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Le Mans 24 Hours: Alonso's #8 Toyota leads after Lopez errors

Alonso Toyota Le Mans 24 Hours 2019

Two errors from Jose Maria Lopez helped Toyota team-mate Kazuki Nakajima move the #8 TS050 HYBRID into a slender Le Mans 24 Hours lead in the eighth hour.

Lopez started the hour ahead, but had a major moment at Mulsanne corner early on, that included a trip through the gravel, allowed Nakajima into the lead.

Lopez later went off track for a second time, on this occasion at Indianapolis.

Both cars made planned stops in the middle of the hour, with Toyota changing the nose of the #8.

The #7 car, which is now stopping two laps later than the #8, ended the hour 10 seconds in arrears.

The battle for the final podium position between SMP's pair of BR Engineering-AER BR1s was just as tight, but was headed by the #17 car at the end of the hour.

Stephane Sarrazin is 5.962s ahead of Vitaly Petrov in the #11 car, which was delayed in the previous hour by an unscheduled stop to change a front nose that had picked up debris from a crash for the #3 Rebellion.

The #3 remains fifth in the order with Thomas Laurent - who was at the wheel of the Rebellion-Gibson R-13 when it went off - but lost time with a 3m27s pitstop that has dropped it more than two and a half minutes away from the podium battle.

Its sister #1 car remains four laps down in sixth, while neither the ByKolles and the #10 Dragonspeed BRE-Gibson BR1 - which has been affected by a gearbox issue - appeared on track during the hour.

LMP2 - Signatech pit delay improves G-Drive's lead

Jean-Eric Vergne continues to lead the race for G-Drive Racing at the eight hour mark, after chief rival Signatech-Alpine was delayed getting into its pit-box.

Vergne had a very small lead over Signatech's Andre Negrao when the two cars made their 12th stops together.

However, Negrao was unable to park properly due to the proximity of the #47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara in the adjoining box, so his mechanics had to hoist the car up on trolley jacks and manoeuvre it back into position before it could be serviced.

Once Negrao had been replaced by Nicolas Lapierre, the Frenchman rejoined 14 seconds in arrears, a margin that remained stable after the following round of pitstops shortly before the hour mark.

Having benefitted from the timing of a slow zone in the seventh hour, the #31 DragonSpeed ORECA leapfrogged the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA into third thanks to a well-timed pitstop while a full course yellow appeared for debris, which put Anthony Davidson inside half a minute of the race lead.

After completing a triple stint, Davidson pitted and handed over to the team's Silver-rated driver Roberto Gonzalez shortly before the hour mark, with the Mexican sitting 46s behind Vergne at the hour.

Stephane Richelmi therefore runs fourth ahead of team-mate Jordan King in the #37 DC Racing ORECA, while Paul di Resta has returned to the wheel of the #22 United Autosports Ligier in sixth place.

GTE - Porsche's Estre stretches lead

Porsche's Kevin Estre stretched a 10-second lead in GTE Pro over the course of the eighth hour, as the sole remaining Corvette moved back up to second.

Antonio Garcia (Corvette) overtook Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 Ferrari just shy of the one-third mark of the race, and ran 11s behind Estre's #92 Porsche.

Harry Tincknell held fourth in the best of the Ford GTs, the #67 car, just behind Pier Guidi but over a minute ahead of the fifth-placed #93 Porsche, now driven by Patrick Pilet.

Sam Bird made it two Ferraris inside the top six at the eight-hour mark, followed by Dirk Muller in the #68 Ford and the #91 Porsche of Gianmaria Bruni.

The Keating Motorsports Ford GT had its GTE Am lead significantly eroded during the eighth hour, with owner-driver Ben Keating only 20 seconds clear of Jeff Segal's #84 JMW Motorsports Ferrari of Jeff Segal.

Jorg Bergmiester ran nearly two minutes off the class lead in the Project 1 Porsche in third.

Positions after eight hours

1LMP1#8 ToyotaBuemi, Nakajima, Alonso128
2LMP1#7 ToyotaConway, Kobayashi, Lopez128+ 11.087s
3LMP1#17 BRSarrazin, Orudzhev, Sirotkin126+ 2 Laps
4LMP1#11 BRPetrov, Aleshin, Vandoorne126+ 7.866s
5LMP1#3 RebellionLaurent, Berthon, Menezes125+ 3 Laps
6LMP1#1 RebellionJani, Lotterer, Senna124+ 4 Laps
7LMP2#26 AurusRusinov, Van Uitert, Vergne122+ 6 Laps
8LMP2#36 AlpineLapierre, Negrao, Thiriet122+ 12.304s
9LMP2#31 OrecaGonzalez, Maldonado, Davidson122+ 1m37.369s
10LMP2#38 OrecaTung, Richelmi, Aubry121+ 7 Laps
11LMP2#37 OrecaHeinemeier-Hansson, King, Taylor121+ 1m18.062s
12LMP2#22 LigierHanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta121+ 2m37.421s
13LMP2#32 LigierCullen, Brundle, Owen121+ 3m37.667s
14LMP2#28 OrecaPerrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval121+ 4m16.330s
15LMP2#48 OrecaLafargue, Chatin, Rojas120+ 8 Laps
16LMP2#23 LigierBinder, Canal, Stevens120+ 2m18.271s
17LMP2#39 OrecaGommendy, Capillaire, Hirschi119+ 9 Laps
18LMP2#30 OrecaJamin, Ragues, Dumas119+ 4m28.976s
19LMP2#25 OrecaZollinger, Pizzitola, Falb119+ 4m37.602s
20LMP2#47 DallaraLacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi119+ 8m00.328s
21LMP2#50 LigierCreed, Ricci, Boulle118+ 10 Laps
22LMP2#43 OrecaFarano, Maini, Nato118+ 38.225s
23LMP2#34 LigierSmiechowski, Winslow, Moore117+ 11 Laps
24LMP2#20 OrecaFjordbach, Andersen, Beche116+ 12 Laps
25LMP2#49 LigierKonopka, Enqvist, Tereschenko115+ 13 Laps
26LMP2#29 DallaraVan Eerd, Van Der Garde, De Vries115+ 1.113s
27GTE Pro#92 PorscheChristensen, Estre, Vanthoor113+ 15 Laps
28GTE Pro#51 FerrariPier Guidi, Calado, Serra113+ 10.564s
29GTE Pro#63 ChevroletMagnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller113+ 11.094s
30GTE Pro#67 FordPriaulx, Tincknell, Bomarito113+ 11.610s
31GTE Pro#93 PorschePilet, Bamber, Tandy113+ 25.287s
32GTE Pro#68 FordHand, Muller, Bourdais113+ 36.689s
33GTE Pro#69 FordBriscoe, Westbrook, Dixon113+ 37.244s
34GTE Pro#71 FerrariRigon, Bird, Molina113+ 1m30.245s
35GTE Pro#91 PorscheLietz, Bruni, Makowiecki113+ 1m38.755s
36GTE Pro#94 PorscheMuller, Jaminet, Olsen113+ 3m03.897s
37GTE Pro#82 BMWFarfus, Da Costa, Krohn112+ 16 Laps
38GTE Pro#95 AstonThiim, Sorensen, Turner112+ 6.697s
39GTE Pro#97 AstonMartin, Lynn, Adam112+ 32.354s
40GTE Pro#81 BMWCatsburg, Tomczyk, Eng112+ 54.629s
41GTE Pro#66 FordMucke, Pla, Johnson112+ 56.194s
42GTE Pro#89 FerrariDerani, Jarvis, Gounon112+ 1m31.490s
43GTE Am#85 FordKeating, Bleekemolen, Fraga111+ 17 Laps
44GTE Am#84 FerrariSegal, Baptista, Lu111+ 22.689s
45GTE Am#56 PorscheBergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti110+ 18 Laps
46GTE Am#90 AstonYoluc, Hankey, Eastwood110+ 1m29.709s
47GTE Am#77 PorscheCampbell, Ried, Andlauer110+ 1m51.223s
48GTE Am#62 FerrariMacneil, Vilander, Smith110+ 2m24.275s
49GTE Am#61 FerrariPerez-Companc, Griffin, Cressoni110+ 2m59.267s
50GTE Am#78 PorschePrette, Prette, Abril109+ 19 Laps
51GTE Am#83 FerrariGostner, Frey, Gatting109+ 1m25.923s
52GTE Am#57 FerrariKimura, Cozzolino, Ledogar109+ 2m29.300s
53GTE Am#86 PorscheWainwright, Barker, Preining108+ 20 Laps
54GTE Am#70 FerrariIshikawa, Beretta, Cheever108+ 1m39.544s
55GTE Am#54 FerrariFlohr, Castellacci, Fisichella108+ 2m07.024s
56GTE Am#60 FerrariSchiavoni, Pianezzola, Piccini107+ 21 Laps
57LMP1#4 EnsoDillmann, Webb, Ruberti95+ 33 Laps
58GTE Am#98 AstonDalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda87+ 41 Laps
59GTE Am#88 PorscheHoshino, Roda Jr, Cairoli79+ 49 Laps
60LMP1#10 BRHedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande74+ 54 Laps
61GTE Pro#64 ChevroletGavin, Milner, Fassler82+ 46 Laps
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