The anticipated duel-to-the flag in the GT1 class of this year's Le Mans 24 Hours is seemingly all-but over less than two hours from the end of the race, after the #64 Corvette ground to a halt with suspected transmission woes.

The #63 and #64 entries have waged a race-long tussle for supremacy right from the very beginning, with rarely much to choose between them - and considerable pride at stake given that this year is Corvette's last at La Sarthe in an official capacity.

With all looking set for a titanic battle for glory, however, Marcel Fassler in the black entry he shares with Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta stopped just before the Ford Chicane, and though the Swiss ace - who crashed heavily out of last year's race in an LMP1 Oreca - was pushed to the entrance to the pit-lane, he has since been able to go no further, so near yet so far from potential rescue.

That has left the traditionally-liveried yellow #63 machine of Jan Magnussen, Johnny O'Connell and Antonio Garcia comfortably in the class lead, seven laps clear of the lead Luc Alphand Aventures C6.R of Yann Clairay, Xavier Maassen and Julien Jousse, with the stationary #64 entry currently classified third in GT1 and 19th overall and an hour-and-a-half left to run.