Franck Montagny's factory Peugeot completed the ninth hour of Le Mans with an advantage of nearly two minutes over Nicolas Lapierre in the ORECA-run 908 HDi FAP as the race rolled over to lap 146.
The No. 2 car, the only one of the works French machines not to hit trouble has ran a steady pace through the hour, though was kept honest by its privateer rival.
Audi's Timo Bernhard was third, a lap behind the leader and 56sec ahead of the sister R15 TDI Plus driven by Marcel Faessler.
As the hour came to a close erstwhile leader Marc Gene, in the recovering No. 1 Peugeot, had set a blistering pace lapping regularly in the 3m20s bracket as he chased down Allan McNish's fifth-placed Audi.
Marco Andretti's Le Mans debut went downhill following a lengthy pit stop that dropped the Rebellion Lola to 32nd overall.
The Strakka Acura remained in the lead of LMP2, but Danny Watts was coming under increasing pressure from David Brabham in the Highcroft version.
Thomas Mutsch still led for Matech in the GT1 class a lap clear of Stephane Gregoire in the Luc Alphand Corvette.
Things have also calmed down in the GT2 battle following Risi's lengthy pit stop in the previous hour. Olivier Beretta led the class by 54sec from his factory Corvette teammate Johnny O'Connell.