If you remember back to last year, EngageSportMode got quite excited about Le Mans. Less so about the racing, as good as it was, and more so about the awesome imagery coming out of the manufacturers’ press offices. 2015 is proving to be no different, so we bring you some of the best shots from qualifying.
Porsche must be hoping that this is the year when the 919 project really comes to fruition. Last year was a disappointment, with the new car suffering various issues that ruled it out of contention for the win, after a close fight with Audi. This year, however, the three Porsches took the top places in qualifying; a statement of intent yes, but they still need to finish to win. Plus, whilst the 919 claimed pole position in the first two rounds of this year’s World Endurance Championship, it didn’t win either.
Audi – R18 e-tron quattro
With all the talk of Formula 1 entries, and an internal battle with Porsche, you could think that Audi would be contemplating easing off its claim on Le Mans. But only a fool would forget that Audi has won 13 of the last 15 races at La Sarthe; Audi will certainly not go quietly! It’s also on a roll after winning the preceding two rounds of the World Endurance Championship this year, and has an immense amount of experience at dominating this 24 hour race. Don’t rule out the R18 adding more wins to that impressive tally, and qualifying 4th, 5th and 6th puts them in fighting distance of Porsche.
Toyota – TS040 Hybrid
Toyota must be somewhat perplexed by their performance at Le Mans. Despite a convincing win in last year’s World Endurance Championship, Le Mans continues to elude the Japanese marque. Still, they feature a high-quality driver line up, but the signs at present suggest this won’t be the year Toyota adds Le Mans to its achievements – unless something seriously dramatic happens.
If Toyota think they’ve got it bad, then a look at Nissan should make them feel positively cheery. The radical front-wheel drive GT-R LM is struggling for pace, so much so that they failed to make the 110% qualifying time minimum. As such, they’ll be starting 30th, 31st and 32nd positions, stuck behind all but one of the LMP2 category. Whilst qualifying isn’t that important in a 24 hour race, the lack of speed is going to be Nissan’s real problem. To think, they skipped the first to WEC rounds in order to concentrate on Le Mans! Still, nice retro livery though…
There’s not long to go until we see just who will come out on top. Be sure to join us on Twitter as we follow the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours.