The 2022 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a packed schedule, with all of the on-track action taking place within the space of a week.
The schedule had been condensed for the past two editions of the great race, held in September 2020 and August 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. But faced with an ever-increasing number of racing commitments for teams and drivers, the ACO have chosen to stick with the one-week timetable.
Test Day on Sunday before the race
Sunday 5th June will be the first time the drivers are able to take to the Circuit de la Sarthe in earnest. Two four-hour sessions offer a total track time of eight hours as the public roads that make up the circuit are closed for the first time.
Historically, Test Day has been anything from two weeks to one month before the 24-hour classic. But for the 2022 running of the 24 Hours, the important day of preparation has been moved to the weekend before the race.
Free practice and qualifying on Wednesday
The first timed sessions for the race meeting take place on Wednesday, with three hours of free practice in the afternoon followed by an hour of qualifying at 7pm.
The one-hour qualifying session between 7pm and 8pm will decide the minor grid placings in each of the four classes as well as which of the six cars in each class will progress to the Hyperpole shoot-out.
Wednesday’s action is wrapped up with a two-hour free practice session between 10pm and midnight local time. All drivers must complete five night laps in either Wednesday night’s or Thursday night’s practice session, crossing the finish line at least once. If not, they risk not being permitted to start the race.
Thursday shoot-out for pole
The 30-minute Hyperpole session on Thursday evening will see the best six cars in each category fight it out for pole position. Barring any adverse weather, track conditions should be ideal for quick lap times.
Besides Hyperpole, there are a further six hours of free practice sessions for teams to finalise their set-ups for Saturday’s race.
Race returns to 4pm start
The 24 Hours of Le Mans has returned to the traditional 4pm start for the 2022 edition. There are no restrictions on event attendance, so a return to something approaching capacity crowds is expected.
For a full list of session times visit our race page.
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