2017 24 Hours of Le Mans: Kamui Kobayashi secures provisional pole for Toyota in LMP1 class
The first qualifying session for the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans concluded yesterday, with Toyota Gazoo Racing's Kamui Kobayashi taking provisional pole in the LMP1 class. The session was initially delayed by 20 minutes due to a crash at the Porsche Curves, which called for barrier repairs. What was initially supposed to be a two-hour long qualifying session, was then cut down to 1hr40mins. Porsche's Timo Bernhard had initially set the fastest time in the No 2 919 Hybrid, clocking 3m19.710s. However, Kobayashi in the No 7 TS050 Hybrid, logged a quicker 3m18.793s just 15 minutes later, which remained unbeaten for the rest of the session.
His teammate, Kazuki Nakajima, logged 3m19.431s in the No 8 TS050 Hybrid, to take P2. Bernhard's lap time was quick enough to keep him at P3, just 0.248s ahead of Toyota's Nicolas Lapierre who took P4. Around 1.2s behind him taking P5, was Neel Jani in the No 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid. The only private team in the LMP1 category, in the No 4 ByKolles ENSO CLM car, clocked 3m28.887s to take P6.
In the LMP2 class, Matthieu Vaxiviere managed to set the fastest time in his No 28 TDS Oreca 07, logging 3m29.333s. Half a second behind him in P2, was Bruno Senna in the No 31 Rebellion Oreca 07, while Vitaly Petrov, in the No 25 Manor Oreca 07, took P3 with 3m30.502s. Karun Chandhok, in the No 34 Tockwith Ligier JSP 217, took P24 with a time of 3m41.628s.
Aston Martin managed to take provisional pole in both GTE classes this year. Marco Sorensen, in the No 95 Aston Martin Vantage, clocked 3m52.117s to take P1 in the GTE Pro class. Sam Bird, in the No 71 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE, clocked 3m52.235 to take P2, while teammate James Calado, in the No 51 488 GTE took P3 with a time of 3m53.123s. In the GTE Am class, Mathias Lauda took P1 in the No 98 Aston Martin Vantage with a time of 3m55.134s. Matteo Cairoli, in the No 77 Proton Porsche 911 RSR took P2 (3m55.692s), while Euan Hankey in the No 90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage took P3 (3m55.953s)
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