In a thrilling conclusion to the Hyperpole session at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Kevin Estre secured pole position for Porsche Penske Motorsport with a last-gasp effort, narrowly beating Cadillac’s Alex Lynn. Estre clocked a 3:24.634 in the final moments aboard the No. 6 Porsche 963, edging out Lynn by 0.148 seconds. Unfortunately, the BMW WRT hadn’t had the same luck after securing the fastest lap the day before. Earlier in the session, #15 BMW M Hybrid V8 driven by Dries Vanthoor crashed into the barriers at Indianapolis. This incident eliminated Vanthoor from contention and disrupted the session’s momentum.

This achievement marks Porsche’s 19th pole position in Le Mans history, their first since 2016. Lynn had initially seemed poised to secure pole with a 3:24.782 lap in the No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R, only to be surpassed by Estre’s impressive lap. Sebastien Bourdais had set the early pace with a 3:24.816 in the No. 3 Cadillac, and after the session resumed, he chose not to rejoin the track.

Ferrari drivers Alessandro Pier Guidi and Antonio Fuoco finished fourth and fifth, respectively. ALPINE’s Paul-Loup Chatin was the last driver to set a time, finishing sixth. Estre’s final lap was the last of the session, setting the fastest time and clinching pole position for Porsche, a narrow victory over the Cadillacs that had dominated much of the session.

“Obviously the atmosphere in the box is different than yesterday, but that’s how it goes. We take it like it is. The most important is that Dries is okay,”Vincent Vosse, Team Principal of BMW M Team WRT says. “Congratulations to Kevin Estre for his exceptional lap in the last moment of the Hyperpole! Unfortunately some extra work for the guys tonight, I hope it is not too bad. Now lets get ready for the race. We will fight and will see what we are capable of!”

Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport, after Hyperpole: “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.”