ADVERTISEMENT
porsche hyperpole extre le mans hypercar-001

LeMans 24 Hours Hyperpole: Estre stars as Porsche deny Cadillac

LeMans 24 Hours Hyperpole: Porsche deny Cadillac hyperpole extre le mans hypercar-001

In the final moments of Hyperpole, to decide the top eight starters for the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours, it seemed like Cadillac had annexed the front row for the greatest enduranace sportscar race on the planet, until Kevin Estre blasted around fractionally faster to claim the P1 start spot for the #6 Penske Porsche.

It was a riveting session which set the stage for an epic around-the-clock 24 Heures du Mans, on the 101st anniversary of the first edition of the great race where there have been 143 victorious drivers from 20 individual countries and 25 winning manufacturers representing 7 different nations in the race’s 91 editions.

Porsche with an incredible 36 victories at Circuit de la Sarthe (Audi are second with 15 wins but have no poresence at this year’s race) could make it 37 on current form and the pace seen when it mattered during Hyperpole today.

ADVERTISEMENT

While a P1 start for a 24 hour long race is not as important as for sprint races, it does come with bragging rights and an option to control the early pace, which is likely to be frenetic whatever the weather has in store.

Hyperpole Official Report Hypercars

With less than seven-tenths separating the top eight Hypercars in qualifying, it was anyone’s guess who was going to come out of Hyperpole on top of the pack.

The fastest qualifier, the #15 BMW M Hybrid V8, led the pack out onto the track at 20:35 local time. On the first flying lap, Ferrari AF Corse put both cars at the top of the time chart ahead of Dries Vanthoor in the BMW.

Sébastien Bourdais in the #3 Cadillac, however, leaped to the top on lap 3, but the Le Mans-born racer was just warming up for the following lap which he completed in 3:24.816, almost eight-tenths faster than Fuoco. With barely 07:41 left on the 30-minute countdown, Dries Vanthoor crashed out at Indianapolis, producing a red flag.

His times were deleted, relegating BMW W Team WRT to last place in the Hyperpole field. Fuoco was left equally frustrated by the red flag as he was extremely well positioned to seize the top spot. There was barely the time to complete two laps as the session resumed, but the action was not over.

Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 Ferrari leapfrogged Fuoco in the sister car into P2, before Alex Lynn in the #2 Cadillac and then Kévin Estre pulled out the fastest laps of the session on the final lap. The #6 works Porsche 963 will start the 92nd 24 Hours of Le Mans from pole position.

Hypercar Standings Hypepole

  1. #6 Porsche 963 – Porsche Penske Motorsport – Estre*/Lotterer/Vanthoor – 3:24.634
  2. #2 Cadillac V-Series.R – Cadillac Racing – Bamber/Lynn*/Palou – 3:24.782
  3. #3 Cadillac V-Series.R – Cadillac Racing – Bourdais*/van der Zande/Dixon – 3:24.816
  4. #51 Ferrari 499P – Ferrari AF Corse – Pier Guidi*/Calado/Giovinazzi – 3:25.156
  5. #50 Ferrari 499P – Ferrari AF Corse – Fuoco*/Molina/Nielsen – 3:25.598
  6. #35 Alpine A424 – Alpine Endurance Team – Chatin*/Habsburg-Lothringen/Milesi – 3:25.713
  7. #12 Porsche 963 – Hertz Team Jota – Stevens/Nato/Ilott – DNS
  8. #15 BMW M Hybrid V8 – BMW M Team WRT – Vanthoor*/Marciello/Wittmann – Times cancelled

Hyperpole Official Report LMP2 & GT3

le mans hyperpole winners

Four Pro/Am LMP2 teams lined up among the eight class qualifiers. Louis Delétraz recorded the quickest early mark for AO by TF on lap 3 in a time for 3:33.994, ahead of COOL Racing’s Malthe Jakobsen. After the late restart, Job Van Uitert stole top spot for IDEC Sport but “Spike” had the final word, as Delétraz regained top spot on the timing screens with his final shot.

LMP2 Hyperpole Standings
(*denotes driver on Hyperpole duty)

  1. #14 Oreca 07-Gibson – AO by TF (PRO/AM) – Hyett/Delétraz*/Quinn – 3:33.217
  2. #28 Oreca 07-Gibson – IDEC Sport – Lafargue/van Uitert*/de Gerus – 3:33.827
  3. #65 Oreca 07-Gibson – Panis Racing (PRO/AM) – Sales/Beche*/Huffaker – 3:34.053
  4. #23 Oreca 07-Gibson – United Autosports USA (PRO/AM) – Keating/Albuquerque/Hanley* – 3:34.221
  5. #22 Oreca 07-Gibson – United Autosports – Jarvis*/Garg/Siegel – 3:34.270
  6. #37 Oreca 07-Gibson – COOL Racing – Fluxá/Jakobsen*/Miyata – 3:34.773
  7. #33 Oreca 07-Gibson – DKR Engineering (PRO/AM) – Mattaschull/Binder/Hörr* – 3:35.699
  8. #10 Oreca 07-Gibson – Vector Sport – Cullen/Pilet*/Richelmi – 3:35.855

Reserved for Bronze category drivers to throw the spotlight on amateurs, the first-ever LMGT3 Hyperpole at Le Mans saw the #70 McLaren of Inception Racing dominate the early proceedings with the fastest time for Iribe before the American hit a kerb hard at the Raccordement on lap 4, as he was poised to improve his benchmark. He managed to maintain an eight-tenth of a second gap over Aliaksandr Malykhin in the Manthey PureRxcing Porsche through to the chequered flag.

LMGT3 Hyperpole Standings

  1. #70 McLaren 720S LMGT3 Evo – Inception Racing – Iribe*/Millroy/Schandorff – 3:58.120
  2. #92 Porsche 911 GT3 R LMGT3 – Manthey PureRxcing – Malykhin*/Sturm/Bachler – 3:58.928
  3. #66 Ferrari 296 LMGT3 – JMW Motorsport – Petrobelli*/ten Voorde/Yoluc – 3:58.938
  4. #77 Ford Mustang LMGT3 – Proton Competition – Hardwick*/Robichon/Barker – 3:59.443
  5. #27 Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3 – Heart of Racing Team – James*/Mancinelli/Riberas – 3:59.655
  6. #777 Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGT3 – D’Station Racing – Hoshino*/Bastard/Sørensen – 4:02.787
  7. #82 Corvette Z06 LMGT3.R – TF Sport – Koizumi*/Baud/Juncadella – 4:03.681
  8. #60 Lamborghini Huracán LMGT3 Evo2 – Iron Lynx – Schiavoni*/Cressoni/Perera – 4.06.495

What’s happening on Friday at Le Mans

Rest day for the tams competing in the race on Saturday and Sunday. But a myriad of on-track activities are planned througgout Friday, including the legendary Le Mans Drivers’ Parade organised by 40 members of the CLASSIC AUTOMOTIVE association.

No fewer than 500 volunteers, 90 security staff, 90 first aiders and 110 assistants are in attendance on the day itself to ensure that the parade runs smoothly and therer are no issues with the motorcade across town.

All the drivers competing in the 24 Hours travel slowly along the city centre route in classic cars with music from several bands generating a carnival atmosphere. Over 200,000 people lined the streets of Le Mans for the 2023 Drivers’ Parade.

2024 Le Mans 24 Hours Information