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Le Mans 24 Hours lead battle closes up during sixth hour

#7 Toyota Le Mans 2017

Toyota continues to hold the advantage at quarter-distance of the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours, although Stephane Sarrazin's lead has been cut slightly during a lengthy slow zone period.

Barrier repairs were required after contact between the #28 TDS ORECA of Matthieu Vaxiviere and the Risi Compeitizione Ferrari 488 GTE of Pierre Kaffer pitched the GTE car into the guardrail at the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight, and during that time the leading cars concertinaed together.

The #7 Toyota's advantage has now been cut to 26 seconds by the leading Porsche of Andre Lotterer, who in turn has been caught dramatically by Kazuki Nakajima in the second Toyota, which is now just five seconds further back.

The third Toyota is still losing time after its pitstop to close an ajar door in the previous hour put it in an unfortunate position during the slow zone and dropped it almost a whole lap behind Sarrazin up front.

The #2 Porsche continues to run after its earlier front-axle issue but is still 17 laps behind the leaders.

LMP2: REBELLION IN CHARGE

#31 Rebellion LMP2 2017 Le Mans

The Rebellion team's pair of ORECA-Gibson 07s were running one-two in LMP2 as the race hit one-quarter distance.

Bruno Senna in the #31 car emerged from the ninth round of pitstops to emerge with a comfortable lead over team-mate Nelson Piquet Jr in the #13.

Julien Canal was a couple of seconds up on David Heinemeier Hansson when the slow zone for the Vaxiviere/Kaffer clash on the Mulsanne Straight began.

The vagaries of the slow zone proceedure increased the gap to more than a minute before the race briefly went green.

Senna was 45s ahead during a brief period of green-flag running, before another slow zone extended his advantage to 1m38s.

Third place was held by Ho-Pin Tung in the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA from the #35 Signatech Alpine entry with Pierre Ragues at the wheel.

ASTON MARTIN STILL LEADS IN GTE

#97 Aston Martin Le Mans 2017

Aston Martin held its GTE Pro lead through to the end of the sixth hour, though the full extent of its net advantage was not clear during the slow zone phase.

Jonny Adam pitted to hand over to Darren Turner on schedule 10 minutes before the turn of the hour and the #97 Vantage emerged still in the lead from the #67 Ford.

Andy Priaulx took over the #67 car from Luis Derani during its routine stop and came under heavy pressure from Marcel Fassler in the #64 Corvette until Fassler stopped to hand over to Oliver Gavin.

That elevated the #66 Ford, now driven by Stefan Mucke, to third in class, but this will be short-lived since it is running out of sync after its puncture during the second hour.

AF Corse took advantage of the long-running slow zone to put Michele Rugolo, the last minute substitute for Lucas di Grassi, into the #51 Ferrari for the first time during this race. It is currently running fourth, ahead of Oliver Gavin in the second Corvette, but will be due a stop shortly after the #66 Ford.

Paul Dalla Lana leads GTE Am in the #98 Aston from the #84 Ferrari of Robert Smith, but this car is due a pitstop that will clear the way for Salih Yoluc in the #90 Aston.

POSITIONS AFTER SIX HOURS

PosClassCarDriversLapsGap
1LMP1#7 ToyotaConway, Kobayashi, Sarrazin93
2LMP1#1 PorscheJani, Lotterer, Tandy93+ 28.806s
3LMP1#8 ToyotaBuemi, Davidson, Nakajima93+ 32.718s
4LMP1#9 ToyotaLapierre, Kunimoto, Lopez92+ 1 Lap
5LMP2#31 OrecaProst, Canal, Senna88+ 5 Laps
6LMP2#13 OrecaPiquet Jr, H. Hansson, Beche88+ 1m38.437s
7LMP2#24 OrecaGraves, Hirschi, Vergne87+ 6 Laps
8LMP2#38 OrecaTung, Laurent, Jarvis87+ 9.254s
9LMP2#37 OrecaCheng, Gommendy, Brundle87+ 1m14.507s
10LMP2#35 AlpinePanciatici, Ragues, Negrao87+ 1m41.128s
11LMP2#25 OrecaGonzalez, Trummer, Petrov87+ 2m20.167s
12LMP2#40 OrecaAllen, Matelli, Bradley87+ 2m57.725s
13LMP2#27 DallaraAleshin, Sirotkin, Shaitar87+ 3m53.002s
14LMP2#32 LigierOwen, De Sadeleer, Albuquerque87+ 4m00.920s
15LMP2#21 OrecaHedman, Hanley, Rosenqvist86+ 7 Laps
16LMP2#28 OrecaPerrodo, Vaxiviere, Collard86+ 2m32.658s
17LMP2#47 DallaraLacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi85+ 8 Laps
18LMP2#34 LigierMoore, Hanson, Chandhok85+ 34.510s
19LMP2#23 LigierBarthez, Buret, Berthon85+ 1m41.857s
20LMP2#17 LigierLafargue, Lafargue, Zollinger84+ 9 Laps
21LMP2#33 LigierNicolet, Nicolet, Maris83+ 10 Laps
22LMP2#39 OrecaGuibbert, Trouillet, Winslow83+ 2m06.290s
23LMP2#29 DallaraLammers, Van Eerd, Barrichello82+ 11 Laps
24LMP2#43 RileyKeating, Bleekemolen, Taylor82+ 2m57.661s
25GTE Pro#97 AstonTurner, Adam, Serra81+ 12 Laps
26GTE Pro#67 FordPriaulx, Tincknell, Derani81+ 1m57.150s
27GTE Pro#64 ChevroletGavin, Milner, Fassler81+ 1m58.166s
28GTE Pro#68 FordHand, Muller, Kanaan81+ 2m35.291s
29GTE Pro#71 FerrariRigon, Bird, Molina81+ 2m39.533s
30GTE Pro#69 FordBriscoe, Westbrook, Dixon81+ 2m54.550s
31GTE Pro#66 FordMucke, Pla, Johnson81+ 3m05.268s
32GTE Pro#51 FerrariCalado, Pier Guidi, Rugolo81+ 3m09.229s
33GTE Pro#91 PorscheLietz, Makowiecki, Pilet81+ 3m28.566s
34GTE Pro#63 ChevroletMagnussen, Garcia, Taylor81+ 3m43.611s
35GTE Pro#95 AstonThiim, Sorensen, Stanaway81+ 3m48.902s
36GTE Pro#92 PorscheChristensen, Estre, Werner81+ 4m16.071s
37GTE Am#98 AstonDalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda80+ 13 Laps
38GTE Am#84 FerrariSmith, Stevens, Vanthoor80+ 2.114s
39GTE Am#90 AstonYoluc, Hankey, Bell79+ 14 Laps
40GTE Am#77 PorscheRied, Cairoli, Dienst79+ 3.721s
41GTE Am#62 FerrariMacneil, Sweedler, Bell79+ 28.634s
42GTE Am#55 FerrariCameron, Scott, Cioci79+ 2m42.720s
43GTE Am#65 FerrariNielsen, Balzan, Curtis79+ 3m24.932s
44GTE Am#99 AstonHoward, Gunn, Bryant79+ 4m03.625s
45GTE Am#93 PorscheLong, Al Faisal, Hedlund79+ 5m17.246s
46GTE Am#61 FerrariMok, Sawa, Griffin78+ 15 Laps
47LMP2#36 AlpineDumas, Menezes, Rao78+ 1m18.931s
48GTE Am#86 PorscheWainwright, Barker, Foster78+ 1m26.666s
49GTE Am#83 FerrariKrohn, Jonsson, Bertolini78+ 1m54.636s
50GTE Am#54 FerrariFlohr, Castellacci, Beretta78+ 2m28.418s
51GTE Am#60 FerrariWee, Katoh, Parente77+ 16 Laps
52GTE Am#50 ChevroletRees, Brandela, Philippon77+ 53.198s
53LMP2#45 LigierPatterson, Mcmurry, Capillaire75+ 18 Laps
54LMP1#2 PorscheBernhard, Bamber, Hartley75+ 1m47.143s
55LMP2#22 OrecaRojas, Hirakawa, Gutierrez74+ 19 Laps
56GTE Pro#82 FerrariVilander, Fisichella, Kaffer72+ 21 Laps
57LMP2#49 LigierKonopka, Calko, Breukers67+ 26 Laps
58LMP2#26 OrecaRusinov, Thiriet, Lynn20Retired
59GTE Am#88 PorscheBachler, Lemeret, Al Qubaisi18Retired
60LMP1#4 EnsoWebb, Kraihamer, Bonanomi7Retired
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