Le Mans 24 Hour grid penalty for Nissan LMP1s
The three Nissan LMP1s will start from the back of the Le Mans 24 Hour prototype field after failing to meet the 110 per cent qualifying minimum
Two of the GT-LM NISMOs qualified ahead of the best LMP2 contender and the third right behind it, but they will line up on the grid in 30th, 31st and 32nd positions.
That puts them behind all but one of the 19-strong LMP2 field after they failed to set times within the minimum prescribed by the rules.
Only the Ibanez ORECA will start behind the Nissans, because one of its drivers failed to meet the minimum requirements.
The #4 ByKolles CLM has also been penalised for the same reason, and the decision means each car must use its fastest driver from qualifying to start the race.
Nissan global motorsport boss Darren Cox predicted that the improvement that allowed Harry Tincknell to get down to a 3m36.995s in final qualifying would continue in the race.
"Every time we make a change to the car, we go faster — Harry was on course to do a 3m35s when he got a yellow flag at the end," Cox told AUTOSPORT.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we do our fastest lap of the race at 2:30pm on Sunday afternoon, depending on the conditions."
Cox insisted that he was not disappointed by the qualifying performance.
"We have made excellent progress and we are going to continue to do so," he said.
The performance follows statements from Cox that the GT-R LM would be "significantly faster" than an LMP2; the reality was that Tincknell's best for Nissan was only just over a second faster than the P2 pole-winning KCMG ORECA.
The three Nissans will be started by Lucas Ordonez (#21), Tincknell (#22) and Jann Mardenborough (#23).
AF CORSE COPS GTE PRO PENALTY
The #71 Ferrari, which had qualified fourth in GTE Pro, will start the race second from last after one of its drivers failed to complete a time within 120 per cent of the fastest Porsche LMP1.
James Calado had put the Ferrari fifth overall in GTE, three spots behind the sister #51 car, after recovering from a track-limits penalty that stripped the #71 of its times on Wednesday.
The penalty means the AF Corse 458 Italia drops to 54th on the grid, 10 rows behind the GTE Pro polesitting #99 Aston Martin Vantage.
AF team manager Battistino Pregliasco told AUTOSPORT it did not make sense to apply the 120 per cent rule to the Pro cars, given the ACO made an exception for the Am entries.
"I would like the stewards to interpret the rules not just apply them," he said.
"It's 24 hours so it doesn't matter to start last. It's just frustrating for James had made a super time."
LE MANS 24 HOUR STARTING GRID:
|1||LMP1||R.Dumas, N.Jani, M.Lieb||Porsche Team||Porsche||3m16.887s|
|2||LMP1||T.Bernhard, M.Webber, B.Hartley||Porsche Team||Porsche||3m17.767s|
|3||LMP1||N.Hulkenberg, E.Bamber, N.Tandy||Porsche Team||Porsche||3m18.862s|
|4||LMP1||L.di Grassi, L.Duval, O.Jarvis||Audi Sport Team Joest||Audi||3m19.866s|
|5||LMP1||M.Fassler, A.Lotterer, B.Treluyer||Audi Sport Team Joest||Audi||3m20.561s|
|6||LMP1||F.Albuquerque, M.Bonanomi, R.Rast||Audi Sport Team Joest||Audi||3m20.997s|
|7||LMP1||A.Wurz, S.Sarrazin, M.Conway||Toyota Racing||Toyota||3m23.543s|
|8||LMP1||A.Davidson, S.Buemi, K.Nakajima||Toyota Racing||Toyota||3m23.767s|
|9||LMP1||N.Prost, M.Beche, N.Heidfeld||Rebellion Racing||Rebellion/AER||3m26.874s|
|10||LMP1||A.Imperatori, D.Kraihamer, D.Abt||Rebellion Racing||Rebellion/AER||3m28.930s|
|11||LMP2||M.Howson, R.Bradley, N.Lapierre||KCMG||ORECA/Nissan||3m38.032s|
|12||LMP2||R.Rusinov, J.Canal, S.Bird||G-Drive Racing||Ligier/Nissan||3m38.939s|
|13||LMP2||G.Hirsch, G.Paletou, J.Lancaster||Greaves Motorsport||Gibson/Nissan||3m38.958s|
|14||LMP2||S.Dolan, M.Evans, O.Turvey||JOTA||Gibson/Nissan||3m39.004s|
|15||LMP2||N.Panciatici, P-L.Chatin, V.Capillaire||Signatech Alpine||Alpine/Nissan||3m39.699s|
|16||LMP2||P.Thiriet, T.Gommendy, L.Badey||Thiriet by TDS Racing||ORECA/Nissan||3m39.805s|
|17||LMP2||C.Cumming, L.Vanthoor, K.Estre||Oak Racing||Ligier/HPD||3m40.058s|
|18||LMP2||K.Chandhok, M.Patterson, N.Berthon||Murphy Prototypes||ORECA/Nissan||3m40.690s|
|19||LMP2||G.Yacaman, P.Derani, R.Gonzalez||G-Drive Racing||Ligier/Nissan||3m40.967s|
|20||LMP2||P.Ragues, O.Webb, Z.Amberg||Team SARD Morand||Morgan/SARD||3m41.250s|
|21||LMP2||L.Roussel, D.Cheng, H-Pin Tung||Pegasus Racing||Morgan/Nissan||3m42.023s|
|22||LMP2||M.Mediani, D.Markozov, N.Minassian||SMP Racing||BR Engineering/Nissan||3m42.077s|
|23||LMP2||N.Leventis, D.Watts, J.Kane||Strakka Racing||Dome/Nissan||3m42.237s|
|24||LMP2||M.Aleshin, K.Ladygin, A.Ladygin||SMP Racing||BR Engineering/Nissan||3m42.417s|
|25||LMP2||S.Sharp, R.Dalziel, D.H.Hansson||Extreme Speed Motorsports||Ligier/HPD||3m42.453s|
|26||LMP2||E.Brown, J.van Overbeek, J.Fogarty||Extreme Speed Motorsports||Ligier/HPD||3m44.631s|
|27||LMP2||T.Krohn, N.Jonsson, J.Barbosa||Krohn Racing||Ligier/Judd||3m44.854s|
|28||LMP2||J.Nicolet, J-M.Merlin, E.Maris||Oak Racing||Ligier/HPD||3m52.843s|
|29||LMP1||S.Trummer, P.Kaffer, T.Monteiro||Team ByKolles||CLM/AER||3m36.825s|
|30||LMP1||H.Tincknell, M.Krumm, A.Buncombe||Nissan Motorsports||Nissan||3m36.995s|
|31||LMP1||O.Pla, J.Mardenborough, M.Chilton||Nissan Motorsports||Nissan||3m37.291s|
|32||LMP1||T.Matsuda, M.Shulzhitskiy, L.Ordonez||Nissan Motorsports||Nissan||3m38.691s|
|33||LMP2||P.Perret, I.Bellarosa, J.Ibanez||Ibanez Racing||ORECA/Nissan||3m45.350s|
|34||GTE Pro||F.Rees, A.MacDowall, R.Stanaway||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||3m54.928s|
|35||GTE Pro||G.Bruni, T.Vilander, G.Fisichella||AF Corse||Ferrari||3m55.025s|
|36||GTE Am||P.D.Lana, P.Lamy, M.Lauda||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||3m55.102s|
|37||GTE Pro||D.Turner, S.Mucke, R.Bell||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||3m55.466s|
|38||GTE Pro||M.Sorensen, C.Nygaard, N.Thiim||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||3m55.783s|
|39||GTE Pro||R.Lietz, M.Christensen, J.Bergmeister||Porsche Team Manthey||Porsche||3m56.618s|
|40||GTE Am||F.Perrodo, E.Collard, R.Aguas||AF Corse||Ferrari||3m56.723s|
|41||GTE Am||V.Shaytar, A.Bertolini, A.Basov||SMP Racing||Ferrari||3m56.877s|
|42||GTE Pro||P.Pilet, F.Makowiecki, W.Henzler||Porsche Team Manthey||Porsche||3m56.922s|
|43||GTE Pro||O.Gavin, T.Milner, J.Taylor||Corvette Racing||Chevrolet||3m57.081s|
|44||GTE Am||J.Bleekemolen, B.Keating, M.Miller||Riley Motorsports-Ti Auto||SRT/Dodge||3m57.836s|
|45||GTE Am||P.Dempsey, P.Long, M.Seefried||Dempsey Racing - Proton||Porsche||3m57.842s|
|46||GTE Am||C.Ried, K.Al Qubaisi, K.Bachler||Abu Dhabi-Proton Racing||Porsche||3m58.259s|
|47||GTE Am||D.Cameron, M.Griffin, A.Mortimer||AF Corse||Ferrari||3m58.433s|
|48||GTE Am||P.Mann, R.Giammaria, M.Cressoni||AF Corse||Ferrari||3m58.695s|
|49||GTE Am||B.Sweedler, T.Bell, J.Segal||Scuderia Corsa||Ferrari||3m58.946s|
|50||GTE Am||G.Roda, P.Ruberti, K.Poulsen||Larbre Competition||Chevrolet||3m59.522s|
|51||GTE Am||A.Al Faisal, K.Giermaziak, M.Avenatti||JMW Motorsport||Ferrari||3m59.612s|
|52||GTE Am||R.Goethe, S.Hall, F.Castellacci||Aston Martin Racing||Aston Martin||4m01.146s|
|53||GTE Am||J.San Chen, A.Kapadia, X.Maassen||Team AAI||Porsche||4m01.270s|
|54||GTE Pro||D.Rigon, J.Calado, O.Beretta||AF Corse||Ferrari||3m55.582s|
|55||GTE Am||H.C.Chen, G.Vannelet, M.Parisy||Team AAI||Porsche||4m01.243s|
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