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Toyota driver Buemi heads Toyota 1-2 after Le Mans first hour

Sebastien Buemi Toyota Le Mans 24 Hours 2017

Toyota has a 1-2 at the end of the first hour of the 2017 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours with Sebastien Buemi ahead of Mike Conway.

Conway led the early stages in the #7 machine from Neel Jani in the leading #1 Porsche.

But after the first round of stops, Buemi emerged in second and was much closer to Conway.

Buemi then went around the outside of the leader through Arnage to claim the place later around the lap and he now leads by 1.6 seconds.

Porsche sits third and fourth with Jani ahead of Timo Bernhard in the #2 example.

The top five is rounded out by Nicolas Lapierre in the third Toyota, which suffered damage on the opening lap and had to have its nose changed during its stop.

The ByKolles car initially passed Lapierre at the start before running wide at Terte Rouge and hitting the barriers.

It limped back to the pits but, after briefly rejoining the track, returned to the garage and is now 10 laps down on the leaders.

SENNA TAKES UP EARLY LMP2 LEAD

Rebellion LMP2 Le Mans 2017

With polesitter Roman Rusinov plummeting to 14th on the opening lap in the TDS-run #26 G-Drive ORECA, Oliver Jarvis led the early stages.

The #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing driver kept the #31 Rebellion ORECA of Bruno Senna at bay until making its first stop at the end of lap eight.

But a delay getting away cost Jarvis around 25 seconds, and once the first round of stops had shaken out he was down in sixth and almost half-a-minute down.

This meant Senna moved into the lead, chased by the #25 Manor ORECA of Vitaly Petrov and the sister #24 car of Jean-Eric Vergne, who briefly led after staying out a lap longer before stopping.

Initially, Petrov closed the gap, but at the end of the first hour it had settled at nine seconds.

The #13 Rebellion ORECA of Nelson Piquet Jr runs fourth ahead of the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA in the hands of Tristan Gommendy and sixth-placed Jarvis.

The lead non-ORECA is the #27 SMP Dallara of Mikhail Aleshin, which runs seventh, with the best of the Ligiers, the #32 United Autosports car, 10th with Filipe Albuquerque at the wheel.

Rusinov did climb back into the top 10, but he pitted early for a new nose and now runs a distant 19th.

The way he entered the pits, cutting back across the runoff area to join the pit entry, possibly after a spin, is being investigated by the stewards.

Last year's LMP2 winner, the #36 Signatech ORECA, had a disastrous start to the race.

Gustavo Menezes plunged into the gravel at Mulsanne Corner and ended up stuck in the gravel up against the barrier.

He was eventually recovered and returned to the pits to hand over to Matt Rao but has dropped two laps off the lead.

The #22 DragonSpeed ORECA also hit trouble, as it pitted at the end of the fifth lap but has yet to re-emerge.

ASTON AHEAD IN GTE PRO

#95 Aston Martin Le Mans 2017

The GTE Pro battle proved as tight as expected as second-place qualifier Alessandro Pier Guidi (#51 AF Corse Ferrari) got the drop on polesitter Darren Turner (#97 Aston Martin), but his lead lasted only until the third lap.

Nicki Thiim (#95 Aston Martin) passed both Turner and Pier Guidi and then gradually built up a margin as the remaining GTE Pros ran nose-to-tail.

Fourth-place qualifier Sam Bird had a tough opening stint in the #71 Ferrari, dropping behind Richard Westbrook (#69 Ford), Antonio Garcia (#63 Corvette), Kevin Estre (#92 Porsche) and Stefan Mucke (#66 Ford) to run eighth ahead of Oliver Gavin's #64 Corvette.

Frederic Makowiecki gained three places in the opening lap to put the #91 Ferrari into 10th ahead of Toni Vilander's #82 Risi Ferrari and the #67 and #68 Ganassi Team USA Fords of Andy Priaulx and Joey Hand.

Porsche played a blinder in the pitstops, enabling Estre to emerge third behind Thiim and Turner, only to be robbed by Pier Guidi the following lap.

Westbrook was the biggest casualty of the pitstops, dropping from fourth to eighth behind Thiim, Turner, Pier Guidi, Estre, Mucke, Bird and Garcia.

Makowiecki and Priaulx jumped Gavin in the stops to run ninth and 10th, and Hand jumped Vilander for 12th.

GTE Am polesitter Fernando Rees got off to an explosive start in the #50 Larbre Viper, briefly passing Hand's GTE Pro Ford, but still had enough pace in hand to pull well clear of second-place qualifier Pedro Lamy's #98 Aston Martin once Hand got by.

During the stops, though, Scuderia Corsa and TF Sport turned round their cars faster to put Townsend Bell (#62 Ferrari) and Rob Bell (#90 Aston) ahead of both of them.

POSITIONS AFTER ONE HOUR

PosClassCarDriversLapsGap
1LMP1#8 ToyotaBuemi, Davidson, Nakajima16
2LMP1#7 ToyotaConway, Kobayashi, Sarrazin16+ 1.490s
3LMP1#1 PorscheJani, Lotterer, Tandy16+ 3.843s
4LMP1#2 PorscheBernhard, Bamber, Hartley16+ 11.248s
5LMP1#9 ToyotaLapierre, Kunimoto, Lopez16+ 36.045s
6LMP2#31 OrecaProst, Canal, Senna15+ 1 Lap
7LMP2#25 OrecaGonzalez, Trummer, Petrov15+ 11.533s
8LMP2#24 OrecaGraves, Hirschi, Vergne15+ 13.859s
9LMP2#13 OrecaPiquet Jr, H. Hansson, Beche15+ 16.381s
10LMP2#37 OrecaCheng, Gommendy, Brundle15+ 18.010s
11LMP2#38 OrecaTung, Laurent, Jarvis15+ 29.209s
12LMP2#35 AlpinePanciatici, Ragues, Negrao15+ 33.469s
13LMP2#27 DallaraAleshin, Sirotkin, Shaitar15+ 38.339s
14LMP2#21 OrecaHedman, Hanley, Rosenqvist15+ 39.584s
15LMP2#28 OrecaPerrodo, Vaxiviere, Collard15+ 52.088s
16LMP2#32 LigierOwen, De Sadeleer, Albuquerque15+ 54.646s
17LMP2#26 OrecaRusinov, Thiriet, Lynn15+ 1m15.675s
18LMP2#40 OrecaAllen, Matelli, Bradley15+ 1m16.398s
19LMP2#47 DallaraLacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi15+ 1m18.078s
20LMP2#34 LigierMoore, Hanson, Chandhok15+ 1m19.951s
21LMP2#33 LigierNicolet, Nicolet, Maris15+ 2m02.555s
22LMP2#43 RileyKeating, Bleekemolen, Taylor15+ 2m03.270s
23LMP2#17 LigierLafargue, Lafargue, Zollinger15+ 2m12.780s
24LMP2#23 LigierBarthez, Buret, Berthon15+ 2m41.288s
25LMP2#45 LigierPatterson, Mcmurry, Capillaire14+ 2 Laps
26LMP2#29 DallaraLammers, Van Eerd, Barrichello14+ 1.897s
27LMP2#39 OrecaGuibbert, Trouillet, Winslow14+ 1m28.395s
28LMP2#49 LigierKonopka, Calko, Breukers14+ 1m40.197s
29LMP2#36 AlpineDumas, Menezes, Rao14+ 2m00.346s
30GTE Pro#95 AstonThiim, Sorensen, Stanaway14+ 2m01.719s
31GTE Pro#97 AstonTurner, Adam, Serra14+ 2m06.533s
32GTE Pro#51 FerrariCalado, Pier Guidi, Rugolo14+ 2m09.412s
33GTE Pro#92 PorscheChristensen, Estre, Werner14+ 2m09.935s
34GTE Pro#66 FordMucke, Pla, Johnson14+ 2m11.810s
35GTE Pro#71 FerrariRigon, Bird, Molina14+ 2m13.517s
36GTE Pro#63 ChevroletMagnussen, Garcia, Taylor14+ 2m14.194s
37GTE Pro#69 FordBriscoe, Westbrook, Dixon14+ 2m15.863s
38GTE Pro#91 PorscheLietz, Makowiecki, Pilet14+ 2m16.685s
39GTE Pro#67 FordPriaulx, Tincknell, Derani14+ 2m18.398s
40GTE Pro#64 ChevroletGavin, Milner, Fassler14+ 2m20.624s
41GTE Pro#68 FordHand, Muller, Kanaan14+ 2m24.230s
42GTE Pro#82 FerrariVilander, Fisichella, Kaffer14+ 2m24.366s
43GTE Am#62 FerrariMacneil, Sweedler, Bell14+ 3m04.554s
44GTE Am#90 AstonYoluc, Hankey, Bell13+ 3 Laps
45GTE Am#55 FerrariCameron, Scott, Cioci13+ 6.390s
46GTE Am#77 PorscheRied, Cairoli, Dienst13+ 9.756s
47GTE Am#84 FerrariSmith, Stevens, Vanthoor13+ 10.456s
48GTE Am#60 FerrariWee, Katoh, Parente13+ 22.983s
49GTE Am#65 FerrariNielsen, Balzan, Curtis13+ 29.800s
50GTE Am#86 PorscheWainwright, Barker, Foster13+ 50.691s
51GTE Am#98 AstonDalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda13+ 1m09.916s
52GTE Am#50 ChevroletRees, Brandela, Philippon13+ 1m10.925s
53GTE Am#99 AstonHoward, Gunn, Bryant13+ 1m24.604s
54GTE Am#88 PorscheBachler, Lemeret, Al Qubaisi13+ 1m26.539s
55GTE Am#54 FerrariFlohr, Castellacci, Beretta13+ 1m40.506s
56GTE Am#61 FerrariMok, Sawa, Griffin13+ 1m45.394s
57GTE Am#83 FerrariKrohn, Jonsson, Bertolini13+ 1m45.751s
58GTE Am#93 PorscheLong, Al Faisal, Hedlund13+ 1m53.648s
59LMP1#4 EnsoWebb, Kraihamer, Bonanomi7+ 9 Laps
60LMP2#22 OrecaRojas, Hirakawa, Gutierrez5+ 11 Laps
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