Loic Duval moves Audi's #3 Ultra onto provisional Le Mans pole 24 Hours

Loic Duval put the #3 Audi R18 Ultra on provisional pole for the 80th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours with a spectacular lap of 3m24.078s

Loic Duval moves Audi's #3 Ultra onto provisional Le Mans pole 24 Hours

Times had already fallen prior to Duval's effort, with his team-mate Romain Dumas getting to within five tenths of a second of Andre Lotterer's overnight benchmark in the #1 e-tron quattro - before the man himself dropped down to a 3m24.997s, at the time putting him 0.861 seconds clear.

That was shattered with 30 minutes of the session remaining however, as Duval pulled more than nine tenths of a second clear of the field - a margin that could gain even more significance if the expected rain arrives during Thursday evening's third qualifying practice.

Allan McNish's effort of 3m26.038s, set at the end of a six-lap stint, was enough to secure third for the #2 R18 e-tron he shares with Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello.

Anthony Davidson prevented an Audi top-four lock-out by securing fourth in the #8 Toyota TS 030 Hybrid. The Briton had just about matched Duval in the first two sectors of his fastest lap - making up most of the time he surrendered in the first split over the second - but lost a significant chunk in the final sector and ended just over two seconds down on the Frenchman.

The #4 Audi R18 Ultra of Oliver Jarvis, Marco Bonanomi and Mike Rockenfeller found just over one second from Wednesday's opening qualifying session but remained fifth fastest, just ahead of the second Toyota of Nicolas Lapierre, Alexander Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima.

Nakajima had put the #7 TS030 as high as third before those around him improved, while Lapierre lost the rear of the car and ran through the grass at the entrance of the Ford chicane.

Danny Watts kept the #21 Strakka HPD as the top independent in seventh, just ahead of Neil Jani's #12 Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota.

As was the case on Wednesday LMP2 remained incredibly close, with less than one second covering the top six for the majority of the two hours.

Toward the close however OAK's Olivier Pla - already fastest at the time - improved to a 3m38.698s, pulling more than half a second clear of the #26 Signatech and #46 TDS ORECA-Nissans.

There were further complications for the DeltaWing Nissan, which dropped to 28th overall after a session truncated by technical issues.

Across in GTE Pro Frederic Makowiecki put the #59 Luxury Racing Ferrari top, moving just over four tenths of a second clear of the #97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Darren Turner, Setfan Mucke and Adrian Fernandez.

The #74 Corvette of Richard Westbrook, Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner did not improve on Wednesday's showing but remained third, less than six tenths of a second down on Makowiecki.

Flying Lizard's #79 GTE Am pacesetting Porsche likewise did not improve from Wednesday but still finished as the sixth fastest GTE car, and over four tenths clear of its nearest competition, Prospeed's #75 911.


Pos  Cl     Drivers                             Team/Car                     Time
 1.  P1     Dumas/Duval/Gene                    Audi Ultra                   3m25.453s
 2.  P1     Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer           Audi e-tron                  3m26.536s
 3.  P1     Capello/Kristensen/McNish           Audi e-tron                  3m26.694s
 4.  P1     Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin             Toyota                       3m27.191s
 5.  P1     Bonanomi/Jarvis/Rockenfeller        Audi Ultra                   3m27.554s
 6.  P1     Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima              Toyota                       3m28.295s
 7.  P1     Leventis/Watts/Kane                 Strakka HPD                  3m32.750s
 8.  P1     Prost/Jani/Heidfeld                 Rebellion Lola-Toyota        3m33.140s
 9.  P1     Belicchi/Primat/Bleekemolen         Rebellion Lola-Toyota        3m33.211s
10.  P1     Ara/Minassian/Bourdais              Pescarolo Dome-Judd          3m34.716s
11.  P1     Brabham/Chandhok/Dumbreck           JRM HPD                      3m37.088s
12.  P1     Montagny/Baguette/Kraihamer         OAK Pescarolo-Judd           3m37.367s
13.  P1     Collard/Boullion/Hall               Pescarolo-Judd               3m37.485s
14.  P2     Nicolet/Lahaye/Pla                  OAK Morgan-Judd              3m38.598s
15.  P2     Panciatici/Ragues/Rusinov           Signatech ORECA-Nissan       3m39.152s
16.  P2     Beche/Thiriet/Tinseau               TDS ORECA-Nissan             3m39.252s
17.  P2     Perez-Companc/Ayari/Kaffer          Pecom ORECA-Nissan           3m39.711s
18.  P2     Firth/Hughes/Hartley                Murphy ORECA-Nissan          3m39.877s
19.  P2     Heinemeier Hansson/Leinders/Martin  OAK Morgan-Nissan            3m39.899s
20.  P2     Martin/Charouz/Graves               ADR ORECA-Nissan             3m40.174s
21.  P2     Potolicchio/Dalziel/Kimber-Smith    Starworks HPD-Honda          3m40.639s
22.  P2     Briere/Petersen/Nakano              Boutsen ORECA-Nissan         3m40.727s
23.  P2     Ordonez/Brundle/Brundle             Greaves Zytek-Nissan         3m40.738s
24.  P2     Dolan/Hancock/Kurosawa              Jota Zytek-Nissan            3m40.989s
25.  P2     Sims/Buurman/Iannetta               Status Lola-Judd             3m41.287s
26.  P2     Tucker/Bouchut/Diaz                 Level 5 HPD-Honda            3m42.224s
27.  P2     Mailleux/Lombard/Tresson            Signatech ORECA-Nissan       3m42.292s
28.  CDNT   Franchitti/Krumm/Motoyama           Highcroft Delta Wing Nissan  3m42.581s
29.  P2     Zugel/Gonzalez/Julian               Greaves Zytek-Nissan         3m42.612s
30.  P2     Frey/Hirschi/Meichtry               Race Performance ORECA-Judd  3m43.619s
31.  P2     Giroix/Johansson/Badey              Gulf Lola-Nissan             3m47.244s
32.  P2     Holzer/Schultis/Moro                Kodewa Lola-Lotus            3m48.025s
33.  P2     Haezebrouck/Thirion/Rosier          Extreme Limite Norma-Judd    3m48.067s
34.  GTE P  Makowiecki/Melo/Farnbacher          Luxury Ferrari               3m55.393s
35.  GTE P  Fernandez/Mucke/Turner              Aston Martin                 3m55.870s
36.  GTE P  Gavin/Milner/Westbrook              Corvette                     3m55.910s
37.  GTE P  Taylor/Garcia/Magnussen             Corvette                     3m57.181s
38.  GTE P  Bertolini/Beretta/Cioci             AF Corse Ferrari             3m57.509s
39.  GTE A  Neiman/Pilet/Pumpelly               Flying Lizard Porsche        3m57.594s
40.  GTE P  Lieb/Lietz/Henzler                  Felbermayr-Proton Porsche    3m57.606s
41.  GTE P  Alfaisal/Curtis/Edwards             IMSA Porsche                 3m58.035s
42.  GTE P  Bergmeister/Long/Holzer             Flying Lizard Porsche        3m58.717s
43.  GTE A  Simonsen/Nygaard/Poulsen            Aston Martin                 3m58.725s
44.  GTE A  Ehret/Montecalvo/Jeannette          Luxury Ferrari               3m58.800s
45.  GTE A  Ried/Roda/Ruberti                   Felbermayr-Proton Porsche    3m59.181s
46.  GTE A  Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy               Larbre Corvette              3m59.192s
47.  GTE P  Walker/Cocker/Wills                 JMW Ferrari                  3m59.638s
48.  GTE A  Perazzini/Cadei/Griffin             AF Corse Ferrari             4m00.288s
49.  GTE A  Armindo/Narac/Pons                  IMSA Porsche                 4m00.332s
50.  GTE A  Kauffman/Aguas/Vickers              AF-Waltrip Ferrari           4m00.691s
51.  GTE A  Rodrigues/Ferte/Illiano             JMB Ferrari                  4m02.461s
52.  GTE A  Bourret/Gibon/Belloc                Larbre Corvette              4m02.969s
53.  GTE A  Camathias/Daniels/Palttala          JWA Porsche                  4m03.358s
54.  GTE A  Krohn/Jonsson/Rugolo                Krohn Ferrari                4m03.661s
55.  P2     Deletraz/Ihara/Rostan               Gulf Lola-Nissan             4m14.086s
56.  GTE P  Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander           AF Corse Ferrari             -

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