Fernando Alonso’s quest for Le Mans 24 Hours victory on his debut took a hit when teammate Sebastien Buemi was caught speeding in a slow zone just after midnight.
Buemi’s #8 Toyota had been reeling in race leader Kamui Kobayashi in the #7 sister car, the latter handing over to Mike Conway, who extended the gap to around 35s.
Toyota reported that Buemi had lost time in a slow zone compared to Conway, but then stewards gave Buemi a 60s stop/go penalty for speeding in a slow zone – around the time of Matevos Isaakyan's attempt to drag his battered SMP Racing BR1 back to the pits.
Buemi served the penalty on lap 150 – 20 minutes into the 10th hour. The additional 35 seconds Buemi spent in the pitlane meant he returned to the circuit 2m10s behind Conway.
Since serving the penalty, the gap between the two Toyotas has remained constant, with 14 hours of the race remaining.