Kazuki Nakajima has moved into the lead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with one hour remaining after the race-leading #7 Toyota suffered punctures on back-to-back laps, wiping away its two-minute lead.

After leading the majority of the race, the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid was on course for victory heading towards the end of the 23rd hour, with Jose Maria Lopez tasked with bringing the car home.

Lopez reported a puncture that forced him into an additional pit stop, with Toyota only changing the front-right tyre in question before sending the Argentine driver out still leading the race.

But a second puncture on the very next lap caused Lopez to slow, allowing Nakajima to swoop past and take the lead of the race in the #8 car before the #7 could even return to the pits.

Toyota serviced Lopez's car, but by the time he was sent back out on-track, he was already over a minute down on Nakajima at the front of the pack.

The late swing means Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Fernando Alonso are now on-course for their second straight Le Mans victory despite having trailed the sister crew of Lopez, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi for the majority of the race.

 

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