In the 90th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, to be held this weekend, António Félix da Costa and Filipe Albuquerque are in the pole race in the LMP2 category, the most popular in the competition, with 27 prototypes among the 62 machines. in action at the Circuit de La Sarthe in round 3 of the 2022 World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Yesterday, the two Portuguese qualified for the Hyperpole, this afternoon (19.00-19.30 hours), to «clean up» the first positions on the starting grid, in the four categories in competition. Félix da Costa, in the Oreca 07-Gibson 38 of the JOTA team, completed the 13.625 km of La Sarthe in 3.30.124 m, registering the sixth best record «overall» and the second among the LMP2, 0.226 s from the fastest, the WRT’s Orec 07-Gibson 31.
Filipe Albuquerque, in the Oreca 07-Gibson 22 of United Autosports USA, was fifth between the LMP2 and the ninth absolute, 0.741 s from the fastest in the category, thus achieving qualification for the Hyperpole, a session that brings together the five Hypercars and the six fastest machines in the LMP2, LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am categories.
Yesterday, at the top of the timesheet, the Toyota GR020 Hybrid 7, with 3,27.247 m on the way back to La Sarthe. He achieved it with Kamui Kobayashi, a driver who is chasing his fifth pole position at Le Mans in six years – and the fourth in a row. Last year, the 35-year-old Japanese rider secured it with 3,23,900 m, a record well above the 3,14,791 m he signed in 2017, in a Toyota TS050 Hybrid. New Hypercars are slower than the LMP1s they replaced in 2021.
The third Portuguese driver at Le Mans, rookie Henrique Chaves, did not qualify for Hyperpole. The TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR 33, after time elimination for violating the track limits, was penalized by the appearance of rain, which prevented faster laps, and marked the 19th registered among the LMGTE Am. This result puts him in position 55 on the starting grid for the 90th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday.
Source: With Agencies