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Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans

Le Mans 24 Hours: Porsche snatches pole from Cadillac with last-gasp effort

Kevin Estre put Porsche on pole position for the Le Mans 24 Hours with a late effort in Thursday’s evening Hyperpole qualifying.

#6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963: Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer, Laurens Vanthoor

Estre was the last Hypercar runner to cross the chequered flag and clocked a time of 3m24.634s in the #6 factory Porsche Penske 963, overhauling the #2 Cadillac of Alex Lynn and the sister #3 car that had led for the majority of the 30 minute session in the hands of Sebastien Bourdais.

Bourdais had set the initial pace in the pole shootout with a time of 3m25.294s in the additional entry fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing at Le Mans, before staying out in the first run and improving to a 3m24.816s.

All cars were back out on track for their second run when Dries Vanthoor suffered a heavy hit to the barriers going into Indianapolis, causing the red flag and leaving the #15 BMW M Hybrid V8 that had topped the first qualifying session out of the fight for pole position.

Bourdais elected to sit out when Hyperpole resumed with just under eight minutes left on the clock, with his initial effort appearing to be enough to claim pole position for Cadillac.

An improvement for Alex Lynn in the sister #2 V-Series.R entry provisionally made it a 1-2 for Cadillac, but Estre spoiled the party for the General Motors brand with his last ditch effort as he narrowly claimed pole for Porsche by 0.148s.

The two Ganassi-run Cadillacs will now line up second and third, with the two factory Ferraris the next up in fourth and fifth. Alessandro Pier Guidi was the quicker of the two 499Ps, the #51 machine, heading the sister car qualified by Antonio Fuoco by over four tenths of a second, who aborted his final run after a mistake at the Dunlop Chicane.

The sole Alpine A424 that progressed into the final leg of qualifying took sixth with Paul-Loup Chatin, ending up just over a second off the pace of polesitter Estre.

Only seven Hypercar entries took part in the pole shootout, with Jota still rebuilding its #12 Porsche 963 LMDh after Callum Ilott damaged the original chassis in night practice on Wednesday.

The first of the two Jota Porsches is set to line up seventh on the grid, with the #15 BMW that Vanthoor crashed ending up eighth.

​Deletraz takes LMP2 pole
 

In LMP2, Louis Deletraz claimed pole position with a brilliant effort of 3m33.217s in the #14 AO by TF ORECA-GIBSON 07 that is entered in the Pro-Am subclass.

That put him six tenths clear of Job van Uitert in the #28 IDEC Sport entry, with Mathias Beche taking third in the #65 Panis Racing Oreca.

Deletraz was already leading the LMP2 field when the session was halted for Vanthoor’s Hypercar crash, but the Swiss driver managed to find even more time on his final run to secure pole position in the intermediate class.

Wednesday qualifying pacesetter Malthe Jakobsen made no improvement in the final minutes, consigning the #37 Cool Racing entry to sixth among the eight Hyperpole runners.

McLaren heads GT3 class

Inception Racing's Brendon Iribe took top honours in the LMGT3 division despite wrecking a quick lap with a spin coming out of the final chicane.

Iribe managed to deliver a late improvements in the #70 McLaren 720S GT3 to qualify eight tenths clear of the chasing pack, led by championship leader Aliaksandr Malykhin in the #92 Manthey PureRxcing Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Giacomo Petrobelli finished just 0.010s adrift of Malykhin in third in the #66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 296 GT3, making it two non-regular WEC cars inside the top three.

1
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4
1
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2
Cla Team # Drivers Car Laps Time Interval km/h
1
PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT HYPERCAR
6 France K. Estre Germany A. Lotterer Belgium L. Vanthoor Porsche 963 10

3'24.634

239.713
2
CADILLAC RACING HYPERCAR
2 New Zealand E. Bamber United Kingdom A. Lynn Spain A. Palou Cadillac V-Series.R 9

+0.148

3'24.782

0.148 239.540
3
CADILLAC RACING HYPERCAR
3 France S. Bourdais Netherlands R. van der Zande New Zealand S. Dixon Cadillac V-Series.R 6

+0.182

3'24.816

0.034 239.500
4
FERRARI AF CORSE HYPERCAR
51 Italy A. Pier Guidi United Kingdom J. Calado Italy A. Giovinazzi Ferrari 499P 8

+0.522

3'25.156

0.340 239.103
5
FERRARI AF CORSE HYPERCAR
50 Italy A. Fuoco Spain M. Molina Denmark N. Nielsen Ferrari 499P 8

+0.964

3'25.598

0.442 238.589
6
Alpine Endurance Team HYPERCAR
35 France P. Chatin Austria F. Habsburg France C. Milesi Alpine A424 9

+1.079

3'25.713

0.115 238.456
7
AO by TF LMP2
14 United States P. Hyett Switzerland L. Deletraz
A. Quinn
Oreca 07 8

+8.583

3'33.217

7.504 230.064
8
IDEC SPORT LMP2
28 France P. Lafargue Netherlands J. Van Uitert France R. de Gerus Oreca 07 8

+9.193

3'33.827

0.610 229.407
9
PANIS RACING LMP2
65 United States R. Sales Switzerland M. Beche United States S. Huffaker Oreca 07 8

+9.419

3'34.053

0.226 229.165
10
UNITED AUTOSPORTS USA LMP2
23 United States B. Keating Portugal F. Albuquerque United Kingdom B. Hanley Oreca 07 8

+9.587

3'34.221

0.168 228.985
11
United Autosports LMP2
22 United Kingdom O. Jarvis
B. Garg
N. Siegel
Oreca 07 9

+9.636

3'34.270

0.049 228.933
12
Cool Racing LMP2
37
L. Fluxá
Denmark M. Jakobsen Japan R. Miyata
Oreca 07 6

+10.139

3'34.773

0.503 228.397
13
DKR Engineering LMP2
33 Germany A. Mattschull Austria R. Binder Germany L. Hörr Oreca 07 6

+11.065

3'35.699

0.926 227.416
14
VECTOR SPORT LMP2
10 Ireland R. Cullen France P. Pilet Monaco S. Richelmi Oreca 07 8

+11.221

3'35.855

0.156 227.252
15
INCEPTION RACING LMGT3
70 United States B. Iribe United Kingdom O. Millroy Switzerland F. Schandorff McLaren 720S GT3 Evo 8

+33.486

3'58.120

22.265 206.003
16
Manthey PureRxcing LMGT3
92
A. Malykhin
J. Sturm
Austria K. Bachler
Porsche 911 GT3 R 8

+34.294

3'58.928

0.808 205.307
17
JMW Motorsport LMGT3
66 Italy G. Petrobelli Netherlands L. ten Voorde Turkey S. Yoluc Ferrari 296 GT3 8

+34.304

3'58.938

0.010 205.298
18
Proton Competition LMGT3
77 United States R. Hardwick Canada Z. Robichon United Kingdom B. Barker Ford Mustang GT3 7

+34.809

3'59.443

0.505 204.865
19
Heart of Racing Team LMGT3
27 United Kingdom I. James Italy D. Mancinelli Spain A. Riberas Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 8

+35.021

3'59.655

0.212 204.684
20
D'Station Racing LMGT3
777 Japan S. Hoshino
E. Bastard
Denmark M. Sorensen
Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 4

+38.153

4'02.787

3.132 202.043
21
TF Sport LMGT3
82 Japan H. Koizumi
S. Baud
Spain D. Juncadella
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R 8

+39.047

4'03.681

0.894 201.302
22
IRON LYNX LMGT3
60 Italy C. Schiavoni Italy M. Cressoni
F. Perera
Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 8

+41.861

4'06.495

2.814 199.004
23
HERTZ TEAM JOTA HYPERCAR
12 United Kingdom W. Stevens France N. Nato United Kingdom C. Ilott Porsche 963 0

24
BMW M Team WRT HYPERCAR
15 Belgium D. Vanthoor Italy R. Marciello Germany M. Wittmann BMW M Hybrid V8 5

+2.067

3'26.701

237.316

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