Porsche on pole for Le Mans 24 Hours

motorsport13 June 2024 20:50| © AFP
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Kevin Estre of Porsche Penske Motorsport © Gallo Images

Porsche will start on pole for this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours after topping qualifying at the famous circuit in the Sarthe region of France on Thursday.

The German manufacturer, seeking their first Le Mans title since 2017, put two Cadillacs in the shade to take the front of the grid in their No 6 car.

French driver Kevin Estre was behind the wheel to secure pole for a race due to be started by French football icon Zinedine Zidane on Saturday.

Estre will share the driving with German Andre Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor of Belgium.

Second in Thursday's 'hyperpole' qualifying session came Cadillac's No 2 car with Earl Bamber of New Zealand, Briton Alex Lynn and Alex Palou of Spain sharing the wheel.

Third fastest came Cadillac's No 3 car of another French driver Sebastien Bourdais, Renger van der Zande of the Netherlands and Kiwi Scott Dixon.

Ferrari, winners last year on their return to the event that attracts several hundred thousand diehard motor-racing fans every year, had to settle for fourth and fifth ahead of an Alpine.

Porsche are among the favourites to land the 92nd edition with no fewer than a six-car team lining up in the elite hypercar category.

Joining Porsche, Cadillac, Ferrari and Alpine are teams from Toyota, who rattled off five successive wins between 2018 and 2022, BMW, Lamborghini and Peugeot.

This is the first time the historic race has attracted nine constructors for 30 years.

"There's even less margin for error now," pole-sitter Estre told AFP.

"This race has always been difficult, but some years were slightly easier than others," he added, with only three constructors lining up in 2022.