The evening sky was growing dark when the race reached the quarter-way point at ten p.m. Mercedes was leading comfortably with cars in the top three positions. On lap 89, the No. 55 Mazda managed to pass a Jaguar and moved up into fourth place. It then began to chase down the leaders, which were lapping at around 3 minutes 44 seconds, close to the Mazda's qualifying time. The other Mazda 787B, car No. 18, was screaming down the Hunaudieres Straight just behind the car in front when its nose cowl suddenly flew up. Fortunately, the car made it to the pits where the nose was replaced. It did not cause any more trouble for the remainder of the race. Meanwhile, the No. 56 Mazda 787 had begun to pick up its pace in the cooler evening air and, lapping at close to 3 minutes 50 seconds, it moved up to 13th place.