Local Sports

Fast times at Le Mans

Though this first day of running was marked with Loïc Duval’s violent incident in the No. 1 Audi, Porsche put itself at the top of the timesheets during the first qualifying session. In the LM P2 class, Morgan finished in the lead while Ferrari is shining in the LM GTE Pro and Am classes.

The free practice session that took place between 4 pm and 8 pm was marked by the violent incident that happened to Loïc Duval at the wheel of the No. 1 Audi. The French driver, winner of the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship title holder, had an accident at the exit of the Porsche Curves.

The ACO medical and technical services came to his aid immediately, taking him first to the Centre Médical du Circuit before transferring him to the Centre Hospitalier du Mans for examination.

His status, considered satisfactory, will not allow him to take part in the 82nd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Saturday and Sunday.

Medical representatives submitted a report to the marshals disallowing him from racing after the accident he experienced.

Marc Gené, Audi reserve driver, entered until now in the No. 38 Zytek Z11SN-Nissan, has been authorized by the college of marshals to join the No. 1 Audi driver line-up.

At the same time, the college authorized the Jota Sport team to replace him with the Brit, Oliver Turvey.

Turvey will proceed with all administrative verifications before taking his place in the No. 38 Zytek.

Following the incident, the No. 1 Audi chassis is no longer usable. Audi Sport Team Joest presented a request to the technical marshals to be able to use a new tub, and presented this to the marshalls.

They gave their authorization for Audi Sport Team Joest to rebuild the No. 1 car around this new tub. The team will present it for technical inspection.

Strictly in terms of performances, the free practice session, cut short by almost an hour, was dominated by the No. 8 Toyota (Davidson, Lapierre, Buemi) with a time of 3:23:652.

After a two-hour break, the first qualifying session was underway. It was a session unfortunately cut short. It was 11:04 p.m. when the No. 99 Aston Martin had an incident at the Karting curve, driven by the Brazilian Fernando Rees.

Though it was not the driver’s fault, the debris left by the incident meant the session would not resume.

All the teams waited patiently to go after the pole position, but it was an assault that could not take place.

At the close of the qualifying session, the No. 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid clocked the best time in 3:23:157 ahead of its sister car, the No. 14 (Dumas, Jani, Lieb) at seven tenths.

Next came the two Toyota TS 040 Hybrids followed by the two remaining Audis. The fastest LM P2 car was the No. 26 Morgan-Nissan (Rusinov, Pla, Canal) in 3:38:843.

In the LM GTE Pro class, best time for the official No. 51 Ferrari 458 Italia (Bruni, Vilander, Fisichella) in 3:54:754 and in the LM GTE Am class for another Ferrari, the No. 72 (Basov, Bertolini, Shaïtar) with 3:56:787.

The start of the 82nd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is 3 p.m. Saturday.