The #8 Toyota of Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima appears to be out of contention for victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours after spending the entire ninth hour consigned to the pit lane with technical issues.

Buemi had battled his way up to second place towards the end of the eighth hour and was making in-roads on the #7 Toyota's lead only begin losing fluid prior to his stop.

Despite no evident loss of performance until Buemi pitted, a small fire began around the front brakes before Toyota wheeled the car back into the garage over concerns the technical issues were more serious.

With their fears realised by the confirmation of a front motor failure, Toyota was forced to change the entire MGU at the loss of more than an hour, a delay that has all but ended the #8 crew's hopes of making up for last year's last minute heart-break.

Nevertheless, Toyota remains in a good position with the #7 car with Conway back in the car and comfortably lapping faster than Neel Jani in the #1 Porsche. The lead between the pair at the top of the hour exceeded a minute.

The #9 Toyota of Nicolas Lapierre, Jose Maria Lopez and Yuji Kunimoto is now up to third position, but is a lap down on the lead, while the #2 Porsche has moved ahead of the #8 Toyota as it continues its recovery from identical earlier issues.

Senna regains lead for #31 Vaillante Rebellion

The #31 Vaillante Rebellion is back in the lead of the LMP2 class after it became the turn of the sister #13 car to fall foul of stewards.

The #31 car had dropped back to second place after Bruno Senna was forced to serve a drive-thru penalty for overtaking under yellow flags, but was closing on the car of Nelson Piquet Jr before it was forced to take longer with its stop to repair its rear lights.

It means the #31 car is back in front with an advantage of more than a minute, while their problems have allowed the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing car into hunt, Oliver Jarvis doing sterling work to get the Oreca to within half a minute of second place.

The #25 Manor runs fourth in the class ahead of the #35 Signatech Alpine. The United Autosports Ligier is the first of the non-Oreca LMP2 entries, running a respectable eighth in class.

Aston Martin holds firm in thrilling GT battle

The #97 Aston Martin continues to lead the GT Pro class with Jonathan Adam, Darren Turner and Daniel Serra keeping a solid 20secs margin over a much closer battle behind.

Just six seconds covers the #67 Ford, #92 Porsche and #95 Aston Martin, the latter of which back in the hunt after a puncture ruined its lead early in the race.

In fact, 11 of GT Pro cars remain on the lead lap, even if the #64 Corvette is now out of contention after losing three laps when a wheel came off and pitched Tommy Milner into the barriers.

There remains only 4 retirements - the #82 Risi Ferrari (crash), #26 G-Drive Oreca (crash), #88 Proton Porsche (crash), #4 ByKolles (technical)

 

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