Toyota takes pole, Rebellion second in Hyperpole at Le Mans
Kamui Kobayashi has secured pole position for Toyota at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the first-ever Hyperpole shoot-out but Gustavo Menezes scored a surprise second position for Rebellion Racing.
Hyperpole is the new qualifying format that sees the top six qualifiers from each class from the first qualifying session battle it out for pole position in a short half-hour session.
With 10 minutes of the 30 gone, Menezes gave Toyota a scare as he beat Kobayashi’s then-provisional pole time.
His time of three minute 15.822secs broke also broke the lap record for non-hybrid cars by thee tenths, the record previously held by SMP racing and set in 2018.
Kobayashi, the outright lap record holder at the Circuit de la Sarthe and Toyota’s qualifying specialist, responded with a 3:15.267 to take back top honours, a time that would not be beaten for the rest of the session.
In the last qualifying session of the LMP1 era, Kobayashi went out for a final run and looked to be on course to break his own lap record but eventually slowed down after exceeding track limits and having his time deleted.
There were other lap records broken on Friday morning, however. Former Formula 1 driver Paul di Resta, driving for United Autosport, broke the LMP2 record with a mightily impressive three minute 24.528s as he beat fellow F1 veteran Jean-Eric Vergne to class pole by three tenths.
Nyck de Vries, who was the quickest man in LMP2 in Thursday's qualifying session, will line up third in class, eighth overall, after surviving a trip through the gravel at the Porsche Curves.
In the GTE Pro series, it was Porsche who were quickest. A three minute 50.874 from Gianmaria Bruni saw the German marque narrowly fend off an assault from James Calado in the AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.
The lead Aston Martin of Marco Sorensen set a time only one tenth slower, adding to the anticipation that the fight for GTE victory will be as close as ever.
In GTE Am, yet another track record was broken. Côme Ledogar in his Luzich Ferrari set a 3:51.266, the fourth-best time of all GTE cars, breaking the Am track record from Proton last year.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.