LM24 H8: Kristensen leads under caution as night descends

Audi's Tom Kristensen assumed the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours as night descended on La Sarthe and a fourth safety-car period interrupted proceedings

LM24 H8: Kristensen leads under caution as night descends

The advantage held by Kristensen's #2 R18 e-tron quattro advantage over the second-placed #8 Toyota of Stephane Sarrazin was reduced to around 2m40s when Kristensen took over driving duties from Loic Duval.

With the Audi able to routinely lap quicker than the TS030 HYBRID, however, he was able to increase the margin to 3m07s; a gap he retained when Sarrazin was then caught behind a different safety car and was unable to close in.

Kazuki Nakajima, driving the #7 Toyota that was earlier delayed by an electrical glitch and falling fuel pressure on an in-lap, continues to hold third.

He was maintaining a two-minute advantage over Marc Gene before the Spaniard's machine was wheeled into the garage with a technical problem at the end of the hour.

Mathias Beche has taken over the best of the non-hybrid LMP1s and is fifth in his #13 Rebellion Lola-Toyota.

The #1 Audi, which had led the race until developing a problem with a motor generator in the seventh hour, resumed the race in 24th place after 43 minutes in the garage. At the eight-hour mark, Marcel Fassler had moved the car up to 21st.

The #26 G-Drive/Delta-ADR entry that had led LMP2 by over 50s has dropped back to fifth in the baby prototype category after John Martin lost nearly two laps while pitting to have damaged bodywork replaced.

The Australian's misfortune handed the lead to the #35 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan, now with former IndyCar racer Bertrand Baguette driving.

Baguette leads Simon Dolan's Jota Zytek-Nissan by three minutes while Olivier Pla has driven brilliantly to bring the #24 OAK machine up from sixth to third.

Bruno Senna continues to lead GTE Pro in the #99 Aston Martin that was brought to the front earlier in the race by Frederic Makowiecki.

But Richard Lietz is keeping the pressure on the Brazilian and was less than two seconds behind when the safety car came out to allow debris scattered at the Porsche curves by Tor Graves' spinning ORECA-Nissan to be cleared up.

Paolo Ruberti put in a storming stint to take the lead of GTE Am in the #88 Proton Porsche.

Pat Long and Raymond Narac made it an all-Porsche top-three as Darryl O'Young dropped back in the #55 AF Corse Ferrari.

POSITIONS AFTER EIGHT HOURS

Pos Cl      Car       Drivers                         Laps  Gap
 1. P1  #2  Audi      Kristensen/McNish/Duval         119   
 2. P1  #8  Toyota    Davidson/Sarrazin/Buemi         118   +     1 Lap
 3. P1  #7  Toyota    Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima          118   + 3m13.789s
 4. P1  #3  Audi      Gene/Jarvis/di Grassi           118   + 3m27.492s
 5. P1  #13 Lola      Beche/Belicchi/Cheng            116   +    3 Laps
 6. P1  #21 HPD       Leventis/Kane/Watts             114   +    5 Laps
 7. P1  #12 Lola      Prost/Jani/Heidfeld             113   +    6 Laps
 8. P2  #35 Morgan    Baguette/Plowman/Gonzalez       112   +    7 Laps
 9. P2  #38 Zytek     Dolan/Turvey/Luhr               111   +    8 Laps
10. P2  #24 Morgan    Pla/Brundle/H Hansson           111   +   16.296s
11. P2  #42 Zytek     Krumm/Mardenborough/Ordonez     111   +   17.439s
12. P2  #46 Oreca     Thiriet/Badey/Martin            111   + 2m58.837s
13. P2  #26 Oreca     Rusinov/Martin/Conway           111   + 3m01.478s
14. P2  #49 Oreca     P-Companc/Kaffer/Minassian      110   +    9 Laps
15. P2  #43 Morgan    Gachnang/Mailleux/Lombard       110   + 4m07.645s
16. P2  #34 Oreca     Frey/Niederhauser/Bleekemolen   110   + 6m31.316s
17. P2  #32 Lotus     Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz        109   +   10 Laps
18. GTP #99 Aston     Makowiecki/Senna/Bell           108   +   11 Laps
19. GTP #92 Porsche   Lieb/Richard Lietz/Dumas        108   +    2.921s
20. GTP #97 Aston     Mucke/Turner/Dumbreck           108   +   11.033s
21. P2  #33 HPD       Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe       107   +   12 Laps
22. P1  #1  Audi      Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler       107   + 3m38.854s
23. GTP #91 Porsche   Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard      107   + 4m02.481s
24. P2  #47 Morgan    Imperatori/Howson/Tung          107   + 4m02.989s
25. P2  #30 Lola      Mowlem/Burgess/Hirschi          106   +   13 Laps
26. P2  #48 Oreca     Hartley/Chandhok/Patterson      106   + 4m21.766s
27. GTP #71 Ferrari   Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander      106   + 4m30.591s
28. GTP #51 Ferrari   Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli      106   + 4m37.070s
29. GTP #74 Corvette  Gavin/Milner/Westbrook          106   + 4m41.005s
30. GTP #98 Aston     Dalla Lana/Lamy/Auberlen        106   + 4m45.123s
31. GTP #73 Corvette  Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor         105   +   14 Laps
32. P2  #41 Zytek     Rossi/K-Smith/Lux               105   +    2.266s
33. P2  #45 Morgan    Nicolet/Merlin/Mondolot         105   +   14.960s
34. GTA #88 Porsche   Ried/Roda/Ruberti               104   +   15 Laps
35. GTA #55 Ferrari   Perazzini/O'Young/Case          104   +    0.706s
36. GTA #77 Porsche   Dempsey/Foster/Long             104   +   45.914s
37. GTP #93 SRT       Wittmer/Kendall/Bomarito        104   + 3m26.032s
38. GTA #76 Porsche   Narac/Vernay/Bourret            104   + 3m26.854s
39. GTA #61 Ferrari   Gerber/Griffin/Cioci            103   +   16 Laps
40. P2  #40 Oreca     Dagoneau/Downs/Younessi         103   + 3m06.893s
41. GTP #53 SRT       Farnbacher/Goossens/Dalziel     103   + 3m15.795s
42. GTA #50 Corvette  Bornhauser/Canal/Taylor         103   + 5m58.832s
43. GTA #75 Porsche   Collard/Perrodo/Crubile         102   +   17 Laps
44. P2  #36 Alpine    Ragues/Panciatici/Gommendy      102   +    5.499s
45. GTA #67 Porsche   Gibon/Milesi/Henzler            102   + 3m11.324s
46. P2  #25 Oreca     Graves/Hamilton/Nakano          101   +   18 Laps
47. GTA #96 Aston     Goethe/Campbell-Walter/Hall     101   + 6m18.711s
48. GTP #66 Ferrari   Bertolini/Faisal/Qubaisi        101   + 6m21.891s
49. P2  #39 Lola      Porta/Brandela/Raffin           101   + 12m28.826s
50. GTA #70 Corvette  MacNeil/Rodrigues/Dumas         100   +   19 Laps
51. GTA #57 Ferrari   Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani           100   +    3.919s
52. GTA #54 Ferrari   Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank        97    +   22 Laps
53. GTA #81 Ferrari   Potolicchio/Aguas/Bright        93    +   26 Laps
54. P2  #28 Lola      Giroix/Haezebrouck/Ihara        20    +   99 Laps
55. P2  #31 Lotus     Weeda/Rossiter/Bouchut          17        Retired
56. GTA #95 Aston     Simonsen/Nygaard/Poulsen        2         Retired
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