Rain seals pole for Porsche
Rain seals pole for Porsche
Torrential rain and heavy storms has guaranteed Porsche locked in pole position for the No.2 car for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Very few cars were able to better their times from last night’s session leaving the No.2 Porsche of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb on the top spot. Porsche secured the top two spots with a pair of Toyota Hybrids and the two Audis running two by two on the grid behind them.
Neel Jani’s time of 3:19.733 held the top spot by .470 of a second from Brendon Hartley’s best run from yesterday.
The performance repeats the Swiss driver’s pole effort from last year when Porsche were 1-2-3 on the grid. It is the 15th time that Porsche has achieved a one-two result in qualifying.
“Last year the pole lap was a real banger, this year it was different circumstances,” Jani said.
“It was so difficult in traffic yesterday, but obviously I was the one who lost the least. It was all about working around people.
“Today’s conditions were very poor with all the water and dirt on the track. However, I’ll be the start driver and I’m very much looking forward to it.
“Last year I started from pole as well, but then we were the unluckiest of the Porsches. The team did everything in every detail to prepare for 2016 and I hope for some more luck this year.”
Toyota have continued their improved form of 2016 by pushing Audi back to the third row of the grid.
“Thanks to the fans for their support even in such bad weather,” Stephane Sarrazin said.
“Today was complicated for us due to the rain but we tested the car in difficult conditions and we found a good balance. We are all happy and we are ready for the race. I feel we have a strong car and we can push; we are in the game. In the race at Spa we were fast so I expect we can fight at the front here.”
Audi were disappointed to be on the third row but well aware that Le Mans is all about where you finish – not where you start.
“Due to the weather conditions and the red flags it was a pretty difficult qualifying session,” Oliver Jarvis said.
“But the conditions were the same for all the teams. We’d like to start further towards the front but obviously we know that the position you finish in is a lot more important.
“We’re optimistic for the race. It might become one of the craziest races here I’ve ever participated in. The reliability of the cars will play an important role. I’m excited about the race starting shortly.”
In LM P2 the performance of G Drive Racing’s Rene Rast from Wednesday qualifying was enough to put the No.26 Nissan-powered machine on the pole.
For the American teams, Michael Shank Racing’s lone Honda-powered car was fifth ahead of the first of the Extreme Speed Motorsport Entries.
Former UK Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy – the first gold medal winning summer Olympian to race at Le Mans – will start 18th in the class.
For 15th time, two #Porsche start from first row on the grid at #LeMans24 @FIAWEC @PorscheNewsroom @24hoursoflemans pic.twitter.com/JdsGstj9wn
— Porsche LMP1 Team (@Porsche_Team) June 16, 2016
2nd pole in a row at #LeMans24 ??! hope it is the lucky one & we an convert it into a good good result this year? pic.twitter.com/USQj92QkxD
— neel jani (@neeljani) June 17, 2016
Somewhere over the rainbow is our Thursday review after a very wet qualifying: https://t.co/BryEgh0KD0 #LeMans24 pic.twitter.com/nhjsR6AEfI
— TOYOTA WEC Team (@Toyota_Hybrid) June 16, 2016
#WEC Le Mans qualifying: Audi Sport quotes https://t.co/rCEreQeCnF #LeMans24 #LeagueofPerformance pic.twitter.com/gMkM9PFnEA
— Audi Sport (@audisport) June 16, 2016