Le Mans 24 Hours: Audi on provisional pole, Toyota fastest in the wet

Audi remains on course for pole position for the Le Mans 24 Hours, despite Toyota's Alex Wurz topping a rain-hit second qualifying session that was shortened due to barrier damage

Le Mans 24 Hours: Audi on provisional pole, Toyota fastest in the wet

More than 40 minutes remained on the clock when LMP2 driver Matt Downs crashed the #40 Boutsen Ginion ORECA-Nissan into the barriers just before the section that leads into Indianapolis.

With lengthy repairs essential, race officials opted not to restart the session, which had started on a wet circuit after a burst of rain arrived shortly before it commenced.

The initial benchmark times were around 45 seconds off Loic Duval's provisional pole time from Wednesday, although these soon began to improve as track conditions got progressively better.

With the Audis completing little running before the track was good enough for intermediate rubber, Toyota drivers came to the fore.

Both Wurz and fellow Toyota man Anthony Davidson gradually chipped away, with the former's 3m40.924s the best time of the session once the Austrian had fitted slicks.

This was still 18 seconds slower than the best of the dry times and so made no difference to the look of the provisional grid.

Lucas di Grassi was the best Audi driver in second place - less than a tenth of a second slower than Wurz - while Marcel Fassler, driving the #1 R18 e-tron quattro, was third.

Nissan-engined cars dominated in LMP2 with provisional polesitter John Martin again fastest in the #26 G-Drive/Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan.

Tom Kimber-Smith put the #41 Greaves Zytek-Nissan, which missed first qualifying after a major practice crash, second, although his time means he is still only 19th on the provisional class grid.

The sister car of Jann Mardenborough/Michael Krumm/Lucas Ordonez was third while Tony Burgess had a spin during the worst of the conditions in the HVM-Status Lola-Judd.

Corvette driver Jan Magnussen set the pace in GTE Pro, while the sister car was spun by Richard Westbrook - without damage - at the first Mulsanne chicane early on.

GTE Am honours went to Stuart Hall in the works Aston Martin with the sister car of Kristian Poulsen second.

Race officials indicated that final qualifying will start half an hour early in order to make up for the lost time.

Second qualifying - top five: Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time Gap 1. P1 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota 3m40.924s 2. P1 di Grassi/Gene/Jarvis Audi 3m40.990s +0.066s 3. P1 Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler Audi 3m41.954s +1.030s 4. P1 Prost/Jani/Heidfeld Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m42.261s +1.337s 5. P1 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota 3m42.507s +1.583s Provisional Grid: Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time Gap 1. P1 Kristensen/McNish/Duval Audi 3m22.349s 2. P1 di Grassi/Gene/Jarvis Audi 3m24.341s +1.992s 3. P1 Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler Audi 3m25.474s +3.125s
4. P1 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima Toyota 3m26.676s +4.327s 5. P1 Prost/Jani/Heidfeld Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m30.423s +8.074s 6. P1 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin Toyota 3m30.841s +8.492s 7. P1 Belicchi/Beche/Cheng Rebellion Lola-Toyota 3m32.167s +9.818s 8. P1 Kane/Watts/Leventis Strakka HPD 3m36.547s +14.198s 9. P2 Rusinov/M.Martin/Conway Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 3m39.535s +17.186s 10. P2 Gachnang/Mailleux/Lombard Morand Morgan-Judd 3m40.741s +18.392s 11. P2 Pla/Heinemeier Hansson/Brundle OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m40.780s +18.431s 12. P2 Graves/Nakano/Hamilton Delta-ADR ORECA-Nissan 3m40.925s +18.576s 13. P2 Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m42.387s +20.038s 14. P2 Perez Companc/Minassian/Kaffer Pecom ORECA-Nissan 3m43.420s +21.071s 15. P2 Thiriet/Badey/M.Martin TDS ORECA-Nissan 3m43.494s +21.145s 16. P2 Panciatici/Ragues/Gommendy Signatech ORECA-Nissan 3m43.835s +21.486s 17. P2 Hartley/Patterson/Chandhok Murphy ORECA-Nissan 3m44.538s +22.189s 18. P2 Dolan/Turvey/Luhr Jota Zytek-Nissan 3m44.835s +22.486s 19. P2 Frey/Niederhauser/Bleekemolen Race Perf' ORECA-Judd 3m45.244s +22.895s 20. P2 Imperatori/Tung/Howson KCMG Morgan-Nissan 3m45.500s +23.151s 21. P2 Weeda/Rossiter/Bouchut Lotus-Praga 3m47.920s +25.571s 22. P2 Nicolet/Merlin/Mondolot OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m48.196s +25.847s 23. P2 Tucker/Franchitti/Briscoe Level 5 HPD 3m48.597s +26.248s 24. P2 Giroix/Haezebrouck/Ihara Gulf Lola-Nissan 3m49.096s +26.747s 25. P2 Mardenborough/Ordonez/Krumm Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m49.421s +27.072s 26. P2 Mowlem/Burgess/Hirschi HVM Status Lola-Judd 3m49.805s +27.456s 27. GTP Bell/Makowiecki/Senna Aston Martin 3m55.658s +33.309s 28. GTP Bruni/Fisichella/Malucelli AF Corse Ferrari 3m55.909s +33.560s 29. GTP Dumbreck/Mucke/Turner Aston Martin 3m56.004s +33.655s 30. GTP Auberlen/Dalla Lana/Lamy Aston Martin 3m56.336s +33.987s 31. GTP Lieb/Lietz/Dumas Manthey Porsche 3m56.457s +34.108s 32. GTP Beretta/Kobayashi/Vilander AF Corse Ferrari 3m56.471s +34.122s 54. P2 Kimber-Smith/Rossi/Lux Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m56.487s +34.138s 33. GTP Bergmeister/Pilet/Bernhard Manthey Porsche 3m56.573s +34.224s 34. P2 Porta/Raffin/Brandela DKR Lola-Judd 3m56.905s +34.556s 35. P2 Downs/Dagoneau/Younessi Boutsen ORECA-Nissan 3m57.139s +34.790s 36. GTA Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen Aston Martin 3m58.661s +36.312s 37. GTA Ried/Roda/Ruberti Proton Porsche 3m59.246s +36.897s 38. GTP Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor Corvette 3m59.526s +37.177s 39. GTP Westbrook/Gavin/Milner Corvette 3m59.860s +37.511s 40. GTA Milesi/Gibon/Henzler Imsa Porsche 4m00.503s +38.154s 41. GTA Hall/Goethe/Campbell-Walter Aston Martin 4m01.035s +38.686s 42. GTA Narac/Bourret/Vernay Imsa Porsche 4m01.713s +39.364s 43. GTA Gerber/Griffin/Cioci AF Ferrari 4m02.815s +40.466s 44. GTP Dalziel/Farnbacher/Goossens SRT Viper 4m03.127s +40.778s 45. GTA Dempsey/Foster/Long Dempsey Porsche 4m03.378s +41.029s 46. GTP Bomarito/Kendall/Wittmer SRT Viper 4m03.461s +41.112s 47. GTA Perazzini/Case/O'Young AF Corse Ferrari 4m03.966s +41.617s 48. GTA MacNeil//Rodrigues/Dumas Larbre Corvette 4m04.512s +42.163s 49. GTA Bornhauser/Canal/Taylor Larbre Corvette 4m04.873s +43.524s 50. GTA Potolicchio/Aguas/Bright 8star Ferrari 4m07.625s +45.276s 51. GTA Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank AF Ferrari 4m09.064s +46.715s 52. GTP Collard/Perrodo/Crubile Prospeed Porsche 4m11.719s +49.370s 53. P2 Holzer/Kraihamer/Charouz Lotus-Praga 4m12.327s +49.978s 55. GTA Krohn/Jonsson/Mediani Krohn Ferrari 56. GTP Bertolini/Al Faisal/Al Qubaisi JMW Ferrari
shares
comments
Chrysler unveils new Viper GT3 car
Previous article

Chrysler unveils new Viper GT3 car

Next article

From the Le Mans pitwall

From the Le Mans pitwall
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Plus

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Autosport recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Plus

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Plus

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Plus

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title Plus

How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title

In the penultimate round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship, a better run of tyre wear for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi brought the Toyota trio its third win from five events, as the #7 squad put one hand on the title. Here's how the first of the WEC's two Bahrain enduros played out

WEC
Nov 1, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021