Toyota's Kazuki Nakajima earns pole for 24 Hours of Le Mans

Toyota prevailed over all when the checkered flag flew on qualifying Thursday.

For the first time since 1999, a Toyota will lead the field to the green flag for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Kazuki Nakajima also makes history as the first Japanese racer to ever earn pole position for Le Mans with a time of three minutes and 21.789 seconds.

The No. 14 Porsche placed second, the No. 8 Toyota third, and the No. 20 Porsche fourth. Audi will start behind all of their main rivals, placing fifth (No. 2), sixth (No. 3), and seventh (No. 1) on the grid.


Tristan Gommendy in the Thiriet by TDS Racing Ligier JS P2 Nissan earned pole honors in the LMP2 category. He was able to outpace the No. 38 JOTA Sport Zytek-Nissan in second and the No. 35 Oak Racing Ligier-Nissan in third.

#46 Thiriet By TDS Racing Ligier JS P2 - Nissan: Pierre Thiriet, Ludovic Badey, Tristan Gommendy
#46 Thiriet By TDS Racing Ligier JS P2 - Nissan: Pierre Thiriet, Ludovic Badey, Tristan Gommendy

Photo by: Eric Gilbert


In GTE Pro, Gianmaria Bruni put the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari on top, ahead of the No. 73 Corvette and No. 97 Aston Martin.

#51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia: Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander, Giancarlo Fisichella
#51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia: Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander, Giancarlo Fisichella

Photo by: Eric Gilbert


Another AF Corse Ferrari snagged pole position in GTE Am with Sam Bird in the No. 81 entry. He was followed by a fleet of Aston Martins in second (No. 98), third (No. 95), and fourth (No. 61).

#81 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia: Steve Wyatt, Michele Rugolo, Sam Bird
#81 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia: Steve Wyatt, Michele Rugolo, Sam Bird

Photo by: James Holland

Session Notes

As teams readied themselves for one last bid at pole in the final 15 minutes, a crash tarnished all plans and left us with an anticlimactic ending. The accident involved Karun Chandhok in the No. 48 Murphy Oreca-Nissan. The section in and around Indianapolis was placed under a local yellow, which obviously put an end to anyones hopes of improving their time.

It's interesting to note that all four class poles were faster than last year's race.

Bret Curtis will not be allowed to race after crashing the No. 79 ProSpeed Porsche, with Sebastien Crubilé being selected as his replacement. Only problem with that is the fact that the ACO will not approve him. That makes them the first two-driver roster since 2009 and as a result, they must switch from GTE Am to GTE Pro.

The Nissan ZEOD qualified 26th, beating the leading GTE car by 3.5 seconds, but falling approximately 6.7 seconds short of the last-place LMP2 prototype.

The ACO has revealed that a number of cars are under investigation for speeding in 'slow zones.'

To see recaps of the other two qualifying sessions, click HERE FOR Q1 and HERE FOR Q2


1.) LMP1 #7 Toyota Racing Toyota TS 040 Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima

2.) LMP1 #14 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Dumas/Jani/Lieb

3.) LMP1 #8 Toyota Racing Toyota TS 040 Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi

4.) LMP1 #3 Audi Sport Audi R18 Albuquerque/Bonanomi/Jarvis

5.) LMP1 #20 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Bernhard/Webber/Hartley

6.) LMP1 #2 Audi Sport Audi R18 Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer

7.) LMP1 #1 Audi Sport Audi R18 Di Grassi/Gene/Kristensen

8.) LMP1 #12 Rebellion Racing R-One Prost/Heidfeld/Beche

9.) LMP1 #13 Rebellion Racing R-One Kraihamer/Belicchi/Leimer

10.) LMP2 #46 Thiriet by TDS Racing Ligier-Nissan Thiriet/Badey/Gommendy

11.) LMP2 #38 JOTA Sport Zytek-Nissan Dolan/Tincknell/Turvey

12.) LMP2 #35 Oak Racing Ligier-Nissan Brundle/Mardenborough/Shulzhitskiy

13.) LMP2 #26 G-Drive Racing Morgan-Nissan Rusinov/Pla/Canal

14.) LMP2 #36 Signatech Alpine-Nissan Chatin/Panciatici/Webb

15.) LMP2 #47 KCMG Oreca-Nissan Howson/Bradley/Imperatori

16.) LMP2 #48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca-Nissan Berthon/Gonzalez/Chandhok

17.) LMP2 #42 Caterham Zytek-Nissan Kimber-Smith/McMurry/Dyson

18.) LMP2 #34 Race Performance Oreca-Judd Frey/Mailleux/Lancaster

19.) LMP2 #43 Newblood by Morand Racing Morgan-Nissan Klien/Hirsch/Brandela

20.) LMP2 #37 SMP Racing Oreca-Nissan Ladygin/Minassian/Mediani

21.) LMP2 #27 SMP Racing Oreca-Nissan Zlobin/Salo/Ladygin

22.) LMP2 #33 Oak Racing Ligier-HPD Cheng/Tung/Fong

23.) LMP2 #50 Larbre Competition Morgan-Judd Ragues/Taylor/Ihara

24.) LMP2 #24 Sebastien Loeb Racing Oreca-Nissan Rast/Charouz/Capillaire

25.) LMP2 #41 Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan Munemman/Latif/Winslow

26.) CDNT #0 Nissan Motorsports Nissan ZEOD Ordonez/Reip/Motoyama

27.) GTEP #51 AF Corse Ferrari Bruni/Vilander/Fisichella

28.) GTEA #81 AF Corse Ferrari Wyatt/Rugolo/Bird

29.) GTEP #73 Corvette Racing Corvette Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor

30.) GTEP #97 AMR Aston Martin Turner/Mucke/Senna

31.) GTEP #74 Corvette Racing Corvette Gavin/Milner/Westbrook

32.) GTEP #52 Ram Racing Ferrari Griffin/Parente/Leo

33.) GTEA #98 AMR Aston Martin Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard

34.) GTEP #92 Team Manthey Porsche Holzer/Makowiecki/Lietz

35.) GTEP #91 Team Manthey Porsche Pilet/Bergmeister/Tandy

36.) GTEA #95 AMR Aston Martin Poulsen/Heinemeier-Hansson/Thiim

37.) GTEA #61 AF Corse Ferrari Perez-Companc/Cioci/Venturi

38.) GTEA #72 SMP Racing Ferrari Bertolini/Shaitar/Basov

39.) GTEA #88 Proton Competition Porsche Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi

40.) GTEA #90 8Star Motorsports Ferrari Montecalvo/Roda/Ruberti

41.) GTEA #77 Dempsey Racing Porsche Dempsey/Foster/Long

42.) GTEA #60 AF Corse Ferrari Mann/Case/Giammaria

43.) GTEA #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari Al Faisal/Neiman/Pumpelly

44.) GTEA #53 Ram Racing Ferrari Mowlem/Patterson/Hamilton

45.) GTEA #76 IMSA Performance Porsche Narac/Armindo/Hallyday

46.) GTEA #57 Krohn Racing Ferrari Krohn/Jonsson/Collins

47.) GTEA #67 IMSA Performance Porsche Maris/Merlin/Helary

48.) GTEA #58 Team Sofrev ASP Ferrari Barthez/Pons/Ayari

49.) GTEA #70 Team Taison Ferrari Nakano/Ehret/Rich

50.) GTEA #75 ProSpeed Competition Porsche Perrodo/Collard/Palttala

51.) GTEA #62 AF Corse Ferrari Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank

52.) LMP2 #29 Pegasus Racing Morgan-Nissan Schell/Leutwiller/Roussel

53.) GTEP #71 AF Corse Ferrari Rigon/Kaffer/Beretta

54.) GTEP #79 ProSpeed Competition Porsche MacNeil/Bleekemolen

Withdrew after crash

GTEP #99 Craft-Bamboo Aston Martin

Drivers who will have to sit out the race

Loic Duval - LMP1 #1 Audi Sport Audi R18

James Calado - GTEP #71 AF Corse Ferrari

Bret Curtis - GTEA #79 ProSpeed Competition Porsche

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Event 24 Hours of Le Mans
Sub-event Thursday qualifying 2
Track Circuit de la Sarthe
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Gianmaria Bruni , Sébastien Loeb , Karun Chandhok , Tristan Gommendy , Michele Rugolo , Eric Gilbert , Ludovic Badey , Kazuki Nakajima , Loic Duval , Sam Bird , Toni Vilander , Bret Curtis , James Calado , Pierre Thiriet , Sébastien Crubilé
Teams Nissan Motorsport , Porsche Team , Rebellion Racing , Toyota Racing , AF Corse , SMP Racing , Proton Competition , G-Drive Racing , KCMG , Krohn Racing , Corvette Racing , Team Manthey , Larbre Competition , Greaves Motorsport , Signatech , Murphy Prototypes , JMW Motorsport , Sébastien Loeb Racing , Pegasus Racing , TDS Racing , Morand Racing
Article type Qualifying report
Tags audi, le mans, nick degroot, porsche, qualifying, toyota