Front row failed
After logging in Hyperpole yesterday evening, the decisive session for the assignment of pole position, the team Toyota Gazoo Racing he interrupted his streak of consecutive starts at the pole on the occasion of the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the most famous Endurance race in the world, which will start Saturday June 10th at 4pmthe Japanese manufacturer was not even able to reach the front row, entirely occupied by the Ferraris of Antonio Fuoco and Alessandro Pier Guidi.
End the streak
Specifically, the GR010 HYBRID of number 8 of Brendon Hartley (winner of the last edition with Sébastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa) will in fact start from third positionalmost a second and a half behind the number 50 of the Prancing Horse. At the same time, the number 7 by Mike Conway, José Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi will start from fifth place, with the Japanese missing his goal of a fifth consecutive pole position by almost two seconds down. A record, the latter, which still holds Jacky Ickx. The Ferraris, who thus occupied the first two positions as they had in qualifying on Wednesday, repeated this result also thanks to a red flag displayed in the final minutes of the session, which helped the Maranello manufacturer to keep the top positions intact. two positions, moreover in the same order of arrival of qualifying two days ago.
In any case, yesterday evening was also useful for making further adjustments, in this case thanks to the fourth and final free practice session, before today’s break and the awaited appointment with the start of the 24th Hours, scheduled for tomorrow at 4:00 pm: “I’m quite happy to have secured third place at the end – has explained Hartley at the end of the activity on the track – the front row was not possible because the Ferrari was too fast; congratulations to them for the pole. On my first lap the car didn’t give me great sensations and our lap times were very distant. On the next lap I had a great ride up to the red flag, which was a bit frustrating, then kept the car within track limits on the last lap. It wasn’t the best lap, but it was enough for third place. I did my best, and pole would have been a great satisfaction, but starting third is all we need. Everyone knows that the race is something else, so we have to keep that in mind. This year we have been the benchmark in terms of race effectiveness and teamwork, so we have to prove it again. We have to be united, use all our experience and concentrate fully to take first place on Sunday. I’m ready for battle.”
Kobayashi focuses on the race
The former F1 driver is also ready for tomorrow’s race Kobayashieven if the Japanese wanted to remember that the challenge with Ferrari and the other competitors in the Hypercar will not be easy at all: “We gave everything, but we didn’t have a realistic chance of taking pole position – he added – congratulations to Ferrari. They set a very fast lap time and we weren’t able to match it. I pushed hard because pole position at Le Mans is something very special. I pushed a bit too much and it didn’t go well because I lost my lap due to the track limits, although if you’re not on pole then being third or fifth doesn’t really matter because the race is long. In the race it can be a whole other story. It won’t be easy and we don’t have the fastest car, as we saw on one lap today, but everything is needed to win a 24-hour race: team spirit, the right strategy, no mistakes. We will do our best and see where we are on Sunday afternoon.”
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