The starting grid for the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans is official. With the qualifying sessions over, the overall pole position goes to the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid (Alonso/Buemi/Nakajima) on 3:15.377, with the Idec Sport Oreca 07 leading the way in LMP2, the #91 Porsche GT Team in LM GTE Pro and the #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing in LM GTE Am.
In the paddock on Thursday afternoon, Jacky Ickx quipped: “I admit I asked Pierre Fillon to appoint me as Grand Marshal this year because it was the only chance I had of being in front of Fernando Alonso on track.”
As Grand Marshal, the six-time Le Mans winner will indeed lead the formation lap of the sixty-strong grid for the 86th edition before peeling off to leave the field to start the race in earnest.
During the formation lap, competitors stay in grid order. Toyota has closed out the front row with both the #8 and the #7 ahead of the LMP1 non-hybrids. We know that the Japanese hybrids are on a mission to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Toyota.
In LMP2 the #48 IDEC Sport Oreca 07 banked the best time with 3:24.842.
The Porsche GT Team’s #91 Porsche 911 RSR (3:47.504 for Bruni/Lietz/Makowiecki) has clinched first place on the grid in the hotly-disputed LMGTE Pro class in which six constructors will be jostling for position this weekend.
In LMGTE Am, the best time was booked by Dempsey Proton Racing (Al Qubaisi-Cairoli-Roda) on 3:50.728.
Over the past two days, teams have worked hard throughout the practice and qualifying sessions, testing and improving on their set-ups.