The #7 Toyota maintained a slender Le Mans 24 hours lead over the #8 Toyota after the second hour, with Mike Conway reclaiming top spot from Sebastien Buemi down the Mulsanne Straight.
A crash between the #26 G-Drive Racing LMP2 of Roman Rusinov and the #88 Proton Racing Porsche GT AM of Khaled Al Qubaisi through the Porsche Curves sparked an extended slow-zone period to fix barrier damage caused by the incident.
1st – #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin
2nd – #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima
3rd – #1 Porsche Team – Porsche 919 Hybrid – Jani/Lotterer/Tandy
The fierce opening hour battle for the overall lead continued to rage, with Conway in the pole-sitting #7 Toyota muscling back ahead of team-mate Sebastien Buemi down the Mulsanne Straight.
With both drivers nose-to-tail, Conway’s leading gap extended to half a second after Buemi ran wide through Mulsanne corner, narrowly avoiding the luring gravel-trap.
Having suffered damage after being hit by flying bodywork from the now retired #4 Bykolles Racing outfit of Oliver Webb on the opening lap, the #9 Toyota of Nicolas Lapierre suffered further drama, with all four wheels leaving the ground after an overzealous lapping manouevre of a four-car GT battle on the bumpy outside section of Mulsanne.
1st – #31 Vaillante Rebellion – Oreca 07-Gibson – Prost/Senna/Canal
2nd – #13 Vaillante Rebellion – Oreca 07 Gibson – Piquet Jr/Heinemeier Hansson/Beche
3rd – #38 Jackie Chan Racing – Oreca 07 Gibson – Tung/Laurent/Jarvis
Following Rusinov’s incident in the G-Drive Racing Oreca, the two Vaillante Rebellion cars lead the way, with the #31 Rebellion of Nicolas Prost taking a comfortable 20 second gap over the #13 Rebellion of Mathias Beche. In third, the Jackie Chan Racing #38 maintained the final podium spot.
1st – #95 Aston Martin Racing – Aston Martin Vantage – Thiim/Sorensen/Stanaway
2nd – #69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA – Ford GT – Briscoe/Westbrook/Dixon
3rd – #92 Porsche GT Team – Porsche 911 RSR – Christensen/Estre/Werner
The #95 AMR Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim extended his advantage over Darren Turner’s #97 AMR Aston to 10 seconds, whilst a fierce three-car battle raged for the final podium spot. Both the two AF Corse Ferrari 488 team-mates of Alessandro Pier Guidi and Sam Bird squabbling along with the #69 Chip Ganassi Ford GT of Richard Westbrook allowed the Aston pairing to race away at the front in the early stages.
Pitstops shuffled the order at the end of the hour, with the #69 claiming second, ahead of the #92 Porsche.
1st – #62 Scuderia Corse – Ferrari 488 GTE – MacNeil/Sweedler/Bell
2nd – #98 Aston Martin Racing – Aston Martin Vantage – Dalla Lana/Lamy/Lauda
3rd – #90 TF Sport – Aston Martin Vantage – Yoluc/Hankey/Bell
Townsend Bell in the #62 Scuderia Corsa maintained a marginal three-second AM class advantage at the end of the hour over the #98 AMR Aston Martin, who continued to clash with the #90 TF Sport Aston Martin for second-place in the class.