Toyota's wait for an elusive Le Mans 24 Hours win looks set to continue for another year after both the #7 and #9 cars retired within 20 minutes of one another in a desperate twist of fate for the Japanese firm.

Mike Conway had just handed over to Kamui Kobayashi in the #7 car - which had led for almost 10 hours - when the Japanese driver couldn't get the TS050 Hybrid up to speed following a lengthy safety car period to clear gravel spread on the track by a spinning Ford GT.

With the issue striking just as he had passed the pit entry, Kobayashi was forced to tour at just 65km on battery power before he stopped on the Mulsanne Straight. Though he got going again briefly, he stopped once more, this time stepping out of the car as Toyota were forced to admit defeat.

A bitter end to an otherwise faultless race for the car shared also with Stephane Sarrazin, save for an early dice with the #8 Toyota, the trio had led comfortably up to the point of its problems.

Worse was to follow though just as hopes began to rest on the #9 car, running in second place but a lap down on the new leaders the #1 Porsche, when contact with the #25 LMP2 Manor sent the car - driven by Nicolas Lapierre - across the gravel at Dunlop.

With damage to the rear of the car, Lapierre continued only for the debris to cause a brief fire. He got going again, but would park up once more a few seconds later.

Though he has not officially retired, he is unable to get back to the pits despite being in sight of it.

A desperate hour for Toyota, which had already seen the #8 car spend two hours in the pits with technical problems, its hopes rest on its one remaining runner but it is 29 laps off the lead.

It comes after the #8 Toyota hit problems prior to that, spending two hours in the pits with front motor problem, putting it out of victory contention having been running second.

Toyota came into the race as hot favourites to break its Le Mans victory duck having dominated qualifying, but a year after its heart-breaking victory loss just minites from the flag its hopes rest on the #9 Toyota, running a lap off the new leading #1 Porsche.