint early after his door flew open, which allowed the sister #3 car of Gustavo Menezes to pass for third.

Jani then pitted again at the close of the hour and the #1 Rebellion R-13 trails the other car by just over 90 seconds.

Vitaly Petrov has continued to make progress in the #11 SMP Racing BR1 and is now 41st overall, with his lap times on a par with the two Rebellion LMP1 cars ahead of him in the class.

Charlie Robertson continues to lap in the sole remaining Manor-Ginetta that has no chance of finishing above sixth - the last running LMP1 machine.

G-Drive holds firm in LMP2

A terminal gearbox problem has forced the retirement of the polesitting IDEC Sport ORECA as the #26 G-Drive crew continues its march to LMP2 class honours.

Roman Rusinov took over the TDS-run ORECA on lap 333 from Andrea Pizzitola and retains the car's two-lap lead over Andre Negrao in the #36 Signatech-Alpine.

The battle for third swung in favour of the #39 Graff-So24 ORECA driven by Jonathan Hirschi in the 21st hour after a cracked gearbox casing cost Paul Lafargue two laps in the #48 IDEC car, which subsequently returned to the circuit to complete two slow laps before returning to the pits.

Hirschi was challenged by Juan-Pablo Montoya in the #32 United Autosports Ligier, but the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner's pace faded late in the stint, leaving team-mate Hugo de Sadeleer a 36s deficit to make up.

Matthieu Vaxiviere remains fifth in the #28 TDS Racing ORECA, a minute behind Hirschi, while the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA has taken advantage of others' problems to hold down a top six berth, albeit eight laps behind Rusinov.

Porsche holds one-two again

Porsche edged closer to GTE Pro victory with two hours to go, with the #92 car maintaining a lead of over two minutes.

Kevin Estre took over the wheel of the 'Pink Pig' retro-themed car from Michael Christensen, and was 2m09s clear of team-mate Richard Lietz in the #91 Rothmans-coloured machine at the top of the hour after the Austrian took over from Frederic Makowiecki.

The two leading Fords continue to hold third and fourth, with Joey Hand trailing the #91 Porsche by just under eight seconds and Harry Tincknell a further minute back.

Behind the fifth-placed #63 Corvette lie the #51 and #52 AF Corse Ferraris, the latter of which was hit by a two minute stop-and-go penalty for speeding in a slow zone.

Electrical issues for the #69 Ford meant the #52 Ferrari didn't drop a place, though, having already slipped behind the sister #51 machine in the previous hour.

Dempsey-Proton continued its domination of GTE Am, with Matt Campbell taking over the #77 Porsche from Julien Andlauer and extending the lead gap to 3m47s.

A spin for Ben Keating at Mulsanne corner in the #85 Ferrari means the #54 Spirit of Race 488 GTE is now looking a strong bet for second, with nearly two minutes in hand.

Positions after 22 hours

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso 353
2 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 353 + 1m33.338s
3 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Laurent, Beche, Menezes 341 + 12 Laps
4 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Lotterer, Jani, Senna 341 + 1m28.902s
5 LMP2 #26 Oreca Rusinov, Pizzitola, Vergne 336 + 17 Laps
6 LMP2 #36 Alpine Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet 333 + 20 Laps
7 LMP2 #39 Oreca Capillaire, Hirschi, Gommendy 332 + 21 Laps
8 LMP2 #32 Ligier De Sadeleer, Owen, Montoya 332 + 34.961s
9 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval 332 + 1m35.738s
10 LMP2 #37 Oreca Jaafar, Jeffri, Tan 327 + 26 Laps
11 LMP2 #31 Oreca Gonzalez, Maldonado, Berthon 327 + 1m49.754s
12 LMP2 #29 Dallara Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, Lammers 324 + 29 Laps
13 LMP2 #44 Ligier Bertolini, Jonsson, Krohn 323 + 30 Laps
14 LMP2 #33 Ligier Cheng, Boulle, Nicolet 322 + 31 Laps
15 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Richelmi, Aubry 322 + 1m07.557s
16 LMP2 #23 Ligier Buret, Canal, Stevens 318 + 35 Laps
17 LMP2 #35 Dallara Shaitar, Newey, Nato 317 + 36 Laps
18 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 312 + 41 Laps
19 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki 312 + 2m09.919s
20 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 312 + 2m18.070s
21 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Kanaan 311 + 42 Laps
22 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller 311 + 1m34.192s
23 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 311 + 4m31.927s
24 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 310 + 43 Laps
25 GTE Pro #52 Ferrari Vilander, Giovinazzi, Derani 310 + 2m39.876s
26 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Nasr 309 + 44 Laps
27 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 309 + 1m33.378s
28 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Turner 308 + 45 Laps
29 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 307 + 46 Laps
30 GTE Am #77 Porsche Campbell, Ried, Andlauer 305 + 48 Laps
31 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 304 + 49 Laps
32 GTE Am #85 Ferrari Keating, Bleekemolen, Stolz 303 + 50 Laps
33 GTE Pro #81 BMW Tomczyk, Catsburg, Eng 303 + 32.564s
34 GTE Am #56 Porsche Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti 303 + 34.609s
35 GTE Am #99 Porsche Long, Pappas, Pumpelly 303 + 1m04.945s
36 GTE Pro #93 Porsche Pilet, Tandy, Bamber 303 + 1m50.262s
37 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mok, Griffin, Sawa 302 + 51 Laps
38 GTE Am #80 Porsche Babini, Nielsen, Maris 302 + 1m29.816s
39 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Griffin, Macneil, Segal 302 + 3m18.212s
40 LMP2 #50 Ligier Creed, Ricci, Dagoneau 300 + 53 Laps
41 LMP1 #11 BR Petrov, Aleshin, Button 297 + 56 Laps
42 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood 297 + 2m40.150s
43 GTE Pro #97 Aston Lynn, Martin, Adam 296 + 57 Laps
44 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever 294 + 59 Laps
45 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Davison 279 + 74 Laps
46 LMP1 #5 Ginetta Robertson, Simpson, Roussel 271 + 82 Laps
47 LMP2 #48 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas 312 Retired
48 LMP2 #22 Ligier Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 288 Retired
49 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 259 Retired
50 LMP1 #10 BR Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande 244 Retired
51 LMP2 #25 Ligier Patterson, De Jong, Kim 237 Retired
52 GTE Am #88 Porsche Cairoli, Al Qubaisi, Roda 225 Retired
53 GTE Pro #82 BMW Farfus, Felix Da Costa, Sims 223 Retired
54 LMP2 #40 Oreca Allen, Gutierrez, Guibbert 197 Retired
55 LMP2 #34 Ligier Taylor, Ledogar, Heinemeier-Hansson 195 Retired
56 LMP1 #6 Ginetta Rowland, Brundle, Turvey 137 Retired
57 LMP1 #17 BR Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Isaakyan 123 Retired
58 GTE Pro #94 Porsche Dumas, Bernhard, Muller 92 Retired
59 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 92 Retired
60 LMP1 #4 Enso Webb, Kraihamer, Dillmann 65 Retired
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About this article

Series WEC
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Kazuki Nakajima
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Tom Errington
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