Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota fastest in rain-hit first qualifying

Toyota driver Kamui Kobayashi topped the times in first qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota fastest in rain-hit first qualifying

The Japanese driver posted a 3m27.247s lap early in the one-hour qualifying period from which the fastest six cars in each class go through to Thursday evening’s Hyperpole session ahead of this weekend’s double-points round of the World Endurance Championship.

Kobayashi’s time aboard the #7 Toyota GR010 HYBRID gave him a margin of almost exactly one tenth over the best of the two Glickenhaus-Pipo 007 LMHs.

Olivier Pla posted a 3m27.355s in the #708 entry to beat Ryan Briscoe in the sister car, which ended up six tenths behind on a 3m27.978s.

The Alpine-Gibson A480 grandfathered LMP1 car ended up fourth in the hands of Nicolas Lapierre on a 3m29.656s.

The #8 Toyota was in the pits receiving attention to its rear suspension early in the session when the quick times were posted and only made it out on track after a brief red-flag period after half an hour.

Light rain was already falling when Brendon Hartley began his lap, the New Zealander ending up with an unrepresentative 3m40.842s on an increasingly wet track.

With only five cars in the Hypercar class, the #8 car will still take part in the Hyperpole shoot-out on Thursday.

Kobayashi’s time compared with the 3m26.279s he posted in the initial qualifying session for last year’s 24 Hours.

Robin Frijns was fastest in LMP2 in the lead WRT ORECA-Gibson 07 with a 3m29.898s.

#31 WRT Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 of Sean Gelael, Robin Frijns, René Rast

#31 WRT Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 of Sean Gelael, Robin Frijns, René Rast

Photo by: Nikolaz Godet

That gave him a margin of two tenths over Antonio Felix da Costa, who managed a 3m30.124s in the best of the Jota ORECAs.

WRT’s second full-season WEC car, fielded in conjunction with Swiss entrant Realteam, took third position with Norman Nato on a 3m30.440s.

The two United Autosports entries took fourth and fifth positions, Alex Lynn edging out Filipe Albuquerque by less than a tenth.

The final LMP2 car to make it through to Hyperpole was the Prema ORECA thanks to a late improvement from Louis Deletraz shortly before the red flag.

Vector Sport was unable to set a time after an engine change, while accident damage sustained by Steven Thomas in FP1 meant the #45 Algarve Pro Racing entry was also unable to post a time while undergoing repairs.

Laurens Vanthoor led the way in GTE Porsche in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR with a 3m50.999s.

Antonio Garcia took second spot with a 3m51.132s in the best of the Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs, while Frederic Makowiecki ended up third in the second of the two Manthey-run factory Porsches.

Nick Tandy was fourth in the second Chevy, while the two works AF Corse Ferrari took the final spots for Hyperpole in fifth and sixth positions.

James Calado ended up half a second off the pace in the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo on a 3m51.502s, while Antonio Fuoco was just over a tenth behind in the #52 sister car.

The only car not to make it through in GTE Pro was the privateer Ferrari run by Riley Motorsports.

#98 Northwest AMR Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE Am of Paul Dalla Lana, David Pittard, Nicki Thiim

#98 Northwest AMR Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE Am of Paul Dalla Lana, David Pittard, Nicki Thiim

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

The NorthWest AMR Aston Martin Vantage GTE ended up quickest in GTE Am courtesy of a 3m52.599s from Nicki Thiim.

That was nearly a second up on second-place Mikkel Jensen in the Kessel Racing Ferrari.

The other cars to make the cut for Hyperpole were the #54 AF Corse Ferrari, the #85 Iron Dames Ferrari, the #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche and the #61 AF Ferrari.

Marco Sorensen lost a time good enough to make it through to a track limits violation in the TF Sport Aston.

The session was red flagged for approximately 12 minutes at the halfway point when actor Michael Fassbender crashed his Proton Porsche at the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight.

The 30-minute Hyperpole session begins at 20:00 on Thursday.

The remainder of the grid in LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am is decided on the basis of Wednesday’s times.

Cars advancing to Hyperpole

Hypercar

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing (Kobayashi/Conway/Lopez)
#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing (Buemi/Hartley/Hirakawa)
#36 Alpine Elf Team (Lapierre/Vaxiviere/Negrao)
#708 Glickenhaus Racing (Pla/Dumas/Derani)
#709 Glickenhaus Racing (Briscoe/Westbrook/Mailleux)

LMP2

#9 Prema Orlen Team (Kubica/Deletraz/Colombo)
#22 United Autosports USA (Hanson/Albuquerque/Owen)
#23 United Autosports USA (Jarvis/Lynn/Pierson)
#31 WRT (Gelael/Frijns/Rast)
#38 JOTA (Da Costa/Gonzalez/Stevens)
#41 Realteam by WRT (Nato/Habsburg/Andrade)

GTE Pro

#51 AF Corse (Pier Guidi/Calado/Serra)
#52 AF Corse (Molina/Fuoco/Rigon)
#63 Corvette Racing (Catsburg/Garcia/Taylor)
#64 Corvette Racing (Sims/Milner/Tandy)
#91 Porsche GT Team (Bruni/Lietz/Makowiecki)
#92 Porsche GT Team (Estre/Christensen/Vanthoor)

GTE Am

#54 AF Corse (Flohr/Castellacci/Cassidy)
#57 Kessel Racing (Kimura/Schandorff/Jensen)
#61 AF Corse (Prette/Grunewald/Abril)
#77 Dempsey-Proton Racing (Ried/Tincknell/Priaulx)
#85 Iron Dames (Frey/Gatting/Bovy)
#98 Northwest AMR (Thiim/Dalla Lana/Pittard)

Le Mans 24 Hours - Qualifying results

Cla # Drivers Car Class Time Gap
1 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 3'27.247  
2 708 France Olivier Pla
France Romain Dumas
Brazil Pipo Derani
Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 3'27.355 0.108
3 709 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
France Franck Mailleux
Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 3'27.978 0.731
4 36 Brazil Andre Negrao
France Nicolas Lapierre
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
Alpine A480 HYPERCAR 3'29.656 2.409
5 31 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Netherlands Robin Frijns
Germany René Rast
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.898 2.651
6 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.124 2.877
7 41 Portugal Rui Andrade
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.440 3.193
8 23 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
United States Josh Pierson
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.568 3.321
9 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United States Will Owen
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.639 3.392
10 9 Poland Robert Kubica
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Italy Lorenzo Colombo
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.651 3.404
11 1 France Lilou Wadoux
France Sébastien Ogier
France Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.368 4.121
12 65 France Julien Canal
France Nico Jamin
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.382 4.135
13 5 United States Dane Cameron
France Emmanuel Collard
Brazil Felipe Nasr
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.462 4.215
14 32 Switzerland Rolf Ineichen
Italy Mirko Bortolotti
Belgium Dries Vanthoor
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.808 4.561
15 30 United Kingdom Richard Bradley
Mexico Guillermo Rojas
France Reshad de Gerus
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.000 4.753
16 37 China Ye Yifei
United States Ricky Taylor
Germany Niklas Krütten
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.008 4.761
17 28 Denmark Oliver Rasmussen
Edward Jones
South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.138 4.891
18 48 France Paul Lafargue
France Paul-Loup Chatin
France Patrick Pilet
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.285 5.038
19 34 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
United Kingdom Alex Brundle
Mexico Esteban Gutierrez
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.549 5.302
20 24 United States Rodrigo Sales
United Kingdom Matthew Bell
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.956 5.709
21 35 France Jean Baptiste Lahaye
France Matthieu Lahaye
France François Heriau
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'33.463 6.216
22 44 Slovakia Miro Konopka
Netherlands Bent Viscaal
France Tristan Vautier
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'33.480 6.233
23 39 France Eric Trouillet
Switzerland Sébastien Page
Switzerland David Droux
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'33.483 6.236
24 3 Germany Laurents Hörr
Belgium Jean Glorieux
France Alexandre Cougnaud
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'34.524 7.277
25 47 Germany Sophia Flörsch
United States John Falb
United Kingdom Jack Aitken
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'36.371 9.124
26 83 France François Perrodo
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Italy Alessio Rovera
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'36.548 9.301
27 27 Cresp Christophe
Michael Jensen
Steven Palette
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'38.136 10.889
28 43 Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'38.491 11.244
29 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Japan Ryo Hirakawa
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 3'40.842 13.595
30 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'50.999 23.752
31 63 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 3'51.132 23.885
32 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'51.382 24.135
33 64 United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
United Kingdom Alexander Sims
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 3'51.491 24.244
34 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Brazil Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'51.502 24.255
35 52 Spain Miguel Molina
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Italy Davide Rigon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'51.614 24.367
36 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
United Kingdom David Pittard
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'52.559 25.312
37 57 Japan Takeshi Kimura
Switzerland Frederik Schandorff
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'53.489 26.242
38 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
New Zealand Nick Cassidy
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'53.690 26.443
39 85 Switzerland Rahel Frey
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Belgium Sarah Bovy
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'54.081 26.834
40 77 Germany Christian Ried
United Kingdom Sebastian Priaulx
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'54.224 26.977
41 61 Monaco Louis Prette
Conrad Grunewald
Monaco Vincent Abril
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'54.316 27.069
42 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
Italy Riccardo Pera
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'54.323 27.076
43 56 United States Brendan Iribe
United Kingdom Ollie Millroy
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'54.510 27.263
44 46 Italy Matteo Cairoli
Denmark Mikkel Pedersen
Switzerland Nicolas Leutwiler
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'54.533 27.286
45 79 United States Cooper MacNeil
France Julien Andlauer
United States Thomas Merrill
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'54.912 27.665
46 99 Indonesia Andrew Haryanto
Belgium Alessio Picariello
Estonia Martin Rump
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'55.076 27.829
47 59 Sweden Alexander West
France Côme Ledogar
France Marvin Klein
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'55.162 27.915
48 21 France Simon Mann
Switzerland Christoph Ulrich
Finland Toni Vilander
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'55.308 28.061
49 55 United Kingdom Duncan Cameron
Ireland Matthew Griffin
South Africa David Perel
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'55.617 28.370
50 75 Germany Pierre Ehret
Germany Christian Hook
Nicolas Varrone
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'55.672 28.425
51 66 Netherlands Renger van der Zande
United States Mark Kvamme
United States Jason Hart
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'56.008 28.761
52 777 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
United Kingdom Charlie Fagg
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'56.437 29.190
53 88 United States Fred Poordad
United States Maxwell Root
Belgium Jan Heylen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'56.516 29.269
54 33 United States Ben Keating
Portugal Henrique Chaves Jr.
Denmark Marco Sorensen
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'57.044 29.797
55 74 Brazil Felipe Fraga
United Kingdom Sam Bird
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 4'03.311 36.064
56 60 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Alessandro Balzan
Italy Raffaele Giammaria
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 4'05.633 38.386
57 93 Germany Michael Fassbender
Australia Matt Campbell
Canada Zacharie Robichon
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 4'07.907 40.660
58 80 Italy Matteo Cressoni
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
United States Richard Heistand
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 4'23.223 55.976
59 10 Switzerland Nico Müller
Ireland Ryan Cullen
France Sébastien Bourdais
Oreca 07 LMP2    
60 13 Philippe Cimadomo
Switzerland Mathias Beche
Netherlands Tijmen van der Helm
Oreca 07 LMP2    
61 45 United States Thomas Steven
Australia James Allen
Austria Rene Binder
Oreca 07 LMP2    
62 71 France Franck Dezoteux
France Pierre Ragues
France Gabriel Aubry
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM    
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