Reigning FIA World Endurance Championship Champion team Porsche have claimed overall pole position for the 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans when they failed to improve on their first qualifying session. Swiss driver Neel Jani set the fastest time of the week with a 3:19.733 in the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid, leading a 1-2 for the German team.
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s all-new TS050 HYBRIDS showed a good speed to slot into third and fourth place with the #6 of Stephane Sarrazin stopping the clocks at 3:20.737. The #5 sister car was just over a second further behind.
The ‘Marmite’ styled Audi R18s could not respond to the Porsche and Toyota cars and claimed the third row of the grid when Brazilian Lucas di Grassi put in a 3:22.985 to put the #8 car fifth leaving André Lotterer to put the sister car into sixth place.
“Our week has been anything but easy so far.” said di Grassi “Now we still need the necessary racing fortune.”
The #13 Rebellion Racing R-One took seventh place and the LMP1 Privateers pole out qualifying it’s sister car by 0.76s.
In LMP2 the #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca took the pole with René Rast clocking in a 3:36.605, o.57s ahead of the #35 Baxi DC Racing Alpine. The sister Signatech Alpine closed out the top three with 3:37.225. Le Mans debutants Michael Shank Racing took a credible fourth position in the Ligier JS P2.
In GTE Pro the top 5 positions were dominated by the turbo cars with the Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA GTs locking out the front row with the #68 & #69 cars setting a 3:51.185 & 3:51.497 respectively. Third spot in the class grid went to the AF Corse #51 Ferrari 488 GTE and the two UK-based Ford GTs took fourth (#67) and fifth (#66).
The #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari 458 Italia took the GTE Am pole with Robert Bell setting a 3:56.827. Pedro Lamy put the #98 Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage in second with a 3:57.198. Third spot went to the #55 AF Corse 458 Italia 0.042s behind the Aston.
The #99 Beechdean Aston Martin Racing Vantage could only post a 4:03.148 2 (Gary Hirsch), nearly 6 seconds off the sister #98 car to close out the grid.