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Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi on pole ahead of fellow Toyota

Alonso, Nakajima and Buemi on pole ahead of fellow Toyota

14/06/2018 at 22:10Updated 15/06/2018 at 07:24

Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi will begin the 24 Hours of Le Mans in pole position after finishing two seconds quicker ahead of their fellow Toyota car.

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Nakajima, an ex-F1 driver led the way in Thursday's third qualifying session with a time of three minutes and 15.377 seconds to set up his #8 Toyota as they finished just ahead of the sister #7 car which is being driven by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez.

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Toyota have never won at Le Mans but they are the overwhelming favourites because they are effectively the only competitor in the LMP1 hybrid class after Porsche pulled out at the end of last season.

Video - Alonso's Toyota on pole for Le Mans 24 Hours

04:53

Toyota are the only team in the class with the other LMP1 cars not being hybrids and being run by privateer teams which incurs a raft of penalties thereby meaning the Japanese cars are likely to win barring reliability issues.

It puts Alonso in a fantastic position to complete a second part of Motorsport's Triple Crown, having already won the Monaco F1 Grand Prix twice.

Video - Le Mans 24 Hours: Focus on Fernando Alonso

02:28

Toyota have been forced to deny claims they are favouring Alonso's car in the race because of the extra publicity his victory would bring, saying that both cars will race hard to bring home a Toyota one-two.

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya could beat Alonso to the Triple Crown having already won in Monaco and Indianapolis but he is in a slower LMP2 car so would need a wave of reliability issues to plague the cars ahead of him.

Earlier on Thursday Alonso had set the pace with the fastest time of the second qualifying session but it still wasn't enough to beat Nakajima's time from the first session on Wednesday which had been the provisional pole ahead of today's sessions.

You can watch the entire race live on Eurosport and the Eurosport Player.

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