LM24 Hour 6: Treluyer and Duval continue tense battle

Audi's Benoit Treluyer and Loic Duval continue to be separated by just over half a minute after a safety car-interrupted sixth hour of the Le Mans 24 Hours

LM24 Hour 6: Treluyer and Duval continue tense battle

Treluyer, in the #1 R18 that has led for most of the race, initially extended his advantage as Duval lost ground when he pitted under the first of two caution periods during the hour.

That dynamic then reversed during a second safety-car period, which came just moments after the track had gone green.

Tristan Gommendy had prompted the first caution when his left-rear tyre punctured and then shredded, spewing debris - much of it from the back of his #36 Signatech Alpine-Nissan - onto the Mulsanne straight.

Duval pitted straight away but came out in the second safety car group, dropping him away from Treluyer in the lead Audi.

Oliver Jarvis briefly inherited second, but within minutes the rear bodywork of Dominik Kraihamer's #32 Lotus T128 flew early into the Mulsanne straight, triggering a second caution.

That effectively cancelled out Treluyer and Jarvis's advantage, and allowed Duval to slip back into second, 40s off the lead.

He had reduced that by a handful of seconds as the race reached its quarter-distance mark, setting a new race best of 3m23.269s in the process.

Jarvis meanwhile slipped back slightly in the #3 R18 e-tron quattro, and is now just under two minutes off the lead.

The same was true of the two Toyotas, neither of which could respond as Audi's leaders upped their pace.

Alex Wurz slipped to 2m32s down at the end of the sixth hour, with Sebastien Buemi a further 30s down the road, although still on the lead lap.

The LMP2 lead meanwhile continues to change hands between the #26 G-Drive/Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan and #35 Oak Racing Morgan-Nissan.

After the pitstops cycled through - both cars have now stopped eight times - it is John Martin in the #26 who holds the advantage, his lead officially just 1.7s but actually more like 40s as Martin Plowman was still in the pits as the hour finished.

Simon Dolan meanwhile moved into third in the #38 Jota Sport Zytek-Nissan, his cause aided by contact between Duval's Audi and David Heinemeier Hansson in the #24 Oak Racing Morgan-Nissan.

Heinemeier Hansson had been leading the class when he and Duval collided in the Porsche Curves, sending the Dane into a spin. An earlier-than-scheduled pitstop dropped him to fifth in class, where he remains.

The lead also changed hands in GTE Pro, as Peter Dumbreck moved the #97 Aston Martin back to the front as Stefan Mucke handed over under green-flag conditions

Bruno Senna - taking over the #99 machine from the imperious Frederic Makowiecki - ended the hour back in front however, 1.2s ahead; the Brazilian having taken over during a safety-car period in which his machine had been forced to wait at the exit of the pitlane.

Patrick Pilet completes a fantastic three-way fight for class honours in third, his #82 Manthey Porsche just two seconds down the road.

In GTE Am, Piergiuseppe Perazzini leads for the #55 AF Corse squad, 19s ahead of Gianluca Roda's Proton Porsche.

The previous class leader, the #61 AF Corse car, was spun twice by Jack Gerber and now lies fifth.

POSITIONS AFTER 6 HOURS

Pos Cl      Car       Drivers                         Laps  Gap
 1. P1  #1  Audi      Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler       88    
 2. P1  #2  Audi      Kristensen/McNish/Duval         87    +     1 Lap
 3. P1  #3  Audi      Gene/Jarvis/di Grassi           87    + 1m11.083s
 4. P1  #7  Toyota    Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima          87    + 1m55.476s
 5. P1  #8  Toyota    Davidson/Sarrazin/Buemi         87    + 2m47.802s
 6. P1  #13 Lola      Beche/Belicchi/Cheng            85    +    3 Laps
 7. P1  #21 HPD       Leventis/Kane/Watts             84    +    4 Laps
 8. P1  #12 Lola      Prost/Jani/Heidfeld             84    +   53.420s
 9. P2  #26 Oreca     Rusinov/Martin/Conway           82    +    6 Laps
10. P2  #35 Morgan    Baguette/Plowman/Gonzalez       82    +    1.746s
11. P2  #38 Zytek     Dolan/Turvey/Luhr               82    + 1m49.687s
12. P2  #46 Oreca     Thiriet/Badey/Martin            82    + 2m25.079s
13. P2  #42 Zytek     Krumm/Mardenborough/Ordonez     82    + 2m26.735s
14. P2  #24 Morgan    Pla/Brundle/H Hansson           82    + 2m27.083s
15. P2  #34 Oreca     Frey/Niederhauser/Bleekemolen   82    + 2m39.334s
16. P2  #49 Oreca     P-Companc/Kaffer/Minassian      81    +    7 Laps
17. P2  #33 HPD       Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe       81    + 1m10.405s
18. P2  #43 Morgan    Gachnang/Mailleux/Lombard       80    +    8 Laps
19. P2  #32 Lotus     Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz        80    + 2m48.159s
20. GTP #99 Aston     Makowiecki/Senna/Bell           79    +    9 Laps
21. GTP #97 Aston     Mucke/Turner/Dumbreck           79    +    1.031s
22. GTP #92 Porsche   Lieb/Richard Lietz/Dumas        79    +    3.393s
23. GTP #91 Porsche   Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard      79    + 2m07.630s
24. GTP #74 Corvette  Gavin/Milner/Westbrook          78    +   10 Laps
25. GTP #71 Ferrari   Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander      78    +   26.992s
26. GTP #98 Aston     Dalla Lana/Lamy/Auberlen        78    + 1m34.427s
27. P2  #30 Lola      Mowlem/Burgess/Hirschi          78    + 1m58.227s
28. GTP #73 Corvette  Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor         78    + 2m02.889s
29. GTP #51 Ferrari   Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli      78    + 2m37.383s
30. P2  #47 Morgan    Imperatori/Howson/Tung          78    + 2m41.298s
31. P2  #45 Morgan    Nicolet/Merlin/Mondolot         77    +   11 Laps
32. P2  #48 Oreca     Hartley/Chandhok/Patterson      77    +    0.130s
33. P2  #41 Zytek     Rossi/K-Smith/Lux               77    + 1m06.777s
34. GTA #55 Ferrari   Perazzini/O'Young/Case          77    + 1m39.948s
35. GTA #88 Porsche   Ried/Roda/Ruberti               77    + 2m05.171s
36. GTP #93 SRT       Wittmer/Kendall/Bomarito        76    +   12 Laps
37. GTA #76 Porsche   Narac/Vernay/Bourret            76    + 1m03.329s
38. GTA #77 Porsche   Dempsey/Foster/Long             76    + 1m17.747s
39. GTA #61 Ferrari   Gerber/Griffin/Cioci            76    + 1m38.566s
40. P2  #40 Oreca     Dagoneau/Downs/Younessi         76    + 2m57.601s
41. GTA #67 Porsche   Gibon/Milesi/Henzler            76    + 2m59.351s
42. GTP #53 SRT       Farnbacher/Goossens/Dalziel     76    + 3m28.444s
43. GTA #50 Corvette  Bornhauser/Canal/Taylor         76    + 3m57.758s
44. GTA #96 Aston     Goethe/Campbell-Walter/Hall     76    + 4m04.126s
45. GTA #75 Porsche   Collard/Perrodo/Crubile         75    +   13 Laps
46. GTP #66 Ferrari   Bertolini/Faisal/Qubaisi        74    +   14 Laps
47. P2  #39 Lola      Porta/Brandela/Raffin           74    + 2m15.718s
48. P2  #36 Alpine    Ragues/Panciatici/Gommendy      73    +   15 Laps
49. P2  #25 Oreca     Graves/Hamilton/Nakano          73    +   17.701s
50. GTA #70 Corvette  MacNeil/Rodrigues/Dumas         73    + 1m19.881s
51. GTA #57 Ferrari   Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani           73    + 1m27.971s
52. GTA #81 Ferrari   Potolicchio/Aguas/Bright        71    +   17 Laps
53. GTA #54 Ferrari   Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank        71    + 16m20.658s
54. P2  #28 Lola      Giroix/Haezebrouck/Ihara        20    +   68 Laps
55. P2  #31 Lotus     Weeda/Rossiter/Bouchut          17    +   71 Laps
56. GTA #95 Aston     Simonsen/Nygaard/Poulsen        2         Retired
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