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A safety car period has closed the margin between the top four in the fight for the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours, with Rene Rast leading the way for the #9 Audi team as darkness fell

As per the previous hour, disparate strategies and different pit windows continued to see the lead change hands, but a safety car in the final 15mins of the eighth hour would see the top four brought together just four seconds apart.

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However, it was Rast that was now out front in his first-ever Le Mans, with Webber now running second in the #17 Porsche and Hulkenberg now back in contention in the #19 Porsche in third and the #7 Audi of Fassler in fourth.

The #18 Porsche would have also been up there but for Romain Dumas running off track and clouting the barrier nose-on at Mulsanne. The Frenchman survived major damage, but an unscheduled stop to replace the nose has dropped it almost 3mins adrift.

The safety car itself was deployed to clear the Signatech Alpine car, which had come to a halt at Mulsanne having been running third in the LMP2 class, behind the still-leading KCMG Oreca and the Thiriet by TDS Oreca. The G-Drive Ligier moves up a place as a result, with the Alpine seemingly out of contention.

The GT Pro class is still in the hands of the #64 Corvette, ahead of the #95 Aston Martin of Rob Bell, but the third place #99 Aston Martin in the hands of Alex MacDowell has a pit stop in hand and is just 15secs behind.

Meanwhile, Nissan has run into more problems with the #22 and #21 cars enduring trips to the garage, while the Krohn Ligier stopped on track and the Greaves Gibson is classified as in the race despite having not been recovered to the pit lane.

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