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Porsche locks out Le Mans front row

By Cameron Kirby, 17 Jun 2016 Motorsport

Porsche locks out Le Mans front row

The men from Stuttgart repeat history, qualifying 1-2 for the 24 Hour epic

PORSCHE has locked out the front row for this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Neel Jani scored back-to-back pole positions after rain washed out most of the final qualifying session.

The pole time of 3:19.733 was set by the Jani in the #2 Porsche 919 LMP1 Hybrid in the first qualifying session on Wednesday.

After erratic weather hampered Thursday’s sessions, the time stood as the best of the field.

Porsche -racing -teamJani and teammates Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb will start alongside the #1 919 of Timo Berhnhard, Brendon Hartley, and Mark Webber.

The Porsche lockout means the front row is identical to the start of the 2015 race – won by a third Porsche entry which included Formula 1 driver Nico Hulkenberg, as well as Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy.

Toyota locked out the second row for 2016, with its TS050 hybrids proving to be a significant improvement on last year’s cars.

Porsche Le Mans carThe #6 Toyota will start third, ahead of its #5 sister car, with a best qualifying time just over a second off the pace of the pole-sitter.

Kamui Kobayashi was the fastest in the final wet qualifying session in the #6 TS050, lapping the La Sarthe circuit in 3:50.934.

Audi had a horrid time in qualifying, with the #8 starting fifth, ahead of the #7 R18 e-tron quattro LMP1.

Porsche -racing -Le -Mans -carIn GTE-Pro, Ford took a controversial 1-2-4-5 in its return to Le Mans as a factory team.

The GTs turned up the wick significantly in qualifying, prompting calls of sandbagging during Balance of Performance testing by competitors.

The #68 will start in pole for the class, while Australian Ryan Briscoe secured second with a 3:51.497.