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

Kazuki Nakajima Toyota Le Mans 24 Hours 2018

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

PosClassCarDriversLapsGap
1LMP1#8 ToyotaBuemi, Nakajima, Alonso263
2LMP1#7 ToyotaConway, Kobayashi, Lopez262+ 1 Lap
3LMP1#3 RebellionLaurent, Beche, Menezes252+ 11 Laps
4LMP1#1 RebellionLotterer, Jani, Senna252+ 43.568s
5LMP2#26 OrecaRusinov, Pizzitola, Vergne250+ 13 Laps
6LMP2#23 LigierBuret, Canal, Stevens248+ 15 Laps
7LMP2#36 AlpineLapierre, Negrao, Thiriet248+ 1m45.353s
8LMP2#48 OrecaLafargue, Chatin, Rojas247+ 16 Laps
9LMP2#22 LigierHanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta247+ 1m06.102s
10LMP2#39 OrecaCapillaire, Hirschi, Gommendy247+ 1m18.962s
11LMP2#28 OrecaPerrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval246+ 17 Laps
12LMP2#32 LigierDe Sadeleer, Owen, Montoya246+ 1m54.089s
13LMP2#29 DallaraVan Eerd, Van Der Garde, Lammers241+ 22 Laps
14LMP2#37 OrecaJaafar, Jeffri, Tan241+ 25.113s
15LMP2#31 OrecaGonzalez, Maldonado, Berthon240+ 23 Laps
16LMP2#44 LigierBertolini, Jonsson, Krohn240+ 1m56.327s
17LMP2#33 LigierCheng, Boulle, Nicolet239+ 24 Laps
18LMP1#10 BRHedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande238+ 25 Laps
19LMP2#47 DallaraLacorte, Sernagiotto, Nasr238+ 54.635s
20LMP2#38 OrecaTung, Richelmi, Aubry236+ 27 Laps
21LMP2#35 DallaraShaitar, Newey, Nato234+ 29 Laps
22GTE Pro#92 PorscheChristensen, Estre, Vanthoor232+ 31 Laps
23GTE Pro#91 PorscheLietz, Bruni, Makowiecki231+ 32 Laps
24GTE Pro#68 FordHand, Muller, Bourdais231+ 23.079s
25GTE Pro#67 FordPriaulx, Tincknell, Kanaan231+ 1m58.296s
26GTE Pro#52 FerrariVilander, Giovinazzi, Derani231+ 2m11.358s
27GTE Pro#69 FordBriscoe, Westbrook, Dixon231+ 2m21.018s
28GTE Pro#63 ChevroletMagnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller231+ 2m43.747s
29GTE Pro#51 FerrariPier Guidi, Calado, Serra230+ 33 Laps
30GTE Pro#66 FordMucke, Pla, Johnson228+ 35 Laps
31GTE Pro#95 AstonSorensen, Thiim, Turner228+ 7.896s
32GTE Pro#81 BMWTomczyk, Catsburg, Eng228+ 1m04.826s
33GTE Pro#71 FerrariRigon, Bird, Molina227+ 36 Laps
34LMP2#50 LigierCreed, Ricci, Dagoneau227+ 2.064s
35GTE Pro#64 ChevroletGavin, Milner, Fassler226+ 37 Laps
36GTE Am#77 PorscheCampbell, Ried, Andlauer226+ 1m42.014s
37GTE Pro#97 AstonLynn, Martin, Adam226+ 1m50.599s
38GTE Am#85 FerrariKeating, Bleekemolen, Stolz225+ 38 Laps
39GTE Am#54 FerrariFlohr, Castellacci, Fisichella225+ 36.152s
40GTE Am#99 PorscheLong, Pappas, Pumpelly225+ 1m59.811s
41GTE Am#88 PorscheCairoli, Al Qubaisi, Roda225+ 2m11.059s
42GTE Pro#93 PorschePilet, Tandy, Bamber225+ 3m18.959s
43GTE Am#56 PorscheBergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti225+ 3m21.870s
44LMP1#5 GinettaRobertson, Simpson, Roussel224+ 39 Laps
45GTE Am#80 PorscheBabini, Nielsen, Maris224+ 2m01.382s
46GTE Am#61 FerrariMok, Griffin, Sawa224+ 2m30.206s
47GTE Pro#82 BMWFarfus, Felix Da Costa, Sims223+ 40 Laps
48GTE Am#84 FerrariGriffin, Macneil, Segal223+ 27m19.974s
49GTE Am#86 PorscheWainwright, Barker, Davison221+ 42 Laps
50GTE Am#90 AstonYoluc, Hankey, Eastwood221+ 17.658s
51GTE Am#70 FerrariIshikawa, Beretta, Cheever218+ 45 Laps
52LMP1#11 BRPetrov, Aleshin, Button210+ 53 Laps
53LMP2#25 LigierPatterson, De Jong, Kim179+ 84 Laps
54LMP1#6 GinettaRowland, Brundle, Turvey137+ 126 Laps
55LMP1#17 BRSarrazin, Orudzhev, Isaakyan123+ 140 Laps
56GTE Am#98 AstonDalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda92+ 171 Laps
57LMP1#4 EnsoWebb, Kraihamer, Dillmann65+ 198 Laps
58LMP2#40 OrecaAllen, Gutierrez, Guibbert197Retired
59LMP2#34 LigierTaylor, Ledogar, Heinemeier-Hansson195Retired
60GTE Pro#94 PorscheDumas, Bernhard, Muller92Retired
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