Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota leads the way in qualifying, Aston Martin tops GTE

Toyota monopolised the top of the timesheets in first qualifying for this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours round of the World Endurance Championship

Le Mans 24 Hours: Toyota leads the way in qualifying, Aston Martin tops GTE

The two Toyota TS050 HYBRIDs set their fastest times of the event so far, Kamui Kobayashi and Kazuki Nakajima ending up three tenths apart after they went for their times early in the 45-minute session.

Kobayashi posted a 3m17.089s and Nakajima a 3m17.336s in what was an inconsequential session for LMP1.

All five cars in the top division will go through to tomorrow morning's Hyperpole session, which is reserved for the top six fastest cars in each of the four classes.

Bruno Senna was more than four seconds behind the Toyotas in the best of the Rebellion-Gibson R-13s on a 3m21.598s.

Tom Dillmann got between the two Rebellions to take fourth position in the ByKolles team's ENSO CLM-Gibson P1/01.

Nyck de Vries headed the LMP2 order in the TDS-run Racing Team Nederland ORECA-Gibson 07 on a 3m26.648s after his first run put him third in the times before he improved with a second attempt.

The RTN ORECA was briefly knocked off the top of the order by Jean-Eric Vergne in G-Drive Racing's Aurus-badged ORECA, also run by TDS. The Frenchman's 3m26.547s was subsequently deleted for a track limits violation.

The 3m27.366s Vergne set early in the session was still good enough for him to make it through to the second round of qualifying.

Will Stevens was second in LMP2 with a 3m27.097s aboard the Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA, which was less than a tenth up on Paul di Resta's 3m27.148s in the fastest of the United Autosports entries. Vergne's time put him fourth, just ahead of Alex Brundle in the second United ORECA.

The Briton's 3m27.598s set at the the end of the session put him fifth, a tenth up on the final qualifier for Hyperpole, Kenta Yamashita in the High Class Racing ORECA after Brundle's final run pushed Antonio Felix da Costa out of the top six.

Da Costa made a late improvement in the Jota ORECA to leap ahead of Nick Tandy in the G-Drive by Algarve entry before losing his place in Hyperpole.

The biggest excitement of the new qualifying procedure came in GTE Pro, as the the two Aston Martins were one-two, Marco Sorensen edging out team-mate Alex Lynn by less than a tenth early in the session.

Sorensen posted a 3m50.872s compared with Lynn's 3m50.925s in the sister Vantage GTE.

The two factory AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evos were outside the top six with little more than five minutes of the session to go.

Davide Rigon found a late improvement to go third on 3m51.988s before Alessandro Pier Guidi lapped in 3m51.244s to push him down to fourth.

The improvements from the two works Ferraris pushed the two privateer 488s fielded by the Scuderia Corsa and Risi Competizione teams out of the coveted qualifying positions.

The two factory Porsche 911 RSR-19s ended up fifth and sixth in the hands of Gianmaria Bruni and Michael Christensen respectively.

Ross Gunn was fastest in GTE Am in the works-run Aston on a 3m57.778s which put him two tenths up on Charlie Eastwood in the TF Sport Vantage GTE.

The other GTE Am runners to make it through to Hyperpole were Ben Barker in the Gulf Porsche, Come Ledogar in the AF-run Luzich Ferrari, Matt Campbell in the #77 Proton-Dempsey Porsche and Matteo Cairoli in the #56 Project 1 Porsche.

Fastest non-qualifier was factory Ferrari driver Nicklas Nielsen in the #83 AF Corse entry.

Le Mans 24 Hours - Qualifying Practice Results

Pos Class Driver Team Car Gap
1 LMP1 M.Conway, K.Kobayashi, J.M.Lopez Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 3m17.089s
2 LMP1 S.Buemi, K.Nakajima, B.Hartley Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 0.247s
3 LMP1 B.Senna, N.Nato, G.Menezes Rebellion Racing Rebellion/Gibson 4.509s
4 LMP1 T.Dillmann, B.Spengler, O.Webb ByKOLLES Racing Team ENSO CLM/Gibson 7.379s
5 LMP1 R.Dumas, N.Berthon, L.Deletraz Rebellion Racing Rebellion/Gibson 7.543s
6 LMP2 F.van Eerd, G.van der Garde, N.de Vries Racing Team Nederland ORECA/Gibson 9.559s
7 LMP2 H-Pin Tung, G.Aubry, W.Stevens Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA/Gibson 10.008s
8 LMP2 P.Hanson, F.Albuquerque, P.Di Resta United Autosports ORECA/Gibson 10.059s
9 LMP2 R.Rusinov, J-E.Vergne, M.Jensen G-Drive Racing Aurus/Gibson 10.277s
10 LMP2 W.Owen, A.Brundle, J.van Uitert United Autosports ORECA/Gibson 10.509s
11 LMP2 K.Yamashita, M.Patterson, A.Fjordbach High Class Racing ORECA/Gibson 10.522s
12 LMP2 A.Davidson, A.F.da Costa, R.Gonzalez JOTA ORECA/Gibson 10.639s
13 LMP2 R.Cullen, O.Jarvis, N.Tandy G-Drive Racing by Algarve Aurus/Gibson 10.678s
14 LMP2 N.Jamin, J.Canal, M.Vaxiviere Panis Racing ORECA/Gibson 10.702s
15 LMP2 A.Negrao, P.Ragues, T.Laurent Signatech Alpine Elf Alpine/Gibson 10.705s
16 LMP2 H.Hedman, B.Hanley, R.van der Zande Dragonspeed USA ORECA/Gibson 10.824s
17 LMP2 N.Lapierre, A.Borga, A.Coigny COOL Racing ORECA/Gibson 11.420s
18 LMP2 J.Allen, V.Capillaire, C.Milesi Graff-SO24 ORECA/Gibson 11.485s
19 LMP2 J.Hirschi, K.Tereschenko, T.Gommendy Duqueine Team ORECA/Gibson 12.002s
20 LMP2 J.Falb, S.Trummer, M.McMurry Algarve Pro Racing ORECA/Gibson 12.313s
21 LMP2 J.P.Montoya, T.Buret, M.Rojas Dragonspeed USA ORECA/Gibson 12.652s
22 LMP2 R.Lacorte, A.Belicchi, G.Sernagiotto Cetilar Racing Dallara/Gibson 12.791s
23 LMP2 N.Yamanaka, N.Foster, R.Merhi Eurasia Motorsport Ligier/Gibson 13.408s
24 LMP2 G.Grist, A.Kapadia, T.Wells Nielsen Racing ORECA/Gibson 13.808s
25 LMP2 T.Calderon, S.Florsch, B.Visser Richard Mille Racing Team ORECA/Gibson 13.931s
26 LMP2 J.Smiechowski, R.Binder, M.Isaakyan Inter Europol Competition Ligier/Gibson 14.304s
27 LMP2 A.Tambay, E.Maris, C.d'Ansembourg EuroInternational Ligier/Gibson 16.658s
28 GTE Pro N.Thiim, M.Sorensen, R.Westbrook Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 33.783s
29 GTE Pro M.Martin, A.Lynn, H.Tincknell Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 33.836s
30 GTE Pro A.P.Guidi, J.Calado, D.Serra AF Corse Ferrari 34.155s
31 GTE Pro D.Rigon, M.Molina, S.Bird AF Corse Ferrari 34.899s
32 GTE Pro G.Bruni, R.Lietz, F.Makowiecki Porsche GT Team Porsche 34.947s
33 GTE Pro M.Christensen, K.Estre, L.Vanthoor Porsche GT Team Porsche 35.053s
34 GTE Pro C.MacNeil, T.Vilander, J.Segal WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 35.419s
35 GTE Am P.D.Lana, R.Gunn, A.Farfus Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin 35.689s
36 GTE Am S.Yoluc, C.Eastwood, J.Adam TF Sport Aston Martin 35.872s
37 GTE Am M.Wainwright, B.Barker, A.Watson Gulf Racing Porsche 35.881s
38 GTE Am F.Piovanetti, O.Negri, C.Ledogar Luzich Racing Ferrari 36.203s
39 GTE Am C.Ried, R.Pera, M.Campbell Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 36.245s
40 GTE Am E.Perfetti, L.ten Voorde, M.Cairoli Team Project 1 Porsche 36.509s
41 GTE Am F.Perrodo, E.Collard, N.Nielsen AF Corse Ferrari 36.532s
42 GTE Am I.Vutthikorn, L.Legeret, J.Andlauer Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 36.581s
43 GTE Am B.Keating, F.Fraga, J.Bleekemolen Team Project 1 Porsche 36.749s
44 GTE Am T.Flohr, F.Castellacci, G.Fisichella AF Corse Ferrari 37.055s
45 GTE Am T.Preining, D.Bastien, A.De Leener Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 37.192s
46 GTE Am T.Kimura, V.Abril, K.Cozzolino MR Racing Ferrari 37.539s
47 GTE Am H.C.Chen, T.Blomqvist, M.Gomes Hub Auto Racing Ferrari 38.219s
48 GTE Am D.Cameron, A.Scott, M.Griffin Spirit of Race Ferrari 38.683s
49 GTE Am R.Mastronardi, M.Cressoni, A.Piccini Iron Lynx Ferrari 39.052s
50 GTE Am R.Heistand, M.Root, J.Magnussen JMW Motorsport Ferrari 39.294s
51 GTE Am H.Felbermayr Jr., M.Beretta, M.van Splunteren Proton Competition Porsche 39.386s
52 GTE Am M.Gostner, R.Frey, M.Gatting Iron Lynx Ferrari 39.744s
53 GTE Am C.Schiavoni, S.Pianezzola, P.Ruberti Iron Lynx Ferrari 40.787s
54 GTE Am B.Grimes, J.Mowlem, C.Hollings Red River Sport Ferrari 42.995s
55 GTE Am P.Haezebrouck, J.Piguet, A.Laskaratos Team Project 1 Porsche 43.602s
56 LMP2 D.Merriman, K.Tilley, J.Kennard Idec Sport Racing ORECA/Gibson -
57 LMP2 P.Lafargue, P-L.Chatin, R.Bradley Idec Sport Racing ORECA/Gibson -
58 GTE Am C.Ulrich, S.Gorig, A.West AF Corse Ferrari -
59 GTE Pro O.Pla, S.Bourdais, J.Gounon Risi Competizione Ferrari -

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