Le Mans: Kobayashi leads Alonso by over a minute after three hours

The #7 Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi ended the third hour of the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours with a lead of more than a minute over Fernando Alonso

Le Mans: Kobayashi leads Alonso by over a minute after three hours

Kobayashi took over at the wheel of the #7 - which has not been headed in the order so far - from Mike Conway midway through the hour, a lap after double Formula 1 world champion Alonso had replaced Sebastien Buemi in the sister #8 TS050 HYBRID.

The gap between the two Toyotas was around 42 seconds when both had exited the pits, but Kobayashi had increased that beyond 50s by the time a full course yellow was shown with 18 minutes of the hour remaining.

Kobayashi, whose lap secured pole for the #7 crew, then gained around five seconds through the short FCY period and later gained more time to end the hour a minute and three seconds ahead.

Rebellion's #3 car was taken over by Nathanael Berthon and was the only privateer LMP1 car left on the lead lap at the end of the hour - although both SMP Racing BR Engineering-AER BR1s had just pitted.

Stoffel Vandoorne was a little over half a minute behind the lead Rebellion in the #11 SMP entry before the start of the fifth round of stops, with the #17 car that started third a further 21s behind in the hands of Egor Orudzhev.

Rebellion's #1 car went back into the garage briefly - at which point Bruno Senna handed over to Andre Lotterer.

The car is sixth in class and ninth overall, one position ahead of Oliver Webb in the ByKolles ENSO CLM-Gibson P1/01.

The #10 DragonSpeed car, now in the hands of Henrik Hedman, had recovered to 47th overall after a 20-minute delay in the second hour.

LMP2 - Lapierre still holds slim lead

Nicolas Lapierre remained behind the wheel of the #36 Signatech-Alpine at the end of the third hour and held a narrow lead over the #26 G-Drive Racing ORECA being driven by Job Van Uitert.

Lapierre was less than a second ahead of the Dutch rookie at the conclusion of the hour, but Van Uitert will have to serve a 10s penalty at his next pitstop after team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne was penalised for speeding under the FCY.

Behind the leading ORECAs, a left-rear puncture dropped Nyck De Vries out of third place and put the #29 Racing Team Nederland Dallara on an alternative pit strategy.

That promoted Roberto Gonzalez in the #31 DragonSpeed ORECA started by Anthony Davidson, although Gonzalez lost the position to the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA of Jordan King at Mulsanne Corner shortly before the hour mark.

King's team-mate Stephane Richelmi was next in line to pressurise Gonzalez in fifth, while Paul Di Resta continued to run sixth in the #22 United Autosport Ligier.

A 30s stop and go penalty for speeding under FCY dropped Matthias Beche's #20 High Class Racing ORECA out of seventh shortly before the end of the hour.

GTE - Corvette holds lead

Corvette maintained its grip on the GTE Pro class, despite the #63 car of Jan Magnussen getting caught out by the full-course yellow.

Magnussen was forced to pit again after only taking an emergency splash of fuel on his third stop, but he managed to hang on to the advantage, helped by a 10s penalty for the #93 Porsche with which he had been battling.

Patrick Pilet was given that penalty for violating the FCY procedure, which meant he slipped to third behind the leading #67 Ford being driven by Jonathan Bomarito.

The #51 Ferrari of James Calado had moved up to third, but he also had to make an emergency stop under the FCY, and ran fourth at the end of the third hour ahead of the #68 Ford - now being driven by Joey Hand - and the #71 Ferrari of Sam Bird.

Both of the Manthey-run WEC entry Porsches slipped back in the third hour, with the best of those being the #91 of Richard Lietz. Laurens Vanthoor was running ninth in the #92.

Dempsey-Proton continued to control GTE Am thanks to the efforts of Julien Andlauer in the #77 Porsche, who ended the hour 20 seconds clear of the Keating Motorsports Ford GT of Felipe Fraga.

JMW Motorsport took over as the lead Ferrari in hour three as the Spirit of Race car that led early on continued to drop back with bronze-rated Thomas Flohr driving.

Positions after three hours

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 50
2 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso 50 + 1m03.890s
3 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Laurent, Berthon, Menezes 50 + 2m09.883s
4 LMP1 #11 BR Petrov, Aleshin, Vandoorne 49 + 1 Lap
5 LMP1 #17 BR Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Sirotkin 49 + 1m26.691s
6 LMP2 #36 Alpine Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet 48 + 2 Laps
7 LMP2 #26 Aurus Rusinov, Van Uitert, Vergne 48 + 1.393s
8 LMP2 #31 Oreca Gonzalez, Maldonado, Davidson 47 + 3 Laps
9 LMP2 #37 Oreca Heinemeier-Hansson, King, Taylor 47 + 0.297s
10 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Richelmi, Aubry 47 + 2.144s
11 LMP2 #22 Ligier Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 47 + 3.032s
12 LMP2 #20 Oreca Fjordbach, Andersen, Beche 47 + 16.850s
13 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Jani, Lotterer, Senna 47 + 23.288s
14 LMP1 #4 Enso Dillmann, Webb, Ruberti 47 + 46.470s
15 LMP2 #48 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas 47 + 1m04.996s
16 LMP2 #23 Ligier Binder, Canal, Stevens 47 + 1m06.568s
17 LMP2 #43 Oreca Farano, Maini, Nato 47 + 1m20.100s
18 LMP2 #32 Ligier Cullen, Brundle, Owen 47 + 1m26.838s
19 LMP2 #25 Oreca Zollinger, Pizzitola, Falb 47 + 1m34.645s
20 LMP2 #39 Oreca Gommendy, Capillaire, Hirschi 47 + 1m41.897s
21 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval 47 + 1m55.500s
22 LMP2 #29 Dallara Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, De Vries 46 + 4 Laps
23 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi 46 + 1m02.477s
24 LMP2 #34 Ligier Smiechowski, Winslow, Moore 46 + 1m44.549s
25 LMP2 #50 Ligier Creed, Ricci, Boulle 46 + 1m49.127s
26 LMP2 #30 Oreca Jamin, Ragues, Dumas 45 + 5 Laps
27 LMP2 #49 Ligier Konopka, Enqvist, Tereschenko 45 + 24.147s
28 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller 44 + 6 Laps
29 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Bomarito 44 + 12.409s
30 GTE Pro #93 Porsche Pilet, Bamber, Tandy 44 + 15.705s
31 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 44 + 16.147s
32 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 44 + 19.631s
33 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 44 + 22.110s
34 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki 44 + 22.503s
35 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 44 + 23.548s
36 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 44 + 29.330s
37 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 44 + 40.336s
38 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 43 + 7 Laps
39 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Turner 43 + 17.222s
40 GTE Pro #82 BMW Farfus, Da Costa, Krohn 43 + 25.572s
41 GTE Pro #89 Ferrari Derani, Jarvis, Gounon 43 + 30.187s
42 GTE Pro #94 Porsche Muller, Jaminet, Olsen 43 + 34.741s
43 GTE Pro #97 Aston Martin, Lynn, Adam 43 + 37.453s
44 GTE Pro #81 BMW Catsburg, Tomczyk, Eng 43 + 1m08.587s
45 GTE Am #77 Porsche Campbell, Ried, Andlauer 43 + 2m31.302s
46 GTE Am #85 Ford Keating, Bleekemolen, Fraga 43 + 2m52.236s
47 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Segal, Baptista, Lu 43 + 3m10.065s
48 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Macneil, Vilander, Smith 43 + 3m11.293s
49 LMP1 #10 BR Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande 43 + 3m35.382s
50 GTE Am #56 Porsche Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti 42 + 8 Laps
51 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 42 + 1m28.740s
52 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood 42 + 1m31.080s
53 GTE Am #78 Porsche Prette, Prette, Abril 42 + 1m58.785s
54 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Preining 42 + 2m23.037s
55 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Perez-Companc, Griffin, Cressoni 42 + 2m30.584s
56 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Gostner, Frey, Gatting 42 + 4m25.708s
57 GTE Am #57 Ferrari Kimura, Cozzolino, Ledogar 42 + 4m39.186s
58 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Piccini 41 + 9 Laps
59 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever 41 + 34.486s
60 GTE Am #88 Porsche Hoshino, Roda Jr, Cairoli 39 + 11 Laps
61 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 37 + 13 Laps
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Le Mans: Conway Toyota edges further clear in first place
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Le Mans 24 Hours: Kobayashi holds leading Toyota's gap to Alonso
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