Kazuki Nakajima has taken over in the #8 Toyota in the lead of the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours after six hours of the race completed with Fernando Alonso wrestling the lead from Jose Maria Lopez in the #7 sister car as the start of the night running approaches at Circuit de la Sarthe.

After Mike Conway handed over the #7 Toyota to Lopez in the lead, Alonso set about eating into the Argentine’s lead making an initial move for on lap 56 before Lopez was hit by a puncture.

A 15-minute safety car period, triggered by the #37 Jackie Chan Oreca suffering a dramatic puncture, saw Lopez move back ahead through pit stop strategy, coupled with Alonso sustaining a slow puncture himself.

The two cars ended up coming out of the pits nose-to-tail after a second safety car caused by a heavy crash for the #4 ByKolles after tripping over the #80 Ebimotors Porsche.

At the second safety car restart, Alonso pulled off some frantic passes in traffic to keep on the rear wing of Lopez before getting past him with a near-identical move on Lopez to take the lead for the second time in the race.

In LMP2, a dominant display by the #26 G-Drive Oreca has seen Roman Rusinov pull out a 90-second advantage having built upon teammate Jean-Eric Vergne’s strong opening stint. The #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut sits second with a useful gap of 50 seconds to third place team #23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier.

In GTE Pro, the #92 Porsche profited hugely from the second safety car with a full lap up on the #81 BMW Team MTEK who profited in an order shake up with multiple front-runners pitting under the safety car.

In GTE Am, the #77 Dempsey-Proton also holds a useful advantage of #56 Team Project 1 Porsche.

 

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