Neel Jani scores provisional pole with new lap record in Le Mans


LE MANS, France – Porsche has a 1-2-3 in the first two-hour qualifying session for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the top two cars under the previous track record.

Neel Jani has the provisional pole in the No. 18 Porsche 919 Hybrid, following a lap of 3:16.887 around the 8.4-mile Circuit de la Sarthe.

Jani’s time edged Timo Bernhard’s best time of 3:17.767 in the No. 17 Porsche 919 Hybrid, with both times coming on their first flying laps and going ahead of Stephane Sarrazin’s previous track record time of 3:18.513 in a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP in 2008.

The No. 19 Porsche 919 Hybrid, with the best time set by Nick Tandy, completed the top three sweep.

The three Audi R18 e-tron quattros were next.

Other class polesitters after the first day include KCMG (LMP2, Richard Bradley) with its No. 47 Oreca 05 Nissan, and the pair of factory Aston Martin Vantage V8s in both GTE-Pro and GTE-Am. Richie Stanaway in the No. 99 car and Pedro Lamy in the No. 98 car lead their respective classes.

Two more qualifying sessions occur on Thursday, two hours apiece.