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Le Mans 24 Hours: #7 Toyota maintains lead after first driver swaps

#7 Toyota Le Mans 24 Hours 2017

The #7 Toyota has strengthened its position in the lead of the Le Mans 24 Hours after the third hour with Kamui Kobayashi now at the wheel.

When Mike Conway pitted from the lead, his advantage over the sister #8 car was just two seconds but pole lap record-holder Kobayashi has now extended that to 31 seconds.

Anthony Davidson, replacing Sebastien Buemi in the #8, has started to drop back into the clutches of the top Porsche of Nick Tandy, having been unable to consistently match the pace of the leading car.

The #2 Porsche remains fourth around half a minute ahead of the final Toyota.

LMP2: REBELLION STAYS AHEAD WITH #13 CAR

#13 Rebellion Le Mans 24 Hours 2017

Mathias Beche, driving the #13 Rebellion, chased down and passed the sister #31 car of Nicolas Prost to take the lead with just over 10 minutes of the hour remaining.

Prost appeared to struggle in traffic, and the lead that was 21s over his team-mate when the pair started their respective stints was gradually whittled away.

Beche quickly extended that lead to around five seconds as the pitstop phase began just before the hour mark.

Thomas Laurent, driving the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA, had closed to just six seconds off the leading duo, but he went straight on at the second part of Indianapolis and lightly struck the barrier.

He recovered to the pits for a nose change, but rejoined almost two-and-a-half minutes down - but still in sixth place.

Jean-Eric Vergne ran fourth in the #24 Manor ORECA that he has been in since the start of the race, the consequence of the team making an early change of tyres when concerning wear was spotted.

He runs 20s ahead of team-mate Simon Trummer, who runs fifth in the #25 car.

At the end of the hour, Ben Keating had a high-speed spin at the Dunlop Esses while attempting to pass the GTE Pro Porsche of Richard Lietz, but avoided major damage and was able to get back to the pits.

GTE: ASTON 1-2 BACK ON TRACK

#95 Aston Martin Le Mans 24 Hours 2017

Aston Martin's two factory entries continue to lead GTE Pro, having repelled a challenge from Porsche during the third hour.

Marco Sorensen led throughout in the #95 Vantage, while Daniel Serra had to fight past Michael Christensen's #92 Porsche to reclaim second place after losing out during the pitstop in which he took over the #97 car from Darren Turner.

Behind them, Harry Tincknell led the chasing pack in the #67 Ford before he and Christensen became the first of the frontrunning group to pit, 15 minutes before the turn of the hour, enabling the out-of-sequence #66 Ford of Olivier Pla to inherit third.

Tincknell then bullied his way past at Arnage to claim fourth place from Christensen.

The fastest of the Ferraris, James Calado in the #51 AF Corse 488, is just over seven seconds further back in sixth.

Porsche's other car is now running at the back of the class after a clash with the Keating LMP2 entry at the Dunlop chicane.

An Aston Martin also leads GTE Am in the hands of Paul Dalla Lana, who passed William Sweedler's Ferrari 488 early in the hour and now has nearly 30s in hand over Dries Vanthoor in the #84 Ferrari, who also passed the American.

POSITIONS AFTER THREE HOURS

PosClassCarDriversLapsGap
1LMP1#7 ToyotaConway, Kobayashi, Sarrazin48
2LMP1#8 ToyotaBuemi, Davidson, Nakajima48+ 28.382s
3LMP1#1 PorscheJani, Lotterer, Tandy48+ 36.208s
4LMP1#2 PorscheBernhard, Bamber, Hartley48+ 1m00.055s
5LMP1#9 ToyotaLapierre, Kunimoto, Lopez48+ 1m22.617s
6LMP2#13 OrecaPiquet Jr, H. Hansson, Beche46+ 2 Laps
7LMP2#31 OrecaProst, Canal, Senna46+ 2.000s
8LMP2#37 OrecaCheng, Gommendy, Brundle46+ 30.266s
9LMP2#24 OrecaGraves, Hirschi, Vergne46+ 53.275s
10LMP2#25 OrecaGonzalez, Trummer, Petrov45+ 3 Laps
11LMP2#27 DallaraAleshin, Sirotkin, Shaitar45+ 56.718s
12LMP2#38 OrecaTung, Laurent, Jarvis45+ 1m25.848s
13LMP2#35 AlpinePanciatici, Ragues, Negrao45+ 1m30.738s
14LMP2#32 LigierOwen, De Sadeleer, Albuquerque45+ 1m59.503s
15LMP2#40 OrecaAllen, Matelli, Bradley45+ 2m14.080s
16LMP2#28 OrecaPerrodo, Vaxiviere, Collard45+ 2m15.743s
17LMP2#47 DallaraLacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi45+ 2m24.304s
18LMP2#21 OrecaHedman, Hanley, Rosenqvist45+ 3m12.217s
19LMP2#34 LigierMoore, Hanson, Chandhok44+ 4 Laps
20LMP2#23 LigierBarthez, Buret, Berthon44+ 21.556s
21LMP2#17 LigierLafargue, Lafargue, Zollinger44+ 1m44.610s
22LMP2#43 RileyKeating, Bleekemolen, Taylor44+ 2m06.579s
23LMP2#36 AlpineDumas, Menezes, Rao44+ 2m07.338s
24LMP2#29 DallaraLammers, Van Eerd, Barrichello43+ 5 Laps
25LMP2#33 LigierNicolet, Nicolet, Maris43+ 0.098s
26GTE Pro#95 AstonThiim, Sorensen, Stanaway42+ 6 Laps
27GTE Pro#97 AstonTurner, Adam, Serra42+ 8.354s
28GTE Pro#66 FordMucke, Pla, Johnson42+ 9.155s
29GTE Pro#67 FordPriaulx, Tincknell, Derani42+ 14.480s
30GTE Pro#92 PorscheChristensen, Estre, Werner42+ 15.007s
31GTE Pro#51 FerrariCalado, Pier Guidi, Rugolo42+ 23.873s
32GTE Pro#69 FordBriscoe, Westbrook, Dixon42+ 25.719s
33GTE Pro#71 FerrariRigon, Bird, Molina42+ 29.798s
34GTE Pro#64 ChevroletGavin, Milner, Fassler42+ 30.438s
35GTE Pro#82 FerrariVilander, Fisichella, Kaffer42+ 36.019s
36GTE Pro#91 PorscheLietz, Makowiecki, Pilet42+ 39.937s
37GTE Pro#63 ChevroletMagnussen, Garcia, Taylor42+ 41.912s
38GTE Pro#68 FordHand, Muller, Kanaan42+ 46.441s
39LMP2#39 OrecaGuibbert, Trouillet, Winslow41+ 7 Laps
40GTE Am#84 FerrariSmith, Stevens, Vanthoor41+ 2.833s
41GTE Am#62 FerrariMacneil, Sweedler, Bell41+ 16.377s
42GTE Am#90 AstonYoluc, Hankey, Bell41+ 16.881s
43GTE Am#55 FerrariCameron, Scott, Cioci41+ 32.508s
44GTE Am#98 AstonDalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda41+ 43.578s
45GTE Am#77 PorscheRied, Cairoli, Dienst41+ 1m23.679s
46GTE Am#65 FerrariNielsen, Balzan, Curtis41+ 1m56.083s
47GTE Am#99 AstonHoward, Gunn, Bryant41+ 2m30.851s
48GTE Am#50 ChevroletRees, Brandela, Philippon40+ 8 Laps
49GTE Am#86 PorscheWainwright, Barker, Foster40+ 2.315s
50GTE Am#93 PorscheLong, Al Faisal, Hedlund40+ 21.367s
51GTE Am#61 FerrariMok, Sawa, Griffin40+ 26.286s
52GTE Am#83 FerrariKrohn, Jonsson, Bertolini40+ 1m27.790s
53GTE Am#54 FerrariFlohr, Castellacci, Beretta40+ 2m27.508s
54GTE Am#60 FerrariWee, Katoh, Parente39+ 9 Laps
55LMP2#45 LigierPatterson, Mcmurry, Capillaire33+ 15 Laps
56LMP2#22 OrecaRojas, Hirakawa, Gutierrez32+ 16 Laps
57LMP2#49 LigierKonopka, Calko, Breukers27+ 21 Laps
58LMP2#26 OrecaRusinov, Thiriet, Lynn20Retired
59GTE Am#88 PorscheBachler, Lemeret, Al Qubaisi18Retired
60LMP1#4 EnsoWebb, Kraihamer, Bonanomi7Retired
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