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Qualifying report
Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans

Le Mans 24h: Ferrari locks out front row, Cadillac suffers fire

Ferrari locked out the front row for this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours, as Antonio Fuoco secured pole position for the #50 499P by topping Thursday evening's Hyperpole session.

Fuoco paced the 30-minute session, featuring the fastest eight cars from Wednesday's first qualifying, with a best time of 3m22.982s at the wheel of the 499P he shares with Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen.

Both of the Ferrari LMHs jumped to the top of the timesheets early on, with Alessandro Pier Guidi initially leading the way on a 3m23.987s in the #51 car ahead of Fuoco in the sister #50 entry.

Pier Guidi then improved to a 3m23.478s, which was scrubbed for a track limits infringement, before Fuoco upped the ante by posting the first sub-3m23s effort of the week so far, outpacing his team-mate by 0.773s despite getting baulked by a GTE Am Ferrari exiting Indianapolis.

That time remained the benchmark when the session was red-flagged with five minutes left on the clock as a result of Cadillac driver Sebastien Bourdais stopping at the first chicane after suffering a dramatic fire.

Bourdais was able to escape the smouldering #3 Cadillac V-Series.R unscathed, having set the third-fastest time with a 3m24.908s - although that was deleted as a result of the car causing the red flag.

Cadillac later reported the cause of the fire had been traced to a "burst high-pressure fuel hose".

When the session resumed, both Toyotas improved but neither Kamui Kobayashi nor Brendon Hartley could truly threaten the Ferraris. In means a Ferrari will start from pole for the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time in 50 years.

Kobayashi briefly went third-fastest in the #7 GR010 HYBRID with a 3m24.267s, but this was lost to a track limits infringement, putting last year's polesitter Hartley third on a 3m24.451s - albeit 1.469s off the pace.

Porsche driver Felipe Nasr went fourth at the end of the session with his one and only timed lap of 3m24.531s, having spent most of the session in the pits and not setting a time before the red flag.

The #7 Toyota ended up fifth on the strength of Kobayashi's second-best time, followed by the #2 Cadillac of Earl Bamber and the #5 Porsche of Frederic Makowiecki.

Bourdais was credited with eighth on the basis of the second-fastest time he set before the #3 car's demise.

Pole in LMP2 went to the IDEC Sport ORECA of Paul-Loup Chatin, who survived a late challenge from JOTA driver Pietro Fittipaldi.

Chatin set the benchmark time of 3m32.923s prior to the red flag, with Fittipaldi’s last-gasp effort after the session resumed falling short by a little over a tenth of a second.

Fittipaldi’s late improvement knocked the WRT ORECA of Louis Deletraz down to third place, ahead of the COOL Racing car of Reshad de Gerus and the Prema Racing entry of Lamborghini factory driver Mirko Bortolotti.

Corvette Racing secured pole in GTE Am courtesy of bronze-rated driver Ben Keating.

It was Keating that set the early pace on a 3m53.589s, which the Texan subsequently improved to a 3m52.376s after the red flag.

That put the solo works Corvette C8.R a comfortable 1.5s ahead of his nearest rival, Omani driver Ahmad Al Harthy at the wheel of the ORT by TF Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

A trio of AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTEs were next up, the #54 car of Thomas Flohr leading the #21 example of Julien Piguet and the Richard Mille-backed #83 of Luis Perez Companc.

Le Mans 24 Hours - Hyperpole results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Time Gap
1 50 Italy Antonio Fuoco
Spain Miguel Molina
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 499P HYPERCAR 3'22.982
2 51 United Kingdom James Calado
Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 499P HYPERCAR 3'23.755 0.773
3 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Japan Ryo Hirakawa
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 3'24.451 1.469
4 75 France Mathieu Jaminet
Brazil Felipe Nasr
United Kingdom Nick Tandy
Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 3'24.531 1.549
5 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota GR010 - Hybrid HYPERCAR 3'24.933 1.951
6 2 New Zealand Earl Bamber
United Kingdom Alex Lynn
United Kingdom Richard Westbrook
Cadillac V-Series.R HYPERCAR 3'25.170 2.188
7 5 United States Dane Cameron
Denmark Michael Christensen
France Frédéric Makowiecki
Porsche 963 HYPERCAR 3'25.176 2.194
8 3 France Sébastien Bourdais
New Zealand Scott Dixon
Netherlands Renger van der Zande
Cadillac V-Series.R HYPERCAR 3'25.521 2.539
9 48 France Paul-Loup Chatin
Germany Laurents Hörr
France Paul Lafargue
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'32.923 9.941
10 28 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi
Denmark David Heinemeier Hansson
Denmark Oliver Rasmussen
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'33.035 10.053
11 41 Portugal Rui Andrade
Switzerland Louis Deletraz
Poland Robert Kubica
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'33.240 10.258
12 47 France Reshad de Gerus
Russian Federation Vlad Lomko
France Simon Pagenaud
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'33.580 10.598
13 63 Italy Mirko Bortolotti
Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
France Doriane Pin
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'33.983 11.001
14 14 Switzerland Mathias Beche
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
United States Rodrigo Sales
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'34.021 11.039
15 9 United States Juan Manuel Correa
Romania Filip Ugran
Netherlands Bent Viscaal
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'34.658 11.676
16 10 France Gabriel Aubry
Ireland Ryan Cullen
Liechtenstein Matthias Kaiser
Oreca 07 LMP2 3'35.091 12.109
17 33 Netherlands Nick Catsburg
United States Ben Keating
Nicolas Varrone
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE AM 3'52.376 29.394
18 25 United Kingdom Ahmad Al Harthy
United States Michael Dinan
Ireland Charles Eastwood
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'53.905 30.923
19 54 Italy Francesco Castellacci
Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Davide Rigon
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'54.582 31.600
20 21 France Simon Mann
Belgium Ulysse De Pauw
France Julien Piguet
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'54.744 31.762
21 83 Argentina Luis Perez Companc
Italy Alessio Rovera
France Lilou Wadoux
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'55.033 32.051
22 57 United States Scott Huffaker
Japan Takeshi Kimura
Brazil Daniel Serra
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'55.637 32.655
23 55 Denmark Gustav Birch
Denmark Jens Reno Moller
Denmark Marco Sorensen
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 3'57.240 34.258
24 74 Japan Kei Cozzolino
Japan Yorikatsu Tsujiko
Japan Naoki Yokomizo
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 3'59.648 36.666

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