Toyota on pole for 24 Hours of Le Mans
13 June 2014 – Toyota will start the 24 Hours of Le Mans from pole position after Kazuki Nakajima's lap in final qualifying.
The ex-Formula 1 driver clocked a 3:21.789 – the only effort below the 3m22s mark – in the early stages of the session to comfortably secure the top spot for himself and team-mates Alexander Wurz and Stéphane Sarrazin.
"To start from pole position – even though it is 24 hours – is great," said Nakajima. "It's a very good feeling and I am really happy with the car. I struggled with the traffic but I managed to get one lap in and it was just enough."
Romain Dumas gave Porsche a front row start in the #14 car, while Sébastien Buemi put the #8 Toyota third.
The #20 Porsche, which held provisional pole after Wednesday's session, was unable to improve on fourth.
Tristan Gommendy claimed pole for Ligier in the LMP2 class, AF Corse Ferrari's Gianmaria Bruni set the pace in GTE Pro and the #81 Ferrari of Sam Bird was over a second faster than the nearest competition in GTE Am.
Final qualifying followed a dramatic second session, during which the #1 Audi suffered its second crash of the weekend at the hands of Lucas di Grassi. The Brazilian crawled back to the pits, but subsequently sent the #29 Pegasus Morgan-Nissan – being driven by Leo Roussel – into the barriers when his car darted to the left.
James Calado, driving the #71 AF Corse Ferrari, also endured a major accident, losing control at the Porsche Curves. The GP2 race winner was taken to a nearby hospital for medical checks and, although he confirmed no serious injuries via social media, he has been ruled unfit to race. He is set to be replaced by Pierre Kaffer.