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Qualifying report
Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans

Le Mans 24 Hours: BMW stuns to top first qualifying as Kobayashi brings out red flags

BMW topped the opening qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hours, which was cut short by an off for Toyota driver Kamui Kobayashi.

#15 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Dries Vanthoor, Raffaele Marciello, Marco Wittmann
A 60-minute session took place on Wednesday evening to determine the eight cars from each of the three categories that will progress to Thursday’s final shootout and fight for pole position for the blue riband round of the World Endurance Championship. 
While Porsche, Ferrari and Toyota were seen as the favourites for provisional pole, BMW sprung a surprise by topping the first qualifying session, with Dries Vanthoor posting a best time of 3m24.465s in the #15 M Hybrid V8 with less than 10 minutes left on the clock.
That lap was enough to overthrow Sebastien Bourdais in the #3 Cadillac from the top of the order by 0.177s and demote the #50 Ferrari of Antonio Fuoco to third.
Vanthoor’s time was almost two seconds quicker than the best lap seen so far at La Sarthe in 2024, a 3m26.013s flyer with which Brendon Hartley had led the opening practice earlier on Wednesday.
Any chance of Vanthoor’s being toppled was ended by a rare mistake from Kobayashi in the #7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID with minutes to go in the session, the Japanese driver running wide at the karting corner and getting beached in the gravel.
With under three minutes left on the board, the race control decided to red flag qualifying and declare the results, cementing BMW's position at the head of the order.
Kobayashi's fastest effort had been provisionally good enough to get the #7 Toyota into Hyperpole thanks to a 3m24.754s marker. However, race control deleted all of his lap times due to him causing the red flag. As a consequence he and team-mates Jose Maria Lopez and Nyck de Vries will start the race from the back of the Hypercar pack.

Watch: 2024 Le Mans Preview With Allan McNish – Will Porsche Take Their 20th Win?

Alpine inherited fourth thanks to an impressive effort of 3m24.872s by Paul-Loup Chatin in the #35 A424, while Alex Lynn ensured both Ganassi-entered Cadillacs progressed into the final part of qualifying by claiming fifth.
Next up was Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 Ferrari, while two Porsches narrowly made it into Hyperpole amid the red flag – the #8 factory Penske car of Kevin Estre, who survived a big off in the final 10 minutes of qualifying, and the #12 Jota of Callum Ilott, taking seventh and eighth respectively.
The second Alpine of Nicolas Lapierre narrowly missed out a spot in Q2, taking ninth on the grid.
The best of the Lamborghini SC63s was Mirko Bortolotti in 13th, two spots ahead of the fastest of the Peugeot 9X8s, the #93 car of Jean-Eric Vergne.
The most high-profile absence from Hyperpole was Hartley in the #8 Toyota, the Kiwi ending up only qualifying 11th despite lapping within a second of Vanthoor.
The #51 and #83 Ferrari 499Ps that ended up fifth and 12th in first qualifying were given 10s stop-and-hold penalties to be taken at their first pitstops during the race for not respecting pitlane procedures during the session.
In LMP2, Peugeot Hypercar reserve Malthe Jakobsen put the #37 Cool Racing ORECA-Gibson 07 at the top of the order with a best effort of 3m46.530s.
That was enough to usurp the early benchmark set by the WEC's 2023 LMP2 champion Louis Deletraz in the #14 AO by TF Pro-Am entry by just over three-tenths of a second, while Ben Hanley took third in the #23 United Autosports ORECA that is also entered in the sub-class.
#14 AO by TF Oreca 07: Gibson: Pj Hyett, Louis Deletraz, Alex Quinn

#14 AO by TF Oreca 07: Gibson: Pj Hyett, Louis Deletraz, Alex Quinn

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

Mathias Beche set a time that was exactly a second off the pace of Jakobsen as he grabbed fourth for the Panis Racing operation and its #65 ORECA, which is also entered in Pro-Am.
Proton, which has faced a tough start to the 2024 WEC following its switch from Porsche to Ford over the winter, led the times in the first-ever LMGT3 qualifying at Le Mans.
Ben Barker lapped the circuit in 3m55.243s in the #77 Ford Mustang GT3 to take provisional pole, leading the #70 Inception McLaren of Frederik Schandorff by 0.143s. 
A late effort from Daniel Juncadella put the #82 TF Sport Corvette Z06 GT3 third in the classification, the factory racer ending up 0.842s slower than pacesetter Barker.
Frank Perera was fourth in the #60 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan GT3, while Klaus Bachler claimed fifth in the points-leading #92 Manthey PureRxcing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Le Mans 24 Hours Qualifying Result

   
1
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4
   
   
1
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2
   
Cla Team # Drivers Car Laps Time Interval km/h
1
BMW M Team WRT HYPERCAR
15 Belgium D. Vanthoor Italy R. Marciello Germany M. Wittmann BMW M Hybrid V8 8

3'24.465

  239.911
2
CADILLAC RACING HYPERCAR
3 France S. Bourdais Netherlands R. van der Zande New Zealand S. Dixon Cadillac V-Series.R 8

+0.177

3'24.642

0.177 239.704
3
FERRARI AF CORSE HYPERCAR
50 Italy A. Fuoco Spain M. Molina Denmark N. Nielsen Ferrari 499P 8

+0.266

3'24.731

0.089 239.600
4
Alpine Endurance Team HYPERCAR
35 France P. Chatin Austria F. Habsburg France C. Milesi Alpine A424 15

+0.407

3'24.872

0.141 239.435
5
CADILLAC RACING HYPERCAR
2 New Zealand E. Bamber United Kingdom A. Lynn Spain A. Palou Cadillac V-Series.R 13

+0.528

3'24.993

0.121 239.294
6
FERRARI AF CORSE HYPERCAR
51 Italy A. Pier Guidi United Kingdom J. Calado Italy A. Giovinazzi Ferrari 499P 11

+0.584

3'25.049

0.056 239.228
7
PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT HYPERCAR
6 France K. Estre Germany A. Lotterer Belgium L. Vanthoor Porsche 963 11

+0.586

3'25.051

0.002 239.226
8
HERTZ TEAM JOTA HYPERCAR
12 United Kingdom W. Stevens France N. Nato United Kingdom C. Ilott Porsche 963 15

+0.680

3'25.145

0.094 239.116
9
Alpine Endurance Team HYPERCAR
36 France N. Lapierre Germany M. Schumacher France M. Vaxiviere Alpine A424 12

+0.813

3'25.278

0.133 238.961
10
PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT HYPERCAR
5 Australia M. Campbell Denmark M. Christensen France F. Makowiecki Porsche 963 13

+0.842

3'25.307

0.029 238.928
11
Toyota Racing HYPERCAR
8 Switzerland S. Buemi New Zealand B. Hartley Japan R. Hirakawa Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 12

+0.981

3'25.446

0.139 238.766
12
AF Corse HYPERCAR
83 Poland R. Kubica Israel R. Shwartzman China Y. Yifei Ferrari 499P 13

+1.301

3'25.766

0.320 238.395
13
Lamborghini Iron Lynx HYPERCAR
63 Italy M. Bortolotti Russian Federation D. Kvyat Switzerland E. Mortara Lamborghini SC63 12

+1.508

3'25.973

0.207 238.155
14
Proton Competition HYPERCAR
99 Switzerland N. Jani United Kingdom H. Tincknell France J. Andlauer Porsche 963 14

+1.527

3'25.992

0.019 238.133
15
PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES HYPERCAR
93 France J. Vergne Denmark M. Jensen Switzerland N. Müller Peugeot 9X8 2024 11

+1.730

3'26.195

0.203 237.899
16
BMW M Team WRT HYPERCAR
20 South Africa S. Van Der Linde Netherlands R. Frijns Germany R. Rast BMW M Hybrid V8 8

+1.758

3'26.223

0.028 237.866
17
HERTZ TEAM JOTA HYPERCAR
38 Denmark O. Rasmussen United Kingdom P. Hanson United Kingdom J. Button Porsche 963 15

+1.825

3'26.290

0.067 237.789
18
Whelen Cadillac Racing HYPERCAR
311 Brazil P. Derani United Kingdom J. Aitken Brazil F. Drugovich Cadillac V-Series.R 12

+1.846

3'26.311

0.021 237.765
19
PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT HYPERCAR
4 France M. Jaminet Brazil F. Nasr United Kingdom N. Tandy Porsche 963 11

+1.897

3'26.362

0.051 237.706
20
PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES HYPERCAR
94 Belgium S. Vandoorne United Kingdom P. di Resta France L. Duval Peugeot 9X8 2024 11

+2.786

3'27.251

0.889 236.686
21
Lamborghini Iron Lynx HYPERCAR
19 France R. Grosjean Italy A. Caldarelli Italy M. Cairoli Lamborghini SC63 14

+3.190

3'27.655

0.404 236.226
22
Isotta Fraschini HYPERCAR
11
C. Bennett
France J. Vernay Canada A. Serravalle
Isotta Fraschini Tipo 6 Competizione LMH 13

+5.400

3'29.865

2.210 233.738
23
Cool Racing LMP2
37
L. Fluxá
Denmark M. Jakobsen Japan R. Miyata
Oreca 07 12

+8.362

3'32.827

2.962 230.485
24
AO by TF LMP2
14 United States P. Hyett Switzerland L. Deletraz
A. Quinn
Oreca 07 12

+8.669

3'33.134

0.307 230.153
25
UNITED AUTOSPORTS USA LMP2
23 United States B. Keating Portugal F. Albuquerque United Kingdom B. Hanley Oreca 07 10

+8.965

3'33.430

0.296 229.834
26
PANIS RACING LMP2
65 United States R. Sales Switzerland M. Beche United States S. Huffaker Oreca 07 13

+9.362

3'33.827

0.397 229.407
27
IDEC SPORT LMP2
28 France P. Lafargue Netherlands J. Van Uitert France R. de Gerus Oreca 07 14

+9.750

3'34.215

0.388 228.992
28
VECTOR SPORT LMP2
10 Ireland R. Cullen France P. Pilet Monaco S. Richelmi Oreca 07 13

+9.797

3'34.262

0.047 228.942
29
DKR Engineering LMP2
33 Germany A. Mattschull Austria R. Binder Germany L. Hörr Oreca 07 13

+9.865

3'34.330

0.068 228.869
30
United Autosports LMP2
22 United Kingdom O. Jarvis
B. Garg
N. Siegel
Oreca 07 14

+10.015

3'34.480

0.150 228.709
31
AF Corse LMP2
183 France F. Perrodo United Kingdom B. Barnicoat
N. Varrone
Oreca 07 12

+10.302

3'34.767

0.287 228.403
32
NIELSEN RACING LMP2
24 Switzerland F. Scherer Denmark D. Heinemeier Hansson United States K. Simpson Oreca 07 13

+10.329

3'34.794

0.027 228.375
33
INTER EUROPOL COMPETITION LMP2
34 Poland J. Smiechowski Russian Federation V. Lomko France C. Novalak Oreca 07 13

+10.420

3'34.885

0.091 228.278
34
Proton Competition LMP2
9 Germany J. Ried
M. Capietto
Netherlands B. Viscaal
Oreca 07 10

+10.498

3'34.963

0.078 228.195
35
DUQUEINE TEAM LMP2
30 United States J. Falb Australia J. Allen France J. Simmenauer Oreca 07 13

+10.605

3'35.070

0.107 228.082
36
Cool Racing LMP2
47
N. Rao
United Kingdom M. Bell Denmark F. Vesti
Oreca 07 15

+10.895

3'35.360

0.290 227.774
37
Algarve Pro Racing Team LMP2
25 Liechtenstein M. Kaiser United Kingdom O. Caldwell Canada R. De Angelis Oreca 07 12

+11.009

3'35.474

0.114 227.654
38
Crowdstrike Racing by APR LMP2
45 United States G. Kurtz United States C. Braun Netherlands N. Catsburg Oreca 07 12

+14.757

3'39.222

3.748 223.762
39
Proton Competition LMGT3
77 United States R. Hardwick Canada Z. Robichon United Kingdom B. Barker Ford Mustang GT3 4

+30.798

3'55.263

16.041 208.505
40
INCEPTION RACING LMGT3
70 United States B. Iribe United Kingdom O. Millroy Switzerland F. Schandorff McLaren 720S GT3 Evo 8

+30.941

3'55.406

0.143 208.378
41
TF Sport LMGT3
82 Japan H. Koizumi
S. Baud
Spain D. Juncadella
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R 13

+31.640

3'56.105

0.699 207.761
42
IRON LYNX LMGT3
60 Italy C. Schiavoni Italy M. Cressoni
F. Perera
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 14

+31.688

3'56.153

0.048 207.719
43
Manthey PureRxcing LMGT3
92
A. Malykhin
J. Sturm
Austria K. Bachler
Porsche 911 GT3 R 12

+31.724

3'56.189

0.036 207.687
44
Heart of Racing Team LMGT3
27 United Kingdom I. James Italy D. Mancinelli Spain A. Riberas Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 13

+31.778

3'56.243

0.054 207.640
45
JMW Motorsport LMGT3
66 Italy G. Petrobelli Netherlands L. ten Voorde Turkey S. Yoluc Ferrari 296 GT3 7

+31.978

3'56.443

0.200 207.464
46
D'Station Racing LMGT3
777 Japan S. Hoshino
E. Bastard
Denmark M. Sorensen
Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 12

+32.035

3'56.500

0.057 207.414
47
IRON DAMES LMGT3
85 Belgium S. Bovy Denmark M. Gatting Switzerland R. Frey Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 11

+32.065

3'56.530

0.030 207.388
48
AKKODIS ASP Team LMGT3
87 Japan T. Kimura
E. Masson
United Kingdom J. Hawksworth
Lexus RC F GT3 13

+32.096

3'56.561

0.031 207.361
49
United Autosports LMGT3
59 J. Cottingham N. Costa Switzerland G. Saucy McLaren 720S GT3 Evo 13

+32.245

3'56.710

0.149 207.230
50
TEAM WRT LMGT3
46 United Kingdom A. Al Harthy Italy V. Rossi Belgium M. Martin BMW M4 GT3 13

+32.273

3'56.738

0.028 207.206
51
Vista AF Corse LMGT3
54 Switzerland T. Flohr Italy F. Castellacci Italy D. Rigon Ferrari 296 GT3 13

+32.315

3'56.780

0.042 207.169
52
Proton Competition LMGT3
44 United Kingdom J. Hartshorne United Kingdom B. Tuck Germany C. Mies Ford Mustang GT3 11

+32.371

3'56.836

0.056 207.120
53
TEAM WRT LMGT3
31
D. Leung
Indonesia S. Gelael Brazil A. Farfus
BMW M4 GT3 13

+32.482

3'56.947

0.111 207.023
54
Manthey EMA LMGT3
91
Y. Shahin
M. Schuring
Austria R. Lietz
Porsche 911 GT3 R 11

+32.561

3'57.026

0.079 206.954
55
Proton Competition LMGT3
88 Italy G. Roda
M. Pedersen
Norway D. Olsen
Ford Mustang GT3 13

+32.756

3'57.221

0.195 206.784
56
TF Sport LMGT3
81 Belgium T. Van Rompuy Portugal R. Andrade Ireland C. Eastwood Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R 12

+32.831

3'57.296

0.075 206.719
57
United Autosports LMGT3
95 H. Hamaguchi Chile N. Pino Japan M. Sato McLaren 720S GT3 Evo 13

+32.848

3'57.313

0.017 206.704
58
Spirit of Race LMGT3
155 Denmark J. Laursen
C. Laursen
United States J. Taylor
Ferrari 296 GT3 13

+32.884

3'57.349

0.036 206.672
59
AKKODIS ASP Team LMGT3
78
A. Robin
Russian Federation T. Boguslavskiy South Africa K. van der Linde
Lexus RC F GT3 12

+32.976

3'57.441

0.092 206.592
60
Vista AF Corse LMGT3
55 France F. Heriau France S. Mann Italy A. Rovera Ferrari 296 GT3 12

+33.817

3'58.282

0.841 205.863
61
Toyota Racing HYPERCAR
7 Argentina J. Lopez Japan K. Kobayashi Netherlands N. de Vries Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 12

 

   
62
GR RACING LMGT3
86 United Kingdom M. Wainwright Brazil D. Serra Italy R. Pera Ferrari 296 GT3 0

 

   
 

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