Kobayashi reckoned he had the “chance to go faster” in Hyperpole

Kamui Kobayashi of the #7 pole-sitting Toyota GAZOO Racing praised his TS050’s pace after getting close on his reigning qualifying record.

Hyperpole, the second of two qualifying sessions ahead of this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, took place earlier this morning.

The 30 minute session presented a fight for pole between Rebellion Racing and Toyota GAZOO Racing in the presence of less traffic, eventually taken by Kobayashi in the #7.

Kobayashi, who set a time of 3m15.267s, said: “I am really happy to be on pole position again.

“The team did a great job to prepare our car for this,” having made the most of the condensed schedule which packed four free practices and two qualifying sessions into two days.

He reflected on his on-track pursuits: “In Hyperpole, we had two chances to set a quick lap so we played it a bit safe with the first one.

“On the second one, I pushed to the maximum but unfortunately I had to abandon the lap.

“It had been a quick lap up until then; I was trying to break my record (3m14.791s set in qualifying, 2017) and it was close.

“I think there was a chance to go faster so it’s a pity it was deleted,” after exceeding track limits despite being on a lap which would have beaten his previous reigning record.

“Race speed looked good in practice so now we have to do the 24 hours.

“We have worked really hard to get to this point so we will do our best for the race.”