Le Mans 2017: Watch Kobayashi set the fastest lap ever around the Circuit de la Sarthe
If you’re a fan of motorsport, you’ll know Le Mans. Simply put, it’s one of the most challenging races in the world, and since 1923 it’s been the ultimate test of man and machine. Although the track has changed throughout the years – mainly due to safety reasons – the cars have developed beyond all recognition, and that means they’re now faster than ever.
Yesterday, ex-Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi secured pole for Toyota, and in the process set the fastest lap ever around the Circuit de la Sarthe. Kobayashi was able to take his #7 TS050 Toyota Hybrid around the 8.4-mile track in 3:14.79, beating second place by around three seconds – a far larger gap than usually seen at Le Mans. For reference, the previous lap record was 3:17.475, set by André Lotterer in the 2015 LMP1 Audi. You can watch Kobayashi’s record-breaking lap below.
That time means Kobayashi’s car, which is shared by both Stéphane Sarrazin and Mike Conway, will start first, just ahead of the number 8 car driven by Anthony Davidson, Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi. The first non-Toyota LMP1 car is the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, which managed to set a 3’17.259.