At the front of the race, Kamui Kobayashi had been dominant in the No. 7 Toyota in all his stints, opening the lead over the sister No. 8 to over a minute. Nathanael Berthon was now at the wheel of the No. 3 Rebellion in third place, just two laps down, but with a cushion of nearly a lap over the surviving No. 11 SMP BR1-AER.
In LMP2 there was no change at the top, Jean Eric Vergne keeping the G-Drive Aurus-Gibson safely pegged ahead of the contest for second, which was a duel featuring the No. 36 Alpine (photo above) and No. 38 JCDC Oreca.
The GTE Pro Porsche pair of Nick Tandy and Gianmaria Bruni pitted together, Tandy emerging four seconds ahead of Bruni, who was soon lapping over a second and a half quicker in pursuit. The pair were together again within just two laps, trailed by Antonio Garcia’s Corvette and the fifth-, sixth- and seventh-placed Ford GTs.
M. Jaminet’s No. 94 Porsche in eighth interrupted what would otherwise have been a complete train of Fords, B. Johnson’s No. 66 car at the rear in ninth.
Kevin Estre rejoined in the No. 92 Porsche, exhaust replaced at a cost of 21 minutes and 4 laps, now 12th in class.
In GTE Am the so-far-untroubled Aston Martin of TF Sport was in the gravel at Mulsanne Corner. Having run third, Euan Hankey was spinning the wheels trying to avoid intervention, but forced a slow zone in his extraction.
The remaining No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Am Porsche made an extended stop to change front bodywork, following a trend set earlier by the Pro Porsches.
Small spots of rain were in the air as the hour closed…