Nakajima reclaims Le Mans 24 Hours lead in #8 at two-third distance

The #8 Toyota returned to the top of the Le Mans 24 hours leaderboard before the race hit two-thirds distance

Nakajima reclaims Le Mans 24 Hours lead in #8 at two-third distance

Kazuki Nakajima overtook fellow countryman Kamui Kobayashi in the sister Toyota TS050 HYBRID 26 minutes into the hour with a clean move at Mulsanne Corner.

The two Japanese cars continued nose to tail until their next round of pitstops.

A slow zone in force while the Toyota's pitted gave Sebastien Buemi - who swapped in for Nakajima - an 18-second advantage after the stops were complete.

The Swiss driver then set a series of blistering laps close to his early-race pace to ease the gap out to more than half a minute.

The two Rebellion-Gibson R-13s were separated by less than a lap.

The #1 car shared Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Bruno Senna mover closer to the sister entry after Thomas Laurent lost time in the pits.

G-Drive adds to LMP2 advantage

Andrea Pizzitola kept G-Drive in command in LMP2, extending the #26 ORECA 07-Gibson's lead in the class.

The G-Drive car already has an advantage of a lap over the Panis Barthez Ligier - which was handed over to Julien Canal by Will Stevens in the 16th hour - but Pizzitola was between two and four seconds a lap faster before handing over to Roman Rusinov as the hour came to an end.

Nicolas Lapierre has taken over the Signatech Alpine but is 1m44s behind Canal and lapping around a second slower than the Ligier.

The polesitting IDEC Sport ORECA is fourth but a lap further back, one minute clear of the second Ligier - the #22 United Autosports car, which is currently being driven by Filipe Albuquerque.

No change in GTE as Porsches continue to lead

Porsche's #92 car continued to hold a healthy advantage over its GTE opposition at the 16-hour mark after Kevin Estre took over the 'Pink Pig' machine from Michael Christensen.

Estre stretched the car's advantage out by around 10 seconds over the course of the hour, holding a 2m27s buffer over Richard Lietz after the Austrian replaced Frederic Makowiecki at the wheel of the #91 Rothmans-liveried car.

Lead Ford driver Joey Hand was a further 22s back in third, having taken over the #68 machine from Sebastien Bourdais, with Tony Kanaan running fourth in the #67.

Antonio Giovinazzi ran fifth in the #52 Ferrari following team-mate Pipo Derani's penalty in the previous hour, and is 13s adrift of Kanaan.

BMW was forced to retire the #82 car after Alexander Sims spun and rear-ended the tyre barriers at the Porsche Curves, although the Briton had been running outside the top 10.

GTE Am continues to be dominated by the #77 Dempsey-Porsche of Matt Campbell, who held a near two-minute advantage over Ben Keating in the #85 Ferrari.

The #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari was third in class, a further 35 seconds down.

Positions after 16 hours

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso 263
2 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 262 + 1 Lap
3 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Laurent, Beche, Menezes 252 + 11 Laps
4 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Lotterer, Jani, Senna 252 + 43.568s
5 LMP2 #26 Oreca Rusinov, Pizzitola, Vergne 250 + 13 Laps
6 LMP2 #23 Ligier Buret, Canal, Stevens 248 + 15 Laps
7 LMP2 #36 Alpine Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet 248 + 1m45.353s
8 LMP2 #48 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas 247 + 16 Laps
9 LMP2 #22 Ligier Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 247 + 1m06.102s
10 LMP2 #39 Oreca Capillaire, Hirschi, Gommendy 247 + 1m18.962s
11 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval 246 + 17 Laps
12 LMP2 #32 Ligier De Sadeleer, Owen, Montoya 246 + 1m54.089s
13 LMP2 #29 Dallara Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, Lammers 241 + 22 Laps
14 LMP2 #37 Oreca Jaafar, Jeffri, Tan 241 + 25.113s
15 LMP2 #31 Oreca Gonzalez, Maldonado, Berthon 240 + 23 Laps
16 LMP2 #44 Ligier Bertolini, Jonsson, Krohn 240 + 1m56.327s
17 LMP2 #33 Ligier Cheng, Boulle, Nicolet 239 + 24 Laps
18 LMP1 #10 BR Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande 238 + 25 Laps
19 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Nasr 238 + 54.635s
20 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Richelmi, Aubry 236 + 27 Laps
21 LMP2 #35 Dallara Shaitar, Newey, Nato 234 + 29 Laps
22 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 232 + 31 Laps
23 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki 231 + 32 Laps
24 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 231 + 23.079s
25 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Kanaan 231 + 1m58.296s
26 GTE Pro #52 Ferrari Vilander, Giovinazzi, Derani 231 + 2m11.358s
27 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 231 + 2m21.018s
28 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller 231 + 2m43.747s
29 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 230 + 33 Laps
30 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 228 + 35 Laps
31 GTE Pro #95 Aston Sorensen, Thiim, Turner 228 + 7.896s
32 GTE Pro #81 BMW Tomczyk, Catsburg, Eng 228 + 1m04.826s
33 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 227 + 36 Laps
34 LMP2 #50 Ligier Creed, Ricci, Dagoneau 227 + 2.064s
35 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 226 + 37 Laps
36 GTE Am #77 Porsche Campbell, Ried, Andlauer 226 + 1m42.014s
37 GTE Pro #97 Aston Lynn, Martin, Adam 226 + 1m50.599s
38 GTE Am #85 Ferrari Keating, Bleekemolen, Stolz 225 + 38 Laps
39 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 225 + 36.152s
40 GTE Am #99 Porsche Long, Pappas, Pumpelly 225 + 1m59.811s
41 GTE Am #88 Porsche Cairoli, Al Qubaisi, Roda 225 + 2m11.059s
42 GTE Pro #93 Porsche Pilet, Tandy, Bamber 225 + 3m18.959s
43 GTE Am #56 Porsche Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti 225 + 3m21.870s
44 LMP1 #5 Ginetta Robertson, Simpson, Roussel 224 + 39 Laps
45 GTE Am #80 Porsche Babini, Nielsen, Maris 224 + 2m01.382s
46 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Mok, Griffin, Sawa 224 + 2m30.206s
47 GTE Pro #82 BMW Farfus, Felix Da Costa, Sims 223 + 40 Laps
48 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Griffin, Macneil, Segal 223 + 27m19.974s
49 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Davison 221 + 42 Laps
50 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood 221 + 17.658s
51 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever 218 + 45 Laps
52 LMP1 #11 BR Petrov, Aleshin, Button 210 + 53 Laps
53 LMP2 #25 Ligier Patterson, De Jong, Kim 179 + 84 Laps
54 LMP1 #6 Ginetta Rowland, Brundle, Turvey 137 + 126 Laps
55 LMP1 #17 BR Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Isaakyan 123 + 140 Laps
56 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 92 + 171 Laps
57 LMP1 #4 Enso Webb, Kraihamer, Dillmann 65 + 198 Laps
58 LMP2 #40 Oreca Allen, Gutierrez, Guibbert 197 Retired
59 LMP2 #34 Ligier Taylor, Ledogar, Heinemeier-Hansson 195 Retired
60 GTE Pro #94 Porsche Dumas, Bernhard, Muller 92 Retired
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Series WEC
Drivers Weiron Tan , Kazuki Nakajima
Author Gary Watkins
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