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Le Mans 24h: Toyota dominates first qualifying session

Toyota has upped the pace in Thursday’s first qualifying session for the Le Mans 24 Hours, as the leading cars in each class qualified for Friday’s grid-deciding Hyperpole.

Toyota came out of the gates flying in Thursday’s 45-minute qualifying session, which decided on the six cars from each of the four classes advancing to the Hyperpole session, while setting the grid for the remaining positions.

Kamui Kobayashi set a time of 3m17.089s in the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, one tenth clear of teammate Kazuki Nakajima in the #8 sister car. Rebellion’s #1 car was 4.5 seconds behind courtesy of Bruno Senna’s 3m21.598s lap. With only five cars entered in the category, all entrants will proceed to tomorrow’s Hyperpole.

In LMP2 Will Stevens led early doors with a 3m27.097 in the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca, narrowly beating Paul di Resta’s time in the #22 United Autosports Oreca.

Stevens was then topped by Nyck de Vries' effort in the #29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca, the Dutchman setting a 3m26.648s.

Jean-Eric Vergne secured a Hyperpole spot for the #26 G-Drive Oreca, joined by Alex Brundle’s #32 United Autosports entry and the #33 High Class Racing Oreca driven by Toyota protegé Kenta Yamashita.

Formula E champion Antonio Felix da Costa narrowly missed out in seventh in the #38 JOTA Sport entry and will start the race from that position.

In GTE Pro the Aston Martins demonstrated their raw speed by dominating the session. Marco Sorensen put the #95 Aston Martin Vantage on top with a 3m50.872, half a tenth quicker than Alex Lynn in the #97 sister car.

Alessandro Pier Guidi took third in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari, a full second behind the Aston duo, followed by Davide Rigon in the remaining AF Corse Ferrari of Davide Rigon.

Porsche pair Gianmaria Bruni and Michael Christensen secured fifth and sixth, knocking out the customer Ferraris of WeatherTech Racing and Risi Competizione.

Augusto Farfus topped GTE Am in the #98 Aston, following by Charlie Eastwood in the TF Sport Aston, Ben Barker in the #88 Gulf Racing Porsche and Come Ledogar in the #81 Luzich Ferrari. The #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche and the #98 Project 1 Porsche will join them in Friday’s Hyperpole.

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 3'17.089    
2 8 SUI Sebastien Buemi
JPN Kazuki Nakajima
NZL Brendon Hartley
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 3'17.336 0.247 0.247
3 1 BRA Bruno Senna
FRA Norman Nato
USA Gustavo Menezes
Rebellion R13 LMP1 3'21.598 4.509 4.262
4 4 FRA Tom Dillmann
CAN Bruno Spengler
GBR Oliver Webb
ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 3'24.468 7.379 2.870
5 3 FRA Romain Dumas
FRA Nathanael Berthon
SUI Louis Deletraz
Rebellion R13 LMP1 3'24.632 7.543 0.164
6 29 HOL Frits van Eerd
HOL Giedo van der Garde
HOL Nyck de Vries
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'26.648 9.559 2.016
7 37 CHN Ho-Pin Tung
FRA Gabriel Aubry
GBR Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'27.097 10.008 0.449
8 22 GBR Philip Hanson
POR Filipe Albuquerque
GBR Paul di Resta
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'27.148 10.059 0.051
9 26 RUS Roman Rusinov
FRA Jean-Eric Vergne
DEN Mikkel Jensen
Aurus 01 LMP2 3'27.366 10.277 0.218
10 32 USA William Owen
GBR Alex Brundle
HOL Job Van Uitert
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'27.598 10.509 0.232
11 33 JPN Kenta Yamashita
USA Mark Patterson
DEN Anders Fjordbach
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'27.611 10.522 0.013
12 38 GBR Anthony Davidson
POR Antonio Felix da Costa
MEX Roberto Gonzalez
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'27.728 10.639 0.117
13 16 IRL Ryan Cullen
GBR Oliver Jarvis
GBR Nick Tandy
Aurus 01 LMP2 3'27.767 10.678 0.039
14 31 FRA Nico Jamin
FRA Julien Canal
FRA Matthieu Vaxiviere
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'27.791 10.702 0.024
15 36 BRA Andre Negrao
FRA Pierre Ragues
FRA Thomas Laurent
Alpine A470 LMP2 3'27.794 10.705 0.003
16 27 SWE Henrik Hedman
GBR Ben Hanley
HOL Renger van der Zande
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'27.913 10.824 0.119
17 42 FRA Nicolas Lapierre
CZE Antonin Borga
SUI Alexandre Coigny
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'28.509 11.420 0.596
18 39 AUS James Allen
FRA Vincent Capillaire
FRA Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'28.574 11.485 0.065
19 30 SUI Jonathan Hirschi
RUS Konstantin Tereshchenko
FRA Tristan Gommendy
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.091 12.002 0.517
20 25 USA John Falb
SUI Simon Trummer
USA Matt McMurry
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.402 12.313 0.311
21 21 COL Juan Pablo Montoya
FRA Timothe Buret
Mexico Memo Rojas
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.741 12.652 0.339
22 47 ITA Roberto Lacorte
ITA Andrea Belicchi
ITA Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217 LMP2 3'29.880 12.791 0.139
23 35 JPN Nobuya Yamanaka
AUS Nick Foster
ESP Roberto Merhi
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'30.497 13.408 0.617
24 24 CAN Garett Grist
GBR Alex Kapadia
GBR Anthony Wells
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.897 13.808 0.400
25 50 COL Tatiana Calderón
GER Sophia Floersch
HOL Beitske Visser
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.020 13.931 0.123
26 34 POL Jakub Smiechowski
AUT Rene Binder
RUS Matevos Isaakyan
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'31.393 14.304 0.373
27 11 FRA Adrien Tambay
FRA Erik Maris
BEL Christophe d'Ansembourg
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'33.747 16.658 2.354
28 95 DEN Nicki Thiim
DEN Marco Sorensen
GBR Richard Westbrook
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 3'50.872 33.783 17.125
29 97 BEL Maxime Martin
GBR Alex Lynn
GBR Harry Tincknell
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 3'50.925 33.836 0.053
30 51 ITA Alessandro Pier Guidi
GBR James Calado
BRA Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'51.244 34.155 0.319
31 71 ITA Davide Rigon
ESP Miguel Molina
GBR Sam Bird
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'51.988 34.899 0.744
32 91 ITA Gianmaria Bruni
AUT Richard Lietz
FRA Frederic Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 3'52.036 34.947 0.048
33 92 DEN Michael Christensen
FRA Kevin Estre
BEL Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 3'52.142 35.053 0.106
34 63 USA Cooper MacNeil
FIN Toni Vilander
USA Jeff Segal
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'52.508 35.419 0.366
35 82 FRA Olivier Pla
FRA Sebastien Bourdais
FRA Jules Gounon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'52.749 35.660 0.241
36 98 CAN Paul Dalla Lana
GBR Ross Gunn
BRA Augusto Farfus
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'52.778 35.689 0.029
37 90 TUR Salih Yoluc
IRL Charlie Eastwood
GBR Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'52.961 35.872 0.183
38 86 GBR Michael Wainwright
GBR Ben Barker
GBR Andrew Watson
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'52.970 35.881 0.009
39 61 USA Francesco Piovanetti
BRA Oswaldo Negri Jr
FRA Come Ledogar
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'53.292 36.203 0.322
40 77 GER Christian Ried
ITA Riccardo Pera
AUS Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'53.334 36.245 0.042
41 56 NOR Egidio Perfetti
HOL Larry ten Voorde
ITA Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'53.598 36.509 0.264
42 83 FRA Francois Perrodo
FRA Emmanuel Collard
DEN Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'53.621 36.532 0.023
43 99 THA Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak
SUI Lucas Legeret
FRA Julien Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'53.670 36.581 0.049
44 57 USA Ben Keating
BRA Felipe Fraga
HOL Jeroen Bleekemolen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'53.838 36.749 0.168
45 54 SUI Thomas Flohr
ITA Francesco Castellacci
ITA Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'54.144 37.055 0.306
46 88 AUT Thomas Preining
USA Dominique Bastien
BEL Adrien de Leener
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'54.281 37.192 0.137
47 70 JPN Takeshi Kimura
FRA Vincent Abril
JPN Kei Cozzolino
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'54.628 37.539 0.347
48 72 TPE Morris Chen
GBR Tom Blomqvist
BRA Marcos Gomes
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'55.308 38.219 0.680
49 55 GBR Duncan Cameron
GBR Aaron Scott
ITA Matt Griffin
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'55.772 38.683 0.464
50 75 ITA Rino Mastronardi
ITA Matteo Cressoni
ITA Andrea Piccini
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'56.141 39.052 0.369
51 66 USA Richard Heistand
USA Max Root
DEN Jan Magnussen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'56.383 39.294 0.242
52 78 AUT Horst Felbermayr Jr.
ITA Michele Beretta
HOL Max van Splunteren
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'56.475 39.386 0.092
53 85 ITA Manuela Gostner
SUI Rahel Frey
DEN Michelle Gatting
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'56.833 39.744 0.358
54 60 ITA Claudio Schiavoni
ITA Sergio Pianezzola
ITA Paolo Ruberti
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'57.876 40.787 1.043
55 62 GBR Bonamy Grimes
GBR Johnny Mowlem
IRL Charles Hollings
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 4'00.084 42.995 2.208
56 89 FRA Philippe Haezebrouck
FRA Julien Piguet
GRE Andreas Laskaratos
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 4'00.691 43.602 0.607
57 52 CZE Christoph Ulrich
GER Steffen Gorig
GBR Alexander West
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 4'01.217 44.128 0.526
58 17 USA Dwight Merriman
GBR Kyle Tilley
GBR John Kennard
Oreca 07 LMP2 no time    
59 28 FRA Paul Lafargue
FRA Paul Loup Chatin
GBR Richard Bradley
Oreca 07 LMP2 no time    
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Series Le Mans
Event 24 Hours of Le Mans
Sub-event Q1
Teams Toyota Gazoo Racing WEC
Author Filip Cleeren
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