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Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche back in GTE lead, Lopez pulls away

Porsche Le Mans 2019

Porsche reclaimed the lead from Ferrari in the close-fought Le Mans 24 Hours GTE Pro battle as the race hit two-thirds distance, while the #7 Toyota extended its overall advantage.

LMP1 - #7 Toyota over a minute clear

The #7 Toyota continued to extend its lead in the Le Mans 24 Hours with Jose Maria Lopez at the wheel through hour 16.

The Argentinian started the hour just over a minute up on the sister TS050 HYBRID of Fernando Alonso and gained a handful of seconds while the double Formula 1 world champion remained in the car.

He then gained another chunk of time when Kazuki Nakajima took over the #8 car during the 22nd round of stops for the Toyotas.

The lead for #7 stood at 1m17s after a full course yellow period and had edged up to 1m20s as the race hit the two thirds mark.

LMP2 - G-Drive maintains its cushion

G-Drive Le Mans 2019

Job van Uitert managed G-Drive's LMP2 class lead through the 16th hour, having now taken over from Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne.

Van Uitert initially lost time to the Signatech-Alpine driven by Nicolas Lapierre, but the gap then stabilised.

Following a late full-course yellow, the LMP2 class lead grew to just under 1m30s.

Lapierre completed his stint within the hour and handed the Signatech over to Andre Negrao.

Negrao is starting to come under pressure from the fourth-placed DragonSpeed ORECA of Pastor Maldonado as the gap slimmed to just over 20s.

Maldonado took the first pitstop of his stint inside the last five minutes of the hour, which exaggerated the gap to 1m40s, and he momentarily dropped behind the Jackie Chan DC Racing entry of Gabriel Aubry.

TDS Racing's Mathieu Vaxiviere is matching the DragonSpeed on strategy, but it is over a minute behind Maldonado in fifth place.

GTE - Porsche back ahead

Ferrari surrendered its lead in GTE Pro through the last pitstop cycle, as James Calado stopped to hand over the #51 AF Corse Ferrari to Daniel Serra.

That meant Porsche retook the advantage with Richard Lietz at the wheel of the #91 car, six seconds ahead of Jan Magnussen's #63 Corvette and Patrick Pilet in the #93 Porsche.

Serra rejoined fourth, 29s down on Lietz at the top of the hour, and 35s up on the best-placed Ford GT, the #68 machine of Joey Hand.

The Keating Motorsports Ford continued to hold a lap's advantage over the rest in GTE Am in the hands of owner-driver Ben Keating, with Patrick Lindsey keeping the Project 1 Porsche a lapped second and Jeff Segal holding third in the JMW Motorsports Ferrari.

Positions after 16 hours

1LMP1#7 ToyotaConway, Kobayashi, Lopez254
2LMP1#8 ToyotaBuemi, Nakajima, Alonso254+ 1m19.981s
3LMP1#3 RebellionLaurent, Berthon, Menezes250+ 4 Laps
4LMP1#11 BRPetrov, Aleshin, Vandoorne250+ 2m18.549s
5LMP1#1 RebellionJani, Lotterer, Senna246+ 8 Laps
6LMP2#26 AurusRusinov, Van Uitert, Vergne243+ 11 Laps
7LMP2#36 AlpineLapierre, Negrao, Thiriet243+ 1m29.616s
8LMP2#38 OrecaTung, Richelmi, Aubry242+ 12 Laps
9LMP2#31 OrecaGonzalez, Maldonado, Davidson242+ 1m25.900s
10LMP2#28 OrecaPerrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval241+ 13 Laps
11LMP2#22 LigierHanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta240+ 14 Laps
12LMP2#30 OrecaJamin, Ragues, Dumas239+ 15 Laps
13LMP2#48 OrecaLafargue, Chatin, Rojas239+ 35.175s
14LMP2#23 LigierBinder, Canal, Stevens238+ 16 Laps
15LMP2#39 OrecaGommendy, Capillaire, Hirschi237+ 17 Laps
16LMP2#47 DallaraLacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi234+ 20 Laps
17LMP2#29 DallaraVan Eerd, Van Der Garde, De Vries234+ 1m14.327s
18LMP2#25 OrecaZollinger, Pizzitola, Falb234+ 1m54.752s
19LMP2#43 OrecaFarano, Maini, Nato233+ 21 Laps
20LMP2#50 LigierCreed, Ricci, Boulle233+ 58.383s
21LMP2#20 OrecaFjordbach, Andersen, Beche232+ 22 Laps
22LMP2#34 LigierSmiechowski, Winslow, Moore229+ 25 Laps
23LMP2#32 LigierCullen, Brundle, Owen228+ 26 Laps
24GTE Pro#91 PorscheLietz, Bruni, Makowiecki225+ 29 Laps
25GTE Pro#63 ChevroletMagnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller225+ 6.097s
26GTE Pro#93 PorschePilet, Bamber, Tandy225+ 18.592s
27GTE Pro#51 FerrariPier Guidi, Calado, Serra225+ 30.014s
28GTE Pro#68 FordHand, Muller, Bourdais225+ 1m05.247s
29GTE Pro#67 FordPriaulx, Tincknell, Bomarito225+ 1m26.324s
30GTE Pro#69 FordBriscoe, Westbrook, Dixon224+ 30 Laps
31GTE Pro#94 PorscheMuller, Jaminet, Olsen224+ 1m16.410s
32GTE Pro#66 FordMucke, Pla, Johnson224+ 1m38.568s
33GTE Pro#89 FerrariDerani, Jarvis, Gounon223+ 31 Laps
34GTE Pro#82 BMWFarfus, Da Costa, Krohn222+ 32 Laps
35GTE Am#85 FordKeating, Bleekemolen, Fraga221+ 33 Laps
36GTE Pro#92 PorscheChristensen, Estre, Vanthoor220+ 34 Laps
37GTE Pro#81 BMWCatsburg, Tomczyk, Eng220+ 2m24.701s
38GTE Am#56 PorscheBergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti219+ 35 Laps
39GTE Am#84 FerrariSegal, Baptista, Lu219+ 1m27.317s
40GTE Am#61 FerrariPerez-Companc, Griffin, Cressoni219+ 1m47.286s
41GTE Am#90 AstonYoluc, Hankey, Eastwood219+ 2m34.041s
42GTE Am#62 FerrariMacneil, Vilander, Smith219+ 3m04.696s
43GTE Am#77 PorscheCampbell, Ried, Andlauer219+ 3m34.613s
44GTE Am#57 FerrariKimura, Cozzolino, Ledogar218+ 36 Laps
45GTE Am#78 PorschePrette, Prette, Abril218+ 3m10.738s
46GTE Am#54 FerrariFlohr, Castellacci, Fisichella217+ 37 Laps
47GTE Am#86 PorscheWainwright, Barker, Preining217+ 3m05.781s
48GTE Am#83 FerrariGostner, Frey, Gatting216+ 38 Laps
49GTE Am#70 FerrariIshikawa, Beretta, Cheever216+ 3m15.145s
50GTE Am#60 FerrariSchiavoni, Pianezzola, Piccini212+ 42 Laps
51GTE Pro#97 AstonMartin, Lynn, Adam210+ 44 Laps
52LMP2#37 OrecaHeinemeier-Hansson, King, Taylor199+ 55 Laps
53LMP1#17 BRSarrazin, Orudzhev, Sirotkin163+ 91 Laps
54LMP1#4 EnsoDillmann, Webb, Ruberti163+ 2h35m00.370s
55LMP2#49 LigierKonopka, Enqvist, Tereschenko160+ 94 Laps
56GTE Pro#71 FerrariRigon, Bird, Molina140+ 114 Laps
57GTE Pro#95 AstonThiim, Sorensen, Turner132+ 122 Laps
58GTE Am#98 AstonDalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda87+ 167 Laps
59GTE Pro#64 ChevroletGavin, Milner, Fassler82+ 172 Laps
60GTE Am#88 PorscheHoshino, Roda Jr, Cairoli79+ 175 Laps
61LMP1#10 BRHedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande76+ 178 Laps

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