Watch Toyota's Kamui Kobayashi decimate the Le Mans lap record
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It's Le Mans week; the second biggest week of the motorsport calendar behind Monaco and Indy's shared space in late May.
And as you'd expect, the whole motorsport community comes together in these times — friends nestle next to friends, enemies huddle even closer as they try to psych out each other ahead of race day.
This year's 24 Hours of Le Mans has two big plot points; Toyota versus Porsche, and Ford versus everyone else in GTE-Pro. The former sees a Japanese manufacturer seeking revenge after losing last year's race in devastating last-gasp fashion. They've developed a car that appears vastly superior to reigning champs Porsche, having wiped the floor with the German marque during testing and practice.
The latter meanwhile has been shrouded in controversy, with other manufacturers accusing Ford of sandbagging after a relatively lackluster build-up to race day.
Both stories came to a head in qualifying. Only one Ford (that of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, and Kiwi Scott Dixon) made it into the top five in qualifying, with Aston Martin reigning supreme with their cars in first and third (Richie Stanaway among the drivers in the second car).
Meanwhile for Toyota, a taste of triumph as their cars took three of the top four spots including a clock-shattering pole and Circuit de la Sarthe record-breaking lap for Kamui Kobayashi in the #8 TS050 Hybrid he shares with Alex Davidson and Sebastian Buemi. You can watch it in all its hairy, wince-inducing, no-guts-no-glory glory above.
By the end of it he had set a 3:17.128 — a new lap record, and more than a second quicker than the next best car (the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Nick Tandy, Neel Jani, and Andre Lotterer) in second. The second Porsche shared by Timo Bernhard and Kiwi duo Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber will start from fifth.
Check out the full qualifying times below. The race itself kicks off at 12.30am on Sunday morning, with live coverage on Sky Sports.