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24h Le Mans: #15 BMW M Hybrid V8 reaches Hyperpole and starts the race from sixth on the grid.

First an impressive performance in qualifying, then a slip in the Hyperpole: Dries Vanthoor (BEL) secured sixth place on the grid for the #15 BMW M Hybrid V8 in the battle for pole position at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA).

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Andrea Schwab
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Le Mans. First an impressive performance in qualifying, then a slip in the Hyperpole: Dries Vanthoor (BEL) secured sixth place on the grid for the #15 BMW M Hybrid V8 in the battle for pole position at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (FRA). With first place and the fastest time after an outstanding lap on Wednesday, Vanthoor exceeded all expectations. On Thursday, he was fast again in the Hyperpole but had a slip into the tyre barriers that ended his time chase. Nonetheless, he put himself and his driving colleagues Raffaele Marciello (SUI) and Marco Wittmann (GER) in a good starting position for the race.

 

Video Interviews: Current statements from Andreas Roos, Vincent Vosse, and Dries Vanthoor on qualifying: https://b.mw/Le_Mans_Interviews .

 

While Vanthoor managed to qualify the #15 BMW M Hybrid V8 for the Hyperpole, the #20 BMW M Hybrid V8 Art Car will start the race from the 16th position on the grid. In the LMGT3 category, the #46 BMW M4 GT3 qualified in twelfth place, while the #31 BMW M4 GT3 took the 15th spot.

 

The 24 Hours of Le Mans begin on Saturday at 16:00 CEST. On Friday afternoon, the famous drivers' parade will take place in the city center of Le Mans.

 

Comments on the qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans:

 

Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “In general, we can be happy with qualifying. To have one car in Hyperpole is great. Yesterday’s provisional pole lap by Dries was amazing and a big motivation boost for everybody in the team. It was nice to see what Dries can do with the car. In Hyperpole everybody went to the limit to get the last hundredth of a second out of the lap. Unfortunately, Dries locked up and went straight into the barriers. Luckily, he is okay, which is by far the most important news. We want our guys to give everything especially in Hyperpole. It didn’t work out for us, but we take the positives, that we were able to fight for the top. In LMGT3, we didn’t make it to Hyperpole, which is a shame. We weren’t able to get the speed out of the car that we would have needed. But it is a long race. We will try to find a good set-up and make up a lot of places. Conditions might be tricky, so it will be about avoiding mistakes in the race, keeping the car on the track and not getting any penalties. When we survive the night, we’ll see where we can end up on Sunday afternoon.”

 

Vincent Vosse (Team Principal BMW M Team WRT): “Of course, I am a little disappointed with the outcome of the Hyperpole, especially for the crew who had some extra work with the repairs. On Wednesday, we were in high spirits after setting the fastest time in qualifying, but now we are fully focused on the race. We are making steady progress and hope for good results in the race with both Hypercars. I am an optimist, and although we know it will be difficult given the weather forecast, I think we can make it into the top-5 with a flawless race. In the LMGT3 class, I was very disappointed with the qualifying result. But here too, I am optimistic for the race. Why shouldn't we be able to fight for the podium and maybe even the win?”

 

Dries Vanthoor (#15 BMW M Hybrid V8, 6th place): “A very big mix of emotions from one day to the other. I made a mistake and just locked up. Luckily we don’t have a lot of damage, it’s just annoying! There is still a long race to go and anything can happen, for sure I’m going to try and make it up in the race.”

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