Fuoco flyer puts Ferrari on pole at Le Mans

Ferrari will start the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans from pole position after a dominant performance in Thursday night’s Hyperpole in front of packed grandstands.

Antonio Fuoco posted a blistering time of 3:22.982 on his final flying lap of the session to take a historic pole position, marking the Italian manufacturer’s return to the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Fuoco’s teammate, Alessandro Pier Guidi, qualified the #51 sister car in second position to make it an all-Ferrari front row at the centenary running of the 24 hours.

The Ferraris were among the first out of the blocks as the 30-minute Hyperpole session commenced at 8pm local time. Early flyers posted by the Toyotas of Brendon Hartley and Kamui Kobayashi were soon eclipsed by the pair of Italians, who then improved further on their second and third runs.

Toyota and Porsche share row two

Both works Toyotas improved their qualifying times towards the end of the session. Kobayashi qualified his #7 GR010 Hybrid in third, while Hartley moved up to fifth fastest on his final flyer.

Porsche Penske Motorsport sat out the first half of the session and left it late to set their flying lap times. Felipe Nasr was the fastest man for the German marque, putting his #75 Porsche 963 fourth on the grid for Saturday’s race alongside Kobayashi.

Cadillac issues bring out red flag

Fresh from posting the third-fastest lap time of the session, Sébastien Bourdais in the #3 Cadillac stopped at the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight and caused the session to be red-flagged.

Bourdais’ Cadillac V-Series.R briefly caught fire, but some swift action from the marshals appeared to limit the damage. As a penalty for causing the red, the Frenchman’s fastest lap time was deleted. The #3 will start the race from 8th on the grid.

The #2 Cadillac will start the race from row three alongside the #5 Porsche.

IDEC Sport on pole in LMP2, Corvette fastest in GTE Am

Paul-Loup Chatin was on form for IDEC Sport to take LMP2 pole position for the French team. Second fastest was the #28 JOTA car, which secured a place on the class front row at the death with the car’s final flying lap.

In GTE Am, it was Ben Keating in the #33 Corvette who once again shined in qualifying. The American driver’s time of 3:52.376 was a stunning 1.5 seconds quicker than any of his competitors. Starting alongside the Corvette will be the #25 ORT by TF Aston Martin.

A full list of Hyperpole times can be found here.

Image © WEC-Magazin (Walter Schruff)