Benoit Treluyer has had a huge accident in the #17 Pescarolo-run customer Peugeot 908, bringing out the safety car for the third time in the race.
The 32-year-old Frenchman had just taken over the car from Simon Pagenaud in fourth place, just two laps behind the leading #9 factory Peugeot.
Pagenaud brought the car into the pits with smoke pouring from the front-left wheel arch. it was in the garage for four minutes while the team changed the nosecone, cleaned out the radiators, worked around the front left corner and replaced the engine cover and rear bodywork, before Treluyer was sent out.
He only made it as far as the Esses after after the Dunlop Bridge on his out-lap before the Peugeot left the road and struck the barrier at high-speed. The car was destroyed in the accident with only the cockpit shell remaining intact. It is not yet clear whether the crash was caused by a mechanical failure.
The safety car was scrambled while medical crews worked on Treluyer at the scene. He has since been removed from the car and left the scene of the crash in an ambulance.
Race organizer the ACO confirmed that Treluyer remained conscious after the crash and has been taken to the medical center for inspection.