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Hour 17: Settling down after sunrise

The rain and safety cars stayed away through hour 17 of the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours, but positions remained largely unchanged at the front of the four classes.
Night changing to day was the biggest development in hour 17 of the 90th Le Mans 24 Hours, with the same leaders running at the front in each class.

In the Audi-Toyota battle, the only differences were the helmets behind the wheel of the top two Audis, with Tom Kristensen taking over from Allan McNish and rookie Lucas di Grassi replacing Marc Gene, both without losing grip on first and fourth respectively. Kristensen even stopped again for fuel within the hour without relinquishing control, while his team-mates remained fourth and, in the case of the #1, jumped another place, taking seventh at the expense of Strakka.

Toyota, meanwhile, opted to leave Sebastien Buemi and Alex Wurz in charge of the #8 and #7 cars, running second and third.

Things were similarly settled at the head of LMP2, with the #35 OAK Racing car of Bertrand Baguette, Ricardo Gonzalez and Martin Plowman leading the sister car of Olivier Pla, David Heinemeier Hansson and Alex Brundle.

The earlier suspension setback suffered by the Jota Zytek had allowed the #42 Greaves car into third on class, but the other Greaves car also ran into suspension problems, the #41 Caterham-backed machine, dropping to 15th in class.

The #47 KCMG Morgan-Nissan aslo ran into problems - and out of road at Mulsanne - taking to the gravel before rejoining, and another LMP2 runner, the weaker #45 OAK entry, followed suit shortly afterwards.

The other incident of note involved the #67 GTE-Am Porsche, which straight-lined the second chicane, but was able to continue in distant pursuit of its IMSA Performance Matmut stable-mate, which continued to lead the class from the #55 AF Corse Ferrari. Into third, however, came the #77 Dempsey Del Piero Porsche, with the actor setting his personal best times of the race.

The close-fought GTE-Pro class, meanwhile, continued with the #99 Aston Martin at its head, but with the #92 Manthey Porsche of Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Romain Dumas ready to swap positions at the slightest opportunity. The #97 Aston remained third in class, but had the #91 Manthey Porsche and #51 AF Corse Ferrari still in podium contention.


LMP1

1. #2 Kristensen/Duval/McNish Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro * 253 laps (24 stops)
2. #8 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 hybrid * 252 laps (21 stops)
3. #7 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota Racing Toyota TS030 hybrid * 252 laps (21 stops)

LMP2

1. #35 Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan * 238 laps (22 stops)
2. #24 Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan * 238 laps (21 stops)
3. #42 Mardenborough/Ordonez/Krumm Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan 237 laps (20 stops)

GTE-Pro

1. #99 Bell/Makowiecki/Senna Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 * 228 laps (18 stops)
2. #92 Lieb/Lietz/Dumas Porsche AG Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR * 228 laps (16 stops)
3. #97 Turner/Mucke/Dumbreck Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 * 228 laps (17 stops)

GTE-Pro

1. #99 Bell/Makowiecki/Senna Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 * 228 laps (18 stops)
2. #92 Lieb/Lietz/Dumas Porsche AG Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR * 228 laps (16 stops)
3. #97 Turner/Mucke/Dumbreck Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage V8 * 228 laps (17 stops)



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Stefan Mucke (GER) Aston Martin
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