Porsche spoils party with pole position at Le Mans


porsche takes pole in le mans, cadillac second and third
13 June at 20:34
  • Ludo van Denderen

The #3 Cadillac of Sebastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande and Scott Dixon appeared to take pole for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Thursday night, but in the closing stages of the so-called hyperpole, the #6 Porsche Penske of Kevin Estre, Andre Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor still spoiled the party. The German manufacturer will thus start Saturday's race at the very front. In the end, it was the #2 Cadillac that still nestled alongside the Porsche, pushing Bourdais and consorts back to the second row.

At 8pm sharp, the hyperpole was supposed to start on Thursday. After a huge crash in one of the support series and as a result the substantial damage to the crash barrier, the start time had to be postponed. Eventually only 35 minutes later than planned, the session could still be started. From then on, fans saw only seven cars competing in the hyperpole - in which the best eight cars from qualifying a day earlier took part - in the hypercar class. The #12 Jota could not be in action, following a crash in last night's free practice. During the hyperpole, the Porsche customer car was still undergoing repairs.

Bourdais set a fast time

In the first part of the 30-minute session, the #3 Cadillac and both Ferraris were fast. Sebastien Bourdais put his Cadillac on provisional pole with an extremely strong lap, over seven tenths ahead of the #50 Ferrari. Meanwhile, the #15 BMW, which qualified fastest for the hyperpole on Wednesday, did not have a happy day. Dries Vanthoor skidded off the track in the closing stages of the session and ended up in the tyre pile. Particularly painful, as the Belgian also went off at exactly the same point earlier in the week. The logical red flag came at an extremely inconvenient time especially for Ferrari, as Antonio Fuoco in the #50 was just faster on the road than the #3 Cadillac.

Bourdais watched from the pit garage as all the competitors initially broke away completely from his quick time. But after the flag had actually dropped, first the #2 Cadillac of Alex Lynn was quicker. Then it was the very last car to cross the line - the #6 Porsche of Kevin Estre - that spoiled Cadillac's party. In the end, Estre was a tenth and a half faster than the best Cadillac.

Hypercars results

LMP2 results

GT results