With scheduled pitsops dominating the early part of the hour the order in all the classes changed significantly, often favouring the handful of cars who has pitted during the early safety car, the ORECA privateer Peugeot making their may back to fourth ahead of the three Audi R15s.

The three works Peugeot ran for much of the hour within seconds of each other – Franck Montagny now leading from Lamy as all of the leading diesels elected to open the race with double stinting drivers.

The Audis on the other hand began to spread out having restarted almost in formation, McNish in the no.7 car leading the four ringed charge as he sought to make up the 60-second disadvantage he had been forced into by the safety cars.

The Scot was unable to make any real impression of the top three but battle was briefly joined with ORECA car after Lapierre made his second stop – the pair slip-streaming down the Mulsanne among a smattering of LMGT1 traffic – just as they will have to for the remainder of the race.

After the dramatic start, the second hour contented itself with minor incidents. Sohiel Ayari in the ORECA 01 ended the race career of two of the bollards at the apex of Mulsanne corners after Jean-Francois Yvon in one of the LMP2 OAK Racing Pescarolos slammed the door on Ayari, pinching him into a spin.

However, the most lurid moment of the hour went to Patrick Piley who spectacularly outbraked himself into the first (right-left-right) chicane down on the Mulsanne straight while trying to overtake the no.78 BMW. Pilet's Porsche bounced across the inside of the corner, the Frenchman locking up the brakes to avoid beaching the car he shares with Patrick Long and Raymond Narac in the gravel.

The hour also saw trouble for the other BMW – the Jeff Koons Art Car, which appeared to snake under braking for the same chicane, the driver bringing the car to a halt on the escape road and peering under the M3 in the least promising way, before reloading into the car, and limping back to the pit – a left rear puncture the visable sign of problems.

The pair of HPD chassis remained at the head of the LMP2 class, with Thomas Mutsch maintaining the GT1 lead for Matech Competition. Their Ford GT brethren, the no.70 Marc VDS was not so lucky crashing down the hill after the Dunlop chicane royally destroying the rear end whilst damaging every corner on the silver and purple car which had briefly moved into second in class.

Class top fives after two hours

LMP1
No.2 Team Peugeot Total – Peugeot 908
No.3 Peugeot Sport Total – Peugeot 908
No.1 Team Peugeot Total – Peugeot 908
No.4 Team ORECA Matmut – Puegeot 908
No.7 Audi Sport Team Joest – Audi R15 'Plus'

LMP2
No.42 Strakka Racing – HPD ARX01c
No.25 Highcroft Racing – HPD ARX01c
No.40 Quifel ASM Team – Ginetta Zytek
No.35 OAK Racing – Pescarolo-Judd
No.25 RML – Lola-HPD Coupe

LMGT1
No.60 Matech Competition – Ford GT
No.72 Luc Alphand Aventures – Chevrolet Corvette
No.52 Young Driver AMR – Aston Martin DBR9
No.61 Matech Competition – Ford GT
No.50 Larbre Competition – Saleen S7

LMGT2
No.64 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette
No.63 Corvette Racing – Chevrolet Corvette
No.82 Risi Competizione – Ferrari 430
No.95 AF Corse – Ferrari 430
No.77 Team Felbermayr-Proton – Porsche 997