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Porsche lead Le Mans after four hours

6   //    18 Jun 2016, 23:38 IST

(Reuters) - Defending champions Porsche led after four hours of the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race at the Sarthe Circuit on Saturday with Australian Mark Webber at the wheel of their number one 919 hybrid car.

The number six Toyota, driven by Japan's Kamui Kobayashi, was in second place some 17 seconds behind with the number two Porsche third but with the positions changing as pitstops unfolded.

The number seven Audi had fallen back, however, after suffering turbo problems during the second hour of the 84th edition of the race.

The start at the track in western France was flagged away by Hollywood actor Brad Pitt.

Porsche and stablemates Audi have each entered only two cars instead of three in the main LMP1 category for cost-cutting reasons in the wake of parent company Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal.

Last year's race was won by Germany's Nico Hulkenberg, New Zealander Earl Bamber and Britain's Nick Tandy but none are driving in the main LMP1 category.

Hulkenberg is competing in Sunday's European Formula One Grand Prix in Baku for Force India.

Porsche, who returned to Le Mans with a works team in 2014 for the first time in 16 years, are the most successful manufacturer with 17 titles.

(Writing by Alan Baldwin in Baku; Editing by Ian Chadband)

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