Porsche claims pole at Le Mans

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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.

Full combined qualifying results (Per class)

 

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J. Doug Patterson
Editor

I’m really looking forward to the Ford GTs sticking it to Ferrari. …again! :D

Tom Firth
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Tom Firth

IF the reliability is available, that’s my only concern with the Ford programme thus far this year, Ferrari has been more reliable, then the Ford’s should win, even with the BOP changes made in the last few hours I think at least.

Peter Riva
Member
Peter Riva

Looking at the names of the LMP1 drivers, some teams really seem to have top people (like back in the 60s!)… past Le Mans winners, F1 drivers… impressive names. The Toyota team seems particularly F1 top heavy.
My picks? By driver… Webber, Franchitti, di Grassi, Heidfeld (thats a hell of a team at Rebellion with Piquet and Prost as well).

Tom Firth
Guest
Tom Firth

Yes, the quality of driving talent has been very high the past few years across the grid. The loss of the additional P1 entrants from Audi and Porsche have really just moved the quality drivers into P2 and GTE PRO but it is a shame that it’s been reduced and about the clash with F1, otherwise we could of seen at least Hulk return, and probably a second current F1 driver in the LMP1 class, which would of been even more spectacular. The Ford GT team is stunning. You’ve got a 4x WTCC champion, Multiple CART and indycar champions, multiple… Read more »