Le Mans 2014: Toyota seal pole for Le Mans 24 Hours as Kasuki Nakajima triumphs in heavily disrupted qualifying

No fewer than seven red flags have seriously hampered running time at this year's Le Mans with Toyota and Porsche locking Audi out of the front two rows

Kazuki Nakajima's Toyota No. 7 took pole position at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, giving the Japanese manufacturer a head start in its bid for a first win in the famed endurance race.

Nakajima became the first Japanese driver to set the fastest time in qualifying at Le Mans, clocking 3 minutes, 21.789 seconds on Thursday on the 13-kilometer (eight-mile) circuit. Toyota's chances look good as Sebastien Buemi's Toyota No. 8 will start from third on the grid. 

In its return to Le Mans after a 16-year absence in the top category, Porsche will start from second and fourth. At the wheel of Porsche No. 14, Romain Dumas set the second best time, 0.357 off the pace. 

Audi showed a lack of pace in qualifying. Its three cars will start from fifth, sixth and seventh.  The No 1 car that suffered such extensive damage in a crash on Wednesday when Loic Duval experienced an airborne collision with the barrier was rebuilt in time to feature in qualifying, but suffered another crash that hampered it's running in the afternoon session.

Loic Duval suffered a heavy accident in practice for the Le Mans 24 hours Loic Duval suffered a heavy accident in practice for the Le Mans 24 hours Duval has not been cleared to race despite escaping with grazes to his leg, and has been replaced by Audi test driver Marc Gene, who was due to race for the Jota LMP2 team. Oliver Turvey has been called-up to replace Gene as a result.

AP

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test