Peugeot continues to hold the top slots on the times after the second qualifying session for the Le Mans 24 Hours.
With rain having fallen during the day, the session started on a damp circuit which meant that the quickest times set on Wednesday were safe until the closing stages when the quick boys were able to get near the benchmarks.
Alex Wurz in the #1 Peugeot looked well set to beat Sebastien Bourdais' quickest time until being baulked in the final sector on two separate occasions, while Stephane Sarrazin also lost time in the final segment of the lap in the #2 car to fail to usurp the #3 car from the top of the times.
Interestingly, the Audi R15s had been noticeably stronger when the circuit was greasy than when it was dry on Wednesday night.
However, with the circuit conditions improving, the times could well come down in the final two hour session that gets underway at 22.00 local time.
The session wasn't without problems for some of the LMP1 teams, with Rebellion Racing again in the wars. While the #12 car was able to join qualifying – having missed Wednesday night's session – and posted the 19th quickest time, the #13 ended its session in the wall after Jean-Christophe Boullion went off towards the end of the lap.
The Signature Plus Lola-Aston Martin was forced to return slowly to the pits with a puncture while the Drayson Racing car ground to a halt shortly after leaving the pits. Manu Rodrigues meanwhile nudged the wall in the #14 Kolles Audi after a lurid spin and then made a hash of returning to the circuit having sat broadside across the middle of the circuit.
Although none of the top 13 cars improved their times, there was a change at the head of the LMP2 class, with David Brabham improving Highcroft's best lap to a 3min 34.537secs to jump ahead of the similar HPD ARX-01 of Strakka Racing, which had led the way after Wednesday's running. The Racing Box Lola in sixth place in class improved its best time while there was noticeable improvement from the new Pegasus Racing Norma-Judd, which jumped up from 42nd overnight to 26th ahead of its debut race.
Young Driver AMR continue to head GT1 thanks to the time set by Tomas Enge on Wednesday night, although the Marc VDS Racing Ford GT has closed to within three-tenths of a second thanks to a stellar lap from Bas Leinders. That has demoted the leading Matech Ford, which didn't improve its time, down to third in class.
GT2 is still headed by Risi Competizione, but the times now show a Ferrari 1-2 after the AF Corse's #95 jumped up to second in the hands of Toni Vilander. Vilander became the second GT2 runner to drop below the four minute marker and is half a second behind Gianmaria Bruni's benchmark to give the team reason to cheer after it was forced to withdraw the sister car due to the damage sustained with Mattias Russo crashed on Wednesday night. The Corvettes now sit third and fourth.