Kobayashi leads Le Mans qualifying for Toyota
Thursday 9th June, 2022 - 9:35am
Kamui Kobayashi led the way for Toyota in Qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans as contenders for the Hyperpole session were decided.
Driving the #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid, Kobayashi set a best time of 3:27.247s in the hour-long session that was interrupted by rain and a red flag.
The sister #8 Toyota spent the first portion of the session in the garage resolving an issue before Brendon Hartley ventured out on track.
His attempt at setting a representative time for the #8 was hampered by the red flag due to a crash for Michael Fassbender at the wheel of the GTE-Am Porsche he shares with Matt Campbell.
Once the session resumed, the rain limited improvements in lap times and left the #8 Toyota 13 seconds off the pace.
Given the top six in each class secures a spot in the Hyperpole session and there are only five cars in the top-tier Hypercar class, the #8 Toyota will still be able to contend for pole.
Shane van Gisbergen’s Riley Motorsports Ferrari 488 GTE missed out on a berth in Hyperpole, with the #74 he shares with Felipe Fraga and Sam Bird seventh in GTE-Pro.
GTE-Pro was headed by Laurens Vanthoor aboard the #92 Porsche 911 RSR only a tenth of a second quicker than the #63 Corvette C8.R of Antonio Garcia.
Aston Martin were quickest in GTE-Am courtesy of Nicki Thiim, while Nick Cassidy’s AF Corse Ferrari was third in class.
Robin Frijns topped LMP2 for the #31 Team WRT Oreca 07 Gibson.
Practice sessions bookended Qualifying with a daytime session prior and a night-time practice following qualifying.
A third practice session takes place on Thursday before Hyperpole and another night practice.
Stan Sport will broadcast the Hyperpole session live and exclusive in Australia with coverage getting underway at 03:45 AEST on Friday.