Le Mans 24h: Red flag incidents mar second qualifying

Toyota remains on provisional pole for the Le Mans 24 Hours after a second qualifying session disrupted by two red flag incidents, one of which brought an early halt to proceedings.

Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in the session, although neither of the leading Toyota TS050 Hybrids improved their laptimes from Wednesday's first qualifying.

Alonso began the session in the #8 Toyota and completed eight heavily disrupted laps caused by many incidents suffered by LMP2 and GTE machinery. 

That meant he had just two clean flying laps and he set a 3m18.021s best time on his second run, after Sven Muller put the #94 Porsche 911 RSR into the barriers on the approach at Indianapolis and caused a red flag when he hit the tyre barrier.

That meant Alonso's best lap was almost eight tenths slower than teammate Kazuki Nakajima's provisional pole time from Wednesday night.

Sebastien Buemi also lapped close to Alonso's best time, as did Jose Maria Lopez in the #7 Toyota, which went off twice in the hands of Mike Conway.

There were few improvements elsewhere LMP1, meaning that the best placed non-hybrid LMP1 car is still the #17 SMP Racing BR1 shared by Stephane Sarrazin, Egor Orudzhev and Matevos Isaakyan.

The only LMP1 contenders to improve their positions was the two Manor Ginettas, with Alex Brundle taking the #6 G60-LT-P1 up to ninth, clear of all the LMP2 runners, with a 3m24.343s lap.

Brundle's time meant he was now 1.8s slower than the ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01 in eighth and 7.073s off the ultimate pace set by the leading Toyota.

The session was red-flagged with over half an hour remaining when Giorgio Sernagiotto crashed the #47 Villorba Corse Dallara on the approach to the first chicane, which the team attributed to a front-right puncture. The Italian emerged from the wreckage unaided.

#47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara P217 Gibson: Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto, Felipe Nasr
#47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara P217 Gibson: Roberto Lacorte, Giorgio Sernagiotto, Felipe Nasr

Photo by: LAT Images

Status quo in LMP2

The order at the top in LMP2 was unchanged prior to the stoppage, with only one change in the minor placings deposing the fastest Ligier to seventh. 

Paul-Loup Chatin's bechmark time from Wednesday night in the #48 IDEC Sport Oreca remained unchallenged, ahead of the #28 TDS Racing Oreca of Loic Duval.

The only major improvement was from Tristan Gommendy in the Graff-SO24 Oreca, which moved into sixth place in an incident-filled session.

Prior to Sernagiotto's accident, single-seater convert Norman Nato was fortunate to escape without damage from a high-speed spin at the Porsche Curves in the #35 SMP Dallara.

Two-time class-winner Nicolas Lapierre also broke the suspension on his #36 Signatech-Alpine at the Ford chicane and spun into the gravel, bringing out a slow zone.

Porsche still in command in GTE

Porsche maintained control of GTE Pro, as just one of the 17 cars in the class managed to improve its best time from Wednesday’s first qualifying.

That was the #93 CORE autosport-run 911 RSR, which had been seventh overnight but rose to fifth with a lap of 3m49.621s by Patrick Pilet – 2.117s slower than Gianmaria Bruni’s benchmark in the #91 Manthey Porsche.

#93 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR: Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber
#93 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR: Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Earl Bamber

Photo by: LAT Images

The Weissach marque continues to hold a 1-2 with its two retro-liveried cars, the #91 and the #92, while Ford’s top two cars, the #66 and #68, remain on the second row.

Ferrari’s lead 488 GTE Evo, the #51 AF Corse car, has dropped to sixth as a result of Pilet’s improvement, ahead of the remaining #94 Porsche.

Ford’s eighth-placed #67 car was damaged when Andy Priaulx dipped a wheel on the grass entering Tertre Rouge, spun and hit the barriers backwards. The three-time WTCC champion was able to get back to the pits unaided despite losing a chunk of rear bodywork.

The rest of the order hasn’t changed from Wednesday, with BMW’s top car in ninth, Corvette’s best runner in 13th and Aston Martin propping up the field with its two brand-new Vantage GTEs.

In GTE Am, the two Dempsey-Proton Porsches remain first and second, but a 3m51.956s lap by Giancarlo Fisichella moved up the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari to third place. 

The #84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Jeff Segal and the #99 Proton Porsche of Pat Long were the only two others to improve of the 13 runners in class.

Additional reporting by James Newbold

Full results (combined):

Pos.#DriversCarClassLapsTimeGap
1 8 spain Fernando Alonso 
japan Kazuki Nakajima 
switzerland Sébastien Buemi 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 16 3'17.270  
2 7 japan Kamui Kobayashi 
united_kingdom Mike Conway 
argentina Jose Maria Lopez 
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 14 3'17.377 0.107
3 17 france Stéphane Sarrazin 
russia Matevos Isaakyan 
russia Egor Orudzhev 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 4 3'19.483 2.213
4 1 germany Andre Lotterer 
brazil Bruno Senna 
switzerland Neel Jani 
Rebellion R13 LMP1 12 3'19.662 2.392
5 3 switzerland Mathias Beche 
france Thomas Laurent 
united_states Gustavo Menezes 
Rebellion R13 LMP1 6 3'19.945 2.675
6 10 sweden Henrik Hedman 
netherlands Renger van der Zande 
united_kingdom Ben Hanley 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 6 3'21.110 3.840
7 11 united_kingdom Jenson Button 
russia Vitaly Petrov 
russia Mikhail Aleshin 
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 3 3'21.408 4.138
8 4 united_kingdom Oliver Webb 
austria Dominik Kraihamer 
france Tom Dillmann 
ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 8 3'22.505 5.235
9 6 united_kingdom Oliver Turvey 
united_kingdom Alex Brundle 
united_kingdom Oliver Rowland 
Ginetta G60-LT-P1 LMP1 13 3'24.343 7.073
10 48 france Paul-Loup Chatin 
mexico Memo Rojas 
france Paul Lafargue 
Oreca 07 LMP2 12 3'24.956 7.686
11 28 france Loic Duval 
france François Perrodo 
france Matthieu Vaxiviere 
Oreca 07 LMP2 11 3'25.240 7.970
12 5 france Leo Roussel 
united_kingdom Mike Simpson 
united_kingdom Charlie Robertson 
Ginetta G60-LT-P1 LMP1 8 3'25.268 7.998
13 26 france Jean-Eric Vergne 
russia Roman Rusinov 
france Andrea Pizzitola 
Oreca 07 LMP2 15 3'26.447 9.177
14 31 venezuela Pastor Maldonado 
france Nathanael Berthon 
mexico Roberto Gonzalez 
Oreca 07 LMP2 8 3'26.508 9.238
15 36 france Nicolas Lapierre 
france Pierre Thiriet 
brazil Andre Negrao 
Alpine A470 LMP2 10 3'26.681 9.411
16 39 france Vincent Capillaire 
france Tristan Gommendy 
switzerland Jonathan Hirschi 
Oreca 07 LMP2 13 3'26.701 9.431
17 22 united_kingdom Paul di Resta 
portugal Filipe Albuquerque 
united_kingdom Philip Hanson 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 15 3'26.772 9.502
18 40 mexico Jose Gutierrez 
france Enzo Guibbert 
australia James Allen 
Oreca 07 LMP2 11 3'27.280 10.010
19 37 malaysia Nabil Jeffri 
malaysia Weiron Tan 
malaysia Jazeman Jaafar 
Oreca 07 LMP2 12 3'27.468 10.198
20 47 brazil Felipe Nasr 
italy Roberto Lacorte 
italy Giorgio Sernagiotto 
Dallara P217 LMP2 11 3'27.993 10.723
21 38 china Ho-Pin Tung 
monaco Stéphane Richelmi 
france Gabriel Aubry 
Oreca 07 LMP2 13 3'27.999 10.729
22 23 united_kingdom Will Stevens 
france Julien Canal 
france Timothé Buret 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 13 3'28.008 10.738
23 32 colombia Juan Pablo Montoya 
united_states  William Owen 
switzerland Hugo De Sadeleer 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 14 3'28.159 10.889
24 29 netherlands Jan Lammers 
netherlands Giedo van der Garde 
netherlands Frits van Eerd 
Dallara P217 LMP2 11 3'28.556 11.286
25 35 russia Viktor Shaytar 
france Norman Nato 
united_kingdom Harrison Newey 
Dallara P217 LMP2 14 3'28.629 11.359
26 34 denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
united_states Ricky Taylor 
france Côme Ledogar 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 12 3'33.755 16.485
27 33 china David Cheng 
united_states Nicholas Boulle 
france Pierre Nicolet 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 9 3'35.237 17.967
28 44 italy Andrea Bertolini 
united_states Tracy Krohn 
sweden Nic Jönsson 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 11 3'35.385 18.115
29 50 france Thomas Dagoneau 
france Romano Ricci 
france Erwin Creed 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 12 3'38.206 20.936
30 25 united_states Mark Patterson 
korea_republic_of Tacksung Kim 
netherlands Ate de Jong 
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 14 3'44.177 26.907
31 91 italy Gianmaria Bruni 
austria Richard Lietz 
france Frédéric Makowiecki 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 12 3'47.504 30.234
32 92 denmark Michael Christensen 
france Kevin Estre 
belgium Laurens Vanthoor 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 14 3'49.097 31.827
33 66 germany Stefan Mücke 
france Olivier Pla 
united_states Billy Johnson 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 8 3'49.181 31.911
34 68 france Sébastien Bourdais 
united_states Joey Hand 
germany Dirk Müller 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 11 3'49.582 32.312
35 93 united_kingdom Nick Tandy 
france Patrick Pilet 
new_zealand Earl Bamber 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 13 3'49.621 32.351
36 51 united_kingdom James Calado 
italy Alessandro Pier Guidi 
brazil Daniel Serra 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 12 3'49.854 32.584
37 94 france Romain Dumas 
germany Timo Bernhard 
germany Sven Muller 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 1 3'50.089 32.819
38 67 united_kingdom Harry Tincknell 
brazil Tony Kanaan 
guernsey Andy Priaulx 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 11 3'50.429 33.159
39 82 portugal Antonio Felix da Costa 
brazil Augusto Farfus 
united_kingdom Alexander Sims 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 14 3'50.579 33.309
40 69 australia Ryan Briscoe 
new_zealand Scott Dixon 
united_kingdom Richard Westbrook 
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 13 3'50.593 33.323
41 81 netherlands Nick Catsburg 
germany Martin Tomczyk 
austria Philipp Eng 
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 13 3'50.596 33.326
42 71 united_kingdom Sam Bird 
italy Davide Rigon 
spain Miguel Molina 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 13 3'50.669 33.399
43 88 united_arab_emirates Khaled Al Qubaisi 
italy Matteo Cairoli 
italy Giorgio Roda 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 9 3'50.728 33.458
44 63 denmark Jan Magnussen 
spain Antonio Garcia 
germany Mike Rockenfeller 
Chevrolet Corvette C7R LMGTE PRO 12 3'50.789 33.519
45 64 switzerland Marcel Fassler 
united_kingdom Oliver Gavin 
united_states Tommy Milner 
Chevrolet Corvette C7R LMGTE PRO 12 3'50.952 33.682
46 77 germany Christian Ried 
australia Matt Campbell 
france  Julien Andlauer 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 8 3'51.930 34.660
47 54 italy Giancarlo Fisichella 
italy Francesco Castellacci 
switzerland Thomas Flohr 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 13 3'51.956 34.686
48 52 brazil Pipo Derani 
finland Toni Vilander 
italy Antonio Giovinazzi 
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 12 3'52.112 34.842
49 97 united_kingdom Jonathan Adam 
belgium Maxime Martin 
united_kingdom Alex Lynn 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 11 3'52.486 35.216
50 86 united_kingdom Michael Wainwright 
united_kingdom Ben Barker 
australia Alex Davison 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 9 3'52.517 35.247
51 56 germany Jörg Bergmeister 
united_states Patrick Lindsey 
norway Egidio Perfetti 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 13 3'52.985 35.715
52 84 united_states Jeff Segal 
united_kingdom Liam Griffin 
united_states Cooper MacNeil 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 10 3'53.439 36.169
53 85 netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen 
united_states Ben Keating 
germany Luca Stolz 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 11 3'54.000 36.730
54 98 portugal Pedro Lamy 
canada Paul Dalla Lana 
austria Mathias Lauda 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 13 3'54.307 37.037
55 99 united_states Patrick Long 
united_states Tim Pappas 
united_states Spencer Pumpelly 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 12 3'54.720 37.450
56 95 denmark Marco Sorensen 
denmark Nicki Thiim 
united_kingdom Darren Turner 
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 11 3'54.780 37.510
57 70 monaco Olivier Beretta 
japan Motoaki Ishikawa 
italy  Eddie Cheever III 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 14 3'54.951 37.681
58 61 ireland Matt Griffin 
singapore Mok Weng Sun 
japan Keita Sawa 
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 10 3'55.076 37.806
59 80 france Erik Maris 
denmark Christina Nielsen 
italy Fabio Babini 
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 9 3'55.569 38.299
60 90 turkey Salih Yoluc 
united_kingdom Euan Hankey 
ireland Charlie Eastwood 
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 13 3'55.661 38.391
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About this article
Series Le Mans
Event 24 Hours of Le Mans
Track Circuit de la Sarthe
Teams Toyota Racing
Article type Qualifying report