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Le Mans 24 Hours: Alonso's #8 Toyota leads after Lopez errors

Jack Cozens, Jamie Klein, James Newbold
H8: Alonso, Buemi and Nakajima Toyota takes lead

Two errors from Jose Maria Lopez helped Toyota team-mate Kazuki Nakajima move the #8 TS050 HYBRID into a slender Le Mans 24 Hours lead in the eighth hour.

Lopez started the hour ahead, but had a major moment at Mulsanne corner early on, that included a trip through the gravel, allowed Nakajima into the lead.

Lopez later went off track for a second time, on this occasion at Indianapolis.

Both cars made planned stops in the middle of the hour, with Toyota changing the nose of the #8.

The #7 car, which is now stopping two laps later than the #8, ended the hour 10 seconds in arrears.

The battle for the final podium position between SMP's pair of BR Engineering-AER BR1s was just as tight, but was headed by the #17 car at the end of the hour.

Stephane Sarrazin is 5.962s ahead of Vitaly Petrov in the #11 car, which was delayed in the previous hour by an unscheduled stop to change a front nose that had picked up debris from a crash for the #3 Rebellion.

The #3 remains fifth in the order with Thomas Laurent - who was at the wheel of the Rebellion-Gibson R-13 when it went off - but lost time with a 3m27s pitstop that has dropped it more than two and a half minutes away from the podium battle.

Its sister #1 car remains four laps down in sixth, while neither the ByKolles and the #10 Dragonspeed BRE-Gibson BR1 - which has been affected by a gearbox issue - appeared on track during the hour.

LMP2 - Signatech pit delay improves G-Drive's lead

Jean-Eric Vergne continues to lead the race for G-Drive Racing at the eight hour mark, after chief rival Signatech-Alpine was delayed getting into its pit-box.

Vergne had a very small lead over Signatech's Andre Negrao when the two cars made their 12th stops together.

However, Negrao was unable to park properly due to the proximity of the #47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara in the adjoining box, so his mechanics had to hoist the car up on trolley jacks and manoeuvre it back into position before it could be serviced.

Once Negrao had been replaced by Nicolas Lapierre, the Frenchman rejoined 14 seconds in arrears, a margin that remained stable after the following round of pitstops shortly before the hour mark.

Having benefitted from the timing of a slow zone in the seventh hour, the #31 DragonSpeed ORECA leapfrogged the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA into third thanks to a well-timed pitstop while a full course yellow appeared for debris, which put Anthony Davidson inside half a minute of the race lead.

After completing a triple stint, Davidson pitted and handed over to the team's Silver-rated driver Roberto Gonzalez shortly before the hour mark, with the Mexican sitting 46s behind Vergne at the hour.

Stephane Richelmi therefore runs fourth ahead of team-mate Jordan King in the #37 DC Racing ORECA, while Paul di Resta has returned to the wheel of the #22 United Autosports Ligier in sixth place.

GTE - Porsche's Estre stretches lead

Porsche's Kevin Estre stretched a 10-second lead in GTE Pro over the course of the eighth hour, as the sole remaining Corvette moved back up to second.

Antonio Garcia (Corvette) overtook Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 Ferrari just shy of the one-third mark of the race, and ran 11s behind Estre's #92 Porsche.

Harry Tincknell held fourth in the best of the Ford GTs, the #67 car, just behind Pier Guidi but over a minute ahead of the fifth-placed #93 Porsche, now driven by Patrick Pilet.

Sam Bird made it two Ferraris inside the top six at the eight-hour mark, followed by Dirk Muller in the #68 Ford and the #91 Porsche of Gianmaria Bruni.

The Keating Motorsports Ford GT had its GTE Am lead significantly eroded during the eighth hour, with owner-driver Ben Keating only 20 seconds clear of Jeff Segal's #84 JMW Motorsports Ferrari of Jeff Segal.

Jorg Bergmiester ran nearly two minutes off the class lead in the Project 1 Porsche in third.

Positions after eight hours

Pos Class Car Drivers Laps Gap
1 LMP1 #8 Toyota Buemi, Nakajima, Alonso 128
2 LMP1 #7 Toyota Conway, Kobayashi, Lopez 128 + 11.087s
3 LMP1 #17 BR Sarrazin, Orudzhev, Sirotkin 126 + 2 Laps
4 LMP1 #11 BR Petrov, Aleshin, Vandoorne 126 + 7.866s
5 LMP1 #3 Rebellion Laurent, Berthon, Menezes 125 + 3 Laps
6 LMP1 #1 Rebellion Jani, Lotterer, Senna 124 + 4 Laps
7 LMP2 #26 Aurus Rusinov, Van Uitert, Vergne 122 + 6 Laps
8 LMP2 #36 Alpine Lapierre, Negrao, Thiriet 122 + 12.304s
9 LMP2 #31 Oreca Gonzalez, Maldonado, Davidson 122 + 1m37.369s
10 LMP2 #38 Oreca Tung, Richelmi, Aubry 121 + 7 Laps
11 LMP2 #37 Oreca Heinemeier-Hansson, King, Taylor 121 + 1m18.062s
12 LMP2 #22 Ligier Hanson, Albuquerque, Di Resta 121 + 2m37.421s
13 LMP2 #32 Ligier Cullen, Brundle, Owen 121 + 3m37.667s
14 LMP2 #28 Oreca Perrodo, Vaxiviere, Duval 121 + 4m16.330s
15 LMP2 #48 Oreca Lafargue, Chatin, Rojas 120 + 8 Laps
16 LMP2 #23 Ligier Binder, Canal, Stevens 120 + 2m18.271s
17 LMP2 #39 Oreca Gommendy, Capillaire, Hirschi 119 + 9 Laps
18 LMP2 #30 Oreca Jamin, Ragues, Dumas 119 + 4m28.976s
19 LMP2 #25 Oreca Zollinger, Pizzitola, Falb 119 + 4m37.602s
20 LMP2 #47 Dallara Lacorte, Sernagiotto, Belicchi 119 + 8m00.328s
21 LMP2 #50 Ligier Creed, Ricci, Boulle 118 + 10 Laps
22 LMP2 #43 Oreca Farano, Maini, Nato 118 + 38.225s
23 LMP2 #34 Ligier Smiechowski, Winslow, Moore 117 + 11 Laps
24 LMP2 #20 Oreca Fjordbach, Andersen, Beche 116 + 12 Laps
25 LMP2 #49 Ligier Konopka, Enqvist, Tereschenko 115 + 13 Laps
26 LMP2 #29 Dallara Van Eerd, Van Der Garde, De Vries 115 + 1.113s
27 GTE Pro #92 Porsche Christensen, Estre, Vanthoor 113 + 15 Laps
28 GTE Pro #51 Ferrari Pier Guidi, Calado, Serra 113 + 10.564s
29 GTE Pro #63 Chevrolet Magnussen, Garcia, Rockenfeller 113 + 11.094s
30 GTE Pro #67 Ford Priaulx, Tincknell, Bomarito 113 + 11.610s
31 GTE Pro #93 Porsche Pilet, Bamber, Tandy 113 + 25.287s
32 GTE Pro #68 Ford Hand, Muller, Bourdais 113 + 36.689s
33 GTE Pro #69 Ford Briscoe, Westbrook, Dixon 113 + 37.244s
34 GTE Pro #71 Ferrari Rigon, Bird, Molina 113 + 1m30.245s
35 GTE Pro #91 Porsche Lietz, Bruni, Makowiecki 113 + 1m38.755s
36 GTE Pro #94 Porsche Muller, Jaminet, Olsen 113 + 3m03.897s
37 GTE Pro #82 BMW Farfus, Da Costa, Krohn 112 + 16 Laps
38 GTE Pro #95 Aston Thiim, Sorensen, Turner 112 + 6.697s
39 GTE Pro #97 Aston Martin, Lynn, Adam 112 + 32.354s
40 GTE Pro #81 BMW Catsburg, Tomczyk, Eng 112 + 54.629s
41 GTE Pro #66 Ford Mucke, Pla, Johnson 112 + 56.194s
42 GTE Pro #89 Ferrari Derani, Jarvis, Gounon 112 + 1m31.490s
43 GTE Am #85 Ford Keating, Bleekemolen, Fraga 111 + 17 Laps
44 GTE Am #84 Ferrari Segal, Baptista, Lu 111 + 22.689s
45 GTE Am #56 Porsche Bergmeister, Lindsey, Perfetti 110 + 18 Laps
46 GTE Am #90 Aston Yoluc, Hankey, Eastwood 110 + 1m29.709s
47 GTE Am #77 Porsche Campbell, Ried, Andlauer 110 + 1m51.223s
48 GTE Am #62 Ferrari Macneil, Vilander, Smith 110 + 2m24.275s
49 GTE Am #61 Ferrari Perez-Companc, Griffin, Cressoni 110 + 2m59.267s
50 GTE Am #78 Porsche Prette, Prette, Abril 109 + 19 Laps
51 GTE Am #83 Ferrari Gostner, Frey, Gatting 109 + 1m25.923s
52 GTE Am #57 Ferrari Kimura, Cozzolino, Ledogar 109 + 2m29.300s
53 GTE Am #86 Porsche Wainwright, Barker, Preining 108 + 20 Laps
54 GTE Am #70 Ferrari Ishikawa, Beretta, Cheever 108 + 1m39.544s
55 GTE Am #54 Ferrari Flohr, Castellacci, Fisichella 108 + 2m07.024s
56 GTE Am #60 Ferrari Schiavoni, Pianezzola, Piccini 107 + 21 Laps
57 LMP1 #4 Enso Dillmann, Webb, Ruberti 95 + 33 Laps
58 GTE Am #98 Aston Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda 87 + 41 Laps
59 GTE Am #88 Porsche Hoshino, Roda Jr, Cairoli 79 + 49 Laps
60 LMP1 #10 BR Hedman, Hanley, Van Der Zande 74 + 54 Laps
61 GTE Pro #64 Chevrolet Gavin, Milner, Fassler 82 + 46 Laps

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