Le Mans: Porsche takes provisional pole in first qualifying

Brendon Hartley put Porsche on provisional pole for the Le Mans 24 Hours after the opening qualifying session was brought to a premature end due to a crash

Le Mans: Porsche takes provisional pole in first qualifying

Kiwi Hartley, who is partnered in the #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid by Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard, lapped in 3m23.157s to head a one-two for the German manufacturer on its return to the top class of the French enduro after 15 years away.

The other Porsche 919, driven by Neel Jani ,set the pace once the first representative runs had been completed.

Although he was swiftly overhauled by Hartley and later suffered a hydraulics issue, a 3m23.928s was good enough to clinch second ahead of the two Toyotas.

Porsche LMP1 vice-president Fritz Enzinger told AUTOSPORT: "That was not bad for the first day; we don't know what the others were doing, but we are still very happy.

"The afternoon [practice session] was quite difficult for us, because we did not have the right set-up but the evening was good."

Toyota's #8 TS040 HYBRID had topped practice in the hands of Anthony Davidson, but the Briton - partnered by Nicolas Lapierre and Sebastien Buemi - ended up just over two seconds adrift of the lead Porsche, and a tenth clear of the sister car of Alexander Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima.

Last year's winner Audi only had two cars taking part in the first part of qualifying after Loic Duval's huge crash in practice, and its pair of R18 e-tron quattros could only manage fifth and sixth fastest in the hands of Andre Lotterer and Filipe Albuquerque.

Both Toyota and Audi were expected to usurp the Porsches at the top of the times until, with just under an hour left to run, Fernando Rees crashed his GTE Pro Aston Martin Vantage at the Porsche Curves.

That, along with Sarrazin slowing to a halt at the Dunlop chicane due to an oil leak in the Toyota, brought out the red flags, and Rees' incident caused sufficient barrier damage for the session to be brought to a premature end with half an hour still left on the clock.

In LMP2, the #26 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan took provisional pole with Oliver Pla outpacing Paul-Loup Chatin in the #36 Signatech Alpine ORECA-Nissan by more than half a second.

It was closer in GTE Pro, but AF Corse Ferrari 458 driver Gianmaria Bruni beat the lead AMR Vantage, driven by Stefan Mucke, into second place by 0.3s, with Frederic Makowiecki (Manthey Porsche 911 RSR) and Antonio Garcia (Corvette C7.R) ensuring the top four places were locked out by four different manufacturers.

Ferrari was also on top in GTE Am, where the #72 SMP 458 driven by Andrea Bertolini led the similar #61 AF car of Marco Cioci by less than 0.2s.

Six cars failed to set a time. In addition to the #1 Audi's absence, the Nissan ZEOD RC, #41 Greaves Zytek-Nissan, two Imsa Porsches and 8Star Ferrari all failed to complete a flying lap.

Pos Cl Drivers Team/Car Time 1. P1 Bernhard/Webber/Hartley Porsche 3m23.157s 2. P1 Dumas/Jani/Lieb Porsche 3m23.928s 3. P1 Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima Toyota 3m25.313s 4. P1 Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi Toyota 3m25.410s 5. P1 Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer Audi 3m26.388s 6. P1 Albuquerque/Bonanomi/Jarvis Audi 3m26.445s 7. P1 Kraihamer/Belicchi/Leimer Rebellion-Toyota 3m33.117s 8. P1 Prost/Heidfeld/Beche Rebellion-Toyota 3m34.922s 9. P2 Rusinov/Pla/Canal OAK Morgan-Nissan 3m38.843s 10. P2 Chatin/Panciatici/Webb Signatech Alpine-Nissan 3m39.490s 11. P2 Howson/Bradley/Imperatori KCMG ORECA-Nissan 3m39.586s 12. P2 Brundle/Mardenborough/Shulzhitskiy OAK Ligier-Nissan 3m39.822s 13. P2 Frey/Mailleux/Lancaster Race Perf ORECA-Judd 3m39.993s 14. P2 Berthon/Gonzalez/Chandhok Murphy ORECA-Nissan 3m41.502s 15. P2 Kimber-Smith/McMurry/Dyson Greaves Zytek-Nissan 3m41.847s 16. P2 Thiriet/Badey/Gommendy TDS Ligier-Nissan 3m42.730s 17. P2 Cheng/Tung/Fong OAK Ligier-HPD 3m42.988s 18. P2 Rast/Charouz/Capillaire Loeb ORECA-Nissan 3m43.507s 19. P2 Zlobin/Salo/Ladygin SMP ORECA-Nissan 3m43.618s 20. P2 Dolan/Tincknell/Gene Jota Zytek-Nissan 3m45.928s 21. P2 Klien/Hirsch/Brandela Morand Morgan-Judd 3m46.018s 22. P2 Ladygin/Minassian/Mediani SMP ORECA-Nissan 3m46.940s 23. P2 Schell/Leutwiller/Roussel Pegasus Morgan-Nissan 3m49.046s 24. P2 Ragues/Taylor/Ihara Larbre Morgan-Judd 3m53.948s 25. GTE P Bruni/Vilander/Fisichella AF Ferrari 3m54.754s 26. GTE P Turner/Mucke/Senna Aston Martin 3m55.067s 27. GTE P Holzer/Makowiecki/Lietz Manthey Porsche 3m55.516s 28. GTE P Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor Corvette 3m56.443s 29. GTE P Pilet/Bergmeister/Tandy Manthey Porsche 3m56.584s 30. GTE A Bertolini/Shaitar/Basov SMP Ferrari 3m56.787s 31. GTE A Perez-Companc/Cioci/Venturi AF Ferrari 3m56.919s 32. GTE A Dempsey/Foster/Long Dempsey Porsche 3m57.004s 33. GTE P MacDowall/O'Young/Rees Aston Martin 3m57.258s 34. GTE P Griffin/Parente/Leo Ram Ferrari 3m57.793s 35. GTE P Rigon/Calado/Beretta AF Ferrari 3m58.330s 36. GTE A Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi Proton Porsche 3m59.291s 37. GTE A Perrodo/Collard/Palttala Prospeed Porsche 3m59.394s 38. GTE P Gavin/Milner/Westbrook Corvette 3m59.445s 39. GTE A Mowlem/Patterson/Hamilton Ram Ferrari 3m59.794s 40. GTE A Barthez/Pons/Ayari Sofrev Ferrari 3m59.837s 41. GTE A Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard Aston Martin 4m00.017s 42. GTE A MacNeil/Curtis/Bleekemolen Prospeed Porsche 4m01.226s 43. GTE A Wyatt/Rugolo/Bird AF Ferrari 4m02.452s 44. GTE A Nakano/Ehret/Rich Taisan Ferrari 4m03.066s 45. GTE A Krohn/Jonsson/Collins Krohn Ferrari 4m03.789s 46. GTE A Al Faisal/Neiman/Pumpelly JMW Ferrari 4m05.046s 47. GTE A Poulsen/Hansson/Thiim Aston Martin 4m06.464s 48. GTE A Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank AF Ferrari 4m11.533s 49. GTE A Mann/Case/Giammaria AF Ferrari 4m22.744s 50. C Ordonez/Reip/Motoyama Nissan ZEOD 51. P1 Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen Audi 52. P2 Munemman/Latif/Winslow Greaves Zytek-Nissan 53. GTE A Maris/Merlin/Helary Imsa Porsche 54. GTE A Narac/Armindo/Hallyday Imsa Porsche 55. GTE A Montecalvo/Roda/Ruberti 8Star Ferrari 
shares
comments
Le Mans: Toyota fastest in practice as Audi's Duval crashes heavily

Previous article

Le Mans: Toyota fastest in practice as Audi's Duval crashes heavily

Next article

Le Mans 2014 runners and riders

Le Mans 2014 runners and riders
Load comments
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Plus

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year

WEC
Jul 24, 2021
How glitches left Toyota 'worried' about losing unbeaten WEC streak Plus

How glitches left Toyota 'worried' about losing unbeaten WEC streak

The World Endurance Championship's long-awaited return to Monza posed the sternest test yet for Toyota's new hypercar. Although the Japanese marque's GR010 HYBRID remains unbeaten, the victory for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi was far from plain sailing

WEC
Jul 19, 2021
How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts Plus

How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts

OPINION: Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Plus

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness

WEC
Jun 23, 2021
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge helped Toyota to keep clear Plus

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge helped Toyota to keep clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Toyota hits the ton — charting 100 world championship sportscar starts Plus

Toyota hits the ton — charting 100 world championship sportscar starts

The Japanese manufacturer is celebrating its 100th world championship prototype start in this weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the World Endurance Championship. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Plus

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

OPINION: Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Plus

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory

WEC
May 4, 2021