As on the test day, Ferrari was the fastest in the qualifying session for the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its two prototypes ahead of the two Toyotas. Peugeot, for its return to the Sarthe, is no longer in the race for pole position.
The Ferrari threat is becoming clearer. After dominating the test day organized this Sunday at the Circuit de la Sarthe, the Italian manufacturer took the advantage over its competitors during the qualifying session for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A decisive hour of driving which was disrupted by two red flags. The first was caused by a collision between two LMP2 prototypes, an Alpine and one from the United Autosports team. A few minutes after the restart, Dane Malthe Jakobsen went off the track at the Indianapolis corner, causing the second interruption of this session.
Once the green flag returned, the crews entered in the three categories returned to the track to explain themselves and take one of the eight places available for the Hyperpole, decisive for the awarding of pole position, which will take place this THURSDAY. In this little game, it was Ferrari who proved to be the strongest. With a lap of 3’25”213, Antonio Fuoco placed the 499P bearing the number 50 in the first position, with Alessandro Pier Guidi who failed at 199 thousandths of a second at the wheel of the number 51.
— 24 Hours of Le Mans (@24hoursoflemans) June 7, 2023
Toyota beaten, Peugeot disillusioned
Remaining on five successes in a row at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with competition too often with absent subscribers, Toyota will have to react if pole position is an objective. The GR010 Hybrid bearing the n°7, entrusted to Kamui Kobayashi, conceded 272 thousandths in the best time. The n°8 of Brendon Hartley, for its part, set its best lap at 536 thousandths of the reference. These four prototypes will be accompanied by Porsche n°5 and n°75 but also Cadillac n°3 and 2. A qualifying session which was a new snub for Peugeot.
While the 9X8 is reputedly designed to shine on the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit, Mikkel Jensen could not do better than the 10th time at two seconds in the n ° 93. Loïc Duval, for his part, placed the n°94 in 11th place with a delay of six tenths on the first prototype of the “brand with the lion”. In the LMP2 category, the JOTA team had the last word in 3’34”751 with its Oreca 07 carrying the n°28. In LMGTE Am, Alessio Rovera put the Richard Mille AF Corse Ferrari in first place with a fastest lap of 3:51.877. The 24 crews qualified for the Hyperpole will have 30 minutes to give their all on one lap and hope to claim pole position in their respective categories.
Ranking of the qualifying session – Wednesday June 7, 2023
1- Ferrari AF Corse n°50 (Fuoco-Molina-Nielsen/ITA-ESP-DAN/Ferrari 499P) in 3’25”213
2- Ferrari AF Corse n°51 (Pier Guidi-Calado-Giovinazzi/ITA-GBR-ITA/Ferrari 499P) at 0”199
3- Toyota Gazoo Racing n°7 (Conway-Kobayashi-Lopez/GBR-JAP-ARG/Toyota GR010 Hybrid) à 0”272
4- Toyota Gazoo Racing n°8 (Buemi-Hartley-Hirakawa/SUI-NZL-JAP/Toyota GR010 Hybrid) at 0”536
5- Porsche Penske Motorsport n°5 (Cameron-Christensen-Makowiecki/USA-DAN-FRA/Porsche 963) à 0”635
6- Porsche Penske Motorsport n°75 (Nasr-Jaminet-Tandy/BRE-FRA-GBR/Porsche 963) at 0”655
7- Cadillac Racing n°3 (Bourdais-van der Zande-Dixon/FRA-PBS-NZL/Cadillac V-Series.R) at 0”711
8- Cadillac Racing n°2 (Bamber-Lynn-Westbrook/NZL-GBR-GBR/Cadillac V-Series.R) à 0’’807
16- JOTA n°28 (Heinemeier Hansson-Rasmussen-Fittipaldi/DAN-DAN-BRE/Oreca 07-Gibson) at 9”538 (1er LMP2)
39- Richard Mille AF Corse n°83 (Perez Companc-Rovera-Wadoux/ARG-ITA-FRA/Ferrari 488 GTE EVO) at 26”664 (1er LMGTE Am)
The first eight in each category qualify for the Hyperpole, organized this Thursday, which will award pole position in each of the three categories.