LM24 H15: Toyotas slip back as Duval strengthens lead

Loic Duval strengthened Audi's grip on the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours in the race's 15th hour as Sebastien Buemi's Toyota slipped almost three minutes behind

LM24 H15: Toyotas slip back as Duval strengthens lead

The #2 R18 e-tron Quattro retained a relentless pace throughout the uninterrupted hour to add 50s to its lead over Buemi in the #8 Toyota.

In third place, Alexander Wurz also dropped back from his team-mate, almost 1m30s behind in the #7 TS030 HYBRID.

The second Toyota's podium position is precarious, the Austrian driver just 2m30s ahead of Marc Gene in the #3 Audi, who slashed the gap between the two cars in half during the hour.

Benoit Treluyer remains behind the two Rebellion-Lolas and the Strakka HPD in the #1 Audi, though moved onto the same lap as the latter following Jonny Kane's spin the previous hour.

In the battle for the LMP2 lead, Olivier Pla's #24 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan is 40s clear of his team-mate Bertrand Baguette in the #35 car.

Pla, who had closed the gap to less than a second by 0530, pitted first and claimed the lead when Baguette took over from Martin Plowman behind the wheel.

Michael Krumm's #42 Greaves Zytek-Nissan now heads the battle for the final podium place, having taken advantage of an off at the Esses for Lucas Luhr's Zytek-Nissan.

Luhr, who had been third, ended the hour sixth in class as his car sat in the garage with a front wheel askew and being repaired.

Further back in the class, Romain Brandela, aboard the #39 DKR Lola-Judd, endured a nightmare hour.

First, he spun at the Dunlop chicane, and made it as far as the Esses before pitching the fourth-placed GTE Am Proton Porsche of Paolo Ruberti into a spin and delaying Darryl O'Young's #55 AF Corse Ferrari.

That incident came under investigation while Proton checked the car over in the pits.

When it left the garage, the 48th-placed car - still with Brandela at the wheel - almost forced Buemi's Toyota off the road at the Dunlop chicane, and then ran straight on at the first Mulsanne chicane moments later.

The #92 Manthey Porsche continues to lead the GTE Pro battle, now in the hands of Richard Lietz. Frederic Makowiecki had clawed the #99 Aston Martin's deficit back to around a minute, but a changeover to Bruno Senna meant the gap rose to 1m16.

Further back the #93 Viper of Tommy Kendall lost further ground with a brake-disc change in the pits and a gravelly excursion.

Raymond Narac, in the #76 Imsa Porsche, remains out in front in GTE Am. O'Young is second despite his trip across the gravel, with Matt Griffin making it two Ferraris in the podium positions.

POSITIONS AFTER 15 HOURS Pos Cl Car Drivers Laps Gap 1. P1 #2 Audi Kristensen/McNish/Duval 219 2. P1 #8 Toyota Davidson/Sarrazin/Buemi 219 + 2m58.432s 3. P1 #7 Toyota Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima 218 + 1 Lap 4. P1 #3 Audi Gene/Jarvis/di Grassi 218 + 2m31.187s 5. P1 #13 Lola Beche/Belicchi/Cheng 212 + 7 Laps 6. P1 #12 Lola Prost/Jani/Heidfeld 210 + 9 Laps 7. P1 #21 HPD Leventis/Kane/Watts 210 + 51.259s 8. P1 #1 Audi Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler 208 + 11 Laps 9. P2 #24 Morgan Pla/Brundle/H Hansson 207 + 12 Laps 10. P2 #35 Morgan Baguette/Plowman/Gonzalez 207 + 40.969s 11. P2 #42 Zytek Krumm/Mardenborough/Ordonez 206 + 13 Laps 12. P2 #38 Zytek Dolan/Turvey/Luhr 205 + 14 Laps 13. P2 #26 Oreca Rusinov/Martin/Conway 205 + 4m15.961s 14. P2 #46 Oreca Thiriet/Badey/Martin 205 + 4m49.070s 15. P2 #49 Oreca P-Companc/Kaffer/Minassian 204 + 15 Laps 16. P2 #43 Morgan Gachnang/Mailleux/Lombard 203 + 16 Laps 17. P2 #32 Lotus Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz 200 + 19 Laps 18. P2 #33 HPD Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe 199 + 20 Laps 19. P2 #48 Oreca Hartley/Chandhok/Patterson 199 + 1m49.439s 20. P2 #47 Morgan Imperatori/Howson/Tung 199 + 3m16.404s 21. GTP #92 Porsche Lieb/Richard Lietz/Dumas 199 + 3m19.723s 22. GTP #99 Aston Makowiecki/Senna/Bell 198 + 21 Laps 23. GTP #97 Aston Mucke/Turner/Dumbreck 198 + 1m24.833s 24. GTP #91 Porsche Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard 198 + 2m28.545s 25. GTP #51 Ferrari Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli 197 + 22 Laps 26. GTP #71 Ferrari Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander 196 + 23 Laps 27. P2 #36 Alpine Ragues/Panciatici/Gommendy 196 + 1.778s 28. P2 #34 Oreca Frey/Niederhauser/Bleekemolen 196 + 1m38.427s 29. P2 #41 Zytek Rossi/K-Smith/Lux 196 + 1m43.198s 30. GTP #74 Corvette Gavin/Milner/Westbrook 196 + 1m45.570s 31. GTP #73 Corvette Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor 195 + 24 Laps 32. GTP #98 Aston Dalla Lana/Lamy/Auberlen 194 + 25 Laps 33. P2 #45 Morgan Nicolet/Merlin/Mondolot 193 + 26 Laps 34. GTA #76 Porsche Narac/Vernay/Bourret 192 + 27 Laps 35. GTA #55 Ferrari Perazzini/O'Young/Case 192 + 3m28.063s 36. GTA #61 Ferrari Gerber/Griffin/Cioci 191 + 28 Laps 37. GTA #77 Porsche Dempsey/Foster/Long 191 + 1m30.302s 38. GTP #53 SRT Farnbacher/Goossens/Dalziel 191 + 3m07.829s 39. GTA #67 Porsche Gibon/Milesi/Henzler 190 + 29 Laps 40. GTA #75 Porsche Collard/Perrodo/Crubile 190 + 9.154s 41. GTA #50 Corvette Bornhauser/Canal/Taylor 189 + 30 Laps 42. GTA #96 Aston Goethe/Campbell-Walter/Hall 189 + 5.949s 43. P2 #40 Oreca Dagoneau/Downs/Younessi 189 + 20.336s 44. GTP #93 SRT Wittmer/Kendall/Bomarito 189 + 58.837s 45. GTP #66 Ferrari Bertolini/Faisal/Qubaisi 187 + 32 Laps 46. GTA #88 Porsche Ried/Roda/Ruberti 185 + 34 Laps 47. GTA #81 Ferrari Potolicchio/Aguas/Bright 181 + 38 Laps 48. P2 #39 Lola Porta/Brandela/Raffin 172 + 47 Laps 49. GTA #70 Corvette MacNeil/Rodrigues/Dumas 158 + 61 Laps 50. P2 #30 Lola Mowlem/Burgess/Hirschi 153 Retired 51. GTA #54 Ferrari Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank 147 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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Series WEC
Drivers Philipp Eng , Loic Duval
Teams Toyota Racing
Author Scott Mitchell
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