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Le Mans hour 11: Alonso chasing race-leading #7 Toyota

#7 Toyota Le Mans 2018

Fernando Alonso returned to the wheel of the #8 Toyota and is comfortably quicker than the #7, although it still leads the Le Mans 24 Hours by just under two minutes.

After Alonso's team-mate Sebastien Buemi was caught out by a mixture of slow zones and given a stop/go penalty for speeding under one, the Spaniard climbed aboard the #8 car halfway through the hour.

In his opening laps, he carved 8s out of Conway's to remain on target to lower his lead below the two minutes mark and he continues to lap several seconds faster than the long-running driver stint Conway has had - although times were converging as the hour ended.

Rebellion Racing's largely trouble-free run means it is comfortably the leading LMP1 privateer ranks with Mateos Beche in third and one lap ahead of Bruno Senna, who has taken over the #1 machine.

Ben Hanley has continued DragonSpeed's recovery from Renger van der Zande's Dunlop Chicane off earlier in the race and is close to clearing the GTE Pro field in 25th overall.

But the Manor-Ginettas are way down the order once again after Oliver Rowland did not return to the track having stopped at Tertre Rouge over an hour ago.

That means Leo Roussel is ahead of the sister car in 49th place.

Rowland and Manor-Ginetta's struggles mean that Vitaly Petrov is closing on them, having been solidly last while Jenson Button and Mikhail Aleshin aided the recovery drive earlier in the race.

G-Drive leads by a lap in LMP2

Roman Rusinov has put a lap on the field for the first time in the 11th hour as the #26 G-Drive ORECA continued to dominate in LMP2.

The Russian was consistently two seconds or more per lap faster than Pierre Thiriet's pursuing Signatech-Alpine and had put a lap on him by the 165th tour.

However, Thiriet was on a par with Julien Canal's third-placed Panis-Barthez Ligier, and was managing the gap at around 9.5s prior to their 17th stops as the hour mark approached.

Memo Rojas had a marginal grip on fourth in the IDEC Sport ORECA as the hour mark approached, with TDS Racing's Matthieu Vaxiviere just 7.5s behind and closing.

After losing a place to Vaxiviere's team-mate Loic Duval during the previous round of stops in the tenth hour, Jonathan Hirschi had slipped over half a minute back in sixth place in the #39 Graff-So24 ORECA.

Holding station in GTE

GTE Pro remains largely unchanged as Kevin Estre continues to hold a lead of over 90 seconds to the sister #91 car of Richard Lietz.

Joey Hand continues to lap the #68 Ford GT in third, with Antonio Giovinazzi's #51 Ferrari ahead of the #69 and #67 Fords driven by Scott Dixon and Harry Tincknell.

GTE Am is also in status quo, with the Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche of Matt Campbell still over 90s clear of the JMW Motorsport Ferrari driven by Cooper MacNeil.

Positions after 11 hours

1LMP1#7 ToyotaConway, Kobayashi, Lopez178
2LMP1#8 ToyotaBuemi, Nakajima, Alonso178+ 1m57.282s
3LMP1#3 RebellionLaurent, Beche, Menezes174+ 4 Laps
4LMP1#1 RebellionLotterer, Jani, Senna172+ 6 Laps
5LMP2#26 OrecaRusinov, Pizzitola, Vergne170+ 8 Laps
6LMP2#36 AlpineLapierre, Negrao, Thiriet169+ 9 Laps
7LMP2#23 LigierBuret, Canal, Stevens169+ 0.436s
8LMP2#48 OrecaLafargue, Chatin, Rojas168+ 10 Laps
9LMP2#28 OrecaPerrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval168+ 7.710s
10LMP2#39 OrecaCapillaire, Hirschi, Gommendy168+ 40.811s
11LMP2#34 LigierTaylor, Ledogar, Heinemeier-Hansson167+ 11 Laps
12LMP2#40 OrecaAllen, Gutierrez, Guibbert167+ 14.858s
13LMP2#22 LigierHanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta167+ 33.872s
14LMP2#32 LigierDe Sadeleer, Owen, Montoya166+ 12 Laps
15LMP2#31 OrecaGonzalez, Maldonado, Berthon165+ 13 Laps
16LMP2#29 DallaraVan Eerd, Van Der Garde, Lammers165+ 18.107s
17LMP2#35 DallaraShaitar, Newey, Nato165+ 1m15.490s
18LMP2#37 OrecaJaafar, Jeffri, Tan163+ 15 Laps
19LMP2#44 LigierBertolini, Jonsson, Krohn162+ 16 Laps
20LMP2#33 LigierCheng, Boulle, Nicolet162+ 19.656s
21LMP2#47 DallaraLacorte, Sernagiotto, Nasr161+ 17 Laps
22LMP2#50 LigierCreed, Ricci, Dagoneau160+ 18 Laps
23LMP1#10 BRHedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande158+ 20 Laps
24GTE Pro#92 PorscheChristensen, Estre, Vanthoor158+ 5.320s
25LMP2#38 OrecaTung, Richelmi, Aubry158+ 40.136s
26GTE Pro#91 PorscheLietz, Bruni, Makowiecki157+ 21 Laps
27GTE Pro#68 FordHand, Muller, Bourdais157+ 54.433s
28GTE Pro#52 FerrariVilander, Giovinazzi, Derani157+ 1m33.960s
29GTE Pro#69 FordBriscoe, Westbrook, Dixon157+ 2m16.731s
30GTE Pro#67 FordPriaulx, Tincknell, Kanaan157+ 2m19.110s
31GTE Pro#63 ChevroletMagnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller157+ 2m39.304s
32GTE Pro#51 FerrariPier Guidi, Calado, Serra156+ 22 Laps
33GTE Pro#82 BMWFarfus, Felix Da Costa, Sims155+ 23 Laps
34GTE Pro#95 AstonSorensen, Thiim, Turner155+ 51.088s
35GTE Pro#66 FordMucke, Pla, Johnson155+ 3m01.402s
36GTE Pro#81 BMWTomczyk, Catsburg, Eng154+ 24 Laps
37GTE Am#77 PorscheCampbell, Ried, Andlauer153+ 25 Laps
38GTE Pro#71 FerrariRigon, Bird, Molina153+ 1m29.602s
39GTE Am#84 FerrariGriffin, Macneil, Segal153+ 1m44.580s
40GTE Am#85 FerrariKeating, Bleekemolen, Stolz153+ 1m56.939s
41GTE Pro#97 AstonLynn, Martin, Adam153+ 2m24.276s
42GTE Am#88 PorscheCairoli, Al Qubaisi, Roda153+ 2m51.928s
43GTE Am#54 FerrariFlohr, Castellacci, Fisichella153+ 2m52.475s
44GTE Am#56 PorscheBergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti152+ 26 Laps
45GTE Pro#64 ChevroletGavin, Milner, Fassler152+ 48.292s
46GTE Am#99 PorscheLong, Pappas, Pumpelly152+ 2m49.836s
47GTE Am#80 PorscheBabini, Nielsen, Maris152+ 3m18.766s
48GTE Am#61 FerrariMok, Griffin, Sawa152+ 4m50.503s
49LMP1#5 GinettaRobertson, Simpson, Roussel151+ 27 Laps
50GTE Pro#93 PorschePilet, Tandy, Bamber151+ 33.603s
51GTE Am#90 AstonYoluc, Hankey, Eastwood149+ 29 Laps
52GTE Am#86 PorscheWainwright, Barker, Davison148+ 30 Laps
53GTE Am#70 FerrariIshikawa, Beretta, Cheever145+ 33 Laps
54LMP1#6 GinettaRowland, Brundle, Turvey137+ 41 Laps
55LMP1#11 BRPetrov, Aleshin, Button127+ 51 Laps
56LMP1#17 BRSarrazin, Orudzhev, Isaakyan123+ 55 Laps
57LMP2#25 LigierPatterson, De Jong, Kim117+ 61 Laps
58GTE Pro#94 PorscheDumas, Bernhard, Muller92+ 86 Laps
59GTE Am#98 AstonDalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda92+ 6m08.912s
60LMP1#4 EnsoWebb, Kraihamer, Dillmann65+ 113 Laps
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