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Testing report
Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans test day

Le Mans 24 Hours: Kobayashi leads opening test session for Toyota

Toyota took first blood as track action ahead of next weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours round of the World Endurance Championship began with the official pre-race test.

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid of Jose Maria Lopez, Kamui Kobayashi, Nyck De Vries

Kamui Kobayashi topped the times in the first of the two three-hour sessions of the Le Mans Test Day on Sunday with a 3m28.467s lap aboard the #7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercar.

That gave him a margin of more than seven tenths over Porsche driver Kevin Estre, who ended up on a 3m29.205s aboard the #6 963 LMDh fielded by the factory Porsche Penske Motorsport team.

BMW took third spot with the best of its M Hybrid V8 LMDhs run by the WRT squad, Robin Frijns getting within a second of the pace with a 3m29.433s in the #20 entry.

Lamborghini, which has struggled with its SC63 LMDh so far in the WEC this year, took fourth place.

Mirko Bortolotti got down to a 3m29.639s early in the session aboard the #63 full-season WEC entry from the Iron Lynx team before leaving for Zandvoort to contest the second of the two DTM races this weekend.

Top Ferrari was the satellite entry from AF Corse in the hands of Robert Kubica, whose 3m29.732s gave the #83 499P LMH fifth place in the opening session.

The second Toyota rounded out the top six with a 3m29.823s from Sebastien Buemi.

#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 of Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor

#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 of Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

Porsche took sixth and seventh with its remaining factory entries in the Hypercar class, Michael Christensen just shading Mathieu Jaminet by under a tenth.

Peugeot got one of its revised 9X8 LMHs into the top 10 with a time from Mikkel Jensen within a second and a half of the pace, while the first of the full-factory 499Ps completed the top 10 in Alessandro Pier Guidi’s hands.

Top Cadillac V-Series.R LMDh was the #2 WEC full-season entry run by the Ganassi team with Alex Lynn at the wheel, while the two Alpine A424 LMDhs took 20th and 21st positions in the 23-strong Hypercar class.

Jose Maria Lopez got 10 laps in the #7 car after being brought back into Toyota’s Hypercar line-up following the injuries sustained by former team-mate Mike Conway in a cycling incident, the Argentine lapping almost exactly one second from Kobayashi’s session best.

Kobayashi’s session-topping time was more than a second up on the 3m30.685s with which Ferrari's Antonio Fuoco went quickest in the opening session of the pre-race test last year and already a tenth up on the afternoon best of 3m29.504s set by his team-mate, Antonio Giovinazzi.

Track conditions were good from the start of the session.

Cadillac driver Jack Aitken, who went first in the Action Express Racing Caddy so he could return to Zandvoort to take up his DTM seat with the Emil Frey Ferrari squad, stated that it “felt better” than in previous years.

#28 Idec Sport Oreca 07 - Gibson of Paul Lafargue, Job Van Uitert, Reshad De Gerus

#28 Idec Sport Oreca 07 - Gibson of Paul Lafargue, Job Van Uitert, Reshad De Gerus

Photo by: Marc Fleury

The 16-strong LMP2 class, which is returning to the WEC grid for Le Mans after being axed from the full championship this year, was headed by IDEC Sport.

Job van Uitert posted a 3m37.044s in the French team’s solo ORECA-Gibson 07, which was just over a tenth up on Oliver Jarvis’s 3m37.176s for United Autosports.

Third went to the AO by TF ORECA in which Louis Deletraz got down to 3m37.394s.

The two Auto Sport Promotion Lexus RC F GT3s blocked out the top of the times in the new-for-2024 LMGT3 class.

Kelvin van der Linde led the way on a 4m00.106s, which was just over half a second up on team-mate Esteban Masson in the sister car.

Sean Gelael took third in the best of the two WRT BMW M4 GT3s.

The session was curtailed two minutes early when Lorenzo Fluxa crashed the #37 Cool Racing ORECA-Gibson 07 LMP2 in the Porsche Curves.

#78 Akkodis ASP Team Lexus RC F LMGT3 of Arnold Robin, Timur Boguslavskiy, Kelvin Van Der Linde

#78 Akkodis ASP Team Lexus RC F LMGT3 of Arnold Robin, Timur Boguslavskiy, Kelvin Van Der Linde

Photo by: Marc Fleury

It was the second red flag of the three hours after a short stoppage when Renger van der Zande pulled over on the run from Mulsanne Corner to Indianapolis with a fuel-line issue on the #3 Cadillac.

The safety car was also deployed over the course of the session to familiarise the teams and drivers with the safety car procedure, which has undergone minor changes for 2024.

The second session is due to begin at 15:30 local time.

Le Mans 24 Hours test day - Session 1

POS # TEAM VEHICLE TIME Gap LAPS CLASS
1 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 3:28.467 - 35 HYPERCAR
2 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 3:29.205 +0.738 33 HYPERCAR
3 20 BMW M Team WRT BMW M HYBRID V8 3:29.433 +0.966 35 HYPERCAR
4 63 Lamborghini Iron Lynx Lamborghini SC63 3:29.639 +1.172 35 HYPERCAR
5 83 AF Corse Ferrari 499P 3:29.732 +1.265 31 HYPERCAR
6 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 3:29.823 +1.356 36 HYPERCAR
7 5 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 3:29.885 +1.418 33 HYPERCAR
8 4 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 3:29.915 +1.448 26 HYPERCAR
9 93 Peugeot TotalEnergies Peugeot 9X8 3:30.136 +1.669 28 HYPERCAR
10 51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P 3:30.367 +1.900 33 HYPERCAR
11 99 Proton Competition Porsche 963 3:30.423 +1.956 23 HYPERCAR
12 50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P 3:30.589 +2.122 30 HYPERCAR
13 94 Peugeot TotalEnergies Peugeot 9X8 3:30.853 +2.386 20 HYPERCAR
14 12 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963 3:31.267 +2.800 30 HYPERCAR
15 38 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963 3:31.269 +2.802 35 HYPERCAR
16 2 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R 3:31.882 +3.415 28 HYPERCAR
17 15 BMW M Team WRT BMW M HYBRID V8 3:31.899 +3.432 29 HYPERCAR
18 19 Lamborghini Iron Lynx Lamborghini SC63 3:31.964 +3.497 25 HYPERCAR
19 311 Whelen Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R 3:32.414 +3.947 28 HYPERCAR
20 36 Alpine Endurance Team Alpine A424 3:32.505 +4.038 31 HYPERCAR
21 35 Alpine Endurance Team Alpine A424 3:32.728 +4.261 25 HYPERCAR
22 11 Isotta Fraschini Isotta Fraschini Tipo6-C 3:35.758 +7.291 30 HYPERCAR
23 28 IDEC Sport Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:37.044 +8.577 31 LMP2
24 22 United Autosports Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:37.176 +8.709 27 LMP2
25 14 AO by TF Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:37.394 +8.927 32 LMP2
26 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R 3:37.422 +8.955 11 HYPERCAR
27 34 Inter Europol Competition Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:37.762 +9.295 33 LMP2
28 65 Panis Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:38.159 +9.692 33 LMP2
29 23 United Autosports USA Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:38.264 +9.797 34 LMP2
30 37 COOL Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:38.266 +9.799 32 LMP2
31 10 Vector Sport Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:38.641 +10.174 31 LMP2
32 25 Algarve Pro Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:38.665 +10.198 37 LMP2
33 45 Crowdstrike Racing by APR Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:39.262 +10.795 35 LMP2
34 183 AF Corse Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:39.619 +11.152 32 LMP2
35 30 Duqueine Team Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:39.629 +11.162 33 LMP2
36 47 COOL Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:40.299 +11.832 28 LMP2
37 24 Nielsen Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:41.007 +12.540 26 LMP2
38 9 Proton Competition Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:41.348 +12.881 33 LMP2
39 33 DKR Engineering Oreca 07 - Gibson 3:43.812 +15.345 23 LMP2
40 78 Akkodis ASP Team Lexus RC F LMGT3 4:00.106 +31.639 33 LMGT3
41 87 Akkodis ASP Team Lexus RC F LMGT3 4:00.668 +32.201 22 LMGT3
42 31 Team WRT BMW M4 LMGT3 4:00.929 +32.462 32 LMGT3
43 59 United Autosports McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo 4:01.173 +32.706 30 LMGT3
44 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo 4:01.194 +32.727 32 LMGT3
45 46 Team WRT BMW M4 LMGT3 4:01.329 +32.862 32 LMGT3
46 60 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2 4:01.533 +33.066 29 LMGT3
47 85 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan LMGT3 Evo2 4:01.645 +33.178 30 LMGT3
48 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3 4:01.721 +33.254 30 LMGT3
49 54 Vista AF Corse Ferrari 296 LMGT3 4:01.771 +33.304 31 LMGT3
50 88 Proton Competition Ford Mustang LMGT3 4:01.921 +33.454 27 LMGT3
51 44 Proton Competition Ford Mustang LMGT3 4:02.276 +33.809 29 LMGT3
52 82 TF Sport Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R 4:02.343 +33.876 35 LMGT3
53 95 United Autosports McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo 4:02.388 +33.921 25 LMGT3
54 66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 296 LMGT3 4:02.473 +34.006 29 LMGT3
55 155 Spirit of Race Ferrari 296 LMGT3 4:02.544 +34.077 33 LMGT3
56 77 Proton Competition Ford Mustang LMGT3 4:02.567 +34.100 30 LMGT3
57 86 GR Racing Ferrari 296 LMGT3 4:02.573 +34.106 31 LMGT3
58 92 Manthey PureRxcing Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3 4:03.088 +34.621 34 LMGT3
59 91 Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3 4:03.128 +34.661 32 LMGT3
60 55 Vista AF Corse Ferrari 296 LMGT3 4:03.590 +35.123 32 LMGT3
61 81 TF Sport Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R 4:03.966 +35.499 32 LMGT3
62 777 D'Station Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3 4:04.385 +35.918 31 LMGT3

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