Published on June 13th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Porsche On Pole At LeMans 2015
Porsche, a record holder of the number of victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours (16actually ), laid down a marker prior to the 83rd Le Mans 24 Hours by setting the fastest time in qualifying. Over the two days’ qualifying its three 919 Porsche Hybrid prototypes put on an impeccable performance and locked out the first three places on the grid. In LM P2 the no. 47 Oreca 05 entered by KCMG took pole. In LM GTE Pro and GTE Am Aston Martin scored a double with nos 99 and 98. What promises to be a thrilling race will begin today, Saturday at 15h00 local French time.
Neel Jani and Timo Bernhardt were successively beating the lap record in qualifying by establishing times of 3’16. 887 and 3’17.767. The last record dates back in 2008 and was established by Stéphane Sarrazin in a Peugeot 908. An exceptional performance with regards to the 24 Hours of Le Mans regulations set up in 2014 that allowed to reduce the consumption of LM P1 prototypes by nearly 25% equal performance, if not better as we can see with these records.
At 10.55pm, three cars, the Audis R18 n°7 and n°9 as well as the Gibson 0155 n°41 were said to be in difficulty in different areas around the circuit provoking the neutralization of the qualifying session during 30 minutes. If the two Audis were able to regain the pits, the damaged n°41 driven by Gaëtan Paletou, had to be freed of the protections at Mulsanne.
At the end of these qualifying sessions, the Porsche 919 Hybrid n°18 (Dumas, Jani, Lieb) signed the best timing with 3’16”887 in front of its team car, n°17 (Webber, Bernhard, Hartley) at 8 tenths and the third Porsche 919 Hybrid n°19 (Tandy, Hulkenberg, Bamber) at 2,4 seconds. Then follow the three Audis R18 e-tron Quattro n°8, n°9 and n°7 placing themselves between 3 and 5 seconds from the Porsche cars. Then come the Toyotas n°2 and n°1 who remained behind their competitors Audi and Porsche at nearly 7 seconds. The first private cars of Rebellion Racing placed themselves at 9 and 15 seconds in front of the first Nissan GTR LM Nismo, n°23 which continued its progress with 3’38”488.
The fastest LM P2 is the Oreca05 Nissan n°47 (Lapierre, Bradley, Howson) with 3’38”032. In LM GTE Pro, the best time goes to the official Aston Martin (McDowall, Rees, Stanaway) n°99 with 3’54”928 and in LM GTE Am another Aston Martin n°98 (Dalla Lana, Lamy, Lauda) with 3’55”102.
Return of the 56 competitors of the 24 Hours of Le Mans tomorrow as from 7pm for another four hours of qualifying practice (7pm-9pm and 10pm-midnight).
The start of the 83rd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be on Saturday 13th June at 3.00pm French time.