Former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi has made the ideal start to his bid for a first Le Mans 24-Hour Race victory after several near misses.

The Japanese driver, who finished on the podium at his home grand prix for Sauber in 2012, has finished runner-up three times at Le Mans and third last year.

On each occasion, he was competing for Toyota Gazoo Racing with Britain’s Mike Conway as one of his co-drivers, and the duo are back for a fourth time partnered by Argentina’s Jose Maria Lopez.

Kobayashi is the track record holder at Le Mans and this year he clocked 3mins 23.900sec to take pole position by just under three tenths of a second.

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