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Le Mans 24 Hours: Sebastien Buemi tops warm-up for Toyota

Toyota topped the warm-up for the Le Mans 24 Hours, with Sebastien Buemi putting the #8 TS040 HYBRID at the top of the order.

The ex-Toro Rosso Formula 1 racer went fastest with six minutes remaining in the 45-minute session.

Buemi's lap was all about consistency across the circuit's three sectors, as he did not set a single personal best sector time but still managed to go quickest by having a clean run for the whole lap.

That briefly gave Toyota a one-two as Nicolas Lapierre had been fastest until then, but the Japanese cars were split by Andre Lotterer's Audi with three minutes to go.

Filipe Albuquerque was on course to challenge Lapierre's time at the end of the session, but after being within a tenth of the fastest time two-thirds of the way through the lap, the #3 Audi aborted the lap and came into the pits.

Porsche did not factor at the front during the session, with Mark Webber's brief appearance in fourth place with the #20 919 Hybrid as high as the manufacturer ran at any point.

By the end of the session the Porsches - which both returned to the pits before the session was over - had been bumped to the bottom of the 'factory' LMP1 ranks, with the #20 in sixth ahead of the #14 car that fought for pole position on Thursday night.

Pierre Thiriet set the pace in LMP2 driving the #46 TDS Racing Ligier JSP2 that will start the race on class pole position with a late lap of 3m40.263s.

This relegated Nathanael Berthon's #48 Murphy Prototypes ORECA-Nissan 03R, which had gone fastest with five minutes of the session remaining, to second by just over a tenth.

Jann Mardenborough was third fastest in the #35 OAK Racing Ligier, with the sister Morgan, run under the G-Drive Racing banner, of Olivier Pla fourth fastest.

Mika Salo crashed the AF Corse-run SMP Racing ORECA at the entry to the Porsche Curves late in the session, possibly after suffering a rear puncture, but the car did not suffer significant damage.

Following a heavy head-on impact with the wall on Thursday after going off while attempting to pass the cruising Audi of Lucas di Grassi, the #29 Pegasus Racing Morgan returned to the track after repairs, but was slowest in class in the hands of Nicolas Leutwiler.

Corvette topped the GTE times with Jan Magnussen posting a 3m54.938s early in the session.

The #73 CR.7 comfortably usurped the leading AF Corse Ferrari's early benchmark and remained on top for the remainder of the warm-up, despite a late improvement from poleman Gianmaria Bruni, who cut the #51 458 Italia's best to 3m56.062s.

Richard Westbrook made it a Corvette 1-3 on the #74 car's final flying lap, but he was almost three seconds behind Magnussen's time.

Westbrook was actually fourth fastest overall in GTE, as Nicki Thiim put the #95 Aston Martin Vantage atop the GTE Am times with a 3m57.520s.

Thiim knocked the #98 AMR car off top spot with his best lap, but Pedro Lamy's 3m59.98s was still good enough to make it an Aston one-two in the division.

The #79 ProSpeed Porsche, rebuilt overnight and moved into the Pro division after a crash for Bret Curtis ruled the American out of the race, completed five laps. Jeroen Bleekemolen set its best time, but the car ended up slowest in its class.

Nissan's experimental ZEOD machine also had a session of note, with Wolfgang Reip completing the project's aim of the first all-electric lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe.


Pos Cl       Car        Drivers                            Time       Laps
 1. LMP1 #8  Toyota     Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi            3m23.731s   10
 2. LMP1 #2  Audi       Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer          3m23.741s   13
 3. LMP1 #7  Toyota     Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima             3m24.196s   10
 4. LMP1 #3  Audi       Albuquerque/Bonanomi/Jarvis        3m25.211s   13
 5. LMP1 #1  Audi       Di Grassi/Gene/Kristensen          3m27.617s   11
 6. LMP1 #20 Porsche    Bernhard/Webber/Hartley            3m27.995s   9
 7. LMP1 #14 Porsche    Dumas/Jani/Lieb                    3m29.827s   10
 8. LMP1 #13 Rebellion  Kraihamer/Belicchi/Leimer          3m30.482s   10
 9. LMP1 #12 Rebellion  Prost/Heidfeld/Beche               3m32.739s   10
10. LMP2 #46 Ligier     Thiriet/Badey/Gommendy             3m40.263s   11
11. LMP2 #48 Oreca      Berthon/Gonzalez/Chandhok          3m40.385s   10
12. LMP2 #35 Ligier     Brundle/Mardenborough/Shulzhitskiy 3m40.519s   8
13. LMP2 #26 Morgan     Rusinov/Pla/Canal                  3m40.615s   9
14. LMP2 #47 Oreca      Howson/Bradley/Imperatori          3m41.255s   10
15. LMP2 #36 Alpine     Chatin/Panciatici/Webb             3m41.711s   11
16. LMP2 #38 Zytek      Dolan/Tincknell/Turvey             3m42.643s   12
17. LMP2 #27 Oreca      Zlobin/Salo/Ladygin                3m42.849s   9
18. LMP2 #34 Oreca      Frey/Mailleux/Lancaster            3m44.138s   10
19. LMP2 #41 Zytek      Munemman/Latif/Winslow             3m44.140s   7
20. LMP2 #42 Zytek      Kimber-Smith/McMurry/Dyson         3m44.436s   7
21. LMP2 #50 Morgan     Ragues/Taylor/Ihara                3m45.065s   10
22. LMP2 #37 Oreca      Ladygin/Minassian/Mediani          3m45.687s   10
23. LMP2 #24 Oreca      Rast/Charouz/Capillaire            3m47.670s   10
24. LMP2 #33 Ligier     Cheng/Tung/Fong                    3m49.506s   7
25. LMP2 #43 Morgan     Klien/Hirsch/Brandela              3m51.045s   3
26. GTEP #73 Chevrolet  Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor            3m54.938s   8
27. LMP2 #29 Morgan     Schell/Leutwiller/Roussel          3m55.251s   7
28. GTEP #51 Ferrari    Bruni/Vilander/Fisichella          3m56.062s   11
29. GTEA #95 Aston      Poulsen/Heinemeier-Hansson/Thiim   3m57.520s   5
30. GTEP #74 Chevrolet  Gavin/Milner/Westbrook             3m57.843s   10
31. GTEP #97 Aston      Turner/Mucke/Senna                 3m58.924s   8
32. GTEA #98 Aston      Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard            3m59.198s   6
33. GTEA #90 Ferrari    Montecalvo/Roda/Ruberti            3m59.469s   5
34. GTEP #91 Porsche    Pilet/Bergmeister/Tandy            3m59.798s   6
35. GTEP #92 Porsche    Holzer/Makowiecki/Lietz            3m59.856s   5
36. GTEA #60 Ferrari    Mann/Case/Giammaria                4m00.144s   10
37. GTEA #76 Porsche    Narac/Armindo/Hallyday             4m01.709s   5
38. GTEA #58 Ferrari    Barthez/Pons/Ayari                 4m01.714s   5
39. GTEP #71 Ferrari    Rigon/Kaffer/Beretta               4m02.385s   10
40. GTEA #75 Porsche    Perrodo/Collard/Palttala           4m02.972s   11
41. GTEA #77 Porsche    Dempsey/Foster/Long                4m03.234s   4
42. GTEP #79 Porsche    MacNeil/Curtis/Bleekemolen         4m03.238s   5
43. GTEA #81 Ferrari    Wyatt/Rugolo/Bird                  4m03.574s   10
44. GTEA #88 Porsche    Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi            4m03.898s   6
45. GTEA #66 Ferrari    Al Faisal/Neiman/Pumpelly          4m04.262s   10
46. GTEA #72 Ferrari    Bertolini/Shaitar/Basov            4m05.997s   7
47. GTEA #57 Ferrari    Krohn/Jonsson/Collins              4m08.089s   7
48. GTEA #70 Ferrari    Nakano/Ehret/Rich                  4m08.636s   8
49. GTEA #67 Porsche    Maris/Merlin/Helary                4m10.610s   9
50. GTEA #62 Ferrari    Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank           4m18.539s   7
51. CDNT #0  Nissan     Ordonez/Reip/Motoyama              4m22.159s   3
52. GTEP #52 Ferrari    Griffin/Parente/Leo                            3
53. GTEA #53 Ferrari    Mowlem/Patterson/Hamilton                      2
54. GTEA #61 Ferrari    Perez-Companc/Cioci/Venturi                    2
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