Porsche scores pole position for Le Mans 24 Hours

  • Porsche entered Le Mans with two 963 cars. They snatched the pole position from Cadillac.
The Porsche 963 No. 6 qualified for Hyperpole.
The Porsche 963 No. 6 qualified for Hyperpole.

Porsche will start on pole for this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours after topping qualifying at the famous circuit in the Sarthe region of France on Thursday.

The German manufacturer, seeking their first Le Mans title since 2017, put two Cadillacs in the shade to take the front of the grid in their number six car.

French driver Kevin Estre was behind the wheel to secure pole for a race due to be started by French football icon Zinedine Zidane at 1400GMT on Saturday.

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Estre will share the driving with German Andre Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor of Belgium. Second in Thursday's 'hyperpole' qualifying session came Cadillac's number two car with Earl Bamber of New Zealand, Briton Alex Lynn and Alex Palou of Spain sharing the wheel. But they were handed a five-place grid penalty later for provoking an accident at Spa-Francorchamps in May.

That moved Cadillac's number three car of another French driver Sebastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande of the Netherlands and Kiwi Scott Dixon up to second.

Ferrari, winners last year on their return to the event that attracts several hundred thousand diehard motor-racing fans every year, now start third and fourth.

Alpine, with their Formula One driver Pierre Gasly watching on from the pits, are in fifth ahead of BMW and the demoted Cadillac.

Porsche are among the favourites to land the 92nd edition with no fewer than a six-car team lining up in the elite hypercar category.

Also Read : Porsche under pressure to wake up from its EV dreams. Here's why

Joining Porsche, Cadillac,Ferrari and Alpine are teams from Toyota, who rattled off five successive wins between 2018 and 2022, BMW, Lamborghini and Peugeot.

This is the first time the historic race has attracted nine constructors for 30 years. "There's even less margin for error now," pole-sitter Estre told AFP.

"This race has always been difficult, but some years were slightly easier than others," he added, with only three constructors lining up in 2022.

First Published Date: 14 Jun 2024, 08:39 AM IST
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