Former Sauber and Caterham F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi claimed his fourth pole position at the Circuit de la Sarthe in the last five years to put his #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid at the very front of the grid for the iconic race.

Kobayashi is joined by Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez in the #7 Toyota entry that is looking to finally break its Le Mans curse after a number of near-misses in recent years.

Luck has always seemed to evade the #7 at the World Endurance Championship’s blue riband event, with mechanical issues curtailing the car in 2017, 2019 and 2020.

There will be direct competition from the sister #8 Toyota formed of ex-F1 trio of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Kazuki Nakajima, who ended up 0.3s off Kobayashi’s lap in Thursday evening’s Hyperpole session.

Fellow LMP1 entries from Alpine and Glickenhaus will be aiming to take the fight to Toyota and prevent the Japanese manufacturer from running away with a fourth consecutive victory in the legendary around-the-clock race.

Anthony Davidson is seeking his first Le Mans win and heads a stacked LMP2 class that features a plethora of former F1 drivers, including Alfa Romeo reserve Robert Kubica, ex-Manor driver Will Stevens and former Force India racer Paul di Resta.

Other former grand prix drivers also competing for class honours in LMP2 are Stoffel Vandoorne, Juan Pablo Montoya, Felipe Nasr, Giedo van der Garde, Roberto Merhi and father-son duo Jan and Kevin Magnussen, who are chasing Le Mans success together.

Meanwhile, the ex-F1 contingent is completed by Italian pair Gianmaria Bruni (Minardi) and Giancarlo Fisichella (Minardi, Jordan, Benetton, Sauber, Renault, Force India, Ferrari) who are driving for Porsche and Ferrari respectively in GTE Pro and GTE Am.

Full Hyperpole qualifying results and Le Mans 24 Hours grid positions