Jani retains pole at Le Mans, while No. 63 Corvette withdrawn from race

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LE MANS, France – With no major changes on Thursday, the grid for Saturday’s 83rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans doesn’t look too different from how it did after Wednesday.

Neel Jani’s new lap record of 3:16.887 in the No. 18 Porsche 919 Hybrid is now set as the pole position time, in the car he’ll share with Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb.

None of the three other class pole positions changed, either. Richard Bradley (LMP2, No. 47 KCMG Oreca 05 Nissan), Richie Stanaway (GTE-Pro, No. 99 Aston Martin Vantage V8) and Pedro Lamy (GTE-Am, No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage V8) retained their poles from Wednesday.

The biggest moment of drama on the day came during the second qualifying session when Jan Magnussen had a mechanical issue that took him into the barriers exiting Porsche Curves.

Sadly, the Corvette Racing team confirmed the withdrawal of the No. 63 Corvette C7.R late Thursday night as the damage was not repairable on-site. It denies Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe a chance to win at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans in the same year.

“We are thankful that Jan has been checked and released by the ACO medical staff,” said Mark Kent, Director of Chevrolet Racing. “We are disappointed that the No. 63 Corvette C7.R will be unable to compete at Le Mans this year. The Corvette Racing team put a lot of work into two C7.Rs for this event, and unfortunately only one will be in the race.”