Bentley Team M-Sport has led most of the first half of the Paul Ricard 1000km, with Steven Kane currently leading the field after three hours.
Pole-sitter Jordan Pepper completed a double stint onboard the No. 107 Bentley Continental GT3 before handing the car over to Kane for the middle stint of the six-hour sunset race.
Kane made up track position shortly before the halfway mark on account of pitting under a Full Course Yellow period, while his principal rival Andrea Caldarelli had pitted under green conditions a few laps earlier.
Caldarelli had passed Kane for the lead on-track earlier during the third hour, but was placed sixth after the other cars’ pit stops had cycled through.
At the halfway mark, Kane held a seven-second advantage over Andrew Watson in the Garage 59 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, ahead of the SMP Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 in third.
ROWE Racing had looked promising early on in the race with both of its Porsche 911 GT3 Rs continuously running in the top five until both were hit with drive-through penalties.
The No. 98 Porsche has since been retired with a front diffuser issue.
Several teams have already taken their one joker pit stop, including Caldarelli’s No. 563 Orange 1 FFF Racing Team crew, which gives Kane’s Bentley an advantage heading into the later stages of the race.
There have already been four FCY and safety car periods, including a lengthy one called on the second lap following a crash between Florian Scholze, Ezequiel Perez Companc and Derek Pierce at Signes.