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Toyota Gazoo Racing taks one-two in 24h Le Mans qualifying

Toyota Gazoo Racing taks one-two in 24h Le Mans qualifying

15.06.2018: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing put on a dominant display yesterday evening to secure a front-row lockout ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2018.


TOYOTA GAZOO Racing put on a dominant display yesterday evening to secure a front-row lockout ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2018.




The Japanese manufacturer, aiming to achieve its first victory at the legendary race, will lead the 60-car field past the French Tricolore flag on Saturday 16 June at 15:00 local time. With time at the heart of this twice-around-the-clock contest, Rolex has been an Official Partner and the Official Timepiece of the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2001.



Founded on a mutual quest to challenge the boundaries of human performance and technology, the partnership embodies excellence while celebrating motor sport’s rich history.


 
After a heavily disrupted second qualifying session, which saw none of the top eight Le Mans Protoype 1 (LMP1) cars improve on their Wednesday night times, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing immediately set about securing pole position in the final round of qualifying.



On his first flying lap, Kazuki Nakajima, at the wheel of the No. 8 Toyota, posted a time of 3:15.377 that would remain unbeaten.



From here, Nakajima and his teammates, Sébastien Buemi and Fernando Alonso, fine-tuned the set-up and managed traffic in order to maximise the performance of their car ahead of the race.



 The sister No. 7 car could not match the early pace of the No. 8, ultimately finishing a full 2 seconds slower in the final standings. The fastest non-hybrid car, No. 1 Rebellion Racing, will start third as the team aim to defy the status quo by challenging the Toyotas.


 

The No. 48 IDEC Sport, having been quickest on Wednesday in Le Mans Protoype 2 (LMP2), secured a fastest time of 3:24.842 to take class pole. With the competition expected to be fierce this weekend in the GT Racing categories, Porsche set the quickest times in both LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am.



The No. 91 Porsche GT Team edged the Pro class by 1.593 seconds in their 17-car field – composed of leading manufacturers from across the automotive world. In LMGTE Am, the Porsche No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Racing proved the form of the entrants, qualifying ahead of four LMGTE Pro cars.



Following qualifying, Rolex Testimonee and nine-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Tom Kristensen said: "With the grid decided for tomorrow’s race, the anticipation is building for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.



I’m looking forward to seeing how the drama will unfold, as well as how the drivers and teams approach this ultimate test of endurance and perseverance. It’s exciting to see so many world champions and upcoming drivers from across the motor sport family compete at Le Mans – this is a testament to how unique this event is and its position at the very top of the sport.”


 

The 24 Hours of Le Mans forms an integral part of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) which started last month at the 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, where Fernando Alonso took his first ever WEC victory in the No. 8 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing.



The 2018 – 2019 series will mark an innovative period for WEC as it transitions to conclude with the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year. The extended season will see drivers and teams strive for precision and reliability under extreme pressure, values that align Rolex with endurance racing.




Tomorrow afternoon marks the start of the competitors’ marathon journey towards history, with all those who complete the 24-hour race celebrated for their remarkable achievement. Those who have displayed the absolute determination to succeed are awarded the 24 Hours of Le Mans trophy and the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona timepiece on the top step of the Le Mans podium.



 Toyota is ideally poised to finally secure their first ever 24 Hours of Le Mans victory but with 24 hours of racing ahead only time will tell who will be crowned the winners in 2018.



Virginie Chevailler- photos Rolex

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/toyota-gazoo-racing-one-two-24h-le-mans-qualifying---177393.html

15.06.2018 / MaP

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