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With just 6 hours of the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans remaining and with the sun now rising above the grandstands the teams are now looking at getting to the chequered flag.

With the demise of the two leading Toyotas there are only three LMP1 hybrid still running and two of those are recovering from earlier issues. The no1 Porsche 919 of Nick Tandy has a 12 lap lead over the second placed LMP2 car and is 14 laps ahead of the no2 919 of Earl Bamber, the Kiwi is currently in 10th overall, and 17 laps ahead of the no8 TS050 of Anthony Davidson who is in 14th place.

In the LMGTE Pro class Aston Martin are still out in front but the British team have not had it all their own way.  The no95 Vantage of Richie Stanaway went off at Mulsanne while leading the class and hit the barriers.  The New Zealander recovered the car to the pits promoting the no63 Corvette into the lead of the class.  Jonny Adam in the no97 Aston Martin passed the American car to retake the lead just before the clock hit the six hour point.  Porsche are running in third place with Fred Makowiecki in the no91 911 and the no67 Ford is 4th.

The LMP2 class is currenty led by the no38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca07 of Thomas Laurent  with the no13 Vaillant Rebellion of David Heinemeier-Hansson in second place nearly 1 lap down.  The no31 Vaillant Rebellion of Nicolas Prost has dropped down the order after being pushed back into the garage with an unknown issue.

The LMGTE Am class is currently a 1-2-3 for Ferrari.  The class is still led by the no84 JMW Motorsport F488 with Dries Vanthoor holding a 1 lap advantage over his nearest rival which is Duncan Cameron in the no55 Spirit of Race Ferrari.  The no62 Scuderia Corsa F488 is lying in third 2minutes 30 seconds behind Cameron.  The no99 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin of Oliver Bryant is fourth,

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The no7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid is currently leading the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans, Stephane Sarrazin holding a 27 second advantage over the no1 Porsche of Andre Lotterer as the clock counted past six hours. 

The no8 Toyota of Kazuki Nakajima is currently third just 5 second behind the second placed Porsche and the no9 TS050 is 4th.  The no2 Porsche of Brendon Hartley is lying in 54th place overall and 18 laps behind the leaders after the front axle had to be replaced on the Porsche 919.  The only non hybrid LMP1 entry, the no4 Bykolles Racing Team Enzo CLM-Nismo retired on lap 7.

The LMGTE Pro battle is currently led by the no97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Darren Turner, the Briton holding a 20 second advantage over the two Fords of Andy Priaulx (no67) and Stefan Mucke (no66).  The no95 Aston Martin was leading the class before a puncture meant an unscheduled stop for Nicki Thiim, the Dane rejoining 3 minutes behind his teammate at the head of the class field.

Vaillante Rebellion are currently running first and second in the LMP2 class with the no31 car of Bruno Senna 65 seconds ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr in te no13 Oreca07.  The no38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca of Ho Pin Tung is lying in 3rd place 58 seconds behind the second placed Rebellion.  The no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca of Roman Rusinov dropped back after starting on pole position and was involved in a collision with the no88 Porsche 911, badly damaging both cars and forcing both into retirement.

Aston Martin also hold the upperhand in the LMGTE Am class with Paul Dalla Lana holding a 30 second advantage over the no84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Rob Smith and the no90 TF Sport Aston Martin of Salih Yoluc.  The no50 Larbre Competition Corvette was challenging

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It was heartbreak in the Toyota garage during the second part of the first half of the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans as their challenge to win the big race was dashed.

The no8 Toyota hit problems first and underwent lengthy repairs in the garage to replace a front motor dropping the car well down the order from 2nd place.  Anthony Davidson rejoined the battle 29 laps down and in 51stposition.

The no7 TS050 of Kamui Kobayashi was holding a comfortable lead when a safety car was deployed to clean the track of gravel that had been dropped by the no66 Ford GT of Olivier Pla.  When the race resumed the no7 Toyota didn’t pick up speed and Kobayashi had to try and complete a whole lap of the 13.6 La Sarthe track to get back to the pits.  The Japanese driver managed to get the car half way round before he was forced to admit defeat and park the car at the side of the track.

The no1 Porsche 919 was now leading the race, with the no9 Toyota of Nicolas Lapierre in second place. But Toyota’s woes were not over as Lapierre was hit by another car on the run into Dunlop, puncturing the rear left tyre.  This started to delaminate and destroy the rear bodywork as the French driver tried to get the get back to the pits.  Lapierre almost made it but was forced to retire the car in sight of the pitlane entrance.

Aston Martin are holding the upperhand in the LMGTE Pro class with the no95 Vantage of Richie Stanaway holding a 2-second lead over the no97 car of Jonny Adam.  The Aston Martins are being chased hard by the no51 AF Corse Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi, the Italian just 1-second behind the no97 Aston Martin.

With the demise of the LMP1 competitors the LMP2 front runners are currently holding 2nd and 3rd places overall.  The two Vaillante Rebellion Orecas were running 1st and 2nd in class with the no13 car holding the class lead before pitting at the top of the hour.  The no31 Oreca of Nicolas Prost is holding the top position ahead of the no38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca of Ho Pin Tung with David Heinemeier-Hansson in third spot.

In the LMGTE Am section the leader is currently the no84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari, with Dries Vanthoor holding a one lap advantage over the no90 TF Sport Aston Martin of Euan Hankey.

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Kamui Kobayashi set the fastest ever time recorded at Le Mans with the Japanese driver setting a 3m14.791 lap around the 13.6km circuit in Qualifying Practice 2, which was well inside the previous best pole time of 3m16.887 set by Porsche’s Neel Jani in 2015.

It is an all Toyota front row as the no8 TS050 was second quickest after Kazuki Nakajima set a 3m17.128, 2.337s behind his teammate and 0.131 ahead of Neel Jani in the no1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.  The no2 Porsche was 4th fastest followed by the no9 Toyota and the no4 Bykolles Racing Team ENSO-CLM.

The no97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage was the quickest of the LMGTE Pro competitors with Darren Turner posting a 3m50.837 lap, 0.191 seconds ahead of the no51 AF Corse Ferrari of James Calado, with the no95 Aston Martin of Richie Stanaway in 3rd ahead of the no71 F488 Ferrari of Sam Bird. 

The top four cars were split by just 0.249 seconds with the 2nd, 3rd and 4thplaced cars were covered by just 0.058 seconds.  The no69 Ford was 5thand the no63 Corvette was 6th fastest ahead of the no92 Porsche in 7th.

The LMP2 class will be headed by the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca-Gibson after Alex Lynn set a blistering time of 3m25.352, well inside the previous best underlining the increase in performance the new for 2017 regulations have given the class.  To put this into perspective this time would have been good enough for the overall pole position in the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Lynn’s time was 0.197 faster than the no25 CEFC Manor TRS Racing Oreca 07, with Vitaly Petrov setting the best time of 3m25.549.  The no38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca will head the second row of the LMP2 grid with Ho Pin Tung setting a time that was just 0.559 seconds behind the pole sitter.  He will be joined on row two by the no31 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca-Gibson after Bruno Senna set a 3m26.736 lap.

In the LMGTE Am class it was all smiles in the Larbre Competition garage as Fernando Rees put the team’s no50 Chevrolet Corvette, with its striking ‘art car’ livery, on to pole with a lap of 3m52.843, 0.390 ahead of Pedro Lamy in the no98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage.

Friday is the traditional rest day ahead of the race on Saturday 17 June, with the drivers taking part in the annual parade through the centre of Le Mans in the afternoon.  The 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will start at 15h00 on Saturday and conclude on Sunday.