Toyota set provisional pole position at Le Mans

Track action (Photo by  Melissa Warren)Track action for the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans began on Wednesday with a four hour practice session followed by two hours of night qualifying.

The best time of the day was set by the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid (Alonso/Buemi/Nakajima), with a lap time of 3:17.270. However, teams will still be jostling for places on the grid in the qualifying sessions on Thursday evening.

British driver Ben Hanley was first to top the timesheet in 3:21:110 (#23 BR Enginerring BR1), before the two hybrid cars took advantage of a clear track: 3:17:270 for Kazuki Nakajima (#8) and 3:17:377 for Kamui Kobayashi (#7).

Fernando Alonso took the wheel for his first night-time session at 22:56 to experience the magic of Le Mans, including the Mulsanne Straight and the Porsche Curves in the dark.

SMP Racing is the fastest "non-hybrid" team, with the #17 BR Engineering BR1 driven by Stéphane Sarrazin. Rebellion Racing follow with its two Rebellion R13s,second is the #1 and the #3 third.

In LMP2, the TDS Racing team initially took the lead with IDEC Sport close behind, but then they switched positions. G-Drive Racing, DragonSpeed and Signatech Alpine round out the top 5. The lap times clocked in the class are similar to previous Le Mans races, however the 2017 pole time (3:25:352) has been beaten.

In LMGTE Pro like in LMGTE Am, Porsche dominated the first qualifying session, Gianmaria Bruni (#91 Porsche 911 RSR) is fastest in LMGTE Pro, but just as the session began, he missed his braking at the Dunlop Chicane and went into the gravel trap but was quickly removed by the track marshals and placed in a safety zone for the remainder of the session.

In LMGTE Am, Dempsey-Proton Racing takes the top two spots in the class (#88 911 RSR ahead of the #77 sister car).

The Porsche 911 RSRs had their difficulties, particularly in the braking zones, including several incidents involving Matt Campbell and Romain Dumas.

Competitors in the LMGTE Pro class are quicker than ever. The top 13 are faster than pole position in the class last year (clocked by Darren Turner with an Aston Martin Vantage GTE in 3:50:837). By Melissa Warren

Track action (Photo by  Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by  Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by  Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by  Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by  Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by  Melissa Warren) Track action (Photo by  Melissa Warren)

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