Porsche Conquer All in Qualifying

Porsche threw down a serious German gauntlet yesterday, with Neel Jani setting a new course record to take pole position for the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Porsche 18

It took just one lap for the entire six hours of qualifying to be decided as the #18 919 Hybrid, co-driven by Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas, used its 8MJ hybrid power unit to devastating effect. The pole time of 3:16.887 beat last year's quickest qualifying lap by almost five seconds.

The Porsche party continued with the #17 and #19 placing second and third on the grid. The #8 Audi of Britain's Oli Jarvis was best of the rest, almost 3s behind the polesitter. The other two Audis followed and then the two Toyotas, which lapped Le Mans two seconds slower than they had in 2014.

The two Rebellion AERs finished 9th and 10th with the 11th placed ByKolles CLM eight seconds further back, while the three Nissans struggled once again with their new GT-R LM Nismos running around the pace of the fastest LMP2 cars.

The junior prototype class was lead by the KCMG Oreca 05 Nissan, with the #26 G-Drive pushing the #41 Greaves down to third with a late flying lap.
Last year's class winning #38 JOTA Sport ended in fourth with the rest of the 19-strong P2 field arrayed out over the next 13 seconds.

LM GTE Pro was an Aston/Ferrari sandwich, with the #98 V8 Vantage leading the multi-winning #51 458 and the sister #97 art car Aston. The Corvettes performed well early on, ending 6th and 8th, but were retired to the garage after a mechanical fault led to Jan Magnussen crashing heavily.

The two factory GTE Porsches were unable to match the pace of their competition, finishing 7th and last in class.

GTE Am was led by the #98 Aston Martin followed by the #83 and #72 Ferraris. The lone Viper of US team Riley Motorsports took a well deserved 4th on the class grid.