As the final hours of the 24 Hours of Le Mans began, the #8 Toyota TS050, with Kazuki Nakajima at the wheel, has a comfortable lead over the #7 of Kamui Kobayashi.
It looks like the Japanese drivers will remain in the Toyotas for the close of the race, following the latest round of driver changes, which included Fernando Alonso‘s final stint.
The #7 then slowed dramatically with team radio telling Nakajima to put the car into full course yellow mode and to limp back into the pits. It would appear that the car did an extra lap which meant he did not have enough fuel to complete the stint, which could result in a penalty for the squad.
Third place remains occupied by the #3 Rebellion R13 with Gustavo Menezes putting in a steady performance, albeit some 12 laps down on the #7, with the #1 sister Rebellion a further 30 seconds down the road with Neel Jani at the wheel once again.
Fifth overall is the leading P2 car, the #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca with Roman Rusinov in the cockpit.
Rusinov is two laps ahead of the #36 Signatech Alpine of Nico Lapierre. The surprise third in class is the #39 Graff-SO24 Oreca of Tristan Gommendy, which has a 90-second advantage over the #28 TDS Racing Oreca driven by Loïc Duval. There was misfortune however for the #32 United Autosports Ligier, which suffered a puncture that dropped it down to fifth place and out of podium contention.
Kevin Estre is behind the wheel of the #92 Porsche at the front of the GTE-Pro class, with the #91 911 of Richard Lietz in second.
Third and fourth are the #68 and #67 Ford GTs of Dirk Mueller and Harry Tincknell respectively, while the top five is rounded out by the #63 Corvette Racing machine, with Antonio Garcia in the hot seat.
In GTE-Am it is the #77 Dempsey Proton Racing Porsche with Australian Matt Campbell once again at the wheel, and is one lap ahead of the venerable Giancarlo Fisichella in the # 54 Spirit Of Race Ferrari 488 GTE.
In third position is another Ferrari in the shape of the #85 Keating Motorsports car being driven by Jeroen Bleekemolen, despite the car having an off with Ben Keating at the wheel a short while ago.
In fourth place is the #99 Proton Competition Porsche 911 of American stalwart Patrick Long.
2018 24 Hours of Le Mans Standings After 23 Hours
- #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Hybrid – Sébastien Buemi – Kazuki Nakajima – Fernando Alonso
- #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing – Toyota TS050 – Hybrid – Mike Conway – Kamui Kobayashi – Jose Maria Lopez
- #3 Rebellion Racing – Rebellion R13 – Gibson – Thomas Laurent – Mathias Beche – Gustavo Menezes
- #26 G-Drive Racing – Oreca 07 – Gibson – Roman Rusinov – Andrea Pizzitola – Jean-Eric Vergne
- #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut – Alpine A470 – Gibson – Nicolas Lapierre – Andre Negra0 – Pierre Thiriet
- #39 Graff-So24 – Oreca 07 – Gibson – Vincent Capillaire – Jonathan Hirschi – Tristan Gommendy
- #92 Porsche GT Team – Porsche 911 RSR – Michael Christensen – Kevin Estre – Laurens Vanthoor
- #91 Porsche GT Team – Porsche 911 RSR – Richard Lietz – Gianmaria Bruni – Frédéric Makowiecki
- #68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA – Ford GT – Joey Hand – Dirk Müller – Sébastien Bourdais
- #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing – Porsche 911 RSR – Matt Campbell – Christian Ried – Julien Andlauer
- #54 Spirit Of Race – Ferrari 488 GTE – Thomas Flohr – Francesco Castellacci – Giancarlo Fisichella
- #85 Keating Motorsports – Ferrari 488 GTE – Ben Keating – Jeroen Bleekemolen – Luca Stolz