After seven hours the two Audi cars were running in first and second position with the #2 of Allan McNish a lap ahead of the sister #1 car of Marco Werner. McNish was regularly lapping in under three and a half minutes and the pair were comfortably faster than the rest of the field, including third-placed #7 Peugeot of Jacques Villeneuve.
Peugeot suffered their first significant mechanical problem of the race. Smoke started to pour from the back of the #8 car of Stephane Sarrazin and so pitted for repairs, rejoining a short while later but down in eighth place and seven laps behind.
Audi had a scare on lap 105 when Marco Werner dived inside the #63 Team Corvette Racing C6-R of Jan Magnussen and the Corvette ran wide through the gravel trap. Part of the rear bodywork of the Audi was torn off and the car had to pit in order for a new rear wing to be fitted.
At the same time the #9 Creation Autosportif Ltd Judd CA07 of Shinji Nakano spun off the circuit into the tyre wall and damaged the back of the car. These incidents caused the Safety Car to be deployed which prompted a flurry of activity in the pits.
In the LMP2 class the #33 Team Barazi Epsilon Zytek 07S/2 of Adrian Fernandez continued in the lead after the #40 Quifel - ASM Team Lola-AER B0540 of Warren Hughes dropped back after four hours and was running three minutes behind.
Aston Martin dominated the LMGT1 class with the #007 car of Peter Kox running a minute ahead of the sister #009 of David Brabham, and in the LMGT2 class the #97 Risi Competizione Ferrari 430 GT driven by Jaime Melo was a lap ahead of the following #87 Team Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari F430.