The third and final qualifying session for the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans has just finished and the #7 Toyota TS040 Hybrid (Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima) has claimed pole position with a time of 3:21.789, set by Kazuki Nakajima.
Porsche’s return to the outright category has gone well so far with its #14 919 Hybrid (Dumas/Jani/Lieb) posting a best lap of 3:22.146, good enough to be on the front row. The #20 Porsche (Bernhard/Webber/Hartley) will start from P4 (3:22.908). This car held provisional pole (3:24.136) after Wednesday’s qualifying, but did not improve its time.
Audi had a less than smooth qualifying after a massive crash by Loic Duval in the #1 R18 e-tron quattro during the opening session on Wednesday. Remarkably, he suffered no serious injury but has been ruled out of the race and has been replaced by Marc Gene. The car was a total wreck an Audi has used a new tub to build a new car and will start with three cars as planned.
The best placed R18 is the #3 car (Albuquerque/Bonanomi/Jarvis) which will start from P5 (3:23.271). Starting from P6 will be the #2 R18 (Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer) with a best time of 3:24.276. The recreated #1 R18 (Di Grassi/Gene/Kristensen) is the last placed of the main front runners and will line up from P7 after setting a time of 3:25.814.
Toyota’s second TS040 will line up from P3 after the #8 car (Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi) lapped the 13.6km Le Mans circuit in 3:22.523.
Taking a look at the total lap count of the top seven cars from qualifying is interesting. The Toyotas and Audis had lap counts in the high 30s, while the Porsche lap counts were in the mid-teens. There’s probably countless theories as to why the 919 was relatively inactive, but if nothing else the car clearly has raw pace.
We’ve got an onboard video for you after the break, filmed from the #7 Toyota TS040. We’ll also update this post with official statements from the three main teams as they come to hand.
2014 24 Hours of Le Mans combined qualifying times (top 10)
- #7 Toyota (Wurz/Sarrazin/Nakajima) LMP1 – 3:21.789
- #14 Porsche (Dumas/Jani/Lieb) LMP1 – 3:22.146
- #8 Toyota (Davidson/Lapierre/Buemi) LMP1 – 3:22.523
- #20 Porsche (Bernhard/Webber/Hartley) LMP1 – 3:22.908
- #3 Audi (Albuquerque/Bonanomi/Jarvis) LMP1 – 3:23.271
- #2 Audi (Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer) LMP1 – 3:24.276
- #1 Audi (Di Grassi/Gene/Kristensen) LMP1 – 3:25.814
- #12 Rebellion (Prost/Heidfeld/Beche) LMP1 – 3:29.763
- #13 Rebellion (Kraihamer/Belicchi/Leimer) LMP1 – 3:31.608
- #46 Ligier (Thiriet/Badey/Gommendy) LMP2 – 3:37.609