With very little changes in the order in either of todays qualifying sessions due to rainfall interrupting both sessions, the times set in yesterdays first qualifying session are those which primarily decided the grid for this years 84th Le Mans 24 Hours.
Porsche are on top in the LMP1 rankings, with Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb claiming pole ahead of Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley. Toyota sits behind Porsche with Audi struggling somewhat with reliability in yesterdays session.
Audi has a lot to prove at Le Mans. It’s expected from previous races this season that the Audi has the pace over Toyota, but the reliability isn’t present for the multiple Le Mans winners based on qualifying. Never ever rule Audi out of a win at Le Mans though, it is a long race and rain as ever at Le Mans is expected.
Rebellion start behind the factory cars whilst a fire for BYKolles yesterday damaged the teams qualifying chances. They should still make the race having been out on track today but its a tough Le Mans so far for the BYKolles team.
In LMP2, it is Oreca domination. The G Drive #26 entrant is on pole position in the class, whilst the two cars behind it are the Signatech Alpine A460’s, based on the Oreca 05 which claimed the class pole.
The controversial talking point of this years 24 Hours of Le Mans thus far is the balance of performance in the GTE PRO ranks. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and AF Corse (Ferrari) dominate the standings in qualifying, setting us up for a real Ford Vs Ferrari battle at Le Mans on the anniversary of that first famous win.
Coincidence? Given the relative uncompetitiveness of Aston Martin, Corvette Racing and Porsche compared to Ford and Ferrari, you’d be forgiven for wondering. Both sides of the argument have sent various press quotes regarding ‘sand’.
It’ll be interesting to see how the ACO respond for the race, and whether changes are made in Balance of Performance. Either way Ford has achieved PR objective number one for its return to Le Mans by claiming pole position.
In the GTE Am ranks. It is Singapore based, Asian Le Mans team, Clearwater Racing on pole with the venerable Ferrari 458.