Porsche locks out first row at world’s toughest long-distance race

Final qualifying, World Endurance Championship WEC, Round 2 at Le Mans/France

Two Porsche 911 RSR racers take up the 86th edition of the Le Mans long-distance classic from the first grid row. At the wheel of the #91 vehicle, Gianmaria Bruni had already set the quickest time during the first qualifying session on Wednesday, which no team could beat in the final qualifying day. Bruni lapped the 13.626-kilometre circuit in 3:47.504 minutes. Never before has a GT vehicle turned a faster lap at Le Mans. This puts the Italian and his teammates Richard Lietz (Austria) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France) on pole position for the 24-hour race. The #92 Porsche 911 RSR driven by Michael Christensen, who also posted his fastest lap in the first qualifying, takes up the race from the second grid spot. The Dane shares the cockpit with Frenchman Kévin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium.

Patrick Pilet was able to improve in the 510-hp nine-eleven (#93) in the final qualifying, setting the sixth fastest time with his teammates Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand). Bad luck struck Sven Müller in the fourth Porsche 911 RSR (#94). The youngster from Germany, who also tackles the GTE-Pro class, slid from the track in the Indianapolis 1 turn. The vehicle could no longer continue in the qualifying session, however it will be ready to take up the race from eighth on the grid on Saturday.

Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche GT Team (91), Gianmaria Bruni (I), Richard Lietz (A), Frederic Makowiecki (F), Ebimotors (80), Christina Nielsen (DK), Fabio Babini (I), Erik Maris (F), Le Mans 2018
Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche GT Team (91), Gianmaria Bruni (I), Richard Lietz (A), Frederic Makowiecki (F), Ebimotors (80), Christina Nielsen (DK), Fabio Babini (I), Erik Maris (F), Le Mans 2018

In the GTE-Am class, three Porsche 911 RSR conquered the first three grid positions. Porsche Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy), Khaled Al Qubaisi (United Arab Emirates) and Giorgio Roda (Italy) secured pole position with their #88 911 fielded by Dempsey-Proton Racing. Directly behind them, the Porsche 911 RSR (#86) run by the Gulf Racing team and the #77 vehicle of Dempsey-Proton Racing head off into the long-distance classic at 3pm on Saturday from positions two and three respectively.

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