Toyota Gazoo Racing sets a new record in second qualifying

Toyota Gazoo Racing set a new record in the second qualifying tonight.

Kamui Kobayashi in Toyota Gazoo TS050 #7 drove 3:14,791, with an average speed at 251,882 kph. It is the highest ever average speed at Le Mans, which beat the old record from 1985 – before there were chicanes on the Mulssane straight.

Porsche also improved their times, and they finished the session in second and third.

Toyota #8 already had to replace the engine not long into the session, when they had problems with the oil pressure. Luckily, they got the car ready again before the session ended.

Toyota Gazoo Racing #7
Photo: JJ Media

Some extra time was added to the session, because Eurasia Motorsport #33 hit the armco hard, right after the first chicane. Because of the incident, there was a red flag in almost an hour to get the armco repaired, so the cars would be safe to drive on the track again. The team is currently working on the car – if it can be repaired at all. It had so much damage at the front, at maybe they would need a new car, if some important mount points are damaged. The silver lining is that the car is a Ligier JSP217, which means it was made only a few hundred metres from the track. So there shouldn’t be problems to get reserve parts, no matter which ones they need to use.

CEFC Manor TRS Racing #25 set a new fastest time in the LMP2 class, but after that they had to stop a few times on the track because of technical problems. They managed, however, to return to the pits, so running out of fuel wasn’t the reason why they stopped.

JMW Ferrari #84 & TF Sport Aston Martin #90
Photo: JJ Media

Aston Martin Racing #97 took over the best time from AMR #95, which was also beaten by AF Corse Ferrari #51. Porsche #92 with Michael Christensen set a new best time for the car, and that placed them in fifth in GTE Pro.

JMW Ferrari #84 drove the quickest time in GTE Am, in front of TF Sport Aston Martin #90 and AMR #98.

Shortly before the end of the session, Panis Barthez Competition #23 went off the track on the way towards Tertre Rouge. It ended up on the grass despite Timothy Buret’s effort to keep the car on the track. Instead, it sent the car hard towards the armco, before it slid onto the gravel. It caused the second red flag of the session, to get the car removed.


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