Le Mans 24h: Toyota narrowly beats Rebellion to pole

Kamui Kobayashi has gifted Toyota another pole at the Le Mans 24 Hours after beating Rebellion’s Gustavo Menezes in a tightly-contested Hyperpole session.

The new-for-2020 Hyperpole shootout gave the fastest six cars in each class in Thursday’s first qualifying session a chance to fight for pole in a condensed 30-minute session on Friday morning.

In the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid Kamui Kobayashi clocked a first flying lap of 3m15.920s, comfortably quicker than teammate Kazuki Nakajima’s 3m17.424s.

Rebellion returned fire by virtue of a stellar 3m15.822s from Gustavo Menezes in the #1 Rebellion R-13, the fastest ever lap around the Circuit de la Sarthe for a privateer and a non-hybrid car.

That prompted Kobayashi to respond with an even quicker lap aboard the #7, posting a 3m15.267s on his next attempt. Nakajima too went quicker on his second attempt, but stayed third with a 3m16.649s, ahead of the second Rebellion of Louis Deletraz.

The Japanese driver look set to take another six tenths out of his time the following lap, but he aborted the lap because of a track limits transgression - denying him the chance to beat his own lap record from three years ago.

Read Also:

Tom Dillmann’s #4 ByKolles machine brought up the rear of the five-car LMP1 field, the ENSO CLM P1/01 barely ahead of the LMP2 runners.

In LMP2 Paul di Resta put the #22 United Autosports Oreca on top early on with a 3m24.528s, a new all-time record for the class, followed by Jean-Eric Vergne in the #26 G-Drive entry and Will Stevens in the JOTA Sport-run #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing car.

In the #33 High Class Racing Oreca, Toyota protege Kenta Yamashita then jumped Stevens to take third, only to then be demoted himself by a late effort from Nyck de Vries in the #29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca.

FIA F2 champion De Vries had survived an early scare in the Porsche Curves, going straight on into the gravel trap but narrowly avoiding the barriers on his way out.

Porsche scored pole in the GTE Pro class thanks to Gianmaria Bruni's 3m50.874s effort in the #91 911 RSR-19, albeit almost three seconds down on 2019's class pole time.

Sam Bird led the early proceedings in the #71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo, his time of 3m51.515s actually two tenths slower than GTE Am’s provisional polesitter Matt Campbell in the Proton Porsche.

Bruni then went faster in the #91 Porsche, before Marco Sorensen lifted his #95 Aston Martin Vantage up to second. In the closing stages, James Calado vaulted over Sorensen to second in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari, while the #97 Aston of Alex Lynn went fourth.

In GTE Am Campbell’s early benchmark was eventually bettered by Come Ledogar in the #61 Luzich Ferrari, the Frenchman posting a 3m51.266s.

That was just over half a tenth quicker than Campbell and four tenths quicker than Matteo Cairoli in the #56 Team Project 1 Porsche.

Qualifying results:

Pos. # Drivers Car Class Time Gap Interval
1 7 GBR Mike Conway
JPN Kamui Kobayashi
ARG Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 3'15.267    
2 1 BRA Bruno Senna
FRA Norman Nato
USA Gustavo Menezes
Rebellion R13 LMP1 3'15.822 0.555 0.555
3 8 SUI Sebastien Buemi
JPN Kazuki Nakajima
NZL Brendon Hartley
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 3'16.649 1.382 0.827
4 3 FRA Romain Dumas
FRA Nathanael Berthon
SUI Louis Deletraz
Rebellion R13 LMP1 3'18.330 3.063 1.681
5 4 FRA Tom Dillmann
CAN Bruno Spengler
GBR Oliver Webb
ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 3'23.043 7.776 4.713
6 22 GBR Philip Hanson
POR Filipe Albuquerque
GBR Paul di Resta
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'24.528 9.261 1.485
7 26 RUS Roman Rusinov
FRA Jean-Eric Vergne
DEN Mikkel Jensen
Aurus 01 LMP2 3'24.860 9.593 0.332
8 29 HOL Frits van Eerd
HOL Giedo van der Garde
HOL Nyck de Vries
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'25.062 9.795 0.202
9 33 JPN Kenta Yamashita
USA Mark Patterson
DEN Anders Fjordbach
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'25.426 10.159 0.364
10 32 USA William Owen
GBR Alex Brundle
HOL Job van Uitert
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'25.671 10.404 0.245
11 37 CHN Ho-Pin Tung
FRA Gabriel Aubry
GBR Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'25.875 10.608 0.204
12 91 ITA Gianmaria Bruni
AUT Richard Lietz
FRA Frederic Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 3'50.874 35.607 24.999
13 51 ITA Alessandro Pier Guidi
GBR James Calado
BRA Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'51.115 35.848 0.241
14 95 DEN Nicki Thiim
DEN Marco Sorensen
GBR Richard Westbrook
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 3'51.241 35.974 0.126
15 61 USA Francesco Piovanetti
BRA Oswaldo Negri Jr
FRA Come Ledogar
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'51.266 35.999 0.025
16 77 GER Christian Ried
ITA Riccardo Pera
AUS Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'51.322 36.055 0.056
17 97 BEL Maxime Martin
GBR Alex Lynn
GBR Harry Tincknell
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 3'51.324 36.057 0.002
18 71 ITA Davide Rigon
ESP Miguel Molina
GBR Sam Bird
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'51.515 36.248 0.191
19 56 NOR Egidio Perfetti
HOL Larry ten Voorde
ITA Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'51.647 36.380 0.132
20 92 DEN Michael Christensen
FRA Kevin Estre
BEL Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 3'51.770 36.503 0.123
21 98 CAN Paul Dalla Lana
GBR Ross Gunn
BRA Augusto Farfus
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'52.105 36.838 0.335
22 90 TUR Salih Yoluc
IRL Charlie Eastwood
GBR Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'52.299 37.032 0.194
23 86 GBR Michael Wainwright
GBR Ben Barker
GBR Andrew Watson
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'52.346 37.079 0.047

 

shares
comments

Related video

Le Mans 24h: Rebellion leads Toyota in fourth practice

Previous article

Le Mans 24h: Rebellion leads Toyota in fourth practice

Next article

Kobayashi "disappointed" to miss new Le Mans record

Kobayashi "disappointed" to miss new Le Mans record
Load comments

About this article

Series Le Mans
Event 24 Hours of Le Mans
Sub-event Q2
Drivers Kamui Kobayashi
Teams Toyota Gazoo Racing WEC
Author Filip Cleeren
How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans Prime

How an ingenious fix prevented Paul Newman from winning Le Mans

It's one of the great what-if stories in Le Mans history. Paul Newman finished second in the 24 Hours in 1979, but it could easily have been a famous victory were it not for the resourcefulness of the late Manfred Kremer.

Le Mans
Apr 13, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

General
Dec 26, 2020
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Prime

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other.

Le Mans
Dec 16, 2020
How Tom Kristensen forged his ‘Mr Le Mans’ legend Prime

How Tom Kristensen forged his ‘Mr Le Mans’ legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot…

Le Mans
Dec 7, 2020
Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars Prime

Why Audi’s shock return promises a new age for sportscars

OPINION: The news that Audi will return to Le Mans means we'll at last get to see the fight promised in 2012 against Peugeot and Toyota. It also gives LMDh a tangible form, which could open the floodgates for more like-minded marques to follow suit…

WEC
Dec 1, 2020