24 Hours of Le Mans 2014: Nakajima takes Toyota to pole position

Howard

Staff Emeritus | Motorsport Engineer
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Zürich
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Kazuki Nakajima took his #7 Toyota to pole position in the qualifying session, which started early to make up for lost time earlier in the week.

Nakajima was the only racer to beat the 3m22.000s barrier. "Pole is important and to start from pole position - even though it is 24 hours - is great," said Nakajima.

"It's a very good feeling and I am really happy with the car. I was struggling with the traffic but I managed to get one lap and it was just enough.

"It's going to be a tough race but tonight I am happy."

Stéphane Sarrazin, Nakajima's teammate in the #7 TS040, said "It is amazing to be on pole again.

"I did three in my career here before. Kazuki did a brilliant job. Yesterday we had a good car but today we had a very good car. The set up was brilliant so thanks to the team.

"It is promising because we feel so confident in the car. We can push every corner, every lap. Like that everything is positive. The race will be very long, we know that, we have to be very calm and not take it like a short sprint. Great job from the team."

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Romain Dumas took the Porsche 919 Hybrid on the front row for it's first Le Mans in seemingly centuries. The sister Toyota rounds out the top three. The rest of LMP one is as follows: Porsche, three Audis and the Rebellion LMP1 pair. The #20 Porsche of Bernhard, Webber and Hartley held provisional pole from Wednesday, but did not improve.

Karun Chandhok crashed his Murphy Prototypes ORECA at Indianapolis corner, which prompted race control to impose a yellow flag slow zone which dashed hopes for the LMP cars who wanted to improve. The #2 Audi was fastest in the early sectors during the final minutes of the session, however the slow zone prevented improvement.

Tristan Gommendy took the TDS Racing Ligier to pole for LMP2, clear of Harry Ticknell's best in Jota Sport's Zytek. Nissan's ZEOD RC ended the session six seconds behind the slowest LMP2 car, with pilot Lucas Ordenez only managing a 3m50.185s.

Gianmaria Bruni will start on pole for GTE Pro, with the #81 Ferrari of Wyatt, Rugolo and Bird just behind as the fastest GTE Am car on track. The next best Am car - the #98 AMR car of Pedro Lamy - was one second back, behind five GTE Pro cars.

Several cars will be investigated overnight for speeding in the slow zone.

Continued...

1. LMP1 #7 Toyota Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima 3m21.789s
2. LMP1 #14 Porsche Dumas/Jani/Lieb 3m22.146s
3. LMP1 #8 Toyota Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi 3m22.523s
4. LMP1 #20 Porsche Bernhard/Webber/Hartley 3m22.908s
5. LMP1 #3 Audi Albuquerque/Bonanomi/Jarvis 3m23.271s
6. LMP1 #2 Audi Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer 3m24.276s
7. LMP1 #1 Audi Di Grassi/Gene/Kristensen 3m25.814s
8. LMP1 #12 Rebellion Prost/Heidfeld/Beche 3m29.763s
9. LMP1 #13 Rebellion Kraihamer/Belicchi/Leimer 3m31.608s
10. LMP2 #46 Ligier Thiriet/Badey/Gommendy 3m37.609s
11. LMP2 #38 Zytek Dolan/Tincknell/Turvey 3m37.674s
12. LMP2 #35 Ligier Brundle/Mardenborough/Shulzhitskiy 3m37.892s
13. LMP2 #26 Morgan Rusinov/Pla/Canal 3m38.000s
14. LMP2 #36 Alpine Chatin/Panciatici/Webb 3m38.089s
15. LMP2 #48 Oreca Berthon/Gonzalez/Chandhok 3m38.207s
16. LMP2 #47 Oreca Howson/Bradley/Imperatori 3m38.689s
17. LMP2 #43 Morgan Klien/Hirsch/Brandela 3m39.135s
18. LMP2 #34 Oreca Frey/Mailleux/Lancaster 3m39.993s
19. LMP2 #42 Zytek Kimber-Smith/McMurry/Dyson 3m40.035s
20. LMP2 #24 Oreca Rast/Charouz/Capillaire 3m40.407s
21. LMP2 #37 Oreca Ladygin/Minassian/Mediani 3m41.297s
22. LMP2 #27 Oreca Zlobin/Salo/Ladygin 3m42.131s
23. LMP2 #29 Morgan Schell/Leutwiller/Roussel 3m42.438s
24. LMP2 #33 Ligier Cheng/Tung/Fong 3m42.988s
25. LMP2 #50 Morgan Ragues/Taylor/Ihara 3m43.843s
26. LMP2 #41 Zytek Munemman/Latif/Winslow 3m44.293s
27. CDNT #0 Nissan Ordonez/Reip/Motoyama 3m50.185s
28. GTEP #51 Ferrari Bruni/Vilander/Fisichella 3m53.700s
29. GTEA #81 Ferrari Wyatt/Rugolo/Bird 3m54.665s
30. GTEP #73 Chevrolet Magnussen/Garcia/Taylor 3m54.777s
31. GTEP #97 Aston Turner/Mucke/Senna 3m54.891s
32. GTEP #74 Chevrolet Gavin/Milner/Westbrook 3m55.190s
33. GTEP #52 Ferrari Griffin/Parente/Leo 3m55.347s
34. GTEP #92 Porsche Holzer/Makowiecki/Lietz 3m55.516s
35. GTEA #98 Aston Dalla Lana/Lamy/Nygaard 3m55.644s
36. GTEP #91 Porsche Pilet/Bergmeister/Tandy 3m55.745s
37. GTEA #95 Aston Poulsen/Heinemeier-Hansson/Thiim 3m55.944s
38. GTEA #61 Ferrari Perez-Companc/Cioci/Venturi 3m55.977s
39. GTEA #72 Ferrari Bertolini/Shaitar/Basov 3m56.063s
40. GTEA #88 Porsche Ried/Bachler/Al Qubaisi 3m56.974s
41. GTEA #77 Porsche Dempsey/Foster/Long 3m57.004s
42. GTEA #90 Ferrari Montecalvo/Roda/Ruberti 3m57.217s
43. GTEP #99 Aston MacDowall/O'Young/Rees 3m57.258s
44. GTEA #60 Ferrari Mann/Case/Giammaria 3m57.274s
45. GTEA #66 Ferrari Al Faisal/Neiman/Pumpelly 3m57.757s
46. GTEA #53 Ferrari Mowlem/Patterson/Hamilton 3m57.958s
47. GTEP #71 Ferrari Rigon/Calado/Beretta 3m58.086s
48. GTEA #76 Porsche Narac/Armindo/Hallyday 3m58.398s
49. GTEA #79 Porsche MacNeil/Curtis/Bleekemolen 3m59.012s
50. GTEA #75 Porsche Perrodo/Collard/Palttala 3m59.394s
51. GTEA #58 Ferrari Barthez/Pons/Ayari 3m59.837s
52. GTEA #57 Ferrari Krohn/Jonsson/Collins 4m01.006s
53. GTEA #70 Ferrari Nakano/Ehret/Rich 4m01.446s
54. GTEA #67 Porsche Maris/Merlin/Helary 4m03.277s
55. GTEA #62 Ferrari Mallegol/Bachelier/Blank 4m10.354s

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Nox

Premium
6,688
2,331
Based on what we saw in Silverstone and Spa, I'd say Toyota are favourites to win. But you never know with such a long race. I am so excited to watch this race, I even 'booked' the weekend off with the wife :D
 
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Based on what we saw in Silverstone and Spa, I'd say Toyota are favourites to win. But you never know with such a long race. I am so excited to watch this race, I even 'booked' the weekend off with the wife :D

Same here. My wife wanted to know if I wanted to do something special for father's day on Sunday. I said 'Yes, I'd like to watch Le Mans in peace'.

She actually agreed rather than smacking me round the back of the head!

I AM EXCITED!!!!

Ahem, sorry about that.

LMP1 is going to be great, but it looks like LMP2 should be a corker as well if those qualifying times are anything to go by.
 

Nox

Premium
6,688
2,331
Same here. My wife wanted to know if I wanted to do something special for father's day on Sunday. I said 'Yes, I'd like to watch Le Mans in peace'.

She actually agreed rather than smacking me round the back of the head!

I AM EXCITED!!!!

Ahem, sorry about that.

LMP1 is going to be great, but it looks like LMP2 should be a corker as well if those qualifying times are anything to go by.
LMP2 is always pretty close, a great category absolutely.
 
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