WEC

Ryan Wood  |    |   4  |  14 June 2018

Toyota #8 trio Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso and Sebastien Buemi on pole for Le Mans

Kazuki Nakajima secured pole position for Toyota in the #8 TS050 Hybrid alongside team-mates Fernando Alonso and Sebastien Buemi with his Thursday Q3 time of 3:15.337.

The Japanese driver took provisional pole on Wednesday during the opening qualifying session, a time that wasn't beaten in Q2. However Nakajima managed to top that time by almost two seconds during Thursday's night time session.

It will be an all Toyota front-row with the sister TS050 Hybrid in second place, driven by Kamui Kobayashi with a laptime two seconds down. 

The best of the rest in the LMP1 field, behind the Toyotas, was the #1 Rebellion Racing car with Bruno Senna setting the pace, 4.072 down on the pole time.

That time came early in Q3 when conditions were at their best. However halfway through the rain finally arrived. It had been expected much earlier, but it held off until the final hour of the extended session.

That meant few improvements were made in the second half.

Thomas Laurent almost made it a second-row lock-out for Rebellion, but had his best time deleted after failing to stop for the scrutineering light. That meant the #17 SMP Racing car driven by Stephane Sarrazin, who set his best lap on Wednesday, was promoted to third.

The #10 DragonSpeed car secured sixth, 5.733 down on the pole time, whilst the second SMP Racing LMP1 – featuring Jenson Button – starts seventh ahead of the #4 ByKolles and #6 CEFC TRSM Racing machine, more than eight seconds adrift.

LMP2 pole goes to IDEC

Paul-Loup Chatin secured the LMP2 class pole for the IDEC Sport ORECA Gibson 07 with a time of 3:24.842. That time was briefly beaten by the #28 TDS Racing of Loic Duval, but unfortunately for the 2013 winner, it was deleted by the stewards, dropping Duval and co to 13th overall and fourth in class, behind #31 DragonSpeed and #26 G-Drive.

Leading the GTE Pro charge was Porsche yet again with a 1-2 result. Gianmaria Bruni’s 3:47.504 effort from Wednesday kept the #91 car top ahead of its sister entry, a little over 1.5s down.

Narrowly missing out on dethroning Porsche for P2 was the #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK car, just 0.094 adrift in third.

Porsche also reigned in the GTE Am class with Dempsey - Proton Racing coming out top in the 911 RSR, ahead of the #86 Gulf Racing car, which improved on Thursday evening to elevate to second.

For full qualifying results, click here.

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