LM24 H13: Toyota closes back in on Audi under cautions

Toyota's two TS030 HYBRIDS moved back onto the lead lap of the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours under a safety car that lasted for almost the duration of the 13th hour

LM24 H13: Toyota closes back in on Audi under cautions

Howard Blank was the cause, spearing off into the barriers between the Dunlop Esses and Tertre Rouge and causing significant damage to both his #54 AF Corse Ferrari and the safety fencing.

The result was a record seventh safety car, with three of this year's 13 hours now spent under caution.

The lights had been due to go out just before 0400 local time, only for heavy rain to convince organisers to extend the yellow period.

Toyota was the main beneficiary of events, with both Nicolas Lapierre and Sebastien Buemi - who took over from Anthony Davidson - moving back onto the lead lap.

They have the added benefit of wet conditions, which typically suit the TS030s in comparison to the dry, where Audi has a clear advantage.

The German marque still has a three minute gap at the head of the field through the #2 R18, now in the hands of Loic Duval following a driver change on the hour.

The lead car swapped to wet tyres at the same time, a move mirrored by the rest of the field almost immediately after.

Oliver Jarvis remains in touching distance of the Toyotas in the #3 R18, while the third Audi of Andre Lotterer is now ninth overall, albeit 10 laps off the lead.

The safety car helped preserve the LMP2 order, meaning Martin Plowman continues to lead the sister OAK Morgan-Nissan of Alex Brundle.

Lucas Luhr is third in the #38 Jota Zytek-Nissan, ahead of old GT1 team-mate Michael Krumm in the similar #42 Greaves-run machine.

The complexion of the GTE Pro victory fight changed following the #97 Aston Martin's impromptu stop, although Stefan Mucke managed to fight back past Patrick Pilet's #91 Manthey Porsche.

The sister #92 car now leads from the #99 Vantage, but Romain Dumas has made 12 stops to Makowiecki's 13.

GTE Am was also unchanged despite Piergiuseppe Perazzini stopping briefly out on track.

His #55 AF Corse Ferrari still leads the sister #61 458, although both are behind Raymond Narac in the #76 Imsa Porsche.

POSITIONS AFTER 13 HOURS

Pos Cl      Car       Drivers                         Laps  Gap
 1. P1  #2  Audi      Kristensen/McNish/Duval         188   
 2. P1  #8  Toyota    Davidson/Sarrazin/Buemi         188   + 4m00.043s
 3. P1  #7  Toyota    Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima          188   + 4m05.468s
 4. P1  #3  Audi      Gene/Jarvis/di Grassi           187   +     1 Lap
 5. P1  #13 Lola      Beche/Belicchi/Cheng            183   +    5 Laps
 6. P1  #12 Lola      Prost/Jani/Heidfeld             181   +    7 Laps
 7. P1  #21 HPD       Leventis/Kane/Watts             181   + 4m23.910s
 8. P2  #35 Morgan    Baguette/Plowman/Gonzalez       178   +   10 Laps
 9. P1  #1  Audi      Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler       178   +    6.904s
10. P2  #24 Morgan    Pla/Brundle/H Hansson           177   +   11 Laps
11. P2  #42 Zytek     Krumm/Mardenborough/Ordonez     177   + 5m30.133s
12. P2  #38 Zytek     Dolan/Turvey/Luhr               177   + 5m42.069s
13. P2  #46 Oreca     Thiriet/Badey/Martin            176   +   12 Laps
14. P2  #49 Oreca     P-Companc/Kaffer/Minassian      176   + 3m46.931s
15. P2  #26 Oreca     Rusinov/Martin/Conway           175   +   13 Laps
16. P2  #43 Morgan    Gachnang/Mailleux/Lombard       175   + 7m05.214s
17. P2  #47 Morgan    Imperatori/Howson/Tung          173   +   15 Laps
18. P2  #32 Lotus     Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz        172   +   16 Laps
19. P2  #33 HPD       Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe       171   +   17 Laps
20. GTP #92 Porsche   Lieb/Richard Lietz/Dumas        171   + 2m04.570s
21. GTP #99 Aston     Makowiecki/Senna/Bell           171   + 4m04.165s
22. P2  #48 Oreca     Hartley/Chandhok/Patterson      170   +   18 Laps
23. GTP #97 Aston     Mucke/Turner/Dumbreck           170   +   14.877s
24. GTP #91 Porsche   Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard      170   + 2m43.883s
25. GTP #51 Ferrari   Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli      170   + 4m10.365s
26. GTP #71 Ferrari   Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander      169   +   19 Laps
27. GTP #74 Corvette  Gavin/Milner/Westbrook          169   + 1m31.948s
28. GTP #73 Corvette  Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor         168   +   20 Laps
29. GTP #98 Aston     Dalla Lana/Lamy/Auberlen        168   +    6.966s
30. P2  #36 Alpine    Ragues/Panciatici/Gommendy      168   + 4m14.345s
31. P2  #34 Oreca     Frey/Niederhauser/Bleekemolen   168   + 4m16.098s
32. P2  #45 Morgan    Nicolet/Merlin/Mondolot         167   +   21 Laps
33. P2  #41 Zytek     Rossi/K-Smith/Lux               167   +    8.093s
34. GTA #76 Porsche   Narac/Vernay/Bourret            166   +   22 Laps
35. GTP #93 SRT       Wittmer/Kendall/Bomarito        165   +   23 Laps
36. GTA #61 Ferrari   Gerber/Griffin/Cioci            165   +    1.967s
37. GTA #55 Ferrari   Perazzini/O'Young/Case          165   +   26.168s
38. GTA #77 Porsche   Dempsey/Foster/Long             165   + 4m06.273s
39. GTP #53 SRT       Farnbacher/Goossens/Dalziel     164   +   24 Laps
40. GTA #88 Porsche   Ried/Roda/Ruberti               164   +   13.743s
41. P2  #40 Oreca     Dagoneau/Downs/Younessi         164   + 4m04.846s
42. GTA #96 Aston     Goethe/Campbell-Walter/Hall     164   + 4m15.736s
43. GTA #50 Corvette  Bornhauser/Canal/Taylor         163   +   25 Laps
44. GTA #75 Porsche   Collard/Perrodo/Crubile         163   +   10.143s
45. GTA #67 Porsche   Gibon/Milesi/Henzler            163   + 2m35.035s
46. GTP #66 Ferrari   Bertolini/Faisal/Qubaisi        161   +   27 Laps
47. GTA #81 Ferrari   Potolicchio/Aguas/Bright        154   +   34 Laps
48. P2  #39 Lola      Porta/Brandela/Raffin           148   +   40 Laps
49. GTA #54 Ferrari   Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank        147   +   41 Laps
50. GTA #70 Corvette  MacNeil/Rodrigues/Dumas         140   +   48 Laps
51. P2  #30 Lola      Mowlem/Burgess/Hirschi          153       Retired
52. GTA #57 Ferrari   Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani           111       Retired
53. P2  #25 Oreca     Graves/Hamilton/Nakano          101       Retired
54. P2  #28 Lola      Giroix/Haezebrouck/Ihara        22        Retired
55. P2  #31 Lotus     Weeda/Rossiter/Bouchut          17        Retired
56. GTA #95 Aston     Simonsen/Nygaard/Poulsen        2         Retired
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