Toyota takes the pole in qualifying at 2014 Le Mans

Team OD Updated: June 14, 2014, 12:26 PM IST

Toyota sealed pole position in 24 Hours of Le Mans after fending off Audi and Porsche in an intense qualifying session. This team comprises of Kazuki Nakajima, Alex Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin. Toyota's TS040 hybrid posted a lap time of 3m21.789secs thanks to Kazuki. In second place is Porsche's 919 hybrid with a lap time of 3m22.146secs. Third position also went to the second Toyota team with a lap time of 3m22.523secs.


Things were pretty unfortunate for defending champions #1 Audi. First their driver Loic Duval suffered a huge crash during free practice which damaged the car badly. He was immediately rushed to the hospital though he wasn't hurt much and was released later. While qualifying Lucas di Grassi ran wide and crashed the rebuilt #1 Audi into the barrier. Though the damage wasn't much this time and the car was still moving. Then as he was about to enter pit lane, he was hit by Leo Roussel in the LMP2 Pegasus Morgan, bringing the entire session to a grinding halt.

Audi still managed to secure places 5, 6 and 7 in qualifying with the defending #1 Audi at seventh on the grid. This is the first time that Toyota has qualified first at Le Mans after its return in 2012. Porsche also did a great job in its first race after a 16 year absence. Will the newcomers dominate the race or is it just beginner's luck?

Meanwhile, Karun Chandhok managed to finish sixth in the qualifying in the LMP2 category racing for Murphy Prototypes in Oreca 03R Nissan. Sadly for him, he suffered a huge crash, hitting the barrier at about 270kmph. Karun said, "Well obviously it's a disappointing end for the boys and for myself. It was a really weird accident that caught me out by surprise. I came out of Indianapolis and on the exit the car just snapped to the right. Fortunately it went quite sharply to the right and hit the barrier square on so the front crash structure seemed to absorb the impact. I am glad I have the day today to recover but am confident of being strong for tomorrow. The car has been competitive all week and we've got a good team of guys to get it ready for the race so we should be in good shape."

Lots of action is set to take place in the grueling 24 hour-long  race. Stay with us for live updates on twitter @odmag.


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