2016 24 Hours of Le Mans – Hour 3 update: Porsche v Toyota

The #6 Toyota TS050 of Mike Conway continued to push the pace in LMP1-H, trading the top spot with the #1 Porsche through the pit stops. (Credit: Craig Robertson/SpeedChills.com)

Porsche currently leads the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans as the race enters its fourth hour.

With the skies continuing to grow clearer, the #6 TS050 of Mike Conway inherited the lead when Brendon Hartley pitted the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid two hours and 45 minutes into the race.

Conway set the fastest lap of the race so far – a 3:23.010 – as he hunted down the Porsche driver, but couldn’t get close enough to make a pass on track.

Hartley then retook the lead a couple of laps later when Conway pitted, with Toyota running a lap further on fuel than the other LMP1 manufacturers.

At the close of the third hour Hartley leads Conway by 6.368 seconds, with Loic Duval 20 seconds off the leader in the #8 Audi R18.

In LMP2, Manor’s Roberto Merhi controlled the pace in the #44 ORECA-Nissan, only surrendering the lead during visits to the pits.

Merhi kept the gap between himself and Thiriet by TDS Racing’s Mathias Beche constant, and after the three hours the gap stands at 42.725 seconds. The only LMP2 car to experience problems during the third hour was the Michael Shank Racing Ligier-Honda, which spun at Arnage with John Pew behind the wheel.

GTE-Pro saw a tense lead battle at the start of the hour between Ford’s Richard Westbrook and Porsche’s Fred Makowiecki. Ferrari also came into the mix, and at the third round of pit stops it is the Risi Competizione 488 GTE which holds the lead from the pole-sitting #68 Ford. In GTE-Am, Porsche is currently running 1-2-3 with KCMG’s Wolf Henzler leading the Abu Dhabi Proton Racing and Gulf Racing 911s.