Porsche Take Top Three Place in First Qualifying Round of Le Mans


Porsche has spreadeagled the field in this year’s qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hour event.

After the first qualifying session the German manufacturer provisionally holds the first three positions on the grid.

Neel Jani in the #18 919 Hybrid has set the fastest lap with a blistering 3 minutes 16.887 seconds.- the fastest ever around the current circuit.

“I was the first one in our car in qualifying,” said Jani. “Of course, we had to tick off the list the five mandatory night laps. My itnitial lap was good, but not perfect because it wasn’t entirely clear.

“That it was still the fastest lap of the day and a qualifying record is very pleasing.

“But I know this wasn’t the maximum. And we have to wait to see what happens in the other qualifying sessions.”

Tino Bernhard, car #17, was almost a second slower than his teammate, with Nick tankdy a further second and a half behind in car #19.

Bernhard’s co-driver, Aussie Mark Webber, predicted the times would continue to drop.

“Qualifying was the first time that we had run properly in the night with dry conditions. So all the drivers were able to get a feeling for the track and the cars.

“We didn’t push too much for qualifying, because here in Le Mans it is not so important to start from pole position. We focused on the race, because that’s what matters.”

Trailing the Porsches was Audi’s Loic Duvalin car #8, an R18 e-tron quattro.

Both Toyota entries were nearly seven seconds behind the pace-setters in seventh and eigth. Nissan’s team of three placed 12th, 21st and 31st after the first two-hour session.

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