Nakajima claims pole for Toyota at Le Mans

Le Mans (Photo by Melissa Warren)In a heavily interrupted final qualifying session for this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, Kazuki Nakajima claimed pole position for the No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing car he will share with Fernando Alonso and Sébastien Buemi with a time of 3:15.377.

The Japanese driver was one of a few to make an improvement since Wednesday, and he finished the session a full two seconds ahead of the sister TS050 HYBRID, to make it a Toyota 1-2 on the starting grid for the second round of the WEC Super Season.

Kazuki Nakajima said: “I was more or less at the maximum on that lap, I had no traffic so I cannot complain too much. It was much better than yesterday when I didn’t feel as good grip as today. The lap time was not as good as I expected but I have to be happy with it. More importantly I had a really good balance for the race trim and we are ready for the race.”

The third session was extended by 30 minutes to balance a red-flag-shortened early evening qualifying and, although it started in the dry, rain began to fall over the track towards the chequered flag.

Rebellion Racing claimed third place with the No.1 Rebellion R13-Gibson of Bruno Senna (3:19.449), just four hundredths of a second behind was the No.17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1-AER. Thomas Laurent in the No.3 Rebellion actually set a faster time but was one of several drivers to have his times deleted for pit infringements.

In LMP2 Paul Loup Chatin took pole position at the very last second with a lap of 3:24.842 at the wheel of the No.48 IDEC Sport ORECA 07 Gibson. He was in front of the No.31 DragonSpeed of Nathanael Berthon (3:24.883 and the No.26 G-Drive Racing with Jean-Eric Vergne at the wheel who recorded a lap of 3:25.160.

Porsche seal the double in LMGTE for Le Mans

In the LMGTE Pro battle it will be Porsche on pole position after Gimmi Bruni’s 3:47.504 lap, set on Wednesday, wasn’t bettered. The No.91 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR thus secured the top spot in the world championship class, nearly 1.6 seconds ahead of the sister No.92 Porsche with Michael Christensen posting the fastest lap.

Gianmaria Bruni, No.91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR (LMGTE Pro Pole Position) said: “It is something very good, I think yesterday was a really good lap, I was able to put it all together. I had a bit of a slipstream from another car which helped. The car was well balanced and I tried to go faster on the next lap but it didn’t work and I spun over the gravel. But better yesterday than today or Saturday. It is 70 years of Porsche with this special livery which we have talked a lot about this week and it feels so good to be working with this special family.”

The No.66 Ford GT will start in third place with a lap of 3:49.181, three tenths ahead of the reigning world champions Ferrari.

Le Mans (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans (Photo by Melissa Warren) 

 

 

 

The LMGTE Am battle once again saw Porsche see off the challenge to take the top three places in the class. Matteo Cairoli was confirmed as the fastest driver to secure the class pole with a 3:50.728 lap in the No.88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche, six tenths ahead of Ben Barker in the No.86 Gulf Racing 911, with the No.77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche in third.
The No.54 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella was fourth fastest, 1.2 seconds behind the pole position car.

Matteo Cairoli, no88 Dempsey–Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR (LMGTE Am Pole position) said: “It is something special to be on pole position at Le Mans, it is really amazing. I’m really proud of the team, they did an amazing job. I’m a little bit disappointed about the last session, I had a spin in Mulsanne. Luckily everything was fine. We are pretty confidant for the race and I just can’t wait to start the race.”

Le Mans (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans (Photo by Melissa Warren) Le Mans (Photo by Melissa Warren) Fernando Alonso (Photo by Melissa Warren)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Qualifying results

1 8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H 3:17.270 2 3:18.021 8 3:15.377 2 3:15.377
2 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 - Hybrid LMP1 H 3:17.377 2 3:19.860 10 3:17.523 3 3:17.377 +2.000
3 1 Rebellion Racing Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 3:19.662 5 3:23.261 5 3:19.449 2 3:19.449 +4.072
4 17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 - AER LMP1 3:19.483 3 3:27.288 2 3:22.121 2 3:19.483 +4.106
5 3 Rebellion Racing Rebellion R13 - Gibson LMP1 3:19.945 2 3:22.000 5 3:24.156 21 3:19.945 +4.568
6 10 Dragonspeed BR Engineering BR1 - Gibson LMP1 3:21.110 2 4:05.947 4 3:23.413 6 3:21.110 +5.733
7 11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 - AER LMP1 3:21.408 28 3:22.548 2 3:21.408 +6.031
8 4 Bykolles Racing Team Enso CLM P1/01 - Nismo LMP1 3:22.505 2 3:25.330 2 3:42.221 3 3:22.505 +7.128
9 6 CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta G60-LT-P1 - Mecachrome LMP1 3:30.339 9 3:24.343 12 3:23.757 3 3:23.757 +8.380
10 48 Idec Sport Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 3:24.956 5 3:29.270 5 3:24.842 2 3:24.842 +9.465
11 31 Dragonspeed Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 3:26.508 2 3:30.168 3 3:24.883 2 3:24.883 +9.506
12 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 3:26.447 2 3:27.975 8 3:25.160 2 3:25.160 +9.783
13 28 TDS Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 3:25.240 3 3:25.291 7 3:38.752 15 3:25.240 +9.863
14 5 CEFC TRSM Racing Ginetta G60-LT-P1 - Mecachrome LMP1 3:30.481 3 3:25.268 5 3:32.100 9 3:25.268 +9.891
15 23 Panis Barthez Competition Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 3:29.421 12 3:28.008 2 3:25.376 2 3:25.376 +9.999
16 36 Signatech Alpine Matmut Alpine A470 - Gibson LMP2 3:26.681 2 3:28.069 6 3:27.297 11 3:26.681 +11.304
17 39 Graff-SO24 Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 3:29.860 2 3:26.701 5 3:29.696 5 3:26.701 +11.324
18 22 United Autosports Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 3:26.772 2 3:32.989 11 3:27.646 2 3:26.772 +11.395
19 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 3:27.999 27 3:31.581 11 3:27.120 5 3:27.120 +11.743
20 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 3:27.468 20 3:40.074 10 3:27.226 2 3:27.226 +11.849
21 40 G-Drive Racing Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2 3:31.291 5 3:27.280 2 3:27.503 2 3:27.280 +11.903
22 47 Cetilar Villorba Corse Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 3:27.993 2 3:28.292 5 3:27.993 +12.616
23 29 Racing Team Nederland Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 3:28.556 29 3:32.343 2 3:28.111 7 3:28.111 +12.734
24 32 United Autosports Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 3:30.347 24 3:28.159 6 3:29.299 3 3:28.159 +12.782
25 35 SMP Racing Dallara P217 - Gibson LMP2 3:28.629 27 3:32.178 11 3:32.432 10 3:28.629 +13.252
26 34 Jackie Chan DC Racing Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 3:33.755 3 3:36.004 6 3:29.474 2 3:29.474 +14.097
27 44 Eurasia Motorsport Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 3:35.385 27 3:39.949 4 3:33.585 4 3:33.585 +18.208
28 33 Jackie Chan DC Racing Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 3:35.237 2 3:36.604 5 3:36.517 2 3:35.237 +19.860
29 50 Larbre Competition Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 3:38.206 5 3:39.569 9 3:39.401 4 3:38.206 +22.829
30 25 Algarve Pro Racing Ligier JSP217 - Gibson LMP2 3:44.177 3 3:46.772 7 3:39.518 3 3:39.518 +24.141
31 91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro 3:47.504 2 3:51.150 5 3:50.141 2 3:47.504 +32.127
32 92 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro 3:49.097 2 3:51.101 7 3:51.631 7 3:49.097 +33.720
33 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT LMGTE Pro 3:49.181 6 3:52.849 5 3:50.166 9 3:49.181 +33.804
34 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro 3:49.854 2 3:53.032 6 3:49.494 2 3:49.494 +34.117
35 68 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Ford GT LMGTE Pro 3:49.582 8 3:53.352 7 3:50.706 3 3:49.582 +34.205
36 93 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro 3:50.261 17 3:49.621 2 3:49.589 3 3:49.589 +34.212
37 69 Ford Chip Ganassi Team USA Ford GT LMGTE Pro 3:50.593 4 3:52.298 7 3:49.761 4 3:49.761 +34.384
38 94 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Pro 3:50.089 7 3:50.089 +34.712
39 63 Corvette Racing - GM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R LMGTE Pro 3:50.789 6 3:52.994 7 3:50.242 12 3:50.242 +34.865
40 71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro 3:50.669 2 3:53.998 6 3:50.246 3 3:50.246 +34.869
41 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK Ford GT LMGTE Pro 3:50.429 2 3:53.883 2 3:52.292 13 3:50.429 +35.052
42 82 BMW Team MTEK BMW M8 GTE LMGTE Pro 3:50.579 15 3:53.999 7 3:52.123 4 3:50.579 +35.202
43 81 BMW Team MTEK BMW M8 GTE LMGTE Pro 3:50.596 8 3:55.150 6 3:53.078 4 3:50.596 +35.219
44 88 Dempsey - Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am 3:50.728 2 4:09.946 5 3:56.232 4 3:50.728 +35.351
45 64 Corvette Racing - GM Chevrolet Corvette C7.R LMGTE Pro 3:50.952 5 3:52.923 6 3:51.124 10 3:50.952 +35.575
46 52 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE Pro 3:52.112 2 3:52.572 2 3:50.957 3 3:50.957 +35.580
47 86 Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am 3:52.517 2 4:03.603 6 3:51.391 3 3:51.391 +36.014
48 77 Dempsey - Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am 3:51.930 2 4:09.835 6 3:51.930 +36.553
49 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am 3:52.756 2 3:51.956 6 3:56.496 15 3:51.956 +36.579
50 97 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE Pro 3:52.486 2 3:55.424 7 3:53.534 3 3:52.486 +37.109
51 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am 3:52.985 5 3:58.235 8 3:54.406 7 3:52.985 +37.608
52 90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Am 3:55.661 15 4:01.710 8 3:53.070 4 3:53.070 +37.693
53 80 Ebimotors Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am 3:55.569 20 3:58.072 3 3:53.402 3 3:53.402 +38.025
54 61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am 3:55.076 2 3:55.727 6 3:53.409 3 3:53.409 +38.032
55 84 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am 3:54.384 6 3:53.439 6 3:58.615 12 3:53.439 +38.062
56 95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE Pro 3:54.780 21 3:56.630 2 3:53.523 2 3:53.523 +38.146
57 98 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE Am 3:54.307 2 3:58.707 7 3:53.817 4 3:53.817 +38.440
58 85 Keating Motorsports Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am 3:54.000 6 3:58.661 6 3:54.668 3 3:54.000 +38.623
59 99 Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE Am 4:03.107 2 3:54.720 6 3:54.953 12 3:54.720 +39.343
60 70 MR Racing Ferrari F488 GTE LMGTE Am 3:54.951 2 4:02.540 12 3:55.343 3 3:54.951 +39.574  . By Melissa Warren

 

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