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Le Mans 24h: Toyota tops first qualifying despite scare

Le Mans 24h: Toyota tops first qualifying despite scare
Jun 12, 2019, 10:05 PM

Kamui Kobayashi put Toyota on provisional pole for the Le Mans 24 Hours by topping Wednesday night's first qualifying session by just under half a second from the best of the SMP Racing machines.

Kobayashi set a 3m17.161s a little over 10 minutes in the two-hour night session to grab the early advantage for the #7 TS050 Hybrid, beating SMP driver Egor Orudzhev's best time in the #11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 by 0.472s.

But there was drama later on for the #7 machine, which suffered a violent head-on smash with the #31 DragonSpeed LMP2 at the Ford Chicane while Mike Conway was at the wheel.

Roberto Gonzalez had spun the #31 machine and was attempting to rejoin when he and Conway made contact that sent the #7 machine into the air, although both drivers were unhurt.

Third-fastest was the best of the Rebellion R-13s, with Thomas Laurent posting the #3 car's best time of 3m19.603s after a trip to the gravel at the second Mulsanne chicane.

The FIA World Endurance Championship points-leading #8 Toyota was only fourth-fastest with a time 2.676s slower than that of its sister car.

Fernando Alonso set the car's fastest time with just five minutes left on the clock, a 3m19.837s, two tenths behind Laurent.

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso

Photo by: Nikolaz Godet

Ben Hanley's early effort in the customer DragonSpeed BR1 was good enough for a provisional fifth on the grid, three seconds off the pace and a tenth up on the #1 Rebellion of Neel Jani. That came prior to a lengthy spell in the garage for the #10 car due to gearbox trouble.

The second SMP BR1 of Stoffel Vandoorne was seventh, ahead of the ByKolles ENSO CLM P1/01 whose best time was set by Tom Dillmann.

LMP2: Maldonado puts DragonSpeed ahead

Despite the incident with the #7 Toyota, the #31 DragonSpeed Oreca was quickest in LMP2 thanks to a 3m26.804s effort from ex-Formula 1 driver Pastor Maldonado.

Nicolas Lapierre was second, 0.131s behind at the wheel of the #36 Signatech Alpine Oreca, followed by the best of the Ligiers, the #22 United Autosports car of Filipe Albuquerque.

Practice pacesetter IDEC Sport and Duqueine Engineering ensured it was an all-Michelin top five, with the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing car the best of the Dunlop-shod runners in sixth.

GTE: Ford leads Porsche

GTE Pro was topped by Ford thanks to a last-ditch lap by Harry Tincknell in the #67 GT.

Tincknell set a time of 3m49.530s to move to the summit a couple of minutes before the end of the session, eclipsing Nick Tandy in the #93 Porsche 911 RSR by a scant 0.028s.

#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Jonathan Bomarito

#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Jonathan Bomarito

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt

With around 20 minutes left on the clock, Antonio Garcia had posted a 3m49.467s in the #63 Corvette C7.R, only for it to be disallowed because he improved under yellow flags.

Aston Martin was third-fastest, as Alex Lynn's early best time of 3m50.037s in the #97 Vantage GTE was edged in the closing stages, while the remaining three Porsches - led by Frederic Makowiecki in the #91 car - filled out the top six places in class.

Aston's second car was next up followed by the best respective entries from Ferrari and BMW, while Corvette's top car ended up 11th after Garcia's time was scrubbed.

A spin for Olivier Pla at the exit of the final Porsche Curve in the #66 Ford left that car 17th and last.

The #77 Dempsey-Proton Porsche led the way in GTE Am courtesy of Matteo Cairoli's best lap of 3m52.454s, which was enough to top the class by 0.296s from Jorg Bergmeister in the #56 Project 1 Porsche.

Julien Andlauer made it an all-Porsche top three in the #88 Dempsey-Proton machine with a late improvement ahead of the #98 Aston Martin.

The #99 Proton Porsche, severely damaged in Tracy Krohn's practice crash earlier in the day, did not appear on track in first qualifying.

Session results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Time Gap
1 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 3'17.161  
2 17 France Stéphane Sarrazin
Russian Federation Egor Orudzhev
Russian Federation Sergey Sirotkin
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 3'17.633 0.472
3 3 France Thomas Laurent
France Nathanael Berthon
United States Gustavo Menezes
Rebellion R13 LMP1 3'19.603 2.442
4 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
Spain Fernando Alonso
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 3'19.632 2.471
5 10 Sweden Henrik Hedman
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 3'20.200 3.039
6 1 Switzerland Neel Jani
Germany Andre Lotterer
Brazil Bruno Senna
Rebellion R13 LMP1 3'20.297 3.136
7 11 Russian Federation Vitaly Petrov
Russian Federation Mikhail Aleshin
Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 3'20.934 3.773
8 4 France Tom Dillmann
United Kingdom Oliver Webb
Italy Paolo Ruberti
ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 3'25.246 8.085
9 31 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'26.804 9.643
10 36 France Nicolas Lapierre
Brazil Andre Negrao
France Pierre Thiriet
Alpine A470 LMP2 3'26.935 9.774
11 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'27.338 10.177
12 48 France Paul Lafargue
France Paul-Loup Chatin
Mexico Memo Rojas
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'27.847 10.686
13 30 France Nico Jamin
France Pierre Ragues
France Romain Dumas
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'28.653 11.492
14 38 China Ho-Pin Tung
Monaco Stéphane Richelmi
France Gabriel Aubry
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'28.738 11.577
15 28 France François Perrodo
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
France Loic Duval
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'28.840 11.679
16 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Dallara P217 LMP2 3'28.909 11.748
17 26 Russian Federation Roman Rusinov
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
France Jean-Eric Vergne
Aurus 01 LMP2 3'29.107 11.946
18 25 France David Zollinger
France Andrea Pizzitola
United States John Falb
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.126 11.965
19 37 Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
United Kingdom Jordan King
United States Ricky Taylor
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.498 12.337
20 32 Ireland Ryan Cullen
United Kingdom Alex Brundle
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'29.583 12.422
21 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Andrea Belicchi
Dallara P217 LMP2 3'29.748 12.587
22 23 Austria Rene Binder
France Julien Canal
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'29.821 12.660
23 34 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
United Kingdom James Winslow
United Kingdom Nigel Moore
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'30.744 13.583
24 39 France Tristan Gommendy
France Vincent Capillaire
Switzerland Jonathan Hirschi
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.970 13.809
25 43 Canada John Farano
India Arjun Maini
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.017 13.856
26 20 Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Denmark Dennis Andersen
Switzerland Mathias Beche
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.945 15.784
27 49 Slovakia Miro Konopka
Sweden Henning Enqvist
Russian Federation Konstantin Tereshchenko
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'35.480 18.319
28 50 France Erwin Creed
France Romano Ricci
United States Nicholas Boulle
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'38.663 21.502
29 67 Guernsey Andy Priaulx
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
United States Jonathan Bomarito
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 3'49.530 32.369
30 93 France Patrick Pilet
New Zealand Earl Bamber
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'49.558 32.397
31 97 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
Belgium Maxime Martin
United Kingdom Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 3'50.037 32.876
32 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'50.099 32.938
33 94 Germany Sven Muller
France Mathieu Jaminet
Norway Dennis Olsen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'50.278 33.117
34 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'50.468 33.307
35 95 Denmark Marco Sorensen
Denmark Nicki Thiim
United Kingdom Darren Turner
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 3'50.812 33.651
36 71 Italy Davide Rigon
United Kingdom Sam Bird
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'50.850 33.689
37 81 Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Germany Martin Tomczyk
Austria Philipp Eng
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 3'51.476 34.315
38 69 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
New Zealand Scott Dixon
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 3'51.821 34.660
39 63 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Spain Antonio Garcia
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Chevrolet Corvette C7R LMGTE PRO 3'52.109 34.948
40 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Brazil Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'52.128 34.967
41 88 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Italy Giorgio Roda
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'52.454 35.293
42 64 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Switzerland Marcel Fassler
Chevrolet Corvette C7R LMGTE PRO 3'52.490 35.329
43 56 Germany Jörg Bergmeister
United States Patrick Lindsey
Norway Egidio Perfetti
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'52.750 35.589
44 89 Brazil Pipo Derani
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
France Jules Gounon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'52.997 35.836
45 68 United States Joey Hand
Germany Dirk Muller
France Sébastien Bourdais
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 3'53.053 35.892
46 77 Australia Matt Campbell
Germany Christian Ried
France Julien Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'53.408 36.247
47 82 Brazil Augusto Farfus
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
Finland Jesse Krohn
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 3'53.498 36.337
48 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Portugal Pedro Lamy
Austria Mathias Lauda
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 3'53.530 36.369
49 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'53.793 36.632
50 66 Germany Stefan Mücke
France Olivier Pla
United States Billy Johnson
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 3'53.793 36.632
51 90 Turkey Salih Yoluc
United Kingdom Euan Hankey
Ireland Charles Eastwood
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 3'53.974 36.813
52 78 Italy Louis Prette
Italy Philippe Prette
France Vincent Abril
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'54.324 37.163
53 84 United States Jeff Segal
Brazil Rodrigo Baptista
Canada Wei Lu
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'54.513 37.352
54 70 Japan Motoaki Ishikawa
Monaco Olivier Beretta
Italy Eddie Cheever III
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'54.737 37.576
55 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Germany Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'55.033 37.872
56 62 United States Cooper MacNeil
Finland Toni Vilander
United Kingdom Robert Smith
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'55.544 38.383
57 57 Japan Takeshi Kimura
Italy Kei Cozzolino
France Côme Ledogar
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'56.034 38.873
58 61 Argentina Luis Perez Companc
Ireland Matthew Griffin
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'56.072 38.911
59 60 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Andrea Piccini
Italy Sergio Pianezzola
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'56.147 38.986
60 83 Italy Manuela Gostner
Switzerland Rahel Frey
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'56.333 39.172
61 85 United States Ben Keating
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Ford GT LMGTE AM 3'56.579 39.418
62 99 United States Tracy Krohn
Sweden Nic Jönsson
United States Patrick Long
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM    
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About this article

Series Le Mans
Event 24 Hours of Le Mans
Author Jamie Klein