Le Mans qualifying

The qualifying for the 24 Hours of Le Mans was again being held over two days.

The new system got introduced last year, where the top 6 from the first day’s qualifying would go through to Hyperpole on the second day, where they would fight for Pole Position.

The 62 cars went out to the track at exactly 19.00, where they had an hour to set a top-six time.

Toyota Gazoo Racing quickly ran their first flying lap, with the fastest laps set by the new Hypercar cars.

Toyota Gazoo Racing #7
Photo: JJ Media

Porsche #92 set a fantastic time in GTE Pro, which was more than a second faster than their teammates in #91.

Realteam Racing #70 was the fastest LMP2 car, while GR Racing Porsche #86 was the fastest in GTE Am.

IDEC Sport #48 made a mistake on the way to Tertre Rouge when Paul Loup Chatin touched the grass and thus lost control of the car. He crashed backwards into the tire wall. There was a Full Course Yellow so the car could get removed.

It took about ten minutes before the cars could speed up again.

As usual, many got taken for Track Limits abuse, since there were some places that the race director had decided were forbidden to drive over.

It didn’t take long before there was another yellow flag, which then turned into a Slow Zone, when Paul Dalla Lana in Aston Martin Racing #98 spun, on the way down the hill from the Dunlop Bridge, ending up in the gravel. He needed help to get back to the asphalt, but then he could continue by himself.

JOTA #38
Photo: JJ Media

G-Drive Racing #26 was the new fastest car in LMP2, while United Autosports #32 jumped up to the second place.

AF Corse Ferrari #51 went on a hunt after Porsche #92, and came within 0.4 second from Kevin Estre’s super lap time – maybe it wasn’t so super after all, or James Calado could also do magic.

Team WRT #41 wanted to be the fastest in the LMP2 category, too.

JOTA #38 was the new fastest car in LMP2, with the repaired car after their accident in free practice earlier today.

Daniel Serra set a new fastest time in GTE Pro with AF Corse Ferrari #52.

Alpine Elf Matmut #36 was second fastest in Hypercar, after being third in most of the qualifying.

AF Corse Ferrari #52
Photo: JJ Media

Championship leader United Autosports USA #22 was at risk of not going through to Hyperpole. For the longest time, they were at the bottom of the LMP2 field, before Filipe Albuquerque got the car up to P12, and drove very slowly on the track before he pitted. The Portuguese driver was furious that he was blocked by several GT drivers, on his various laps.

Rahel Frey made a mistake in Iron Lynx Ferrari #85, ending up in the gravel in the Dunlop chicane. She needed a bit of help to get back to the asphalt, where she could continue afterwards. It gave a Slow Zone in a few minutes.

High Class Racing #20 and TF Sport Aston Martin #95 both got their fastest time deleted, since they had driven too fast under a Slow Zone.

Cetilar Racing Ferrari #47 was close to hitting the Armco on the way to Tertre Rouge, but Antonio Fuoco managed to avoid it just enough.

Toyota Gazoo Racing #7 finished on top in Hypercar, followed by Alpine Elf Matmut #36, Toyota Gazoo Racing #8, and Glickenhaus Racing #708 and #709.

JOTA #38 was the fastest in LMP2, ahead of G-Drive Racing #26, Team WRT #41, Panis Racing #65, United Autosports #32 and United Autosports #23.

Realteam Racing #70 was the best LMP2 Pro/Am team, but it didn’t give them an extra advantage since the whole LMP2 class was classified as one. They finished the session in P8.

Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #88
Photo: JJ Media

AF Corse Ferrari #52 was the fastest in GTE Pro, ahead of their sister car AF Corse Ferrari #51, which jumped up to second place on the very last lap. Porsche #92 with Michael Christensen plus Kevin Estre and Neel Jani was in P3, ahead of Corvette Racing #64, HubAuto Racing Porsche #72, and Porsche #91. WeatherTech Racing Porsche #79 and Corvette Racing #63 didn’t make it to Hyperpole.

Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche #88 was the fastest car in GTE Am, with a lap time set on the last lap. GR Racing Porsche #86 fell back to second place, ahead of Cetilar Racing Ferrari #47, Inception Racing #71, Team Project 1 Porsche #56 and TF Sport Aston Martin #33.

Now the teams have an evening practice tonight, and a free practice tomorrow afternoon, before the Hyperpole at 21.00 Thursday evening.

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