LIVE STREAM of the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans available HERE on crankandpiston.com[Not a valid template]
Amazing to think that, even with six hours to work with, pole position for the 84th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was settled within the first ten minutes, Neel Jani securing a second consecutive pole position for Porsche at Le Mans alongside teammates Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb. Granted two rain disrupted Thursday qualifying sessions didn’t exactly help their rivals chances…
Even despite pegging back its Le Mans entries from three to two for 2016, Porsche had plenty to celebrate, Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard locking out the front row for Stuttgart in the sister #1 919 Hybrid, which you may remember undertook some pre-season testing at Yas Marina.
Things didn’t go quite as well for sister company Audi. Fresh off victory at Spa-Francorchamps, a poorly timed run on Wednesday and no hope of bettering it during sodden Thursday qualifying meant both Audi R18s were relegated to the third row just ahead of the Rebellion cars, André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer and Marcel Fässler in the #7 top trumping Oliver Jarvis, Lucas di Grassi and Loïc Duval for fifth. Ahead of them, Mike Conway, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kamui Kobayashi in the #6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid secured third, Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima slotting in alongside on the second row.
Further down the grid, G-Drive Racing took LMP2 pole position (overall 10th) with the #26 Oreca 05 while the #61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari 458 GT2 secured the LMGTE-Am top spot. All eyes though were on the fight for GTE-Pro pole position between the AF Corse Ferraris and the Chip Ganassi Ford GTs. In a fitting start to the Blue Oval’s return to Le Mans (its first since 1969), the two Team USA cars locked out the LMGTE-Pro front row, both Team UK cars making it four Fords in the top five. Ironically the pace of the Fords and Ferraris led to a balance of performance change ahead of the race start.
That should hopefully bring you all up to speed ahead of the race start at 2pm BST (5pm UAE). Now the important bit: the LIVE STREAM. You can find that below, and since no endurance race is complete without John Hindhaugh and the crew, you can also click HERE for Radio Le Mans live commentary.
*Images courtesy of Eric Fabre