Le Mans 24H: Toyota GAZOO Racing takes pole, Porsche tops GTEs in Hyperpole qualifying

Toyota GAZOO Racing took overall pole position in an exciting Hyperpole session ahead of the final 24 Hours of Le Mans for their TS050 Hybrid LMP1.

This 30-minute thrilling session featured a thinned-out grid of competitors (23 cars) after yesterday’s initial qualifying session.

Teams would put one of their drivers into the cars to put down flat-out lap times using two dedicated sets of tyres for Hyperpole.

There was a fight for outright pole position in LMP1 as Rebellion’s Gustavo Menezez in the #1 asserted strong pace up against the Hybrid Toyotas.

A handful of ultra-fast lap times by Kamui Kobayashi put the #7 into pole position with a time of 3m15.267s.

On his final flying lap, he was set to beat his own Le Mans (qualifying) track record, but exceeded track limits to diminish that attempt.

The #1 Rebellion split the two Toyotas with a final time of 3m15.822s, over eight-tenths faster than the #8, a two-time reigning winner at Le Mans.

Behind the #3, was the #4 ByKolles which struggled to assert the pace against its LMP1 rivals. It set a time of 3m23.043s, nearly five seconds away from the fourth-placed #3 Rebellion Racing.

The #22 United Autosports topped the LMP2 category with a time of 3m24.528s in the hands of Paul Di Resta.

Just over three-tenths behind were the #26 G Drive Racing crew, as two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne set a 3m24.860s.

Racing Team Nederland qualified third in LMP2, after a brief moment at the entry to the Porsche Curves where he ran wide into the gravel. He recovered, and that #29 car later put down a time of 3m25.062s.

Behind the #33 High Class Racing, was the sister #32 United Autosports.

The only team (#37 Jackie Chan DC Racing) with Goodyear tyres (in Hyperpole) rounded the top-six in LMP2.

Gianmaria Bruni took the #91 Porsche to the fastest of the GTEs with a 3m50.874s, closely followed by reigning GTE-Pro Le Mans champions in the #51 AF Corse.

Behind were the two Aston Martins; the #95 qualified ahead of the #97 after both topping yesterday’s qualifying session.

Ferrari manufacturer driver and Formula E regular Sam Bird took the #71 ahead of Michael Christensen’s #92 Porsche.

In the Am class, Luzich Racing took pole +0.056s ahead of the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing.

The #56 Team Project 1 followed behind with a time of 3m51.647s, ahead of the #98 Aston Martin Racing.

TF Sport ahead of the #86 Gulf Racing both rounded off the top-six in the GTE-Am category.

1 1 #7 Toyota GAZOO Racing 3m15.267s
2 2 #1 Rebellion Racing 3m15.822s 0.555s
3 3 #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing 3m16.649s 0.827s
4 4 #3 Rebellion Racing 3m18.330s 1.681s
5 5 #4 ByKolles Racing 3m23.043s 4.713s
6 1 #22 United Autosports 3m24.528s
7 2 #26 G-Drive Racing 3m24.860s 0.332s
8 3 #29 Racing Team Nederland 3m25.062s 0.202s
9 4 #33 High Class Racing 3m25.426s 0.364s
10 5 #32 United Autosports 3m25.671s 0.245s
11 6 #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing 3m25.875s 0.204s
12 1 #91 Porsche GT Team 3m50.874s
13 2 #51 AF Corse 3m51.115s 0.241s
14 3 #95 Aston Martin Racing 3m51.241s 0.126s
15 4 #97 Aston Martin Racing 3m51.324s 0.083s
16 5 #71 AF Corse 3m51.515s 0.191s
17 6 #92 Porsche GT Team 3m51.770s 0.255s
18 1 #61 Luzich Racing 3m51.266s
19 2 #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing 3m51.322s 0.056s
20 3 #56 Team Project 1 3m51.647s 0.325s
21 4 #98 Aston Martin Racing 3m52.105s 0.458s
22 5 #90 TF Sport 3m52.299s 0.194s
23 6 #86 Gulf Racing 3m52.346s 0.047s