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WEC - Toyota Sets New Record to Take Pole at Le Mans


The no7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid will start from pole position for the start of Saturday’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, Round 3 of the FIA World Endurance Championship. 

WEC, 24 Heures du Mans, Motorsport

Find here all the pictures from the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans

Kamui Kobayashi set the fastest ever time recorded at Le Mans with the Japanese driver setting a 3m14.791 lap around the 13.6km circuit in Qualifying Practice 2, which was well inside the previous best pole time of 3m16.887 set by Porsche’s Neel Jani in 2015.

It is an all Toyota front row as the no8 TS050 was second quickest after Kazuki Nakajima set a 3m17.128, 2.337s behind his teammate and 0.131 ahead of Neel Jani in the no1 Porsche 919 Hybrid.  The no2 Porsche was 4th fastest followed by the no9 Toyota and the no4 Bykolles Racing Team ENSO-CLM.

The no97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage was the quickest of the LMGTE Pro competitors with Darren Turner posting a 3m50.837 lap, 0.191 seconds ahead of the no51 AF Corse Ferrari of James Calado, with the no95 Aston Martin of Richie Stanaway in 3rd ahead of the no71 F488 Ferrari of Sam Bird. 

The top four cars were split by just 0.249 seconds with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed cars were covered by just 0.058 seconds.  The no69 Ford was 5th and the no63 Corvette was 6th fastest ahead of the no92 Porsche in 7th.

The LMP2 class will be headed by the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca-Gibson after Alex Lynn set a blistering time of 3m25.352, well inside the previous best underlining the increase in performance the new for 2017 regulations have given the class.  To put this into perspective this time would have been good enough for the overall pole position in the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Lynn’s time was 0.197 faster than the no25 CEFC Manor TRS Racing Oreca 07, with Vitaly Petrov setting the best time of 3m25.549.  The no38 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca will head the second row of the LMP2 grid with Ho Pin Tung setting a time that was just 0.559 seconds behind the pole sitter.  He will be joined on row two by the no31 Vaillante Rebellion Oreca-Gibson after Bruno Senna set a 3m26.736 lap.

In the LMGTE Am class it was all smiles in the Larbre Competition garage as Fernando Rees put the team’s no50 Chevrolet Corvette, with its striking ‘art car’ livery, on to pole with a lap of 3m52.843, 0.390 ahead of Pedro Lamy in the no98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage.

Friday is the traditional rest day ahead of the race on Saturday 17 June, with the drivers taking part in the annual parade through the centre of Le Mans in the afternoon.  The 85th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will start at 15h00 on Saturday and conclude on Sunday.