Fifty years after its last appearance in the Sarthe in the premier class, Ferrari has made a brilliant return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Antonio Fuoco offers the Prancing Horse the best possible place on the starting grid of the biggest race in the world. Fuoco took his second pole position this season after winning at Sebring, during the first round of the FIA WEC.
Fuoco edged the #51 499P by more than seven tenths of a second. The Italian Hypercars gave us a show of pure speed and locked down the front row. Third fastest, Sébastien Bourdais saw his mark canceled after a fire on his No. 3 Cadillac V-Series.R caused a red flag. Brendon Hartley (#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing) will start from third place.
In LMP2, Paul-Loup Chatin created a surprise by being the only driver to drop below the 3’32” mark. The Frenchman was ahead of Pietro Fittipaldi and JOTA n°28. Leader in the LMGTE AM standings, the #33 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R will start from pole position at the 24 Hours of Le Mans thanks to a feat from Ben Keating.
Hypercar: Pole – No.50 Ferrari AF Corse
Ferrari will start from pole position in the Centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans thanks to Antonio Fuoco.
The Italian set a benchmark time of 3’22”982 at the wheel of the #50 499P.
The #51 Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi is second, 0.773 behind the mark set by Fuoco.
The first Toyota GR010 Hybrid is #8 thanks to Brendon Hartley’s third fastest time.
Felipe Nasr completes the second row with the #75 Porsche, just ahead of Kamui Kobayashi’s #7 Toyota and #2 Cadillac The #5
Porsche 963 and #3 Cadillac bring the Hyperpole to
a close A start of fire on the American Hypercar, with Sébastien Bourdais at the wheel,caused a red flag.
LMP2: Pole – #48 IDEC Sport
The #48 IDEC Sport Oreca will start from pole position at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 category.
Paul-Loup Chatin set a time of 3’32”923 to edge Pietro Fittipaldi and the #28 JOTA Oreca.
Team WRT n°41 will start from the second row thanks to the third time of Louis Delétraz.
Reshad de Gerus set the fourth time in the Hyperpole in LMP2 with the #47 COOL Racing car.
LMGTE Am: Pole – No.33 Corvette Racing
Thanks to Ben Keating, Corvette Racing will start on pole position at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMGTE Am class
The No.25 ORT by TF Aston Martin, entrusted to Ahmad Al-Harthy was 1.529s behind.
AF Corse monopolizes the second row with Ferrari n°54 of Thomas Flohr and n°21 of Julien Piguet.
Ferrari 1-2 at 24 Hours of Le Mans qualifying
Ferrari AF Corse dominated this evening’s qualifying session at 24 Hours of Le Mans, round four of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The No.50 Ferrari 499P Hypercar driven by Antonio Fuoco set a time of 3m25.213s, just 0.199s ahead of sister Ferrari 499P driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi.
Four manufacturers in the top eight positions in Hypercar: Ferrari, Toyota, Porsche and Cadillac – all going through to tomorrow’s Hyperpole.
In LMP2, JOTA top the times with Pietro Fittipaldi clocking the best lap. Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari takes last gasp fastest lap with Alessio Rovera setting fastest lap of 3m51.877s.
Ferrari AF Corse take 1-2 in qualifying practice as No.50 Ferrari 499P Hypercar driven by Antonio Fuoco sets 3m25.213s.
That time is just 0.199s ahead of sister Ferrari 499P as Alessandro Pier Guidi sets time.
Pier Guidi briefly had the top lap but was immediately beaten by his countryman Fuoco.
Toyota places third and fourth with No.7 Toyota just outpacing the No.8 because as Kamui Kobayashi and Brendon Hartley set times respectively.
Qualifying Practice is red flagged twice during session. The first stoppage for a collision between Filipe Albuquerque in No.22 United Autosports LMP2 car and No.36 Alpine ELF Team car driven by Matthieu Vaxiviere. The second red flag was flown for an accident at Indianapolis involving the No.37 Cool Racing Oreca-Gibson with Malte Jakobsen aboard.
In addition to the top four No.5 and No.75 Porsche Penskes with the No.3 and No.2 Cadillac Racing entries go through to Hyperpole on Thursday evening.
No.38 Jota Porsche 963 stops on circuit in early part of one hour session and car returns to pits for repairs on hybrid system before heading out again only for recurrence of issue.
Fastest non-Hybrid entry is the No.708 Glickenhaus 007LMH.
Jota had led early on in the LMP2 category as Pietro Fittipaldi scorched to a best lap of 3m34.751s
Fittipaldi ensures that time is good enough to top the session.
Second is the No.41 WRT entry as Louis Deletraz sets team who took pole last year.
Third place is the No.63 Prema entry as Mirko Bortolotti sets last minute time.
IDEC Sport Oreca-Gibson is fourth as Paul Loup Chatin sets time for incoming ELMS.
In addition to the top four, also making it through to Hyperpole are: Vector Sport, No.47 Cool Racing, Racing Team Turkey, No.37 Cool Racing and No.9 Prema Racing entry.
Mirko Bortolotti in No.63 car and No.9 sister car driven by Ben Viscaal had earlier set exactly the same time!
Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari takes last gasp fastest lap with Alessio Rovera setting fastest lap of 3m51.877s
No.54 AF Corse Ferrari makes it a 1-2 for the Prancing Horse with Davide Rigon lapping just 0.022s shy of Rovera.
Points leading No.33 Corvette Racing entry is repaired after free practice accident and Nicky Catsburg goes third in LMGTE Am and makes it through to Hyperpole session in style.
Iron Dames have tough session as Michelle Gatting spins in to gravel at Dunlop Chicane.
In addition to the top three, also making it through to Hyperpole are: ORT by TF Sport, Kessel Racing, GMB Aston, No.21 AF Corse and No.74 Kessel Racing Ferrari.
Hendrick Motorsports run Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 completes session with 3m47.976s and place 38th overall. By Melissa Warren