Toyota took control of qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans as it locked out the top two positions in the second session on Thursday evening, led once again by Kamui Kobayashi.

Kobayashi put Toyota on provisional pole in Q1 on Wednesday night with a best lap of 3m17.161s in the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, but managed to shave more than 1.5 seconds off that time early in Q2.

A clean run at the start of the session with little traffic allowed Kobayashi to improve to a 3m15.497s, putting him just over one-tenth of a second shy of the pole lap from 2018 and within a second of the overall track record.

The sister #8 Toyota also took advantage of the clear track early in the session to improve its time, rising to P2 after only sitting fourth following Wednesday’s running.

Kazuki Nakajima – teammate to Fernando Alonso and Sebastien Buemi in the #8 Toyota - recorded a lap four-tenths of a second slower than Kobayashi’s to give Toyota a provisional one-two for the start heading into Q3 later tonight.

SMP Racing led the non-hybrid charge in LMP1 once again in Q2 as Mikhail Aleshin improved the #11 BR Engineering BR1-AER’s time to sit P3, 1.5 seconds off pole.

The sister #17 SMP entry that had sat second overnight dropped back to fifth after only making a marginal improvement, with Rebellion Racing’s #1 R13 Gibson rising to P4 thanks to a quick lap from Neel Jani.

Pastor Maldonado continued to set the pace for DragonSpeed in LMP2, finding three-tenths of a second to keep the #31 Oreca 07 Gibson on provisional class pole. Stephane Richelmi put Jackie Chan DC Racing’s #38 Oreca second in class, while Signatech Alpine Matmut ended the session P3 despite failing to improve its time from Q1 following an engine issue.

After few improvements in the class through much of the session, the fight for GTE-Pro pole stepped up in the final 15 minutes as Michael Christensen lifted Porsche up to P1 in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR. Back-to-back improvements from Antonio Garcia put Corvette's #63 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R into P2, three-hundredths of a second shy of the best effort, while overnight pole-sitter Harry Tincknell's lap remained good enough for third in the #67 Ford GT.

The order at the top of GTE-Am remained unchanged from Q1 with Dempsey-Proton Racing's #88 Porsche staying top of the timesheets ahead of entries from Team Project 1 and Spirit of Race in second and third respectively.

The two-hour session was interrupted by a 30-minute red flag following a suspected engine failure for the #3 Rebellion that forced Thomas Laurent to park up at the side of the track at Mulsanne, having also dropped oil across the circuit.

The final stage of qualifying takes place at 10pm local time at Le Mans, running until midnight.



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