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Toyota Takes Pole Position for 24 Hours of Le Mans

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Toyota 24 Hours of Le Mans 3

Nakajima with Wurz and Sarrazin after winning pole position for 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is once again upon us. Tomorrow, teams will take to the track for a grueling 24 hour race to determine the most badass endurance racecar drivers around. But 24 Hours of Le Mans isn’t just about the drivers—it’s also about the cars. And this year, Toyota won pole position when Kazuki Nakajima set the best lap time in qualifying rounds yesterday of 3:21:789.

As the fastest vehicle, the No. 7 Toyota TS040 Hybrid will start tomorrow’s race in prominent pole position, marking the first time for the Japanese automaker since 1999. Starting at 3 p.m. Le Mans time, Nakajima and fellow drivers Alex Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin will take turns to drive the Toyota TS040 Hybrid for two hours each, rotating so that each driver can rest up before his next shift.

Toyota 24 Hours of Le Mans

No. 7 Toyota TS040 Hybrid

Nakajima was the first ever Japanese driver to take pole position in qualifying laps at Le Mans. Toyota’s No. 8 car, driven by Sebastien Buemi, will start from third on the grid, giving Toyota a great starting point and a good chance of victory.

After his victory, Nakajima said, “Even though it is a 24-hour race it is a very good feeling to be on pole position. I am really happy with the car so many thanks to team; we have prepared a great car for the race. I was struggling with the traffic but I managed to get one lap and it was just enough to get the pole. It’s going to be a tough race but tonight I am happy. We didn’t have to compromise our programme and we managed to put in the lap time for the right moment. Now I think we are well prepared for the race.”

24 Hours of Le Mans

Preparations are underway for 24 Hours of Le Mans

Fans will also have their eyes on Porsche, which is returning to Le Mans after a 16-year absence in the top category, and will be starting from second and fourth grid positions. Reigning champion Audi will start in fifth, sixth, and seventh positions.

Coverage of the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans race starts Saturday June 14th at 8:30 a.m. ET on Fox Sports.