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LIVE COMMENTARY: LE MANS 2013 - WEDNESDAY PRACTICE & QUALIFYING
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Wednesday practice & qualifying
By Sam Tremayne, Jamie O'Leary, Gary Watkins and Scott Mitchell
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
13:56 Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Le Mans 24 Hours right here on AUTOSPORT.com

14:00 The on-track action is about to get underway with the opening free practice session here in France and you can keep up on top of everything important going on right here with our rolling blog.

Here's how the timetable looks for the rest of the day.

Practice 1: 16:00-20:00 local time
Qualifying: 22:00-00:00 local time

Your AUTOSPORT team for the event is Gary Watkins, Jamie O'Leary, Sam Tremayne, Scott Mitchell and Geoff Creighton.

14:02 The green lights are on at the end of the pitlane. Le Mans 2013 is officially underway!

14:03 Corvette Racing: "For this first stint, @jordan10taylor is in the #73 and @olivergavin is in the #74. Both Compuware Corvettes on track. #24LM"

Toyota Audi WEC Le Mans 201314:07 TOYOTA Racing: "#7 @Nico_Lapierre and #8 @Sebastien_buemi on track"

Audi Sport: "Starting drivers: No.1 @Andre_Lotterer, No.3 @LucasdiGrassi, No.2 still in pits"

14:11 Audi hits the track first and it's Lotterer sending the #1 car straight to the head of the timesheets in 3m38.319s. That's just the 15 seconds off last year's pole time.

14:12 We have a stationary Audi at the Dunlop Esses. It's the #3 of Oliver Jarvis. He had a spin, replays showing the Brit taking to the grass as he crested the hill, and gyrating.

14:17 The track still appears a little greasy after earlier rain, but there's no question that slicks are the right tyres for the conditions. Track temperature is up to 29 degrees.

14:19 One of the Rebellion cars has a scary-looking spin in the middle of the Porsche Curves, but manages to continue without being ploughed into. It looked like the #12 of Nick Heidfeld.

14:21 Lotterer has reduced the pace-setting time to 3m31.859s at the head of the field. He's 1.8s clear of Allan McNish in the sister Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

14:24 We have another spinner; this time the G-Drive/Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan of Shinji Nakano. He appeared to lose control at the first part of the Ford chicane and spin into the tyre wall, making light contact with the barrier. He has continued.

Nakano is competing in LMP2 and lies seventh in the class times currently. Setting the pace is the Level 5 HPD of Marino Franchitti in 3m51.301s.

14:30 Both Lotterer and McNish improve their times to pull away at the head of the field. Lotterer, who has won this race for the past two years, is now setting the pace in 3m29.581s.

14:33 LMP2 runner Mark Patterson has a spin at the Ford chicane in the #48 Murphy Prototypes ORECA-Nissan. He's come to rest just short of the barriers and will continue. He lost it on entry to the first part of the chicane.

14:35 Half an hour in and here are the class leaders…

LMP1: #1 Audi (Lotterer) 3m29.581s
LMP2: #33 Level 5 HPD (Franchitti) 3m46.718s
GTE Pro: #91 Porsche (Bergmeister) 4m02.022s
GTE Am: #95 Aston Martin (Poulsen) 4m07.804s

14:36 McNish is the first man into the 3m28s to knock Lotterer off the top spot. Lotterer and Jarvis - now easily recovered from his spin - are next up.

14:37 Alex Brundle, whose car was involved in that Heidfeld spin earlier while David Heinemeier Hansson was at the wheel, goes top of the LMP2 times in 3m45.313s. He's over a second clear of Franchitti.

14:40 The Murphy LMP2 is off again. This time Patterson is facing the wrong way at the exit of Indianapolis and is being towed back towards the corner. Yellow flags are covering it.

14:43 Ferrari shoots to the top of the order in GTE Pro category; Toni Vilander pumping in a 4m01.866s in his AF Corse 458 Italia to get him ahead of the best of Manthey Porsches.

Patrick Pilet is currently at the wheel of that Porsche, although it was Jorg Bergmeister that set the time.

14:52 Incidentally, we've worked out that the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours is also the 24th for our sportscar doyen Gary Watkins.

Mind, we only have his maths to go by on that (he's denying all parallels with Pele's 1000 goal record).

In driver terms, that'd be enough to put him sixth on the all-time list. Still some way to go to beat Henri Pescarolo though, who racked up 33 visits to La Sarthe in total. You can follow the man himself (Watkins, not Pescarolo, here).

14:57 Porsche driver Patrick Pilet has eclipsed Peter Dumbreck's test day best for Aston with his GTE Pro class-topping time of 3m58.797s.

15:00 The Ford chicane continues to catch out the unwary. This time it's Keiko Ihara (remember her from British F3 almost a decade ago?) spinning the #28 Gulf Racing Lola-Nissan.

That car currently lies 16th in the class.

15:01 Massive shunt at the second Mulsanne chicane. It's the Caterham Greaves car of Eric Lux.

15:01 The red flags are out.

1990 Le Mans15:02 Ever found yourself wondering which races stood out most to Gary Watkins? Or, perhaps more relevantly, which races from the past two decades are most likely to go down as classics?

From Le Mans to Daytona, via the last Snetterton Willhire, Gary picks out his all-time top 10.

15:04 Eric Lux is standing next to his car surveying the damage. Good to see he got out of that one; it looked nasty.

15:07 With the session stopped, now seems like a good time to update you on the class leaders...

LMP1: #2 Audi (McNish) 3m28.538s
LMP2: #38 Jota Zytek-Nissan (Turvey) 3m44.220s
GTE Pro: #91 Porsche (Pilet) 3m58.797s
GTE Am: #81 8Star Ferrari (Aguas) 4m02.625s

P2 looks especially good for British interest in the race, as it's a 1-2-3 courtesy of Oliver Turvey, Mike Conway and Alex Brundle.

15:11
Here, incidentally, is the view that AUTOSPORT has from our perch above the pitlane. Yep. That's the AF Corse Ferrari of Matt Griffin/Jack Gerber/Marco Cioci getting a service.

15:13 Lux hit the barriers on the left-hand side on the entry to the second Mulsanne Chicane - looks like he lost it under braking. Repairs to the guardrail appear to be nearly finished.

15:17 Session to restart at 17.20 local time - that's just under three minutes.

15:18 Car 26 meanwhile - that's the G-Drive Racing ORECA Nissan - has been reported to the stewards for overtaking under yellows.

15:20 And, just as we prepare to go green, the rain is starting to come down - lightly for now, but enough to prompt the marshal umbrellas to go up.

15:20 Green flags, and practice is back underway.

The Caterham-Greaves car is heading back to the pits on a flatbed. Some pretty heavy damage to the right-hand-side.15:22
The mechanics will have a heck of a job to get that fixed for the remainder of the session.

15:23 Windscreen wipers are in full action as the rain starts to worsen. AUTOSPORT meanwhile has been discussing the Archimedes principle (in a very specific situation), while Gary Watkins has been informed this rain is here to last - so we might not see much in the way of improvements before qualifying tonight.

15:26 We have the #8 Toyota - currently fifth fastest - on track, but it doesn't have much in the way of company. Wet tyres being fitted to several cars along the pitlane.

15:30 Marc Gene heads out in the #3 Audi, but the other two R18s are still yet to go out following that red flag. As a measure of track conditions, Sebastien Buemi comes round in a 4m07.111s - more than 30 seconds down on his best.

15:31 And as if to underline the fact conditions are worsening, Neel Jani loses the rear of his Rebellion Racing Lola B12 heading through Turn 1.

15:35 Aha. We have sunshine back, and the rain has definitely let up. Seems Gary Watkins might have been fed dodgy information. The track is still very wet though.

15:42 Toyota readying slicks once more. Buemi is going to be guinea pig, it seems.

15:47 Still very treacherous out there, as Andre Lotterer and Marc Gene prove in their respective Audi R18s. Track conditions are in that horrible middle-ground, too dry for wets but too wet for slicks.

Nick Heidfeld15:51 All three Audis pit, meaning Toyota's two cars are the only LMP1 representatives out on circuit at the moment.

During the lull, we've been looking at photos from yesterday's promotional activities, which included Nick Heidfeld (a bit of a cult figure at AUTOSPORT, thanks largely to Pablo Elizalde) looking very happy.

15:53 The times in the GTE Pro category are around 15 seconds off what the fastest drivers were managing before the rain came. Track temperature is back up to nearly 24 degrees, having dipped a few below that when it got wet.

We have three different makes in the top three positions with Patrick Pilet's benchmark in the factory Porsche still standing ahead of Pedro Lamy (Aston Martin) and Gianmaria Bruni (AF Corse Ferrari).

It's a mirror image from 4-6 with the best of the Vipers, currently with Dominik Farnbacher at the wheel, in seventh.

15:54 A reminder, if you're just joining us, that we are yet to see either of the Lotus LMP2 cars so far.

The German squad is going to court this afternoon, looking to overturn a court order that resulted in key parts of its pair of Lotus-Praga T128 LMP2 prototypes being seized on Tuesday.

Read the full story here.

15:59
It's all about social media these days, and Le Mans is no exception - stickers are being plastered over the media centre promoting this year's hashtag, #LM24.

If you're following on Twitter, be sure to also follow AUTOSPORT Le Mans for all the latest news and developments.

16:02 On track, Audi has now joined Toyota, with Benoit Treluyer heading out in the #1 car. Mike Conway meanwhile heads out in the #26 G-Drive Racing ORECA-Nissan, currently second fastest in LMP2. The class-leading #38 Jota Sport Zytek-Nissan is in the pits.

In GTE Pro, its Porsche from Aston Martin and Ferrrari, with the #91 Team Manthey 911 heading the pile.

16:04 Race organisers report that there is no more rain due before midnight. Encouraging news for qualifying, which you can follow on here from 22:00 local time (21:00 in the UK).

Not quite sure we believe the prediction...

16:06 Jann Mardenborough is reportedly going slowly down the back straight in the #42 Greaves Motorsport car. Not a great opening session for the squad - Gary Watkins has just been down to find out the latest on the #41 machine...

16:08 Conditions clearly improving, as Tommy Milner sets the fastest time of the session for the #74 Corvette crew

16:09 We've had a shunt by the #66 JMW Ferrari. Abdulaziz Al-Faisal has crashed and damaged the car. Our info is that it's happened at marker point 134. Quick on the drawer, our man Geoff Creighton has written the marker posts down on his track map, and he informs us that it happened at the Ford chicane.

16:10 No news yet on the fate of the tub of the Greaves/Caterham Zytek after Lux's shunt. Investigations are on-going, but team boss Tim Greaves has revealed that a spare monocoque is on its way. The tub from the team's former LMS LMP2-winning chassis – which first raced here back in 2007 – is in transit. It was meant to be on one of the team's race trucks, but hadn't been painted in time. A change of chassis would, of course, need the approval of the ACO.

16:13 A Lotus is on track; Christophe Bouchut has just left the pits. Looks like the team's trip to court this afternoon was successful.

16:21 Romain Brandela spins the DKR Lola-Judd at La Florandiere chicane, the second of the Mulsanne kinks.

Audi Le Mans WEC 201316:22 A great lap from Treluyer puts the #1 car at the head of the timesheets. He's nearly two seconds clear of McNish's previous best with a 3m26.615s. Track conditions are looking good.

16:24 There's a new name at the head of the GTE Am standings too; Christoffer Nygaard putting the factory Aston Martin he shares with Danish compatriots Allan Simonsen and Kristian Poulsen right in the fight.

His 4m02.117s lap is 0.5s quicker than the previous marker set by Rui Aguas in the 8Star Ferrari.

16:31 Loic Duval misses the chance to put the #2 Audi back on top after getting baulked by Matteo Malucelli in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari at the Porsche curves. From two seconds up at the second split, he completes the lap 4s off the pace.

16:32 Sam Tremayne and Jamie O'Leary are feeling pretty cheery right now. That's the effect of a handful of sweeties, pilfered from the lovely Pippa and James from Dunlop, can have on a pair of AUTOSPORT reporters who have been up since before 4am.

16:34 The #81 8Star Ferrari is off at the entrance to the Porsche curves. That's the former GTE Am class leader, now with team owner Enzo Potolicchio at the wheel.

16:38 This battle at the top of the timesheets between the Audis is getting really interesting. Duval sets the fastest second and third sectors to go top by almost a second.

16:45 The #45 OAK Pescarolo is being reported to stewards for speeding in the pitlane. That's the slowest of the three cars, driven by Jacques Nicolet, Jean-Marc Merlin and Philippe Mondolot.

Perhaps Merlin could conjure up a spell and make any impending penalty disappear into thin air?

16:48 It's all change in LMP2, as a matter of fact. And this particular update concerns the fastest of the OAK cars; Bertand Baguette having stuck the #35 Morgan-Nissan on top of the class with the first lap into the 3m42s. He's over a second clear of new second-placed man Maxime Martin (TDS ORECA-Nissan).

16:51 Patrick Dempsey has had a moment in the #77 Dempsey-Del Piero Porsche at the PlayStation chicane (that's the first one on the Mulsanne).

The Grey's Anatomy star going again without too much trouble. That car, which he shares with Joe Foster and factory Porsche ace Pat Long, is sixth in the class.

16:55 Anthony Davidson's #8 Toyota has been stopped in the pits for a little while now. The Brit had straight-lined the first of the Mulsanne chicanes prior to pitting.

That car, the best of the Japanese machines, is currently fourth, one spot ahead of the sister TS030 HYBRID. They're both over six seconds behind the fastest Audi though.

Kamui Kobayashi Le Mans 201316:58 There's a been a change of leader in GTE Pro as Kamui Kobayashi goes to the head of the timesheets in his #71 AF Corse Ferrari. Pilet and Malucelli lie second and third.

GTE Am also has a new front man. Matt Griffin set the pace - also in an AF Corse car - and has now been relieved behind the wheel by Jack Gerber.

17:05 Spin for Rodin Younessi in the #40 Boutsen Ginion ORECA-Nissan, as he loses the rear of his car braking for the Ford chicane. He clips the tyre wall but continues - he was too late to pit so he's headed round for another lap.

17:09 Improvements from both Toyota men. Anthony Davidson puts the #8 on top with a 3m29.573s, just over one second faster than Kazuki Nakajima in the sister #7 TS030. Still some four seconds slower than the lead Audi, though.

17:10 Roald Goethe has a very lucky escape as he spins the #96 Aston Martin at the Porsche curves, missing the barriers. As he rolls back across the track he is very lucky not to be collected by Mark Patterson's Murphy LMP2 machine.

17:10 That said (see 17:09), the lead #2 Audi is also comfortably clear of its sister R18s - at least it was. Benoit Treluyer closes to within six tenths of a second of the ultimate pace in the #1 machine.

17:14 The lead of GTE Pro changes again as Richard Lietz goes top in 3m58.547s; a few tenths up on Kobayashi's Ferrari.

17:18 Wonderful footwork from one of the Audi pitcrew, as he sidesteps a sliding R18 when Marcel Fassler, complete with disco headlights, heads out.

17:19 Another big crash for a GT car; this time for Tracy Krohn, who has narrowly avoided rolling his own GTE Am Ferrari at the Dunlop Esses.

Krohn is out of the car, but that was a big accident.

17:20 The session has been red-flagged to allow the Krohn-hit barrier to be rebuilt.

17:22 Replays on our screens show Krohn's car violently turning sharp right as he approaches the left-hand part of the sequence. He spins into the tyre wall, his Ferrari lifted up into the air on impact and coming back down on four wheels.

Scary.

17:27 Circuit being swept, plenty of frantic work trying to pull and tweak the tyre barrier, but this could be a long one given the impact of that crash. We have 33 minutes to run - technically - of this session.

17:30 Opinion split down the middle in the AUTOSPORT camp as to whether we'll get this session underway again. The Krohn Racing Ferrari will take some fixing if it's to make the race, meanwhile.

17:31 A reminder that this session cannot be extended by even one minute, as we have qualifying to follow exactly two hours after it winds down.

17:36 It's a chequered flag of sorts - organisers confirm the session will not restart, as the extent of the damage to the barrier is 'bigger than anticipated'.

17:38 So, Audi's dominant start to the 2013 season rolls into the first official session at Le Mans, as the German marque locks out the top three. The #2 R18 of Tom Kristensen, Loic Duval and Allan McNish sets the pace with a 3m25.415s, some six tenths clear of the sister #1 car.

Toyota meanwhile claims fourth and fifth, with Anthony Davidson gaining inter-team bragging rights in the #8 TS030, albeit some four seconds down the road from the lead Audi.

17:42 Predictably, it's far tighter in LMP2. The #35 OAK Racing Morgan of Bertrand Baguette, Ricardo Gonzalez and Martin Plowman ends top of the pile, but the #46 Thiriet and #26 G-Drive ORECA-Nissans are both within 1.2s.

17:46 Porsche meanwhile starts brightest in GTE Pro, claiming first and third courtesy of the #92 and #91 Manthey 911s. Splitting them is the #71 AF Corse Ferrari 458.

The lead Aston Martin of Darren Turner, Stefan Mucke and Peter Dumbreck is fourth.

17:53 AUTOSPORT has just been given word from Caterham that the #41 Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan, which is being supported by the now Malaysian-owned constructor this weekend, will not take part in tonight's opening qualifying session.

This comes in the wake of Eric Lux's red flag-inducing crash during the second hour of the session.

Audi Le Mans WEC 201317:59 Loic Duval heads an all-Audi top three in a Le Mans 24 Hours practice session that was shortened due to a huge accident for GT driver Tracy Krohn - full report here.

18:02 With that, the AUTOSPORT crew is going to break until qualifying. We'll be busying ourselves with paddock news and reaction, and the all-important quest for food and sustenance before tonight's first qualifying session, which kicks off at 22.00 local time. Join us then.

19:59 The AUTOSPORT team is fed and watered (Jamie O'Leary's black angus steak down at Audi a matter of extreme jealousy for Sam Tremayne and Scott Mitchell) and ready to bring you everything that happens from qualifying.

20:00 The green lights are on at the end of the pitlane and that means qualifying is go.

20:06
One car that won't be out tonight is the #41 Greaves Motosport Zytek-Nissan after Eric Lux crashed heavily at the second Mulsanne chicane.

20:08 First blood goes to practice pacesetter Loic Duval, fastest in 3m23.169s.

We're already wondering if that's a new-tyre, low-fuel run in anticipation of rain later on. He's currently four seconds clear of Kazuki Nakajima's Toyota.

20:10 There's a Porsche in the gravel at the Dunlop chicane and it's the Manthey-run works 911 RSR of Richard Lietz. Not a good way to kick off qualifying.

20:12 Duval improves his table-topping time to 3m22.349s - a second quicker than last year's pole time. Marc Gene slots into second in the #3 R18 e-tron quattro, 1.9s slower.

20:13 John Martin is setting the early pace in LMP2 in the #26 G-Drive/Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan, ahead of Olivier Pla's OAK Morgan-Nissan and Franck Mailleux's Morand Morgan-Judd.

20:16
The Krohn team is stripping down its Ferrari after team boss Tracy K shunted at the end of free practice. No news yet on whether it is repairable, but the damage looks pretty bad.

20:17 Stefan Mucke is currently fastest in GTE Pro in the works Prodrive-run Aston Martin; Lietz second despite his spin into the gravel and Gianmaria Bruni in the best of the AF Corse Ferraris, in third.

20:25 Aston Martin loses the top spot in GTE Pro to Bruni; his 3m55.909s lap barely a tenth quicker than Mucke's marker.

The British constructor does still lead GTE Am however thanks to Allan Simonsen in the #95 car. Paolo Ruberti is currently second in the class in the Proton Porsche.

Both Simonsen and Ruberti are both impressively ahead of the GTE Pro class factory Corvettes.

20:27 Speaking of Corvettes, the #70 Larbre car currently driven by Hexis Racing boss Philippe Dumas is off at the Ford chicane following a quick spin.

The damage looks minimal as he just grazed the tyre barrier. He's now into the pits.

20:31 Toyota is showing better than it did earlier on (and we're not just saying that because they've been by to drop off some hospitality passes either).

Nicolas Lapierre in the #7 car is 4s off the pace, but is third, significantly ahead of Lotterer's Audi. The second car, currently driven by Anthony Davidson, is sixth.

20:32 Andrea Belicchi has a quick spin in the #13 Rebellion Lola-Toyota at the Dunlop chicane. He recovers without too much trouble.

That car is seventh at the moment and second among the non-hybrid LMP1 machines. Only the Strakka HPD, currently driven by Danny Watts, is behind in the class.

20:35 A couple of Porsches have gone off at the second Mulsanne chicane; Jorg Bergmeister straight-lining it in the #91 works car and Pascal Gibon spinning in the older Imsa Performance GT3-RSR. Neither did any damage and both have continued.

20:36 We spoke too soon about the Audis. Now they are locking out the top three; Lotterer going third, but still 3.5s off Duval's earlier lap.

Le Mans 201320:37 A first 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours appearance for the #32 Lotus T128. The team only gained clearance to compete this afternoon, following a morning in court. Gary Watkins was on hand to get all the details.

20:41 Frederic Makowiecki sets a new benchmark in GTE Pro, a 3m55.658s. That's enough to the put the #99 Aston Martin four tenths clear of the chasing pack, led by the #51 AF Corse Ferrari and the sister #97 Vantage.

20:43 Anthony Davidson hands over the #8 Toyota, currently running sixth, behind the lead #12 Rebellion Lola. Sebastien Buemi steps into the breach.

20:45 We have a Toyota in the grass. It's Buemi, who has only just taken over the #8 TS030. He's stopped halfway between Arnage and Indianapolis.

20:46 Seems like a mechanical issue, possibly gearbox, with the Toyota. The car died approaching Arnage. Not good news for the team.

20:47 Just before that incident, we also had the rather odd spectacle of Paolo Ruberti spinning the #88 Proton Porsche - currently second fastest in GTE Am - coming across the start/finish line.

20:49 Right-rear puncture for the #70 GTE Am Larbre Corvette. We're only 20 or so minutes on from Pascal Gibon's spin and now Cooper MacNeil has suffered a bit of misfortune.

20:50 Meanwhile across at Audi, the #1 R18, currently third, is wheeled into the garage, with work going on at the rear of the car. Possibly a new rear wing arrangement being fitted.

20:53 Another spinner coming out of the Ford chicane. This time it is Marco Cioci in the #61 AF Corse Ferrari, who is able to continue with the minimum of fuss.

20:53
AUTOSPORT ventured up to the roof of the main stand for the start of the session. Looks pretty cool, doesn't it?

For those of you wanting a weather update, track temperature is 21.7 C - two degrees lower than it was when the best times were set in practice. Humidity is signifcantly higher though: 85 per cent compared to 74.

20:54 In GTE Pro, incidentally, we have just over one second covering the top seven cars. The #99 Aston Martin, now being driven by Bruno Senna, is still on the top of the pile.

20:56 Across in LMP2, our top three have just headed out in quick succession. The #26 G-Drive ORECA-Nissan still leads the way, more than one second clear of the field.

It is mighty close behind though, with less than 0.2 seconds to choose between the #43 Morand Morgan-Judd, the #24 OAK Morgan-Nissan and the #25 Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan.

21:00 We won't see the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 458 in this qualifying - the rear sub-frame is being rebuilt after an off in practice.

21:00 Stephane Raffin has just spun the DKR Lola-Judd at Mulsanne. He's continued and the #39 remains in 39th place, at the tail end of the LMP2 class.

21:02 With one hour down (and one to go), we still have an Audi one-two-three lockout. Toyota holds fourth and sixth, split by the #12 Rebellion Racing Lola.

The fastest Toyota, the #7 TS030, is some four seconds off the lead #2 R18.

21:04 Red flag, as we have an accident down at the second Mulsanne chicane.

21:06 Pierre Thiriet is the cause of that stoppage. The #46 TDS Racing Oreca-Nissan is parked having gone off at the chicane.

21:06 Good news from Greaves - the tub of its Caterham-sponsored Zytek has not been damaged beyond immediate repair. Even better news for the team's crew is that they aren't facing an all-nighter.

21:07 We could be in for another lengthy stoppage here, if early reports about heavy barrier damage prove true.

The FIA has confirmed Thiriet is OK, thankfully.

21:07 That's our third red flag of the day incidentally.

21:10 As we wait to find out how long this red flag lasts, we'll continue summing up the mid-distance order.

In LMP2, the #26 G-Drive ORECA-Nissan is still the clear pacesetter, over one second faster than a chasing pack led by the #43 Morand Morgan-Judd and #24 OAK Mirgan-Nissans.

Aston Martin Le Mans 201321:14 Over in the GTE Pro, Aston Martin is still leading the way through the #99 Vantage. The sister #97 and #98 cars are third and fourth, with only the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 spoiling the party.

Viper meanwhile is propping up the order on its Le Mans return. The fastest car, the #53 SRT, is 10th in class, some eight seconds off the pace - "where we expected to be," according to Ryan Dalziel.

21:15 Aston Martin also leads in GTE Am, with the #95 Vantage some six tenths of a second ahead of the lead #88 Proton Porsche 911.

21:19 As repairs continue, Sebastien Buemi's stricken #8 Toyota TS030 heads back to the pits on the back of a low loader.

Kamui Kobayashi Le Mans 201321:23 We're deep into the night here at Le Mans, a situation not everyone is used to - as Kamui Kobayashi's photo attests to.

The ex-F1 driver's AF Corse squad is currently sixth fastest in class, less than one second slower than the pacesetting #99 Aston Martin.

21:24 Seems the welding crew has made its way round to the damaged barriers at the second Mulsanne chicane.

21:26 Meanwhile, the AUTOSPORT crew is having a Twitter war. Apparently its not all about followers - followers per tweet has been suggested as a better gauge. Yes, it's getting late folks.

21:26 There's no ability to stop the clock in this session of course, which means we're approaching the final 30 minutes of tonight's qualifying.

21:34 In between CCTV shots of flashing lights and broken barriers, talk has turned to who would play each member of AUTOSPORT if a film was made. No, we don't imagine it would be a blockbuster. But yes, we're having fun offering up the worst possible suggestions. Timothy Spall has made an appearance...

21:36 Jimmy Nail has also cropped up. We're staying mum on the real-life parallels though.

Incidentally, there's nothing extra we can report on the current red flag situation. As soon as we know more, we'll bring it to you.

21:39 A gaggle of the Toyota boys are standing impatiently at the gates of parc ferme. The #8 car has made it back on a flatbed, but hasn't been released to the waiting team.

21:43 How about Daniel Radcliffe to play a certain AUTOSPORT sportscar correspondent? Some reckon he might be too old to carry it off.

21:43 The session will not restart. All cars are now under parc ferme conditions.

21:52 That'a a wrap for the on-track action for tonight.

Your provisional polesitters for all the classes are...

LMP1: #2 Audi (Loic Duval)
LMP2: #26 G-Drive/Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan (Mike Conway)
GTE Pro: #99 Aston Martin (Frederic Makowiecki)
GTE Am: #96 Aston Martin (Allan Simonsen)

22:26 AUTOSPORT's report from first qualifying is now online.

22:31 Still no word on the status of the Krohn Ferrari - all we can say is that the car has been stripped down pending a decision. A spare car or chassis is known to be on its way to cover every eventually.

22:41 That's a wrap for the night. We're off for some well-earned sleep, but we will be back to bring you all the news from the circuit tomorrow.

Second qualifying starts at 1900 local time (1800 UK) with the final session commencing at 2200 local (2100 UK).

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