Qualifying report

Le Mans 24 Hours: Hartley beats Kobayashi to pole in Toyota 1-2

Brendon Hartley secured a sixth consecutive Le Mans 24 Hours pole position for Toyota in a dramatic Hyperpole qualifying session, leading a one-two for the marque ahead of Kamui Kobayashi.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 Hybrid of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa

Toyota's pair of GR010 HYBRIDs locked out the front row of the grid for the 90th running of the World Endurance Championship centrepiece, with Hartley taking top spot in the #8 machine he shared with Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa with a time of 3m24.408s.

That compares to last year's 3m23.900s with which Kobayashi took pole the race.

Kobayashi was aiming to secure a fifth pole in six years aboard the #7 Toyota, but came up 0.177s shy with his best lap of 3m24.585s.

Behind the Toyotas, Alpine's grandfathered LMP1 took third spot on the grid thanks to a 3m24.850s effort from Nicolas Lapierre, which proved good enough to beat the two Glickenhaus 007 LMHs.

Hartley led the way after the initial runs with a 3m25.213s, but with just a few minutes left in the half an hour shootout that was surpassed by the 3m24.850s set by Alpine driver Lapierre.

Kobayashi initially took the top spot back for Toyota with a 3m24.585s that was scratched for a track limits infringement, only to be reinstated before it was beaten by Hartley.

Glickenhaus driver Ryan Briscoe briefly occupied second place on a 3m25.841s at the wheel of the #709 car, but was demoted to fourth in the final reckoning ahead of Olivier Pla, who could only manage a 3m26.359s in the #708.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Pole in the LMP2 class went to WRT, as Robin Frijns went more than a second clear of the opposition with a best time of 3m28.394s at the wheel of the #31 ORECA 07-Gibson he shares with Sean Gelael and Rene Rast.

Norman Nato made it a 1-2 for the Belgian team in the #42 Realteam by WRT-entered car, with his best time of 3m29.697s ahead of Filipe Albuquerque in the best of the United Autosports machines, the #22 car.

Rounding out the Hyperpole order in LMP2 were the #38 JOTA car of Antonio Felix da Costa, Louis Deletraz in the sole Prema entry and Alex Lynn in the #23 United Autosports machine.

Corvette Racing secured a front-row lockout in GTE Pro, as Nick Tandy set the only sub-3m50s effort in the class at the wheel of the American brand’s #64 C8.R.

Tandy’s best of 3m49.985s compared to 3m50.177s set by Antonio Garcia in the sister #63 car and a 3m50.377s from the best of the works Porsche 911 RSR-19s in third place, the #91 driven by Frederic Makowiecki.

Porsche swept the second row of the grid as Laurens Vanthoor took fourth place in the #92 car ahead of the two AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GTE Evos, Antonio Fuoco leading James Calado.

Pole in GTE Am went to AF Corse Ferrari driver Vincent Abril by just under two tenths from Mikkel Jensen in the Kessel Racing example.

Le Mans 24 Hours - Hyperpole qualifying results

Cla # Drivers Car Class Time Gap
1 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Japan Ryo Hirakawa
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 3'24.408  
2 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 3'24.828 0.420
3 36 Brazil Andre Negrao
France Nicolas Lapierre
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
Alpine A480 HYPERCAR 3'24.850 0.442
4 709 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
France Franck Mailleux
Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 3'25.841 1.433
5 708 France Olivier Pla
France Romain Dumas
Brazil Pipo Derani
Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 3'26.359 1.951
6 31 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Netherlands Robin Frijns
Germany René Rast
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'28.394 3.986
7 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United States Will Owen
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.070 5.662
8 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.373 5.965
9 41 Portugal Rui Andrade
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.522 6.114
10 9 Poland Robert Kubica
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Italy Lorenzo Colombo
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.115 6.707
11 23 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Josh Pierson
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.596 7.188
12 64 United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
United Kingdom Alexander Sims
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 3'49.985 25.577
13 63 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 3'50.177 25.769
14 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'50.377 25.969
15 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'50.522 26.114
16 52 Spain Miguel Molina
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Italy Davide Rigon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'51.779 27.371
17 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Brazil Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'51.816 27.408
18 61 Monaco Louis Prette
Conrad Grunewald
Monaco Vincent Abril
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'52.594 28.186
19 57 Japan Takeshi Kimura
Switzerland Frederik Schandorff
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'52.751 28.343
20 77 Germany Christian Ried
United Kingdom Sebastian Priaulx
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'53.006 28.598
21 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
United Kingdom David Pittard
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'53.578 29.170
22 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
New Zealand Nick Cassidy
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'53.757 29.349
23 85 Switzerland Rahel Frey
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Belgium Sarah Bovy
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'53.869 29.461
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