Tomas Enge was denied an opportunity to mount a late qualifying charge in the the No. 007 Lola Aston Martin when his teammate Jan Charouz lost control of the car and crashed at the second Mulsanne chicane.
Stefan Mucke had already lifted the car to eighth on the grid -- fastest of the three Aston Martin Racing entries -- with a 3m27.180s. He handed the car over to Charouz who crashed shortly afterward.
"We don't know what happened yet," Enge told AUTOSPORT. "Jan was in the car and all I know is that he lost control of it somehow. We don't know how much damage has been done.
"Until then, the car had been OK. I thought we would be doing the times we were doing, but I had expected the leaders to be further away. Three and a half seconds is a lot closer than we were last year.
"We haven't had enough time to know how quick we are yet. It's a shame for me because we were waiting until the last 20 minutes and then I was going to see what I could do. We were going to go for it then."
Aston Martin Racing team principal George Howard-Chappell added: "The car went into the barrier and it's in bad shape at the moment, unfortunately. We think it's quite bad but we just hope the chassis is OK.
"Jan is OK, we're just waiting to hear what the car's like, and hoping it's not so bad that we can't get it fixed for the race."