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2018 24 Hours of Le Mans - Toyota Top First Qualifying

Le Mans Quali 1.jpg

Toyota set the fastest time tonight in first qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hours at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

With the session run under lights at the great French racing venue showcasing Le Mans at its visceral best, the opening qualification session for the Le Mans 24 Hours would be another Toyota benefit in the LMP1 category, with the #8 of Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi taking the quickest time ahead of the sister #7 machine of Jose Maria Lopez. Third would be the #17 SMP Racing of Stephane Sarrazin just over 2 seconds off the mark.

In LMP2, fastest would be the #48 IDEC Sport Oreca of Paul-Loup Chatin, confirming fears that the Oreca would remain the stand out car to beat as all five of the first positions would be occupied by the French manufacturer. Of the others in LMP2, Paul di Resta and United Autosports would end up in sixth place for United Autosports, visibly slower on track than the dominant Oreca cars.

The session would be a tense affair for many teams and drivers this evening, often seeing the limits of both the circuit and the vehicles pushed beyond reasonable boundaries, resulting in some heavy work to be undertaken overnight in preparation for second qualifying on Thursday afternoon.

Tony Kannan would be in the wars in his Chip Ganassi run Ford GT, the vastly experienced IndyCar race winner losing control with just over 50 minutes remaining and finishing in the barriers facing the wrong way, the Brazilian fortunately managing to avoid serous damage in during his incident prior to heading back for late repairs on his way to continuing the brave fight against a strong Porsche contingent.

GTE would end up with Porsche 1 - 2, Ford just keeping the pace in a watching brief in third and fourth, just edging off the second row the #51 AF Corse Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi.

Qualifying One Provisional Results:

LMP1
#8 Toyota TS050-Hybrid – Toyota Gazoo Racing – 3:17.270
#7 Toyota TS050-Hybrid – Toyota Gazoo Racing – 3:17.377
#17 BR Engineering BR1-AER – SMP Racing – 3:19.483

LMP2
#48 Oreca 07-Gibson – Idec Sport Racing – 3:24.956
#28 Oreca 07-Gibson – TDS Racing – 3:25.240
#26 Oreca 07-Gibson – G-Drive Racing – 3:26.447

LMGTE Pro
#91 Porsche 911 RSR – Porsche GT Team – 3:47.504
#92 Porsche 911 RSR – Porsche GT Team – 3:49.097
#66 Ford GT – Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK – 3:49.181

LMGTE Am
#88 Porsche 911 RSR – Dempsey-Proton Racing – 3:50.728
#77 Porsche 911 RSR – Dempsey-Proton Racing – 3:51.930
#86 Porsche 911 RSR – Gulf Racing – 3:52.517

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Did you enjoy qualifying? Any surprises you didn't expect? Who do you think will take the pole? Let us know in the comments section below!
 
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.
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farjam

500RPM
Jun 4, 2017
835
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wow, Aston Martins are still nowhere near the top even with latest BoP's boost for them :|
their 2 LMGTE Pro entries lap times are :
3'52.486
and
3'54.780
their 2 LMGTE AM entries lap times are
3'54.307
and
3'55.661

also LMP1 Ginettas humiliated by LMP2s
_______________________
some BoP info :
screen196.jpg

______________________
 
Last edited:
Nov 3, 2015
814
234
I forsee much BoP adjustment in GTE Pro still, which is probably going to mess up their strategies & setups :p I kinda suspect the Am porsches are going to get hit too. The BMWs looked like they were OK at one point & then just slid back down again.

LMP1 privateers looks like being an interesting race, SMP looking better than the test day. The Ginettas are so undeveloped, it'll be a win for them if they even make it halfway.
 

Koen Verlinde

500RPM
Sep 12, 2011
925
503
If you have a 40" screen, chances are high you can afford the €10 subscribing fee to the WEC app as well.

About quali, Porsche and Ford went way too fast, not sure what they were trying to do, cause they're screaming for a BoP nerf.
 

Andrew Harper

2000RPM
Dec 1, 2014
2,554
1,889
45
Last year they did 3 14, there's no real reason why they shouldn't do a 3 15 this year. Thing is, they don't need to.
They'll probably have one or two runs tonight and then leave it at that. The #7 car looked like it was on a quick one at a couple of points towards the end but just too much traffic. So they just stuck to night running and used it as a practice session.
 

davewilliams000

1000RPM
May 29, 2011
1,147
1,239
wow, Aston Martins are still nowhere near the top even with latest BoP's boost for them :|
their 2 LMGTE Pro entries lap times are :
3'52.486
and
3'54.780
their 2 LMGTE AM entries lap times are
3'54.307
and
3'55.661

also LMP1 Ginettas humiliated by LMP2s
_______________________
some BoP info :
View attachment 255744
______________________
Yeah very disapointed with Aston's times, especially as they have a decent BoP. More adjustments likely incoming. You have to wonder why the car is so slow when they've done over 20,000km in testing.

Glad to see Porsche on top this year. They were looking like they could win it last year at one point, and we were all drooling over that new exhaust note, which now is not new anymore, but is still glorious nonetheless. I prefer the Rothmans livery to the Ping Pig, but it's growing on me.

I found it odd when I went to watch qualifying last night I couldn't get any live video feeds, in both the app and the website - was a little annoyed.
 

Koen Verlinde

500RPM
Sep 12, 2011
925
503
I remember I got really angry as the live feed didn't work in firefox at the start of the race last year and I had to find a pirated stream despite having paid for the real thing.

Heard a friend had the same issue with Chrome yesterday but for me it worked perfectly.
 

Boby Kim

1000RPM
Aug 28, 2010
1,724
654
I can only hope the broadcast wil focus on P2, pro and am classes instead of the boring Toyota P1
 

Koen Verlinde

500RPM
Sep 12, 2011
925
503
All those "boo P1 is going to be so boring" I never heard when Audi showed up with their R8 and completely destroyed everyone.
 
Nov 3, 2015
814
234
I got so bored by Audi & Corvette running away with it I stopped watching LM live for a couple of years. This however, is not a sure thing - Toyota always throw it away & the privateer LMP1 is not looking the sure thing for Rebellion I was expecting. I'll be highly amused if JB gets on the top step on sunday, after all the hype...
 
Nov 3, 2015
814
234
Are the Porsche's really that good this year or are the Fords just sandbagging again?
Could be they're good, could just be the BoP, who knows. Given they're running away with Am too I'm guessing they have a good LM aero package. No doubt the Bop computer will remove any benefit shortly, they've got until Saturday morning to stop fiddling with it.
 

davewilliams000

1000RPM
May 29, 2011
1,147
1,239
I remember I got really angry as the live feed didn't work in firefox at the start of the race last year and I had to find a pirated stream despite having paid for the real thing.

Heard a friend had the same issue with Chrome yesterday but for me it worked perfectly.
Was weird... I tried all the browsers I had available, Chrome, Edge and IE and none of them showed me a live feed, just timing. The app didn't show it either which I found even more odd. Maybe I wasn't signed into the app.

Nicki Thiim is fully expecting another BoP change....
1.jpg
 

Andrew Harper

2000RPM
Dec 1, 2014
2,554
1,889
45
All those "boo P1 is going to be so boring" I never heard when Audi showed up with their R8 and completely destroyed everyone.
Yeah I am a little bit saddened by this as well. Audi used to win, year in and year out and everyone applauded them. When Bentley won, they were the only factory team there; all the other LMP900's were privateer and didn't stand a chance and we all cheered for them. When I went there in '93 Peugeot just led every lap like clockwork...and no one complained.

What I would say is this. The LMP1-Hybrids are glorious. They are high-downforce, very fast, just unreal through the corners and just bloody brilliant race cars. Just enjoy them whilst they are still around. :)

Even now I'm looking forward to standing on the entry to Maggots/Becketts in August and watching these space ships on entry. They just take your breath away.

It's not their fault that Audi and Porsche decided to change their mind and run away, so I applaud Toyota for staying around; they could have just thrown their hands up in the air and walked away as well.

I'm a Mazda fan and I love the fact they are the only Japanese company to win. However I hope Toyota do it this time and even if they win by five laps, they will thoroughly deserve it after what they've been through.

That's it, rant over :)

Coming onto the Aston thing, their pace is not this bad in my view. I was as surprised as anyone when I saw the times. I'm just wondering if they simply didn't bother with quali and just ran in race spec. Would make sense if they felt they didn't have much chance to upset the top teams.
 
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