Ferrari fastest at 24 Hours Le Mans Test Day
The Ferrari 499P Hypercar was the fastest car in both sessions at the official 24 Hours of Le Mans test day.
The No. 50 entry was fastest overall in the morning session ahead of Peugeot and Porsche in the morning session, with the No. 51 Ferrari setting the best time in the afternoon, over a second faster than their teammates best time, with Porsche and Toyota making up the top three places.
The LMP2 and LMGTE Am best times were both set in the afternoon session with JOTA and JMW Motorsport claiming the top spot in their respective categories.
The 3-hour morning session was red flagged twice, once to recover the No. 93 Peugeot Total Energies 9X8 after the car stopped on track with Paul di Resta at the wheel. The second red flag happened just before the chequered flag, the No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR010-Hybrid of Mike Conway going off into the barriers. This brought the session to an early conclusion.
The fastest Hypercar lap was 3m30.686, set by Antonio Fuoco, 0.660s ahead of Gustavo Menezes in the No. 94 Peugeot Total Energies 9X8 and Yifei Ye posting a 3m31.477, 0.131s behind Menezes to claim third sport for the No. 38 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche 963 and 0.159s ahead of James Calado in the second Ferrari AF Corse 499P.
LMP2 was headed by the No. 47 COOL Racing Oreca with Reshad De Gerus posting a 3m36.409 lap, 1.018s ahead of his nearest rival, Paul Loup Chatin in the no48 IDEC Sport Oreca-Gibson and a further 0.34s ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg for Team WRT with a 3m37.767, the Austrian the top WEC entry in LMP2.
The top Pro/Am entry finished the morning session in 7th overall with the No. 14 Nielsen Racing Oreca posting a 3m38.583 with Mathias Beche at the wheel.
In LMGTE AM, Louis Prette set the fastest lap of the session, the Italian lapping the Circuit De La Sarthe in 3m56.623 in the No. 66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari 488 GTE EVO, just 0.128s ahead of Ulysse De Pauw in the No. 21 AF Corse Ferrari, which was the top WEC car in the class.
The sun continued to beat down on Le Mans as the second 3-hour session got underway. There were no red flag interruptions but there were some Safety Car periods to test the team’s readiness for the new procedure at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
All three classes saw the morning times improved, with the top eight in the Hypercar class going faster than the best time set earlier in the day.
The No. 51 Ferrari AF Corse Ferrari 499P was the quickest of the entire field, with a 3m29.504s lap set by Antonio Giovinazzi, 0.144s ahead of the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 of Laurens Vanthoor and 0.323s ahead of the repaired No. 7 Toyota Gazoo Racing GR10 of Kamui Hobayashi. The top seven cars were covered by less than one second at the end of the session.
The LMP2 category was headed by the No. 28 JOTA Oreca-Gibson, with Pietro Fittipaldi posting a 3m35.472, 0.771s ahead of the No. 31 Team WRT Oreca of Ferdinand Habsburg and a further four tenths ahead of the No. 35 Alpine ELF team Oreca 07 and Andre Negrao.
It was a Ferrari 1-2-3 in LMGTE AM in the second session of the day with the No. 66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari posting the best time of 3m56.088 lap with Thomas Neubauer at the wheel, over half a second faster than the morning’s best and just 0.096s ahead of the No. 54 AF Corse Ferrari of Francesco Castellacci and 0.193s ahead of Daniel Serra in the No. 57 Kessel Racing 488 GTE EVO.
The next time the cars will be on track will be on Wednesday with Free Practice 1 at 14h00.