CLICK HERE for full 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours qualifying 1 results
Porsche has taken provisional pole position for the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours following the first of three qualifying sessions, albeit after less than half of the session was contested under green flag conditions.
Having seemingly focused on race form during free practice as they lapped three seconds off the ultimate pace, roles were seemingly reversed for first qualifying as both the #14 and #20 919 Hybrids quickly set their best laps of the day so far.
Brendon Hartley was the pace setter for Porsche in the #20 Porsche he will share with Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard, the New Zealander turning in the fastest time of the day overall with a 3m 23.157secs lap, seven tenths up on the #14 Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas and Neel Jani.
By contrast, Toyota and Audi spent much of the session around two seconds off the pace they managed in the afternoon, though it may have attempted a quicker time later in the session had it not been called off with 30mins remaining on the clock.
Already behind scheduled due to a red flag caused when Nicolas Minassian spun his SMP Oreca, Fernando Rees would proceed to crash his Craft-Bamboo Aston Martin at the Porsche Curves, causing significant damage to the Vantage V8. Causing problems for marshals attempting to rebuild a barrier impacted by Loic Duval's monster shunt earlier in the day, with the red flag having already been out for 30mins, the session was called off with 30mins to go.
It meant less than hour's worth of running would be completed in Q1, though it was still enough time for Toyota to hit its first issues of the week when Stephane Sarrazin's #7 Toyota stopped with apparent loss of drive shortly before the session was stopped.
Even so, the car was still third fastest, ahead of the sister practice pace setting #8 Toyota, while Audi – down to two cars following the #1 car's accident – held down fifth and sixth.
In LMP2, Julian Canal led the way in the G-Drive Morgan, despite picking up damage in the closing stages of the session, ahead of the Signatech Alpine and the KCMG Oreca.
In the GTE Pro class, just five tenths would cover the top four of Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche and Corvette, while the SMP Ferrari survived a spin to top the GTE Am class. By contrast, the FP pace setting #95 Aston Martin ended its evening in the gravel trap.
Finally, having missed free practice with a gearbox problem, the Nissan ZEOD RC ventured on track for a single installation lap, but would be prevented from getting back out again due to the stoppages. It failed to complete a single lap all day.