Le Mans 24h: Kobayashi grabs pole again for #7 Toyota

Kamui Kobayashi has delivered Toyota pole position for the 89th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours, holding off teammate Brendon Hartley in Thursday night's Hyperpole shootout.

In the 30-minute session featuring the fastest six cars in each class, Kobayashi drew first blood by setting a lap of 3m23.900s on his first attempt, over a second quicker than stablemate Hartley in the #8 Toyota.

Olivier Pla was third fastest in the #708 Glickenhaus, a full 2.5 seconds in arrears but two seconds ahead of Nicolas Lapierre, who struggled on his first lap in the #36 Alpine A480.

However, the red flag soon came out when Kevin Estre, the fastest man in GTE all week, spun off and went into the wall at Indianapolis in his #92 Porsche 911 RSR-19.

After a brief interruption Kobayashi stayed just marginally above his benchmark, while Hartley moved within three tenths with laps of 3m24.230s and then 3m24.195s. Lapierre improved to move third with a 3m26.015s, which he followed up with a 3m25.574s.

Lapierre's lap was nearly four tenths faster than Pla's 3m25.996s, while Dumas was a distant fifth in the second #709 Glickenhaus entry.

In LMP2 Antonio Felix da Costa and Louis Deletraz initially traded the top spot, with Da Costa securing pole with a 3m27.950s lap in the #38 JOTA Oreca-Gibson, half a second up on Deletraz in the #41 WRT Oreca.

Will Stevens was third in the #65 Panis Racing Oreca, just one tenth behind Deletraz, followed by G-Drive's Nyck de Vries and United Autosports pair Nico Jamin and Paul Di Resta.

#72 Hub Auto Racing Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE Pro, Dries Vanthoor, Alvaro Parente, Maxime Martin

#72 Hub Auto Racing Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE Pro, Dries Vanthoor, Alvaro Parente, Maxime Martin

Photo by: Paul Foster

HubAuto takes shock GTE Pro pole

In GTE Pro the timing of Estre's off meant the remaining five cars had to wait until after the restart for their first flying laps, but it also meant the clear favourite for pole was out of contention.

Dries Vanthoor went fastest on the first run in the #72 HubAuto Porsche 911 RSR-19, his 3m46.882s two tenths quicker than Daniel Serra in the #52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo and Nick Tandy in the #64 Corvette C8.R.

The Belgian's lap held up until the end, taking pole for the Asian team's privately-entered car.

James Calado was fourth in the second #51 AF Corse Ferrari, four tenths removed from pole, with Gianmaria Bruni settling for fifth in the sole remaining factory Porsche.

Porsche secured a clean sweep of the top three in GTE Am, with Julien Andlauer taking pole in the #88 Dempsey Proton car with a 3.47.987s effort.

Andlauer stayed over five tenths clear of the #86 GR Racing Porsche of Ben Barker and put nine tenths on the third-placed #56 Team Project 1 machine of Matteo Cairoli.

Hyperpole results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 3'23.900  
2 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 3'24.195 0.295
3 36 Brazil Andre Negrao
France Nicolas Lapierre
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
Alpine A480 HYPERCAR 3'25.574 1.674
4 708 Brazil Pipo Derani
France Franck Mailleux
France Olivier Pla
Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 3'25.639 1.739
5 709 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
France Romain Dumas
Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 3'26.931 3.031
6 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'27.950 4.050
7 41 Poland Robert Kubica
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
China Ye Yifei
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'28.470 4.570
8 65 France Julien Canal
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Australia James Allen
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'28.586 4.686
9 26 Russian Federation Roman Rusinov
Argentina Franco Colapinto
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Aurus 01 LMP2 3'28.943 5.043
10 32 France Nico Jamin
South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
Venezuela Manuel Maldonado
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.078 5.178
11 23 United Kingdom Paul di Resta
United Kingdom Alex Lynn
United Kingdom Wayne Boyd
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.027 6.127
12 72 Belgium Dries Vanthoor
Portugal Alvaro Parente
Belgium Maxime Martin
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'46.882 22.982
13 52 Brazil Daniel Serra
Spain Miguel Molina
United Kingdom Sam Bird
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'47.063 23.163
14 64 United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
United Kingdom Alexander Sims
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 3'47.093 23.193
15 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
France Côme Ledogar
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'47.247 23.347
16 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'47.696 23.796
17 88 France Julien Andlauer
United States Dominique Bastien
Germany Lance David Arnold
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'47.987 24.087
18 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
United Kingdom Tom Gamble
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'48.560 24.660
19 56 Norway Egidio Perfetti
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Italy Riccardo Pera
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'48.876 24.976
20 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'49.387 25.487
21 71 United States Brendan Iribe
United Kingdom Ollie Millroy
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'49.477 25.577
22 33 United States Ben Keating
Luxembourg Dylan Pereira
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'49.676 25.776
23 92 France Kevin Estre
Switzerland Neel Jani
Denmark Michael Christensen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO    
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