Kobayashi "disappointed" to miss new Le Mans record

Jamie Klein
·1-min read

Kobayashi claimed Toyota's fourth consecutive pole position for the French endurance classic in Friday's first-ever 'Hyperpole' qualifying session, which gave the fastest six cars from Thursday's first qualifying session their own shootout.

That meant traffic was much less of an issue than it traditionally has been during qualifying, potentially putting Kobayashi's 3m14.791s record from 2017 within reach. 

The ex-Formula 1 racer posted a 3m15.267s this time around to secure the top spot for the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, just over half a second up on the second-placed Rebellion R-13.

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Kamui Kobayashi

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Kamui Kobayashi<span class="copyright">Rainier Ehrhardt</span>
#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Kamui KobayashiRainier Ehrhardt

Rainier Ehrhardt

WEC points leaders Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway are still seeking their first Le Mans triumph, having missed out to the sister Toyota crew of Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Fernando Alonso for the past two years.

Kobayashi is hoping the momentum the #7 crew is carrying from their win in the previous round of the series at Spa last month will translate into success this weekend.

"From what happened last year we are definitely hungry to finally win," said the Japanese driver. "We were always pretty quick here, but somehow we never won.

"The same thing was happening at Spa, but this year we managed to win at Spa, so I think this year could be different and we’ll try our best. I think Le Mans is always something special, even if you have one of the best cars [sometimes] you still can’t win.

"This is the story of the 24 Hours, but it’s always important to push and do your best."