Michelin has won the Le Mans 24 Hours every year since 1998, in association with Audi, Porsche, Peugeot, BMW and Bentley. This time around, the French firm i...
The 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours action kicked off with this evening’s four-hour free practice session which ended with Toyota Gazoo Racing at the top the order with its two Michelin-equipped TS050-Hybrids. The afternoon’s fastest time was the work of last year’s pole-setter Kamui Kobayashi (N°7, 3m18.718s) who was 0.557s quicker than Buemi in the N°8 car.
G-Drive Racing’s Jean-Eric Vergne (N°26) toppled the N°38 Idec Sport/Michelin prototype from the LMP2 lead with a quarter-of-an-hour of the session remaining.
Conditions were bright and sunny throughout, with the track and air temperatures standing at 27°C and 21°C at the start of the session. Weather forecasters are predicting rain for Thursday evening, however, so fireworks can be expected during tonight’s Q1 (start: 10pm local time) as teams scrap for the best overnight time which could well turn out to be the pole-winning effort. Last year, Kamui Kobayashi earned first place on the grid for Toyota in Wednesday’s qualifying session thanks to a new lap record of 3m14.791s. For the moment, we are practically four seconds short of that benchmark.