Hartley secures Toyota pole for 24 Hours of Le Mans
Friday 10th June, 2022 - 5:25am
New Zealander Brendon Hartley has romped to pole position for Toyota in a dramatic Hyperpole qualifying ahead of the 2022 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Hartley stuck his #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid on the top spot with a 3:24.408s lap after the chequered flag in the 30-minute shootout.
Track limits infringements played a major role in the session with all five Hypercar entries losing a lap at some stage for violation of the circuit boundaries.
Nicolas Lapierre at the wheel of the #36 Alpine Hypercar sensationally snatched the fastest time in the closing stages only to have that time deleted for track limits.
Meanwhile, both the Glickenhaus Racing entries caught traffic on their most promising laps, leaving it to a duel between the Toyotas on the final tour of Circuit de la Sarthe.
Hartley in the #8 he shares with Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa beat the #7 Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi to pole by 0.4s as the Japanese manufacturer locked out the front row.
Lapierre’s Alpine was third overall followed by the Ryan Briscoe-driven #709 Glickenhaus and the sister #708 car of Olivier Pla.
Honours in LMP2 went the way of WRT courtesy of Dutchman Robin Frijns who posted a 3:28.394s in the #31 Oreca.
Frijns headed stablemate Norman Nato by 1.3 seconds as last year’s winning squad, WRT, took a one-two in class on the grid.
Filipe Albuquerque qualified third in LMP2 for United Autosports.
The GTE-Pro class was a fierce competition right to the chequered flag in Thursday’s hyperpole as the three manufacturers led in Noah’s Ark formation.
Corvette Racing came out on top with Nick Tandy in the #64 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R clinching the GTE-Pro pole position.
In the early stages, the Corvettes set the benchmark from the Ferraris as the Porsches kept their powder dry.
When the two Porsches did lay down a time to go one-two, the Corvettes went even quicker, as Tandy clocked a 3:49.985s that would not be beaten.
The sister Corvette of Antonio Garcia wound up just two tenths off the pole effort by Tandy, handing the America team a lockout of the front row in class.
Porsche was third and fourth with Frederic Makowiecki and Laurens Vanthoor respectively.
Both AF Corse Ferraris of Antonio Fuoco and James Calado rounded out the top six in GTE Pro.
In the GTE-Am class, it was Ferrari that claimed top honours courtesy of Vincent Abril in the #61 AF Corse entry.
Abril led Mikkel Jensen’s #57 Kessel Racing Ferrari, while Harry Tincknell was third for Dempsey-Proton Racing.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans gets underway at 00:00 AEST on Sunday, June 12, with Stan Sport carrying the race live and exclusive in Australia.