Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway consolidated the #7 Toyota's lead through the morning at the 24 Hours of Le Mans to sit 90 seconds clear of the field heading into the final quarter of the race.

Lopez completed a long stint in the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid as both Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima tried catching up in the #8 car, but they were unable to break the Argentine driver at the front before he handed the reins over to Conway.

Even a caution period called following a heavy crash for Pastor Maldonado at Tertre Rouge was not able to help the #8 car's cause as it was placed in a different Safety Car train, leaving Nakajima with plenty of work to do at the 18-hour mark.

Maldonado's crash came when running fourth in the LMP2 class for DragonSpeed in the #31 Oreca 07 Gibson, with the damage to the car ending the team's day after it also lost its LMP1 entry overnight due to recurring problems.

The battle for third place took a big twist as Rebellion Racing's #3 R13 Gibson was hit with a three-minute stop/go penalty for a tyre violation, wiping away Gustavo Menezes' lead over the #11 SMP Racing entry.

After serving the penalty, Menezes rejoined the track directly behind Stoffel Vandoorne in the SMP-run BR Engineering BR1 car, only to then spin out at the Porsche Curves and beach his car in the gravel. While the car was recovered and able to continue, it cost Menezes two laps to Vandoorne.

G-Drive Racing continued to lead the way in LMP2 as Job van Uitert completed his stint, handing the #26 Aurus 01 Gibson over to Roman Rusinov through the morning. The #36 Signatech Alpine entry sits second in class ahead of Jackie Chan DC Racing's #38 Oreca.

Porsche moved into the lead of GTE-Pro with its #93 Porsche 911 RSR after an impressive morning stint from Patrick Pilet, getting the jump on Daniel Serra in AF Corse's #51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo. However, Corvette's Mike Rockenfeller headed the field at the 18-hour mark thanks to an off-cycle strategy.

Ben Keating completed a mammoth stint in the #85 Ford GT to keep his eponymous team at the head of the GTE-Am field, handing the Keating Motorsports entry over to Jeroen Bleekemolen towards the end of the 18th hour.