The #7 Toyota Racing TS040 of Stephane Sarrazin retook the lead of the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans during the fifth hour, the Frenchman and his team faster through a series of pit stops that the Porsche Team #20 that had led following the second safety car intervention of the race.
The Porsche squads issues were compounded when Brendon Hartley brought the machine back to the pits for an unscheduled pitstops suspecting he had a puncture. The additional stop dropped them a further place to run third at the end of the hour.
The #2 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro thus ended the hour in second, officially 1m44 behind the lead Toyota.
Alex Brundle took the lead of LMP2 for the OAK Racing team. The British driver, in the Nissan powered Ligier JSP2 took the position away from Michel Frey in the Race Performance Oreca. The Swiss driver had already run on through the Dunlop chicane as one of the factory LMP cars came up to lap him. That momentary error allowed Brundle to close up the last of the gap and when the pair approached the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight Brundle held the line to the first apex, forcing Frey to take to the escape road, sacrificing the position in the process.
Brundle, on his first stint on fresh tyres, pulled out to a 13 second lead by the of the hour.
Corvette Racing’s #74 leads LMGTE Pro from the #97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE, wheeled by Bruno Senna for much of the hour.
Senna, in his second season with AMR moved up the order, passing both of the Porsches in class in quick succession to take the position.
The Pro class was the scene of one of the larger incidents of the hour. Alvaro Parente pulling the Ram Racing Ferrari off the track reporting a fire in the cockpit with teammate Matt Griffin suggesting the telemetry ECU was to blame. After leaping from the car (but not too far) and having the fire extinguished Parente was able to bring the car back to the pits having lost, unfortunately, several laps to the remainder of the class.
The team’s LMGTE Am car was second in its class at the end of the hour, sandwiched between the Aston Martin Racing entries in the class
2014 24 Hours of Le Mans class standings after 5 hours.
1 – #7 Toyota Racing – Nakajima/Sarrazin/Wurz
2 – #2 Audi Sport Team Joest – Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer
3 – #20 Porsche Team – Bernhard/Hartley/Lieb
1 – #35 OAK Racing – Brundle/Mardenborough/Schulzhitskiy
2 – #34 Race Performance – Lancaster/Mailleux/Frey
3 – #36 Signatech Alpine – Chatin/Webb/Panciatici
1 – #74 Corvette Racing – Gavin/Milner/Westbrook
2 – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Mucke/Turner/Senna
3 – #91 Porsche Team Manthey – Pilet/Bergmeister/Tandy
1 – #98 Aston Martin Racing – Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard
2 – #53 RAM Racing – Mowlem/Patterson/Hamilton
3 – #95 Aston Martin Racing – Heinemeier-Hansson/Poulsen/Thiim