Le Mans – Japan’s Toyota N.7 Kamui Kobayashi, Britain’s Mike Conway and Argentina’s Jose Maria Lopez took pole position on Thursday in the 89th 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will start on Saturday at 4:00 pm (2:00 pm GMT).
His sister car and other favorite in the new supercar class, the Toyota N.8, will accompany him in the front row, ahead of the Alpine N.36 and Glickenhaus N.708 in the second row.
The third row moves to the fifth and final Hypercar, Glickenhaus N.709, and the first LMP2, the Oreca N.38.
At dusk, Kobayashi, who was already a Pullman three times at Le Mans in 2017, 2019 and 2020, drove lap times of 3min 23sec 900/1000 on the N.7 wheel, outpacing New Zealander Brendon Hartley, who was driving N.8. , from 295/1000.
To gauge the course Toyotas have gone through during this second part of qualification (called Hyperpole which defines the first three rows in the four classes), we must remember that the best time so far was 3 min, 26 sec 279/1000, already owned by the Japanese.
Prior to the event, the Le Mans 24 Hours lap times were estimated at 3 minutes 30 seconds for the new hypercars!
Driven by Frenchman Nicolas Lapierre, the Alpine N.36 (not a supercar but a modified old LMP1 car) clocked in at 1sec 674/1000, Glickenhaus N.708 and N.709 for fellow countrymen Olivier Plas and Romain Dumas in 1sec 739/1000 and 3 seconds 031/1000 in a row.
First LMP2, he finished 4 seconds 050/1000 off pole at the hands of Portuguese Antonio Felix da Costa.
The best LMGTE Pro is the special Porsche N.72, which beats out the factory crews of Porsche, Ferrari and Corvette thanks to Belgian Dries Vanthur.
The fastest LMGTE Am is also a Porsche, N.88 for Frenchman Julien Andlauer.
A final two-hour free training session began at 10:10 PM (20:10 GMT).
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