Ferrari on provisional pole at Le Mans

The #50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P of Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina, Nicklas Nielsen is on provisional pole. Image: Paul Foster Photography

The #50 AF Corse Ferrari has taken provisional pole for the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Antonio Fuoco posted a 3:25.213 lap in the #50 Ferrari 499P to set provisional pole, while the sister #51 Ferrari, driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, trailed by only 0:00.199 in second.

Sixty-two cars were back on track at Circuit de la Sarthe Wednesday for a morning practice session, a qualifying session and a night practice session ahead of this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans centenary event.

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s two GR010 Hybrids bounced back from a lacklustre Sunday and led Free Practice 1.

The morning session was red-flagged after 90 minutes when Steven Thomas, driving the Tower Motorsports’ #13 Oreca 07, rammed into Casper Stevenson’s Aston Martin Vantage of D’Station Racing (#777). The session resumed after 30 minutes.

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The #33 Corvette GTE-AM entry driven by Nicolas Varrone was backed into the wall just as Practice One was ending.

Qualifying was marred by two early red flags, before the Ferraris took the top two places ahead of the #7 and #8 Toyotas respectively as the Hypercar brands paired off – the Penske Motorsport #5 and #75 Porsches were next, with the Cadillac Racings #2 and #3 V-Series R Cadillacs all in the hunt for Thursday’s Hyperpole.

Photos: 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans build-up.

The top eight Hypercars were separated by eight tenths of a second.

The JOTA #28 ORECA 07-Gibson entry driven by Pietro Fittipaldi took provisional pole in the LMP2 class with a lap of 3:34.751.

The #83 Richard Mille Ferrari 488 GTE EVO set the GTE-AM provisional pole class with a flyer late in the session to set a time of 3:51.877.

The #33 Corvette returned to the track with six minutes remaining in the qualifying session after lengthy repairs and clocked the third fastest time to secure a spot in qualifying Thursday.

The Garage 56 entry, the #24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 of Hendrick Motorsports continued to impress with a time of 3:47.976 in the qualifying session.

The evening’s two-hour session gave drivers time on track in night-time conditions and for teams to prepare for the race this weekend.

All cars will take to the track again on Thursday June 8 at 15:00 local time/23:00 AEST for the third free practice. Hyperpole is scheduled for 20:00 Thursday June 8 local time/0400 Friday June 9 AEST.

2023 Le Mans 24 Hour qualifying – Wednesday, June 7

  1. #50 Ferrari 499P | Ferrari AF Corse – Antonio Fuoco/Miguel Molina/Nicklas Nielsen – 03:25.213
  2. #51 Ferrari 499P | Ferrari AF Corse – Alessandro Pier Guidi/James Calado/Antonio Giovinazzi – 03:25.412
  3. #7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid | Toyota Gazoo Racing – Mike Conway/Kamui Kobayashi/Jose Maria Lopez – 03:25.485
  4. #8 Toyota GR010 Hybrid |Toyota Gazoo Racing – Sebastien Buemi/Brendon/Hartley/Ryo Hirakawa – 3:25.749
  5. #5 Porsche 963 Porsche | Penske Motorsport – Dane Cameron/Michael Christensen/Frederic Makowiecki – 3:25.848
  6. #75 Porsche 963 Porsche | Penske Motorsport – Felipe Nasr/Mathieu Jaminet /Nick Tandy – 3:25.868
  7. #3 Cadillac V-Series.R | Cadillac Racing – Sébastien Bourdais/Renger Van Der Zande/Scott Dixon – 3:25.924
  8. #2 Cadillac V-Series.R #2 | Cadillac Racing – Earl Bamber/Alex Lynn/Richard Westbrook – 3:26.020

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