24H Le Mans GT: Bruni sets best time in the first qualifying session

Porsche has left a strong impression after the first qualifying session on the Circuit des 24 Heures. In his very first lap, start driver Gianmaria Bruni set a phenomenal time of 3:47.504 minutes in his #91 Porsche 911 RSR, a time that none of his opponents could even come close to.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche GT Team (91), Gianmaria Bruni (I), Richard Lietz (A), Frederic Makowiecki (F), Le Mans 2018

The Italian’s 510 hp racer was setup specifically for a fast lap and benefited from the fact that the 13.626-kilometre circuit has become significantly faster compared to last year. Bruni’s vehicle then suffered a puncture and was unable to continue. However, he and his teammates Richard Lietz (Austria) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) managed to retain the top spot in the first qualifying session at the toughest long-distance race in the world.

Gianmaria Bruni (Porsche 911 RSR #91): “My first lap was fantastic with very little traffic and so I was able to coax everything out of the car. In the second lap I took Turn 1 exactly as I had in the previous lap, however I suddenly lost the car while turning in and ended up in the gravel. When I climbed out I noticed that the front right tyre was flat. I’m very pleased with my great time.”

In the GTE-Am class, three Porsche racers topped the time sheets at the first qualifying. Driving for Dempsey-Proton Racing, Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) posted the fastest lap in his 510 hp 911 RSR (#88). In the second Dempsey-Proton Racing entry, Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer (France) set the second fastest time in the #77 car, with Ben Barker (Great Britain) turning the third quickest lap in Gulf Racing’s #86 vehicle.

Result Qualifying 1
GTE-Pro class
1. Lietz/Bruni/Makowiecki (A/I/F), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:47.504 minutes
2. Christensen/Estre/Vanthoor (DK/F/B), Porsche 911 RSR, +1.593 seconds
3. Mücke/Pla/Johnson (D/F/USA), Ford GT, +1.677 seconds
4. Hand/Müller/Bourdais (USA/D/F), Ford GT, +2.078 seconds
5. Pier Guidi/Calado/Serra (I/GB/BR), Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, +2.350 seconds
6. Dumas/Bernhard/Müller (F/D/D), Porsche 911 RSR, +2.585 seconds
7. Pilet/Tandy/Bamber (F/GB/NZ), Porsche 911 RSR, +2.757 seconds
8. Priaulx/Tincknell/Kanaan (GB/GB/BR), Ford GT, +2.925 seconds
9. Farfus/Félix da Costa/Sims (BR/P/GB), BMW M8 GTE, +3.075 seconds
10. Briscoe/Westbrook/Dixon (AUS/GB/NZ), Ford GT, +3.089 seconds

GTE-Am class
1. Al Qubaisi/Roda/Cairoli (UAE/I/I), Porsche 911 RSR, 3:50.728 minutes
2. Ried/Andlauer/Campbell (D/F/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, +1.202 seconds
3. Wainwright/Barker/Davison (GB/GB/AUS), Porsche 911 RSR, +1.789 seconds
4. Flohr/Castellacci/Fisichella (CH/I/I), Ferrari 488 GTE, +2.028 seconds
5. Bergmeister/Lindsey/Perfetti (D/USA/N), Porsche 911 RSR, +2.257 seconds
11. Babini/Nielsen/Maris (I/DK/F), Porsche 911 RSR, +4.841 seconds
13. Long/Pappas/Pumpelly (USA/USA/USA), Porsche 911 RSR, +12.379 seconds