Sebastien Buemi leads the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the opening hour of the race completed after gaining time over the sister Toyota TS050 Hybrid in the first pit stop.
The Swiss driver started the race from pole but lost the lead to Mike Conway, driving the No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing car on the first lap.
The lead switched again between the two hybrid entries with Buemi later able to gain seven seconds with a quicker first pit stop in which he only took fuel on lap nine.
Drama in the opening corner exchange dropped the No. 1 Rebellion R13 Gibson and No. 10 DragonSpeed BR Engineering BR1 Gibson down the order with the former losing its nose.
Andre Lotterer tagged Buemi’s Toyota from behind, which dislodged the front bodywork of the Rebellion into the path of Hanley, who was tipped around by the contact.
Stephane Sarrazin is currently the best-placed non-hybrid LMP1 driver in the No. 17 SMP Racing car.
Jean-Eric Vergne and G-Drive Racing came out of the pit stop in the LMP2 lead, running eight seconds ahead of Loic Duval in the TDS Racing car.
Paul-Loup Chatin sits fourth after starting from class pole for IDEC Sport.
No. 92 Porsche Takes GTE-Pro Lead in Pits
Michael Christensen took the GTE-Pro lead in the first stop after the pair of Manthey-run Porsche 911 RSRs had run 1-2 throughout the opening stint.
The Dane took over the ‘Pink Pig’ car from Kevin Estre who had been in second behind Gianmaria Bruni who dropped back to third.
This allowed Dirk Mueller to move Ford Chip Ganassi Racing into second, close behind Christensen.
Gulf Racing leads GTE-Am with Ben Hanley at the wheel of its No. 86 Porsche after the lead changed hands between the British team and the No. 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GTE before the pit stops.
Jeroen Bleekemolen had an off-track excursion in the Keating Motorsports Ferrari and pitted afterwards to ensure the car didn’t have a puncture.