Benoit Treluyer retook the lead at the turn of the fourth hour for Audi after the No. 2 car had a trouble-free run at the front in the third chapter of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The poleman snatched the lead from the sister Audi of Timo Bernhard as the safety car returned to the pits at 17.00, having been on track since Allan McNish's accident while repairs were carried out to the barriers.
Treluyer then stayed in that position all the way through the hour with the exception of the pitstops, when he dropped behind the Peugeots of Alex Wurz and Sebastien Bourdais.
They then pitted and switched drivers so that Anthony Davidson took over the No. 7 car and Simon Pagenaud the No. 9 machine, and were running second and third at the end of the hour.
Before Wurz handed over to Davidson he had managed to pass Bernhard on track for second. The German had run over the 'banana' kerbing avoiding a GTE car and damaged the nose cone, costing him several seconds a lap in front downforce. Once Wurz had passed Bernhard, the No. 1 Audi opted to pit early to change the nose and he handed over to Romain Dumas. That car is now running fourth, but still on the lead lap.
The No. 8 Peugeot was fifth ahead of the ORECA Peugeot in sixth.
Alex Premat led the LMP2 class in the Matmut ORECA but was less than a lap ahead of Danny Watts in the Strakka HPD, which is steadily moving up the order.
Jan Magnussen continued serenely at the front of the GTE Pro class for Corvette. The No. 74 car remained in control throughout the hour, though the BMWs of Augusto Farfus and Dirk Muller were in pursuit on the same lap.
Fabian Giroix led the GTE Am class for the Gulf Aston Martin team.