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Porsche one-two as traffic blocks clean runs

Porsche has backed up its practice pace at Le Mans by provisionally qualifying one-two with Neel Jani setting the benchmark with a 3m 19.733s
Click here for full Le Mans 24 Hours qualifying one results

Porsche has backed up its practice pace at Le Mans by provisionally qualifying one-two with Neel Jani setting the benchmark with a 3m 19.733s having found a gap in the traffic.

With the bolstered 60-car grid, all drivers were looking for some space to set a qualifying lap time in the ideal conditions early in the session.

Jani grabbed an early hot lap which ended up the provisional pole time after Timo Bernhard in the #1 Porsche was denied his hot lap due to a red flag.

With Bernhard flying, the #82 Risi Competitizone with Giancarlo Fisichella crashed out in sector three and required a safe removal which promoted the red flag and ended the #1 Porsche's opportunity.

With track temperature falling and the traffic slowing all cars down any lap time improvements were fleeting and minor in LMP1. That handed the #2 Porsche top spot with its sister car in second 0.470s behind.

Toyota also made the most of the early clearer running with #6 Toyota Gazoo Racing in third and the #5 in fourth – pushing both Audi's into fifth and sixth respectively.

Weather conditions in Thursday's qualifying two and three look unsettled which could dictate the starting grid to remain unchanged and hand Porsche an early advantage.

G-Drive heads hotly-contested LMP2

The #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 05-Nissan has headed the tightly-contested P2 competition with Rene Rast enjoying a late improvement to pull out half a second on the chasers.

With such close and competitive racing across the 23-entry grid Rast's half-second gap could prove vital if weather conditions worsen for Thursday's qualifying, with Baxi DC Racing Alpine the nearest challenger.

Signatech Alpine, who enjoyed the strongest of the showing in practice, claimed third ahead of the vastly-improved Manor entry in fourth with Roberto Mehri at the wheel.

Ford floods top spots in GTE-Pro

Returning to Le Mans 50 years on from its iconic 1966 victory, Ford has laid out its stall by putting all four of its cars inside the top five qualifying spots, with the Chip Ganassi-run #68 machine taking provisional pole ahead of its US sister car of #69.

The front-running #51 AF Corse Ferrari had looked assured of top spot until a late ramp up of times by all four Fords which saw the United States pair jump into the top two spots while the WEC-focused entries claimed fourth and fifth respectively.

Ferrari can take comfort from the GTE-Am class with Clearwater Racing taking top spot in the class by a couple of tenths from the #98 Aston Martin Racing entry.
by Haydn Cobb



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