Le Mans 24 Hours - Audi lock out top three slots in Le Mans qualifying

Champions Audi seized the top three grid spots for the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race with Frenchman Loic Duval securing pole position for the number two car shared with Denmark's Tom Kristensen and Britain's Allan McNish.

Le Mans 24 Hours - Safety car leads most of Le Mans first hour

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Audi R18 e-tron quattro N°2' drivers Tom Kristensen, Loic Duval, and Allan McNish after qualifying session of the 90th edition of Le Mans 24 hours race (AFP)

The lockout by the three diesel hybrid factory cars was Audi's first since 2002 at the Sarthe circuit.

Duval's best time of three minutes 22.349 seconds was set in Wednesday night's first session with changeable weather and red flag interruptions thwarting others' efforts to go faster on Thursday.

The number one Audi R18 e-tron shared by Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer - winners for the last two years - will start in second place with the number three car of Oliver Jarvis, Lucas Di Grassi and Marc Gene in third.

Toyota, Audi's main rivals for victory on the 90th anniversary of the endurance classic, which is in its 81st edition, qualified fourth and fifth but threaten to be stronger in the race.

Kristensen is chasing his ninth Le Mans win while McNish is a double winner.

Audi, who also started on pole last year, have won the race for the last three years and 10 times in the last 13. The start is on Saturday.

Pole positions per class:

LMP1 (1st overall):

Loïc Duval - Tom Kristensen - Allan McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2, Audi Sport Team Joest) 3’22’’349

LMP2 (9th overall):

Alex Brundle - David Heinemeier Hansson - Olivier Pla (Morgan-Nissan #24, OAK Racing) 3’38’’621

LMGTE Pro (29th overall):

Robert Bell - Frédéric Makowiecki - Bruno Senna (Aston Martin Vantage GTE #99, Aston Martin Racing) 3’53’’034

LMGTE Am (38th overall):

Christoffer Nygaard - Kristian Poulsen-Allan Simonsen (Aston Martin Vantage GTE #95, Aston Martin Racing) 3’57’’776

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