24 Hours of Le Mans qualifying practice

Track action- Photo by Melissa Warren

Dries Vanthoor scorches to an exceptional 3m24.465s lap to take BMW to the top of the pile with the No.15 BMW M Hybrid V8

That time just heads the No.3 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R lap by the hometown veteran hero Sebastien Bourdais setting a best of 3m24.642s, just 0.177s behind the BMW

Last year’s polesitter Antonio Fuoco is third on a 3m24.731s in No.50 Ferrari AF Corse 499P Hypercar

Kobayashi was pushing in final minutes when he went off on the exit of the Porsche Curves and spun in to the gravel bringing out the red flags. He initially finished fourth but following a stewards’ decision had all his times deleted for causing the red flag

Fourth, therefore, was taken by Alpine Racing’s No.35 A424 Hypercar driven by Paul Loup Chatin after a strong showing by Les Bleues at their home race

Cadillac Racing was fifth fastest with the No. 2 Cadillac V-Series.R

2023 Le Mans winning Ferrari places sixth as the No.51 driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi peaks with seventh fastest time.

Seventh was the No.6 Porsche Penske 963 as Kevin Estre survives a scary lock-up at Mulsanne Chicane and trip down escape road to be only Porsche to make it through

No. 12 Hertz Team JOTA entry was the final car to make it through to the Hyperpole session

The top eight are covered by just 0.5s in close and competitive session


Ben Barker in No.77 Proton Competition Ford Mustang LMGT3 creates major surprise by claiming best lap in LMGT3 as British racer peaks on a 3m55.263s in first appearance for the new-look Mustang at La Sarthe

Barker’s best is 0.143s clear of the Inception Racing McLaren as Frederik Schandorff continues strong form

Third in LMGT3 is the No.82 TF Sport run Corvette as Daniel Juncadella completes a best lap of 3m56.105s

No.60 Iron Lynx Lamborghini with Franck Perera continues strong form at Le Mans with fourth ahead of the Qatar winning Manthey PureRxcing Porche 911 RSR driven by Klaus Bachler

Heart of Racing Aston Martin, JMW Ferrari and D’Station Aston Martin meaning that seven manufacturers will be represented in tomorrow’s Hypercar session

The Riccardo Pera, Daniel Serra and Michael Wainwright GR Racing Ferrari 296 LMGT3 that stopped in FP1 does not appear for the qualifying practice session as car continues to go through technical changes


The No.37 Cool Racing Oreca-Gibson driven by ELMS young gun Malthe Jakobsen sets the pace and sets best lap time of 3m32.827s after tight battle with AO by TF Sport entry

Louis Deletraz took initial the best time in crowd pleasing ‘Spike’ car but Jakobsen’s best is 0.307s clear as red flag falls

Ben Hanley puts the No.23 United Autosports Oreca-Gibson third with strong time for U.S entered, British based car

Panis Racing fightback from tough free practice one to take fourth with Matthias Beche using all his experience to get through to Hyperpole

IDEC Sport take fifth as Job van Uitert sets best lap just ahead of the Patrick Pilet driven Vector Sports Oreca-Gibson

DKR Engineering create another surprise with seventh best time via the hands of Rene Binder, while the No.22 United Autosports car is the final entry to make it through to Hyperpole

First free practice session


Callum Ilott in No.12 Jota Porsche 963 set an early benchmark of 3m26.610 with early time in first free practice session

The Spa winning car, which Ilott shares with Will Stevens and Norman Nato, was eventually beaten though as Brendon Hartley claimed a 3m26.013s in the No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hybrid Hypercar

Hartley, who is pushing for his fourth victory at Le Mans, shaded Ilott’s best by 0.5s, while the second Toyota places sixth as Nyck de Vries sets best lap on 3m26.918s

In third place is the No.15 BMW M Team WRT car as Dris Vanthoor bangs in a late 3m26.671 lap. That just shades the No.99 Proton Competition Porsche 963 Hypercar in the hands of Spa hero Julien Andlauer

Alex Lynn contacts the Tertre Rouge barrier in final 25 minutes of session but manages to get back to the pits with minimal damage to the Cadillac V.Series R Hypercar. The No.2 car ends session in sixth position after earlier time of 3m26.928s set by Lynn

The second BMW ‘Art’ Hypercar is seventh heading the first of the Ferraris with No.60 in eighth place.

The Alpines sat ninth and tenth with the No.36 car ahead of the No.35 machine. Ferdinand Habsburg is forced to stop the No.35 Alpine A424 Hypercar after 90 minutes, while simultaneously Arnold Robin in the No.78 Akkodis ASP Lexus LMGT3 also stops on the run from Mulsanne Corner to Indianapolis Corner. This caused a brief red flag period.


Inception Racing had topped the times in the first ever official LMGT3 Le Mans week session for all but the last minute of the three hours session

Brendan Iribe peaked on a 3m58.770s lap in the McLaren LMGT3 challenger that he shares with Frederik Schandorff and Olilie Millroy

That lap headed the No.59 United Autosports with Le Mans rookie Gregoire Saucy lapping in 3m58.975s and cementing what looked to be a strong McLaren 1-2

But taking the best lap on the final tour was Esteban Masson in the No.87 Akkodis ASP Lexus as the Argentinian sets a  flyer of 3m57.808s in car he shares with super sub Jack Hawsworth and Takeshi Kimura

In fourth is the Heart of Racing Aston Martin with Daniel Mancinelli setting a best of 3m 59.058s. The car briefly stops at the Dunlop chicane but is able to re-start and continue

Fifth in LMGT3 is the No.86 GR Racing Ferrari with Daniel Serra claiming best lap for the British team that took third place in LMGTE Am last year

Sixth is the No.60 Iron Lynx Lamborghini with Franck Perera just 0.040s off Serra’s best

Michael Wainwright stopped the GR Racing Ferrari 296 LMGT3 at first Mulsanne Chicane just before final hour of practice and triggers third slow zone period as car has to be retrieved

There was drama for the No. 88 Proton Competition Ford Mustang GT3, which had a fuel-related fire and spent the remainder of the session in the pits having repairs


Louis Deletraz takes the best time in LMP2 with the AO TF Sport ‘Spike’ car he shares with Le Mans rookie Alex Quinn and American PJ Hyett.

The No.14 car is also the best placed Pro-Am category entry as it heads the Duqueine Oreca-Gibson entry with James Allen getting to within 0.5s of Deletraz’s best

Third in LMP2 is the No.23 United Autosports Oreca-Gibson as Ben Hanley sets time just 0.060s off Allen’s

But the other Ben in that team, Ben Keating, has to be winched from the Porsche Curves gravel trap after skating off after 75-minutes of running with the 2023 LMGTE Am champion and Le Mans category winner returning to the pits after second Slow Zone is deployed

Rounding out the top six is the No.9 Proton Competition entry, No.22 United Autosports and the Inter Europol Competition entry that is aiming to defend its LMP2 title

Panis Racing Oreca-Gibson entry driven by Rodrigo Sales causes first of four slow zone periods

Trouble also hit the No.183 AF Corse LMP2 car as Nicolas Varrone stops on the run to Tertre Rouge with damage to front right wheel. Incident triggers a fourth slow zone of the session and the car sits out remainder of session

Second free practice


Sebastien Buemi heads the times in No.8 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010 Hybrid Hypercar as Wednesday’s running ends with two hour second free practice session at Le Mans

Four-time winner Buemi laps in 3m27.474s as teams work through a variety of run programmes in preparation for this weekend’s race

0.524s behind Buemi is 0.5s ahead of second placed AF Corse Ferrari with Robert Kubica at the wheel

Porsche Penske place third to make it three manufacturers in the top three positions as Kevin Estre sets the best time of the No.6 car on a 3m28.065s

The best customer Porsche is the No.12 Hertz Team Jota Porsche 963 which places fourth as Norman Nato stops clocks on 3m28.352s

But teammate Callum Ilott suffers Red Flag triggering accident exiting the Forest Esses on final lap of the session

No.36 Alpine  A424 grabs fifth position with late time set by Nicolas Lapierre as Les Bleues continue excellent form to cheer home crowd

The second faster car in qualifying practice earlier, the No.3 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R, grabs sixth as Renger van der Zande sets best time in American entry

No.35 Alpine A424 Hypercar driven by Ferdinand Habsburg stops on the Mulsanne and brings out yellow flags but the returning Habsburg is able to get going again and continue. Car ends session in seventh position

The top ten in Hypercar is completed by the No.51 Ferrari AF Corse, No.7 Toyota GR010 and No.5 Porsche Penske 963

Qualifying practice hero Dries Vanthoor crashes No.15 BMW Hypercar at Indianapolis after sideways moment under braking. Car suffers front-end damage but Vanthoor manages to get car back to the pits for repairs


Dennis Olsen continues encouraging start to Le Mans for the Proton Competition squad as he heads the LMGT3 category in the No.88 Ford Mustang

Norwegian ace peaks on a 3m58.689s to ensure the Proton team complete second session in a row at the top of the timing screens

Olsen’s lap is a slender 0.027s ahead of the No.777 D’Station Aston Martin which sees Marco Sorensen achieve a 3m58.716s best

Team WRT sit third with the No.31 BMW M4 LMGT3 as Augusto Farfus claims best lap for the Belgian team

Top six in LMGT3 is completed by the No.82 TF Sport Corvette (Daniel Juncadella), No.46 Team WRT BMW(Maxime Martin) and No.60 Iron Lynx Lamborghini (Franck Perera)

No.33 JMW Automotive Ferrari stops on traffic in second hour but goes through power cycle and is able to continue back to the pits

No.86 GR Racing Ferrari manages exploratory lap after repairs made during the day after earlier technical issues struck in FP1


Malthe Jakobsen sets the pace once again in LMP2 in the No.37 Cool Racing Oreca-Gibson and stops the clocks at 3m35.386

The Dane’s time is a full 1.1s faster than the No.22 United Autosports as Oliver Jarvis sets best time for the two car United squad

Panis Racing continue strong pace after making the Hyperpole session earlier. Scott Huffaker claims a quickest lap of 3m36.600s in yellow and black Oreca-Gibson. Panis are also the best placed Pro/Am entry in FP2

Fellow French team Duqueine Racing place fourth with James Allen posting the best time of the two-hour session

Rounding out the top six in LMP2 is the AF Corse entry and the Inter Europol Competition cars with Ben Barnicoat and Clement Novalak setting the best laps respectively

AO by TF Sport ‘Spike’ car, driven by PJ Hyett, stops at side of track at Indianapolis after appearing to lose the right rear wheel bringing out a slow zone as a result By Melissa Warren

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