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Superior pace in the hands of Marc Gene has allowed the #1 Audi to put a lap between itself and the second place #20 Porsche after 18 hours of the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Out front courtesy of the turbo issues that saw the erstwhile leading #2 Audi slip three laps adrift, the #1 Audi and the #20 Porsche began the hour circulating on the lead lap, but a fast stint by Gene would see the Spaniard come around to Mark Webber to lap the Australian before the hour was out.

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Indeed, with Webber up to seven seconds off the pace, Porsche's challenge for victory in terms of outright speed appears to be fading, though the #20 is running without issue.

Desperate to make up time after its lengthy stop, the #2 Audi is back up to speed, with Marcel Fassler comfortably the quickest driver on the circuit, though the distant #8 Toyota of Nicolas Lapierre is also lapping fast.

Mark Schulzhitskiy has kept himself and the #35 OAK Ligier out front in the LMP2 class, still ahead of the Signatech Alpine and the TDS Ligier.

The battle for the lead in the GTE Pro class rages on, with Gimmi Bruni in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari closing down the gap to the leading #97 Aston Martin driven by Bruno Senna as the hour rounded out.

The #95 Aston Martin continues to lead the LM GTE Am class, two laps up on the #88 Proton Porsche and four laps up on the #61 AF Corse Ferrari.

CLICK HERE for live text commentary CLICK HERE full updates after each hour

Live text commentary recap of Hour 18: Key moments in bold

08:00
Senna is defending hard from a much faster Bruni - it is hard to believe these guys have been racing for 18 hours!

07:57
In fact, Bruni is flying and is already on the back of the Aston Martin - this GT Pro lead battle has been raging for a fulll 18 hours now!

07:50
Gimmi Bruni is now in the #51 Ferrarii and is working hard to try and close the six second gap to the leading Aston Martin in front

07:48
Webber pits the #20 Porsche, allowing Gene to go a lap up again

07:43
The GT Pro leading Aston Martin has pitted too, with Bruno Senna now at the wheel

07:42
The #1 Audi takes to the pit lane, allowing Webber to un-lap himself

07:36
Spurred on by passing Webber down the home straight, Gene pops in the #1 Audi's best first sector of the race

07:35
Gene laps Webber, which means the #1 Audi now has a lap advantage over second place

07:32
It's a measure of how quickly this race can change that the #1 Audi was outside the top three and two laps down fairly early on in this race... with just under 6 and a half hours remaining, it is leading comfortably

07:29
Aston Martin leads GTE Pro once again, Mucke lapping comfortably faster than Fisichella in the #51 Ferrari. Looks like the win will be between these two as the #92 Porsche in third is two laps behind

07:28
The #33 OAK Team Asia Ligier pops in its fastest lap of the race with Ho-Pin Tung at the wheel

07:27
Audi may have this one in the bag so long as they can keep out of trouble... they are much faster than Webber currently between them

07:12
Oh dear, it seems the Prospeed team were so preoccupied with getting the door back on, they didn't fix the rear wheel on properly... Looks like it is retirement for the three-wheeled Prospeed Porsche

07:07
Unusual problems for the #85 Prospeed Porsche GT... the door has come off!

07:06
Fassler stops the clock at 3mins 25.773secs... that is almost 10secs faster than the cars in front of him

07:06
Meanwhile, Michel Frey shows his frustration as he gets stuck behind two GT cars - the Swiss driver is trying to make up ground following his early stop-go for speeding