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Ferrari on pole for Centenary 24 Hours of Le Mans

Antonio Fuoco put the #50 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P he shares with Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen on pole for the Centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a 3:22.982 followed by the sister #51 car driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi who lapped in 3:23.755 to give Ferrari a 1 – 2 on its return to the senior class at the French classic for the first time in 50 years.

Qualifying third in the Hypercar Class was the first of the Toyotas, the #8 GR010 Hybrid, in which Brendon Hartley put in a 3:24.451.

Photo: Roger Jenkins

Class pole in LMP2 category went to the #48 IDEC Sport Oreca piloted by Paul-Loup Chatin who set the quickest time in class with a 3:32.923. The #28 JOTA Oreca, which had been at the top of the time sheets in the qualifying session, was second quickest in the hands of Pietro Fittipaldi.

Third in the LMP2 class was the #41 Team WRT car driven by Louis Delétraz who lapped in 3:33.240

Photo: Roger Jenkins

In the LEGTE Am category, the regulations stated that the qualifying driver had to be the Bronze pilot. Ben Keating was overjoyed to take class pole for Corvette when he lapped the #33 Corvette Racing C8.R in 3:52.376, nearly 1.5 seconds quicker than Ahmad Al Harthy who put in a 3:53.905 in the #25 ORT by TF Aston Martin Vantage AMR to qualify second in class.

Ferrari will occupy the next four grid positions after Thomas Flohr qualified the #54 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo third in class with a 3:54.582.

The first 20 minutes of the half-hour session passed without incident but the red flag was brought out after Sebastien Bourdais’ #3 Cadillac V-Series.R stopped just after the first chicane and fire erupted from the engine compartment. Marshalls were immediately on the scene and the fire extinguished but not until considerable damage was seemingly done to the #3 car. Bourdais was unscathed but, adding insult to injury, his fastest lap time was deleted due to causing a red flag. The #3 car will start eighth in class.

With the exception of morning warm-up, all pre-race track action for the 24 Hours of Le Mans is now complete and the next time the cars will be seen in action will be for the race which gets underway at 1600 on Saturday June 10.