Fernando Alonso fastest in disrupted second Le Mans qualifying session

Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in second qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hours, although neither of the leading Toyota TS050 HYBRIDs improved on their Wednesday lap times

Fernando Alonso fastest in disrupted second Le Mans qualifying session

Alonso began the session in the #8 Toyota and completed eight heavily disrupted laps caused by many incidents suffered by LMP2 and GTE machinery.

That meant he had just two clean flying laps and he set a 3m18.021s best time on his second run, after Sven Muller put the #94 Porsche 911 RSR GTE into the barriers on the approach to Indianapolis, which resulted in the session being red flagged while barrier repairs were made.

That meant Alonso's best lap was almost eight tenths slower than team-mate Kazuki Nakajima's provisional pole time from Wednesday night's qualifying.

Team-mate Sebastien Buemi also lapped close to Alonso's best time, as did Jose Maria Lopez in the #7 Toyota.

The #7 Toyota had several moments on track in the hands of Mike Conway, who twice went off at Dunlop.

There were few improvements elsewhere in the LMP1 class, meaning that the best placed non-hybrid LMP1 car is still the #17 SMP Racing BR-1 car shared by Stephane Sarrazin, Egor Orudzhev and Matevos Isaakyan.

The only LMP1 contenders to improve their positions were the two Manor-Ginetta cars, with Alex Brundle taking the #6 up to ninth, clear of all the LMP2 runners, with a 3m24.343s lap.

Brundle's time leaves that car 1.8 seconds slower than the ByKolles in eighth and 7.073s off the ultimate pace set by the leading Toyota.

The session was red-flagged with over half an hour remaining when Giorgio Sernagiotto crashed the #47 Cetilar-Vilorba Corse on the approach to the first chicane, which was the result of right-front suspension failure. The Italian emerged from the wreckage unaided.

No change at the top of LMP2

The order at the top in LMP2 was unchanged prior to the stoppage, with only one change in the minor placings deposing the fastest Ligier to seventh.

Paul-Loup Chatin's bechmark time from Wednesday night in the #48 IDEC Sport ORECA remained unchallenged, ahead of the #28 TDS Racing ORECA of Loic Duval.

The only major improvement was from Tristan Gommendy in the Graff-So24 ORECA, which moved into sixth place in an incident-filled session.

Prior to Sernagiotto's accident, single-seater convert Norman Nato was fortunate to escape without damage from a high-speed spin at the Porsche Curves in the #35 SMP Dallara, before two-time class-winner Nicolas Lapierre broke the suspension on his #36 Signatech-Alpine at the Ford chicane and spun into the gravel, leading to a slow zone.

Porsche still on top in GTE

Porsche maintained control of GTE Pro, as just one of the 17 cars in the class managed to improve its best time from Wednesday's first qualifying.

That was the #93 CORE autosport-run 911 RSR, which was seventh overnight but rose to fifth with a lap of 3m49.621s by Patrick Pilet - 2.117s slower than Gianmaria Bruni's benchmark in the #91 Manthey Porsche.

The Weissach marque continues to hold a 1-2 with its two retro-liveried cars, the #91 and the #92, while Ford's top two cars, the #66 and #68, remain on the second row.

Ferrari's lead 488 GTE Evo, the #51 AF Corse car, has dropped to sixth as a result of Pilet's improvement, ahead of the remaining #94 Porsche.

Ford's eighth-placed #67 car was damaged when Andy Priaulx dipped a wheel on the grass entering Tertre Rouge, spun and hit the barriers backwards. The three-time WTCC champion was able to get back to the pits unaided despite losing a chunk of rear bodywork.

The rest of the order from eighth downwards hasn't changed from Wednesday, with BMW's top car in ninth, Corvette's best runner in 13th and Aston Martin propping up the field with its two brand-new Vantage GTEs.

In GTE Am, the two Dempsey-Proton Porsches remain first and second, but a 3m51.956s lap by Giancarlo Fisichella moved up the #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari to third place.

The #84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari of Jeff Segal and the #99 Proton Porsche of Pat Long were the only two others to improve of the 13 runners in class.

Qualifying 2 times

Pos Class Driver Team Car Time Laps
1 LMP1 S.Buemi, K.Nakajima, F.Alonso Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 3m18.021s 16
2 LMP1 M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 3m19.860s 14
3 LMP1 T.Laurent, M.Beche, G.Menezes Rebellion Racing Rebellion/Gibson 3m22.000s 6
4 LMP1 V.Petrov, M.Aleshin, J.Button SMP Racing BR Engineering/AER 3m22.548s 3
5 LMP1 A.Lotterer, N.Jani, B.Senna Rebellion Racing Rebellion/Gibson 3m23.261s 12
6 LMP1 O.Rowland, A.Brundle, O.Turvey CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta/Mecachrome 3m24.343s 13
7 LMP1 C.Robertson, M.Simpson, L.Roussel CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta/Mecachrome 3m25.268s 8
8 LMP2 F.Perrodo, M.Vaxiviere, L.Duval TDS Racing ORECA/Gibson 3m25.291s 11
9 LMP1 O.Webb, D.Kraihamer, T.Dillmann ByKOLLES Racing Team ENSO CLM/NISMO 3m25.330s 8
10 LMP2 V.Capillaire, J.Hirschi, T.Gommendy Graff-SO24 ORECA/Gibson 3m26.701s 13
11 LMP2 J.Allen, J.Gutierrez, E.Guibbert G-Drive Racing ORECA/Gibson 3m27.280s 11
12 LMP1 S.Sarrazin, E.Orudzhev, M.Isaakyan SMP Racing BR Engineering/AER 3m27.288s 4
13 LMP2 R.Rusinov, A.Pizzitola, J-E.Vergne G-Drive Racing ORECA/Gibson 3m27.975s 15
14 LMP2 T.Buret, J.Canal, W.Stevens Panis Barthez Competition Ligier/Gibson 3m28.008s 13
15 LMP2 N.Lapierre, A.Negrao, P.Thiriet Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine/Gibson 3m28.069s 10
16 LMP2 H.de Sadeleer, W.Owen, J.P.Montoya United Autosports Ligier/Gibson 3m28.159s 14
17 LMP2 R.Lacorte, G.Sernagiotto, F.Nasr Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara/Gibson 3m28.292s 11
18 LMP2 P.Lafargue, P-L.Chatin, M.Rojas Idec Sport Racing ORECA/Gibson 3m29.270s 12
19 LMP2 R.Gonzalez, P.Maldonado, N.Berthon DragonSpeed ORECA/Gibson 3m30.168s 8
20 LMP2 H-Pin Tung, S.Richelmi, G.Aubry Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 3m31.581s 13
21 LMP2 V.Shaytar, H.Newey, N.Nato SMP Racing Dallara/Gibson 3m32.178s 14
22 LMP2 F.van Eerd, G.van der Garde, J.Lammers Racing Team Nederland Dallara/Gibson 3m32.343s 11
23 LMP2 P.Hanson, F.Albuquerque, P.Di Resta United Autosports Ligier/Gibson 3m32.989s 15
24 LMP2 R.Taylor, C.Ledogar, D.H.Hansson Jackie Chan DC Racing Ligier/Gibson 3m36.004s 12
25 LMP2 D.Cheng, N.Boulle, P.Nicolet Jackie Chan DC Racing Ligier/Gibson 3m36.604s 9
26 LMP2 E.Creed, R.Ricci, T.Dagoneau Larbre Competition Ligier/Gibson 3m39.569s 12
27 LMP2 A.Bertolini, N.Jonsson, T.Krohn Eurasia Motorsport Ligier/Gibson 3m39.949s 11
28 LMP2 J.Jaafar, N.Jeffri, W.Tan Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 3m40.074s 12
29 LMP2 M.Patterson, A.D.De Jong, T.Kim Algarve Pro Racing Ligier/Gibson 3m46.772s 14
30 GTE Pro P.Pilet, N.Tandy, E.Bamber Porsche GT Team Porsche 3m49.621s 13
31 GTE Pro M.Christensen, K.Estre, L.Vanthoor Porsche GT Team Porsche 3m51.101s 14
32 GTE Pro R.Lietz, G.Bruni, F.Makowiecki Porsche GT Team Porsche 3m51.150s 12
33 GTE Am T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, G.Fisichella Spirit of Race Ferrari 3m51.956s 13
34 GTE Pro R.Briscoe, R.Westbrook, S.Dixon Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Ford 3m52.298s 13
35 GTE Pro T.Vilander, A.Giovinazzi, P.Derani AF Corse Ferrari 3m52.572s 12
36 GTE Pro S.Mucke, O.Pla, B.Johnson Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 3m52.849s 8
37 GTE Pro O.Gavin, T.Milner, M.Fassler Corvette Racing - GM Chevrolet 3m52.923s 12
38 GTE Pro J.Magnussen, A.Garcia, M.Rockenfeller Corvette Racing - GM Chevrolet 3m52.994s 12
39 GTE Pro A.P.Guidi, J.Calado, D.Serra AF Corse Ferrari 3m53.032s 12
40 GTE Pro J.Hand, D.Muller, S.Bourdais Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Ford 3m53.352s 11
41 GTE Am L.Griffin, C.MacNeil, J.Segal JMW Motorsport Ferrari 3m53.439s 10
42 GTE Pro A.Priaulx, H.Tincknell, T.Kanaan Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford 3m53.883s 11
43 GTE Pro D.Rigon, S.Bird, M.Molina AF Corse Ferrari 3m53.998s 13
44 GTE Pro A.Farfus, A.F.da Costa, A.Sims BMW Team MTEK BMW 3m53.999s 14
45 GTE Am P.Long, T.Pappas, S.Pumpelly Proton Competition Porsche 3m54.720s 12
46 GTE Pro M.Tomczyk, N.Catsburg, P.Eng BMW Team MTEK BMW 3m55.150s 13
47 GTE Pro A.Lynn, M.Martin, J.Adam Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 3m55.424s 11
48 GTE Am Mok W.S., M.Griffin, K.Sawa Clearwater Racing Ferrari 3m55.727s 10
49 GTE Pro M.Sorensen, N.Thiim, D.Turner Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 3m56.630s 11
50 GTE Am F.Babini, C.Nielsen, E.Maris Ebimotors Porsche 3m58.072s 9
51 GTE Am J.Bergmeister, P.Lindsey, E.Perfetti Team Project 1 Porsche 3m58.235s 13
52 GTE Am B.Keating, J.Bleekemolen, L.Stolz Keating Motorsports Ferrari 3m58.661s 11
53 GTE Am P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 3m58.707s 13
54 GTE Am S.Yoluc, E.Hankey, C.Eastwood TF Sport Aston Martin 4m01.710s 13
55 GTE Am M.Ishikawa, O.Beretta, E.Cheever MR Racing Ferrari 4m02.540s 14
56 GTE Am M.Wainwright, B.Barker, A.Davison Gulf Racing Porsche 4m03.603s 9
57 LMP1 H.Hedman, B.Hanley, R.van der Zande DragonSpeed BR Engineering/Gibson 4m05.947s 6
58 GTE Am M.Campbell, C.Ried, J.Andlauer Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 4m09.835s 8
59 GTE Am M.Cairoli, K.Al Qubaisi, G.Roda Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 4m09.946s 9
60 GTE Pro R.Dumas, T.Bernhard, S.Muller Porsche GT Team Porsche - 1

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Series WEC
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Author Tom Errington
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