Kamui Kobayashi has wrestled the lead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans back from Sebastien Buemi at the halfway stage as the fight between the Toyotas intensifies.

After the #8 Toyota grabbed the leap during the opportunistic Safety Car period, another super stint by Mike Conway before pitting to hand over to Kobayashi saw the Japanese driver return to the track half a second ahead of Buemi.

At the halfway stage the pair were running nose-to-tail having traded stints at the front throughout the race in a battle which looks set to rage on over the final 12 hours.

Behind the runaway leaders, the #17 SMP Racing suffered heartbreak as Egor Orudzhev crashed out at the Karting curve running in third place which instantly ended his car’s charge.

That promoted the #3 Rebellion Racing to the last provisional podium place, two laps down on the Toyotas, with Stoffel Vandoorne in the #11 SMP Racing sticking on the same lap in fourth place.

Three laps back the #1 Rebellion Racing continues its fightback after dropping down the order early on with mechanical trouble.

In LMP2, the #26 G-Drive Aurus has pulled out a useful half-lap gap on the chasing #36 Signatech Alpine having made its advantage count during a Safety Car period when the #49 ARC Bratislava Ligier suffered three offs in a single lap at Mulsanne corner, Indianapolis and then Porsche curves which ended its race.

In GTE Pro, the #92 Porsche continues to hold a slender lead over the #51 AF Corse Ferrari following the latest Safety Car shake-up. The #91 Porsche is in third place directly ahead of the #93 Porsche who have both dropped back by two minutes due to the Safety Cars splitting up the pack.

In GTE Am, #85 Keating Motorsports Ford continues to lead from the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche.