Rebellion Racing run fourth overall with an hour remaining (Photo Credit: MacLean Photographic)

Rebellion Racing run fourth overall with an hour remaining (Photo Credit: MacLean Photographic)

Following the accidents for the Audis in the previous hour battle at the front of the race seems to have ceased, with the #1 car now a lap ahead of the #2 car, still maintaining the 1-2 for the hybrid drive Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

Rebellion Racing's #12 holds fourth position, preventing a sweep of positions one to four by the Audi squads. However, while Rebellion driver Neel Jani is almost an entire lap ahead Marc Gene in the chasing Audi is pushing to make amends for his off at the first Mulsanne chicane that saw his drop to fifth in the first place.

The closest battle for a major position in the race is still the fight for the lead in LMGTE Am between Imsa Performance Matmut and Larbre Competition squads. The two team are an differing fuel strategies, but – split by just 27 seconds with an hour to go – the battle for the class win looks set to go to the final laps of racing.

In LMP2 Starworks Motorsports' lead at the top of the class has come down from a complete lap to 2:16, with the Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA 03 in second after being released from the fight for second with Pecom Racing.

AF Corse and Luxury Racing look likely to combine to seal a Ferrari 1-2 in GTE Pro. The latter car, with Giancarlo Fisichella installed for the final stint, holds a two lap lead over their Maranello manufacturer-mates, who in turn have a lap advantage over the Aston Martin Racing #97.

2012 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 23 hours:

LMP1
#1 – Audi Sport Team Joest – Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer – 362 laps
#2 – Audi Sport Team Joest – Capello/Kristensen/McNish – 361 laps
#4 – Audi Sport North America – Bonanomi/Jarvis/Rockenfeller – 359 laps
#12 – Rebellion Racing – Prost/Jani/Heidfeld – 351 laps
#3 – Audi Sport Team Joest – Dumas/Duval/Gene – 351 laps

LMP2
#44 – Starworks Motorsports – Potolicchio/Dalziel/Kimber-Smith – 338 laps
#46 – Thiriet by TDS Racing – Beche/Thiriet/Tinseau – 338 laps
#49 – Pecom Racing – Perez Companc/Ayari/Kaffer – 337 laps
#26 – Signatech Nissan – Panciatici/Ragues/Rusinov – 335 laps
#41 – Greaves Motorsport – Zugel/Gonzalez/Julian – 332 laps

LMGTE Pro
#51 – AF Corse – Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander – 321 laps
#59 – Luxury Racing – Makowiecki/Melo/Farnbacher – 319 laps
#97 – Aston Martin Racing – Fernandez/Mucke/Turner – 318 laps
#73 – Corvette Racing – Taylor/Garcia/Magnussen – 312 laps
#71 – AF Corse – Bertolini/Beretta/Cioci – 312 laps

LMGTE Am
#67 – Imsa Performance Matmut – Armindo/Narac/Pons – 314 laps
#50 – Larbre Competition – Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy – 314 laps
#57 – Krohn Racing – Krohn/Jonsson/Rugolo – 309 laps
#79 – Flying Lizard Motorsports – Neiman/Pilet/Pumpelly – 298 laps
#70 – Larbre Competition – Belloc/Bourret/Gibon – 295 laps