The #8 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid of Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso topped the qualifying times after the first session on Wednesday evening.
Lapping the Circuit de la Sarthe circuit with a time of 3min 17.270s set by Nakajima, the trio lead qualifying going into today’s final two sessions, just 0.107s ahead of the sister #7 TS050 Hybrid.
Nakajima said on his performance: “It was a normal session for us. It is good to be on provisional pole but it is only first qualifying so let’s see what happens for the rest of the week.”
“It was difficult to put everything together on my lap because the traffic was difficult. I put in a decent lap time so it was a positive start to qualifying but we need to work more on the race set-up and preparation as it is a very long race.”
Teammate Buemi added: “It was a very good day for the team. In the end the objective was to be one-two tonight and we achieved that, plus we put quite a lot more laps in the bag. I am happy with what we have done; the car in free practice wasn’t great but it is quite a lot better now. It is the start of a very long journey so let’s not get too excited.”
While Spaniard Alonso commented, “It was a good day for us and we learned a lot in free practice with the set-up. In qualifying it was more about getting used to the conditions at night.
“It went well for me and it was important to get some laps in the dark; I’m looking forward to more tomorrow as I am still finding some references and braking points.”
“This race is so long and difficult so anything can happen but we are as prepared as we can be and we have done a good job up to now.”
Qualifying for the 2018 Le Mans 24 Hours continues today with two further 120 minute sessions.