The No. 2 Audi of Marcel Fassler continued to lead Le Mans after the fourth hour having taken over driving duties from Benoit Treluyer.
Treluyer handed over the car to Fassler after 30 minutes of the hour, having set a fierce pace, pitting with a 50s advantage.
That advantage reduced during the pitstops as Anthony Davidson closed to within 23s of the leader in the first of the Peugeots.
What was intriguing though was that the French cars again lasted a lap longer per-stint than the Audis, which could pay dividends as the race progresses.
Simon Pagenaud, in the No. 9 Pug, was shadowing the Englishman, but lost 40s five minutes from the end of the hour when he went straight on at Arnage and had to turn the car around.
Stephane Sarrazin is currently fourth in the third Peugeot, 78s off the lead, while the No. 1 Audi - with Romain Dumas at the wheel - is fifth 1m45s behind Fassler. Those five are the only cars now on the lead lap.
Neel Jani led the petrol class for Rebellion as he traded lap time with Julien Jousse in the Pescarolo.
ORECA remained in the lead of LMP2 with Dominik Kraihamer at the wheel. The fight was well and truly on in that class however as Danny Watts closed to within 44s of the lead in the Strakka HPD. Olivier Lombard ran third in the Greaves Zytek.
GTE saw a spate of punctures hit the class. The most significant of which was for Jorg Muller's third-placed BMW which had a left-rear go down dropping it two laps off the lead and 12th in class.
The No. 77 Flying Lizard Porsche and the JMW Ferrari also ran into problems.
At the front of GTE Jan Magnussen continued serenely on, now some 1m11s ahead of Joey Hand in the other BMW.
Michael Wainwright led the GTE Am class in the Gulf AMR Vantage.
- The No. 3 Audi of Allan McNish crashed out of the race in the first hour having just taken second position. The Scot collected the No. 58 Luxury Racing Ferrari in the right-hander after the Dunlop Bridge. The heavy impact destroyed the car and the Scot was taken to hospital for precautionary checks, but appears to be unhurt.
- Both Aston Martin AMR Ones ran into trouble on the first lap of the race. Darren Turner spinning with mechanical trouble and Adrian Fernandez stopping out on the Mulsanne. The No. 007 car of Turner was recovered to the pits where it was discovered an alternator belt tensioner was to blame.