An Audi leads the 82nd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time, following major drama for the pace-setting Toyota with 14 hours complete.
The No. 7 Toyota TS040 Hybrid of Kazuki Nakajima, which had led for nearly the last 10 hours, stopped on track near Arnage just past the 5 a.m. mark.
Details on the issue for the gasoline-powered LMP1-H has yet to surface but it’s given the No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Benoit Treluyer command with ten hours to go.
The No. 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley now runs in second after a few minor delays overnight, which has put the gasoline-powered three laps behind.
A injector change in the 13th hour, meanwhile, has put the No. 1 Audi in third, now in the hands of Lucas di Grassi, who has also benefitted from the Toyota’s misfortune.
Trouble has continued for the No. 14 Porsche, with Marc Lieb losing 20 minutes in the garage with fuel issues in the 13th hour, which struck the car earlier in the race when Romain Dumas was at the wheel. It currently runs in sixth.
LMP2 is continued to be paced by the No. 35 OAK Racing Ligier JS P2 Nissan of Jann Mardenborough, who holds a 1 lap lead over Oliver Webb’s No. 36 Signatech-Alpine A450b Nissan in second.
Both of the Nissan-powered Ligiers have impressively run trouble-free thus far, with the class pole-sitting No. 46 Thiriet by TDS Racing entry in a solid third position.
Darren Turner has taken over command of GTE-Pro, with the Aston Martin driver getting around the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella for the top spot halfway through the 14th hour.
Turner’s No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage holds a 30-second advantage over the AF Corse entry, now in the hands of Gianmaria Bruni.
The No. 92 Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR of Richard Lietz runs in third, following a routine brake change for the No. 74 Corvette C7.R, which has dropped to fourth as a result.
GTE-Am also sees an Aston Martin up front, headed by Nicki Thiim in the No. 95 entry. Suspension trouble has dropped the No. 72 SMP Racing Ferrari to outside of the top-10 after running in a solid second overnight.
Recent retirements include the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Morgan-Nissan (suspected accident), No. 60 AF Corse Ferrari (mechanical), No. 47 KCMG Oreca Nissan (accident), No. 13 Rebellion Racing Rebellion R-One Toyota (engine) and No. 48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca Nissan (accident).