Qualifying, FIA World Endurance Championship Le Mans

June 12, 2024

Two Porsche and one 911 GT3 R qualify for the Hyperpole at Le Mans.


  • Kévin Estre will fight for pole position with the Porsche 963
  • Hertz Team Jota driver Callum Ilott also advances into the Hyperpole
  • Le Mans qualifying session marked by heavy traffic and incidents
  • Klaus Bachler qualifies for the LMGT3 Hyperpole with Manthey PureRxcing
  • Shootout for the best grid spots on Thursday at 8 pm

Two Porsche 963 have advanced into the so-called 'Hyperpole' in qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In this 30-minute session, the eight fastest drivers in each category will make a bid for pole position on Thursday at 8 pm. Kévin Estre qualified the No. 6 Porsche 963 for the Porsche Penske Motorsport works team. As eighth quickest, the Hertz Team Jota outfit will send one of the hybrid prototypes from Weissach into the Hyperpole session, too. In the LMGT3 class, Austria's Klaus Bachler progressed into the critical shootout at the wheel of Manthey PureRxcing's Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Stuttgart. In ideal weather conditions with scattered clouds and an air temperature of almost 20 degrees Celsius, the qualifying got underway with a jostling congregation at the pit exit. The reason: whoever is first on the racetrack has the clearest run in the early stages and thus the chance of advancing into the Hyperpole on Thursday. Right from the start, many competitors set impressive lap times. For this session, the three Porsche Penske Motorsport 963 were driven by the works drivers Nick Tandy from Great Britain (No. 4), the Australian Matt Campbell (No. 5) and Kévin Estre. At the wheel of the No. 6 car, the Frenchman qualified for the Hyperpole in 3:25.501 minutes. His Porsche 963 currently ranks first in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC. The sister cars, which also put out 511 kW (695 PS), are expected to start the 24-hour race on Saturday at 4 pm from positions 10 and 19.

"That was a close and gripping qualifying session with a tightly packed field in the Hypercar class," stated Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. "We would've preferred to have had more works-run Porsche 963 reach the Hyperpole, so we're disappointed. We now need to look at the results and draw the appropriate conclusions with a view to the race on Saturday. Unlike in previous practice sessions, I think we got a better idea in the qualifying of how we stack up against the competition and we have some orientation in this regard."

"In the end, the top eight were separated by just seventh tenths of a second - that gives a clear indication of just how close the qualifying was on this 13-kilometre course," explains Jonathan Diuguid, Managing Director Porsche Penske Motorsport. Our number 6 car made it into the top 8, the other two works cars simply couldn't get a clear run. Nick Tandy was particularly unlucky in our number 4 car and so was Matt on his second flying lap. We're getting good feedback from the drivers about the performance of our cars so we're feeling optimistic as we head into the upcoming race."

Hertz Team Jota's No. 12 Porsche also made it into the Hyperpole thanks to Callum Ilott (UK). As all the lap times of another competitor were subsequently cancelled, the customer team moved up to eighth place. In P17, the British team's second hybrid prototype missed out on advancing into the next heat, as did the identical racing car fielded by Proton Competition, in which former Porsche Junior Julien Andlauer from France qualified 14th.

In the LMGT3 class, the two Porsche 911 GT3 R campaigned by Manthey EMA and Manthey PureRxcing fought for a top-eight result in qualifying. Klaus Bachler gave the seasoned customer squad from Germany's Eifel region good reason to celebrate: the Austrian planted the No. 92 Porsche 911 on fifth place. The sister car is expected to tackle the endurance classic from 16th on the grid.

Live streaming of the race
The 92nd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans gets underway this coming Saturday, 15 June at 4 pm. The official apps of the FIA WEC and the Le Mans organiser ACO offer a paid live stream and live timing.

Drivers' comments on the qualifying
Kévin Estre (Porsche 963 #6): "We had an hour to turn the fastest lap possible. A lot was going on out on the track - with 62 cars there was obviously a lot of overtaking. I did my best and ultimately it worked. Half a tenth of a second was the deciding factor in our favour. We now need to see where we can make tweaks to improve before the race. But right now, I'm excited about competing into the Hyperpole on Thursday."

Matt Campbell (Porsche 963 #5): "I'm thrilled for our colleagues in the number 6, but personally I'm a bit disappointed - I would have preferred to reach the Hyperpole, as well, but luck wasn't on my side today. Cars kept getting in my way, so I had to slow down. It's a shame. Now we'll start from P10 on the grid, which isn't as ideal."

Qualifying result
Hypercar class:

1. D. Vanthoor/Marciello/Wittmann (B/CH/D), BMW #15, 3:24.465 minutes
2. Bourdais/van der Zande/Dixon (F/NL/NZ), Cadillac #3, -0,177 seconds
3. Fuoco/Molina/Nielsen (I/E/DK), Ferrari #50, -0.266 seconds
7. Estre/Lotterer/Vanthoor (F/D/B), Porsche 963 #6, -0.586 seconds
8. Ilott/Stevens/Nato (UK/UK/F), Porsche 963 #12, -0.680 seconds
10. Campbell/Christensen/Makowiecki (AUS/DK/F), Porsche 963 #5, -0.842 seconds
14. Andlauer/Jani/Tincknell (F/CH/UK), Porsche 963 #99, -1.527 seconds
17. Hanson/Button/Rasmussen (UK/UK/DK), Porsche 963 #38, -1.825 seconds
19 Tandy/Nasr/Jaminet (UK/BR/F), Porsche 963 #4, -1.897 seconds