Fernando Alonso's #8 Toyota Racing seals Le Mans pole

BMW M8 GTE Le Mans 22 830x553

BMW M8 GTE Le Mans 22 830x553

The laps set by the two Toyotas went unchallenged for the remainder of the session by the privateer runners.

With the possibility of rain on Thursday, when two more qualifying sessions are scheduled, there is a chance that Wednesday's time will secure pole.

Toyota are effectively without direct opposition at Le Mans this year because they are the only team racing in the leading LMP1 hybrid class, following the withdrawal at the end of last season of champions Porsche.

Improvements from both Rebellions at the start of the final two-hour session looked to have secured the leading privateer outfit a second-row lockout, only for the faster #3 vehicle to have its time removed.

SMP Racing offered the closest challenge through Stephane Sarrazin's 3:19.483 in the No. 17 BR Engineering BR1 Gibson, while the fourth-placed No. 1 Rebellion R13 Gibson ended on a 3:19.662 courtesy of Bruno Senna. Ths second SMP Racing vehicle will start with Vitaly Petrov, Mikhail Aleshin and Jenson Button driving for the team.

Jackie Chan Racing will once again be a team to look out for during the race, as will the United Autosport and G-Drive teams. These machines will be far more familiar to vehicle fans, as they all take the form of supercars that can be bought in showrooms. The eighth auto to start at Le Mans 24 in the LMP1 class will be the sole entry from ByKolles Enso CLM, followed by Ginetta's No. 6 racer with Oliver Turvey, Alex Brundle and Oliver Rowland behind the wheel. The cars did climb the standings late on, but were unable to lap faster than the top two in LMP2, the fastest of the two (the No. 5) finishing the night's running 11. That bested ex-Audi man Loic Duval's No. 28 TDS Racing ORECA, which managed 3m25.240s. That time was briefly beaten by the #28 TDS Racing of Loic Duval, but unfortunately for the 2013 victor, it was deleted by the stewards, dropping Duval and co to 13th overall and fourth in class, behind #31 DragonSpeed and #26 G-Drive.

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Completing the top 10 were the best of the Corvette C7.Rs, the #63 auto of Antonio Garcia, and the second AF Corse Ferrari, whose best time was set by Sam Bird. The best time was set by Michael Simpson in the #5, with a 3:25.203 set in the final hour of the session. From there, the auto was pushed behind the tire barriers and didn't run again, making for a short but sweet run for the Italian. The top three in class had remained unchanged from first qualifying.

With its 17 factory-backed cars, this class should be producing the most enthralling action, but continues to frustrate observers.

Gulf Racing made it a Porsche 1-2-3 with its No. 88 911 RSR, while Spirit of Race's No. 54 Ferrari broke up the Porsches, but finished over two seconds off.

"It's hard at night, it's a like a different track", Alonso said after the session. Lap time improvements throughout the field were posted within the opening 30 minutes of running.

Meanwhile Porsche took pole in the GTE-Pro category thanks to Gianmaria Bruni's Wednesday lap of 3:47.504s in the #91.

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