Long established as the leader the #2 Audi team of Loic Duval, Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen held a lap lead over the #8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid at the half way point of the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The hour included another safety car intervention, this time after Tony Burgess crashed the #30 HVM Status GP LMP2 Lola heavily in the Porsche Curves. The impact destroyed the Canadian entered car but thankfully Burgess was able to walk away from the wreckage.
One of the three safety cars around the track – coincidentally – gathered up all three Audis and both Toyotas, ensuring for a frantic couple of laps after the race resumed.
Andre Lotterer briefly took one of the laps lost by the #1 back by passing McNish only to run wide at Mulsanne Corner and lose the ground once again. Howeve, less than a lap later he had caught McNish again and got by, this time for good.
Still making up ground after their earlier stop the #1 team ended the hour in ninth.
The two OAK Racing Morgans that have been part of the lead battle for most of the race swapped the lead during the hour, the #35 first to pit from the lead, giving Alex Brundle the lead in the #24 before he was one of the drivers to pit while the field was slowed behind the safety cars. Jota hold third in class, 33 seconds ahead of the #42 Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan.
Pitstops also cycled through in LMGTE Pro, giving the #99 Aston Martin, #92 Porsche and then, finally, the #97 Aston Martin each the lead in turn.
The battle was slightly interrupted by the safety car. Leading at the time the #99 car was picked up by a different safety car than sister car fighting with the Porsche, the gap growing to 90 seconds at half way with Fred Makowiecki – the star of the race in the #99 entry – back at the wheel having taken over from Rob Bell.
However, it look as if the battle could be split further, the #97 being called in for another pitstop to fix illuminated panels on the door not working correctly.
IMSA Performance Matmut’s #76 leads LMGTE Am. The Porsche is a lap to the good over the #55 AF Corse Ferrari
2013 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 12 hours
1 – #2 Audi Sport Team Joest – Kristensen/Duval/McNish
2 – #8 Toyota Racing – Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin
3 – #7 Toyota Racing – Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima
1 – #35 OAK Racing – Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman
2 – #24 OAK Racing – Brundle/Heinemeier Hansson/Pla
3 – #38 Jota Sport – Dolan/Turvey/Luhr
1 – #99 Aston Martin Racing – Bell/Makowiecki/Senna
2 – #92 Porsche AG Team Manthey – Lieb/Lietz/Dumas
3 – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Dumbreck/Mucke/Turner
1 – #76 IMSA Performance Matmut – Narac/Bourret/Vernay
2 – #55 AF Corse – Perazzini/Case/O’Young
3 – #61 AF Corse – Gerber/Griffin/Cioci