Le Mans 24h: #7 Toyota tops qualifying, Hyperpole slots locked in

Toyota's #7 crew of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez topped the first qualifying session at the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours, leading Alpine prior to Thursday's Hyperpole session.

Kobayashi set the session's benchmark time of 3m26.279s aboard his Toyota GR010 Hybrid in the first half of Wednesday night's one-hour qualifying, going over a second quicker than teammate Brendon Hartley in the sister #8 car that currently leads the FIA World Endurance Championship points standings.

In the second half of the session, Alpine driver Matthieu Vaxiviere split the two Toyotas with the second-fastest time, lapping eight tenths off Kobayashi's best in the #36 Alpine A480-Gibson.

The pair of Glickenhaus Racing 007 LMH cars finished fourth and fifth in the five-car class, with all LMH entrants progressing to Thursday night's Hyperpole shootout comprised of the six fastest entries in each class.

Test day pace-setter Olivier Pla set the fastest time in the #708 Glickenhaus, which beat the fastest of the LMP2 entries into fourth overall.

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In LMP2, Antonio Felix da Costa brought his #26 JOTA Oreca 07 to the top of the timesheets with a 3m29.144s effort, 23 minutes before the end of the session.

The outgoing Formula E champion was four tenths quicker than his successor Nyck de Vries, who set the second time aboard the #26 G-Drive Aurus-badged Oreca.

Louis Deletraz ensured that WRT will be present in the Hyperpole shootout on the Belgian squad's first time at Le Mans, the Swiss managing a best effort of 3m29.441s to go third ahead of Will Stevens in the #65 Panis Racing car.

United Autosports managed to get two of its three cars into the Hyperpole session, with its #32 and #23 machines piloted by Nico Jamin and Paul di Resta both progressing at the expense of the WEC points-leading #22 entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Phil Hanson and Fabio Scherer, which only managed the 12th quickest effort.

The Le Mans GT lap record was broken by the top four runners in the GTE Pro class, as Ferrari locked out the top two spots.

Kevin Estre first dipped under the 3m47s barrier with a 3m46.779s lap in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR-19, but that was subsequently beaten by Daniel Serra in the #52 AF Corse Ferrari, whose new benchmark of 3m46.011s remained unbeaten until the end of the session.

The second #51 AF Corse Ferrari in the hands of James Calado launched up to second in the closing stages, with Estre clinging onto third amid a late charge from Nick Tandy's #64 Corvette C8.R.

Tandy's 3m47.074s lap put him into fourth, ahead of the privateer HubAuto Porsche of Dries Vanthoor, with Gianmaria Bruni completing the top six in the #91 works Porsche.

After a closely contested GTE Am qualifying battle, in which the top five runners all lapped faster than the #63 GTE Pro Corvette, the #88 Dempsey Proton Porsche topped the table by virtue of Julian Andlauer's 3m48.620s lap.

The Frenchman beat fellow Porsche runner Ben Barker's early 2m49.100s benchmark in the GR Racing example, while the #47 Cetilar and #71 Inception Racing Ferraris also progressed to Hyperpole courtesy of Le Mans rookies Antonio Fuoco and Ben Barnicoat.

Matteo Cairoli (#56 Team Project 1 Porsche) and Felipe Fraga (#33 TF Sport Aston Martin) completed the top six.

The session was interrupted by an early full-course yellow for an off by IDEC Sport LMP2 driver Paul-Loup Chatin at Tertre Rouge, the Frenchman clattering the barriers in his #48 Oreca and losing his rear wing in the process.

Le Mans 24 Hours - Qualifying results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Avg Time Gap
1 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 3'26.279
2 36 Brazil Andre Negrao
France Nicolas Lapierre
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
Alpine A480 HYPERCAR 3'27.095 0.816
3 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 3'27.671 1.392
4 708 Brazil Pipo Derani
France Franck Mailleux
France Olivier Pla
Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 3'28.256 1.977
5 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'28.807 2.528
6 26 Russian Federation Roman Rusinov
Argentina Franco Colapinto
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Aurus 01 LMP2 3'29.246 2.967
7 709 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
France Romain Dumas
Glickenhaus 007 LMH HYPERCAR 3'29.381 3.102
8 41 Poland Robert Kubica
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
China Ye Yifei
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.441 3.162
9 65 France Julien Canal
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Australia James Allen
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.508 3.229
10 32 France Nico Jamin
South Africa Jonathan Aberdein
Venezuela Manuel Maldonado
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.688 3.409
11 23 United Kingdom Paul di Resta
United Kingdom Alex Lynn
United Kingdom Wayne Boyd
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.830 3.551
12 28 Indonesia Sean Gelael
Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne
United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.835 3.556
13 70 Switzerland Esteban Garcia
France Loic Duval
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'29.861 3.582
14 24 United States Patrick Kelly
France Gabriel Aubry
Switzerland Simon Trummer
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.123 3.844
15 48 France Paul Lafargue
France Paul-Loup Chatin
France Patrick Pilet
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.166 3.887
16 31 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
France Charles Milesi
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.182 3.903
17 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Switzerland Fabio Scherer
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.234 3.955
18 21 Sweden Henrik Hedman
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.323 4.044
19 82 Ireland Ryan Cullen
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
Brazil Felipe Nasr
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.418 4.139
20 30 Austria Rene Binder
Guillermo Rojas
France Tristan Gommendy
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.691 4.412
21 17 United States Dwight Merriman
France Thomas Laurent
United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.709 4.430
22 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.843 4.564
23 34 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
United Kingdom Alex Brundle
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.908 4.629
24 25 United States John Falb
Spain Roberto Merhi
Portugal Rui Andrade
Aurus 01 LMP2 3'31.203 4.924
25 49 Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Denmark Jan Magnussen
Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.830 5.551
26 20 Denmark Dennis Andersen
United States Ricky Taylor
Denmark Marco Sorensen
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.252 5.973
27 44 Slovakia Miro Konopka
United Kingdom Oliver Webb
Slovakia Matej Konopka
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.446 6.167
28 1 Colombia Tatiana Calderon
Germany Sophia Flörsch
Netherlands Beitske Visser
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.598 6.319
29 84 Takuma Aoki
Belgium Nigel Bailly
France Matthieu Lahaye
Oreca 07 INNOVATIVE CAR 3'33.538 7.259
30 39 France Vincent Capillaire
Arnold Robin
France Maxime Robin
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'34.005 7.726
31 74 United Kingdom James Winslow
Australia John Corbett
Tom Cloet
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'36.012 9.733
32 52 Brazil Daniel Serra
Spain Miguel Molina
United Kingdom Sam Bird
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'46.011 19.732
33 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
France Côme Ledogar
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'46.581 20.302
34 92 France Kevin Estre
Switzerland Neel Jani
Denmark Michael Christensen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'46.779 20.500
35 64 United States Tommy Milner
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
United Kingdom Alexander Sims
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 3'47.074 20.795
36 72 Belgium Dries Vanthoor
Portugal Alvaro Parente
Belgium Maxime Martin
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'47.599 21.320
37 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'47.624 21.345
38 79 United States Cooper MacNeil
New Zealand Earl Bamber
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'47.682 21.403
39 88 France Julien Andlauer
United States Dominique Bastien
Lance Arnold
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'48.620 22.341
40 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
United Kingdom Tom Gamble
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'49.100 22.821
41 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Antonio Fuoco
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'49.102 22.823
42 71 Brendan Iribe
United Kingdom Ollie Millroy
United Kingdom Ben Barnicoat
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'49.462 23.183
43 56 Norway Egidio Perfetti
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Italy Riccardo Pera
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'49.608 23.329
44 63 Spain Antonio Garcia
United States Jordan Taylor
Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 3'49.643 23.364
45 33 United States Ben Keating
Dylan Pereira
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'49.663 23.384
46 80 Italy Matteo Cressoni
Italy Rino Mastronardi
United Kingdom Callum Ilott
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'49.693 23.414
47 57 Japan Takeshi Kimura
Australia Scott Andrews
Denmark Mikkel Jensen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'49.715 23.436
48 99 United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
Vuttikhorn Inthraphuvasak
Florian Latorre
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'49.788 23.509
49 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'49.829 23.550
50 83 France François Perrodo
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Italy Alessio Rovera
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'49.881 23.602
51 77 Germany Christian Ried
Australia Jaxon Evans
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'49.913 23.634
52 18 Indonesia Andrew Haryanto
Belgium Alessio Picariello
Germany Marco Seefried
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'50.016 23.737
53 388 Germany Pierre Ehret
Germany Christian Hook
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'50.018 23.739
54 95 United Kingdom John Hartshorne
Ollie Hancock
United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'50.059 23.780
55 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Brazil Marcos Gomes
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'50.156 23.877
56 85 Switzerland Rahel Frey
Belgium Sarah Bovy
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'50.314 24.035
57 60 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Paolo Ruberti
Italy Raffaele Giammaria
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'50.768 24.489
58 777 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Japan Tomonobu Fujii
United Kingdom Andrew Watson
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'51.107 24.828
59 46 Norway Dennis Olsen
Norway Anders Buchardt
Robert Foley
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'51.411 25.132
60 55 United Kingdom Duncan Cameron
South Africa David Perel
Ireland Matthew Griffin
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'52.088 25.809
61 66 France Thomas Neubauer
United States Rodrigo Sales
United Kingdom Jody Fannin
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'52.304 26.025
62 69 Germany Robert Renauer
Germany Ralf Bohn
Switzerland Rolf Ineichen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'52.960 26.681
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