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Toyota has set the early standard during eight hours of free testing ahead of the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours with both cars heading up the timesheets around the iconic French circuit.

The arguable favourites ahead of this year's much anticipated event after winning the opening two rounds of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, Toyota came out fighting in the second session of the day with the No.8 TS040 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sebastien Buemi emerging quickest with a time of 3m 23.014secs.

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The No.7 TS040 Hybrid of Alexander Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima followed up in second place, the Toyota pair over a second faster than nearest rivals Filip Albuquerque, Marco Bonanomi and Oliver Jarvis in the No.3 Audi R18 e-tron.

Indeed, the 'third-string' Audi in the field had come out of the blocks quickest in the morning as the Portuguese-Italian-English trio went quickest overall. However, they would be forced to settle for third in afternoon, albeit with the same lap time as the No.1 R18 of Tom Kristensen, Loic Duval and Lucas di Grassi in fourth.

With this year's event signalling the much anticipated return of Porsche, the German manufacturer's two 919 Hybrids occupied fifth and seventh, with the No.2 Audi splitting them. However, with less than two seconds covering all seven factory-LMP1 entries, the competition remains tantalisingly close.

In the generously-subscribed LMP2 class it was the G-Drive Morgan Nissan of Olivier Pla, Julien Canal and Roman Rusinov that would emerge quickest courtesy of a strong lap in the closing stages to unseat the Murphy Oreca Nissan from the top of the timesheets.

Behind them, the Signatech Alpine would end the session third fastest in class, while the new Ligier JS Nissan enjoyed a successful run out with the OAK Racing closed-roof machine of Alex Brundle, Jan Mardenborough and Mark Shulzhitskiy in fourth.

In the LMGTE Pro class, the factory Porsche Manthey 911 of Marco Holzer, Federic Makowiecki and Richard Lietz was quickest, with the 8 Star Ferrari of Frankie Montecalvo, Gianluca Roda and Paolo Ruberti heading up the LMGTE Am class.

A close set of times throughout the 25-strong GT class, just three seconds would cover the top twenty drivers, with Porsche and Ferrari looking most competitive, followed closely by the American Corvette Racing contingent. Aston Martin, however, would endure a troubled day, the V8 Vantage comfortably down on its main rivals.

Meanwhile, the uncategorised Nissan ZEOD RC turned in the 27th best time overall, albeit as the 'slowest' of the LMP2 machines it is best measured against.