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Intermittent but heavy showers are continuing to wreak havoc in the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours, with Porsche moving into the lead for the first time, albeit out of pit sequence with its main rivals.
Hour three began under safety car as marshals worked to clear the debris caused by Marco Bonanomi and Nicolas Lapierre's crash, the former's #3 Audi now confirmed as out, while the #8 Toyota has been repaired and is running again, albeit 8 laps down.
The race resumed 13mins into the hour, but was placed back under safety car conditions just 13mins later when it began raining heavily again. During this time, the Muphy Prototypes Oreca of Karun Chandhok – which was third in the LMP2 class – suffered a spin into the barriers, as did the Greaves Zytek.
Taking the opportunity to pit, the leading #7 Toyota – which had established a 1min 30secs lead on the competition having benefitted from the first multiple safety car format -, came in for a third stop, with Stephane Sarrazin assuming control.
However, with the race set to restart again, the car was held at the end of the pit lane until the field streamed through, allowing the #20 Porsche of Timo Bernhard into the lead for the first time, albeit having completed just two stops and with just five seconds in hand.
The #2 Audi is in third – now with Benoit Treluyer in the car -, but more than a minute behind, while the #1 Audi of Tom Kristensen is a lonely fourth 2min 30secs behind.
Franck Mailleux leads the LMP2 class for Race Performance Oreca by half-a-lap, while Porsche has pushed to the front of the GTE Pro class and is currently running 1-2.
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full updates after each hour
Live text commentary recap of Hour 3:
So as we near the end of the third hour, Porsche leads the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours...! just whisper that it is out-of-sync in terms of pit stops
Nicolas Prost has also had an off in the #12 Rebellion, but has continued
A couple of spins as he get back up to racing speed - the #42 Zytek and the #76 Porsche
Kristensen in the #1 Audi, meanwhile, is 2mins 30secs down and running a lonely fourth
Despite losing out to Porsche, the Toyota is still 1m 10secs ahead of the #2 Audi, which also pitted under the safety car
Still pretty wet down that back end of the circuit, so the cars are tip-toeing their way round the track
Stephane Sarrazin is now in the #7 Toyota
As such, it is Timo Bernhard that now leads for Porsche, albeit with just 2 stops compared with its rivals' 3
You know what, that was actually bad timing for the Toyota team as race control have allowed the field through before they let the #7 car on track again
We are racing again!
Good timing too... the safety car is in this lap
The leading #7 Toyota is taking the opportunity to get into the pit lane and it seems we are having a driver change too
It has stopped raining as well and the sun is trying peak through... still very wet on certain parts of the track
It means Porsche are up to second place with Bernhard in the #20 919 Hybrid
The #2 Audi is in the pit lane for its third stop of the race – Treluyer is in the car
GTE Am: #77 Proton Porsche, #53 Ram Ferrari, #98 Aston Martin, #67 IMSA Porsche, #95 Aston Martin
GTE Pro: #91 Porsche, #74 Corvette, #92 Porsche, #51 Ferrari, #73 Corvette
LMP2: #34 Race Performance Oreca, #36 Signatech Alpine, #35 G-Drive Ligier, #43 Morand Morgan, #46 TDS Ligier
With 2hrs 30mins of the race completed, it's recap time... LMP1: #7 Toyota, #2 Audi, #20 Porsche, #1 Audi, #12 Rebellion
The #8 Toyota has been fixed! It is heading back on track, albeit 8 laps down (though it would have been more without the safety cars...)
Feeling sorry for the spectators out there - they don't know whether to wear shorts or a cagoule at the moment... giving a dry race was predicted up to the start of the race, it's been a shock to everyone here!
Both are away again though. Big shame for Murphy - they were third in the LMP2 class with Karun Chandhok at the wheel
Spoke too soon... The #48 Murphy Prototypes and #41 Greaves Zytek have collided and are in the barriers
The safety car seems more of a precautionary than anything else - probably a wise move
The #62 Ferrari of Howard Blank has spun into the middle of the track
It is bucketing it down at the Tetre Rouge end... it is raining here too but is sunny too. Crazy weather today.
It's a measure of just how long this track is that it is blazing sunshine here on the home straight, but it looks like a monsoon at the far end of the track
Make that heavy rain...
Don't look now... rain is being reported again
Four retirements in this race so far: #3 Audi, #81 Ferrari, #37 SMP and #0 Nissan
Though nowhere near the pace of the factory LMP1 cars, the problems for Porsche, Toyota and Audi have allowed Rebellion Racing up the order - they are now 5th overall, split by top LMP2 car, the Race Performance Oreca
It is still pretty wet in certain parts of the circuit, incidentally, which may have caught out Matt Griffin, who has spun the Ram Ferrari into the gravel trap
So good and bad news for Toyota coming as he get well into the second hour - Wurz in the #7 Toyota has a large lead, but the #8 car is still in the pit lane
In fact, the multi-car safety caution means Lotterer is now 90secs behind the leader - Wurz gained a minute after all that
Wurz crosses the line to start lap 32... he has a huge lead thanks to that safety car
We are almost back to racing speed, the safety car is in this lap
Weather update (I wouldn't be British if I wasn't talking about the weather), it is pretty murky out there, but the rain has cleared... and it is still VERY warm
Following its earlier spin in the rain, the KCMG Oreca is being pulled into its garage
Just analysing replays, it is apparent Bonanomi may have been hit by Bird, with Lapierre having his own spin, possibly in avoidance of the slow Audi
Into the second hour and we are still under safety car conditions