Le Mans 24h: Kobayashi tops warm-up for Toyota

Tom Errington

Kobayashi's lap of 3m19.647s was over four seconds slower than the #7 TS050 Hybrid's pole time as teams naturally took a conservative approach ahead of the race. 

The #7 Toyota's best time was set late in the 45-minute session and was enough to beat the #8 car's 3m20.689s effort set by Sebastien Buemi by 1.042s.

Thomas Laurent, who was confirmed as a Signatech Alpine LMP2 driver for the 2019/20 WEC season on Friday, placed the #3 Rebellion R-13 third. 

Laurent had a slight off at one of the Mulsanne chicanes midway through the session before setting his best time of 3m21.868s, just over one second off the leading Toyota's best lap.

The two SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1s took fourth and fifth with the #17 entry beating the sister car courtesy of Stephane Sarrazin's 3m21.869s laptime. Vitaly Petrov gave the #11 SMP machine its best time of 3m22.813s.

The #10 DragonSpeed BR1 was sixth ahead of the #1 Rebellion, with both cars setting their best laps in the final moments of the session.

Ben Hanley gave DragonSpeed the edge with his 3m23.735s and lapping almost three seconds clear of Bruno Senna's Rebellion benchmark. 

ByKolles ended up slowest of the LMP1s and ninth overall after Tom Dillmann locked up under braking for the Dunlop Chicane, crossing the gravel and the run-off on the outside of the corner.

Jean-Eric Vergne set the fastest time in LMP2 early in the session in the #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca, 1.4s clear of TDS Racing stablemate and polesitter Loic Duval.

Vergne, who qualified fifth, managed a best time of 3m28.763s, 2.5s slower than his best time from Thursday night.

Nicolas Lapierre took third late in the session in the #36 Signatech Alpine to complete an all-Oreca top three, bumping Nigel Moore’s Inter Europol Competition Ligier down to fourth.  

GTE: Estre fastest for Porsche

Porsches were fastest in both GTE classes, with Kevin Estre putting the works #92 car on top in the Pro division by a little more than a second.

Estre's fastest time, a 3m50.095s, was just over two seconds shy of the fastest GTE Pro qualifying time, and 1.001s off the time that put the #92 car seventh on the grid.

Harry Tincknell leapt the #67 Ford GT he shares with Andy Priaulx and Jonathan Bomarito up to second with a 3m51.133s lap with 10 minutes to go, and had been fastest of all through the first split on his next lap before a full-course yellow was issued.

The #71 and #51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs had occupied third and fourth in the closing stages of the session, but were split late on by the #68 Ford GT thanks to Dirk Muller's 3m51.637s lap.

Darren Turner put the class polesitting #95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE sixth, ahead of the lead BMW of Antonio Felix da Costa, who was 1.797s off the pace.

Ben Barker put the Gulf Racing Porsche on top in GTE Am, his 3m54.071s leaving the #86 car 1.270s clear of the similar Team Project 1 911 RSR.

Additional reporting by James Newbold and Jack Cozens

Session results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Time Gap
1 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 3'19.647
2 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
Spain Fernando Alonso
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 3'20.689 1.042
3 3 France Thomas Laurent
France Nathanael Berthon
United States Gustavo Menezes
Rebellion R13 LMP1 3'21.868 2.221
4 17 France Stéphane Sarrazin
Russian Federation Egor Orudzhev
Russian Federation Sergey Sirotkin
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 3'21.869 2.222
5 11 Russian Federation Vitaly Petrov
Russian Federation Mikhail Aleshin
Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 3'22.813 3.166
6 10 Sweden Henrik Hedman
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
BR Engineering BR1 LMP1 3'23.735 4.088
7 1 Switzerland Neel Jani
Germany Andre Lotterer
Brazil Bruno Senna
Rebellion R13 LMP1 3'26.324 6.677
8 26 Russian Federation Roman Rusinov
Netherlands Job Van Uitert
France Jean-Eric Vergne
Aurus 01 LMP2 3'28.763 9.116
9 4 France Tom Dillmann
United Kingdom Oliver Webb
Italy Paolo Ruberti
ENSO CLM P1/01 LMP1 3'28.935 9.288
10 28 France François Perrodo
France Matthieu Vaxiviere
France Loic Duval
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'30.201 10.554
11 36 France Nicolas Lapierre
Brazil Andre Negrao
France Pierre Thiriet
Alpine A470 LMP2 3'31.080 11.433
12 34 Poland Jakub Smiechowski
United Kingdom James Winslow
United Kingdom Nigel Moore
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'31.311 11.664
13 31 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Venezuela Pastor Maldonado
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.328 11.681
14 38 China Ho-Pin Tung
Monaco Stéphane Richelmi
France Gabriel Aubry
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.506 11.859
15 30 France Nico Jamin
France Pierre Ragues
France Romain Dumas
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.842 12.195
16 23 Austria Rene Binder
France Julien Canal
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'31.916 12.269
17 37 Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
United Kingdom Jordan King
United States Ricky Taylor
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'31.996 12.349
18 20 Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Denmark Dennis Andersen
Switzerland Mathias Beche
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.050 12.403
19 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Dallara P217 LMP2 3'32.832 13.185
20 39 France Tristan Gommendy
France Vincent Capillaire
Switzerland Jonathan Hirschi
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.874 13.227
21 32 Ireland Ryan Cullen
United Kingdom Alex Brundle
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'34.931 15.284
22 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Italy Andrea Belicchi
Dallara P217 LMP2 3'35.283 15.636
23 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'36.697 17.050
24 49 Slovakia Miro Konopka
Sweden Henning Enqvist
Russian Federation Konstantin Tereshchenko
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 3'36.930 17.283
25 25 France David Zollinger
France Andrea Pizzitola
United States John Falb
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'38.008 18.361
26 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Belgium Laurens Vanthoor
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'50.095 30.448
27 67 Guernsey Andy Priaulx
United Kingdom Harry Tincknell
United States Jonathan Bomarito
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 3'51.133 31.486
28 71 Italy Davide Rigon
United Kingdom Sam Bird
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'51.366 31.719
29 68 United States Joey Hand
Germany Dirk Muller
France Sébastien Bourdais
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 3'51.637 31.990
30 51 Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
United Kingdom James Calado
Brazil Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'51.638 31.991
31 95 Denmark Marco Sorensen
Denmark Nicki Thiim
United Kingdom Darren Turner
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 3'51.854 32.207
32 82 Brazil Augusto Farfus
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
Finland Jesse Krohn
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 3'51.892 32.245
33 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'51.960 32.313
34 69 Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
New Zealand Scott Dixon
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 3'52.173 32.526
35 81 Netherlands Nick Catsburg
Germany Martin Tomczyk
Austria Philipp Eng
BMW M8 GTE LMGTE PRO 3'52.446 32.799
36 97 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
Belgium Maxime Martin
United Kingdom Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 3'52.618 32.971
37 93 France Patrick Pilet
New Zealand Earl Bamber
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'52.743 33.096
38 89 Brazil Pipo Derani
United Kingdom Oliver Jarvis
France Jules Gounon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 3'52.865 33.218
39 66 Germany Stefan Mücke
France Olivier Pla
United States Billy Johnson
Ford GT LMGTE PRO 3'53.094 33.447
40 63 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Spain Antonio Garcia
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Chevrolet Corvette C7R LMGTE PRO 3'53.588 33.941
41 64 United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
United States Tommy Milner
Switzerland Marcel Fassler
Chevrolet Corvette C7R LMGTE PRO 3'53.826 34.179
42 94 Germany Sven Muller
France Mathieu Jaminet
Norway Dennis Olsen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE PRO 3'53.989 34.342
43 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Germany Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'54.071 34.424
44 56 Germany Jörg Bergmeister
United States Patrick Lindsey
Norway Egidio Perfetti
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'55.341 35.694
45 60 Italy Claudio Schiavoni
Italy Andrea Piccini
Italy Sergio Pianezzola
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'55.516 35.869
46 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Portugal Pedro Lamy
Austria Mathias Lauda
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM 3'56.458 36.811
47 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'57.163 37.516
48 57 Japan Takeshi Kimura
Japan Kei Cozzolino
France Côme Ledogar
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'57.673 38.026
49 61 Argentina Luis Perez Companc
Ireland Matthew Griffin
Italy Matteo Cressoni
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'57.764 38.117
50 83 Italy Manuela Gostner
Switzerland Rahel Frey
Denmark Michelle Gatting
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'57.952 38.305
51 62 United States Cooper MacNeil
Finland Toni Vilander
United Kingdom Robert Smith
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'58.908 39.261
52 84 United States Jeff Segal
Brazil Rodrigo Baptista
Canada Wei Lu
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'58.931 39.284
53 70 Japan Motoaki Ishikawa
Monaco Olivier Beretta
Italy Eddie Cheever III
Ferrari 488 GTE LMGTE AM 3'59.193 39.546
54 78 Monaco Louis Prette
Monaco Philippe Prette
France Vincent Abril
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 3'59.978 40.331
55 77 Australia Matt Campbell
Germany Christian Ried
France Julien Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 4'02.643 42.996
56 50 France Erwin Creed
France Romano Ricci
United States Nicholas Boulle
Ligier JSP 217 LMP2 5'30.023 2'10.376
57 43 Canada John Farano
India Arjun Maini
France Norman Nato
Oreca 07 LMP2
58 48 France Paul Lafargue
France Paul-Loup Chatin
Mexico Memo Rojas
Oreca 07 LMP2
59 85 United States Ben Keating
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Ford GT LMGTE AM
60 88 Japan Satoshi Hoshino
Italy Giorgio Roda
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM
61 90 Turkey Salih Yoluc
United Kingdom Euan Hankey
Ireland Charles Eastwood
Aston Martin Vantage LMGTE AM
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