The #50 Ferrari AF Corse entry is on pole position for the Centenary 24 Hours of Le Mans after Antonio Fuoco set the fastest time in Hyperpole.
Alessandro Pier Guidi was 0.773 seconds behind and gave Ferrari a 1-2 finish in the session ahead of one of the most famous races in motorsport.
In Hyperpole, it took seven minutes before the first proper flying lap was complete as Alessandro Pier Guidi went fastest with a 3:23.897 in the #51 Ferrari AF Corse, giving the team a two-second advantage over the Toyota’s, with the #50 Ferrari 0.301 seconds behind the sister-car.
Antonio Fuoco was only 0.008 seconds behind the #51 Ferrari in the #50 Ferrari after his best attempt with the session heading towards the halfway point. The track was getting faster as time went on, meaning that pole position was still up for grabs for all teams in the field.
Sebastian Bourdais was able to sandwich between the two Toyota cars in his #3 Cadillac Racing car he shares with Renger Van der Zande and Scott Dixon.
As the flying laps continued, Porsche Penske finally took to the track with just under ten minutes remaining to set their fast times after failing to do so to that point in the session.
Pier Gudi had a lap time deleted, one that was fast enough to increase the gap at the top of the leaderboard.
Fuoco was on a flyer of a lap but hit some slow traffic and Pier Guidi was improving. However, Fuoco went almost a full second faster than the #51 to claim provisional pole position.
Bourdais then set another flying lap to take him to third on the leaderboard, but was still nearly two seconds behind the Ferrari’s, with Pier Guidi improving but only closing the gap to 0.773 seconds.
In LMP2, it was Paul Loup Chatin that was on provisional pole position in the #48 IDEC Sport car with five minutes remaining in the session.
The yellow flag was then brought out which then resulted in a red flag creating a dramatic end to the session as the #3 Cadillac Racing car was on fire.
At the time of the red flag, Ben Keating was leading the way in the LMGTE AM class in the #33 Corvette Racing, with the #25 ORT by TF Aston Martin with Ahmad Al Harthy behind the wheel in second place.
The session then resumed with only five minutes left on the clock, meaning that the teams only really had time to do one more flying lap, something that would be challenging with the traffic on the track.
The fastest time from the #3 Cadillac was removed as a result of bringing out the red flag, dropping them to fourth from third place and being unable to improve.
The top four from the LMP2 class didn’t leave the pitlane along with the two Ferrari AF Corse hypercars, with them all happy with their fastest laps from the session.
Both Toyota cars took to the track as they aimed to continue their pole position streak, although a second-row lock-out was the most likely outcome heading into the session. They were third and sixth as the checkered flag came out but both were able to complete their final flying lap.
Neither car was able to challenge for pole position and had to settle for a third and fifth-place finish after Felipe Nasr beat the time set by Kamui Kobayashi in the #7 Toyota in his #75 Porsche Penske entry.
Chatin claimed pole position in LMP2 for the IDEC Sport entry beating Pietro Fittiapaldi’s time in the #28 Jota car.
There were celebrations in the Corvette Racing garage as Ben Keating claimed pole position for the team, being the #25 ORT by TF by over a second and a half.
Qualifying for the historic race took place over two days with the top eight from each class on Wednesday taking part in Thursday’s Hyperpole session.
While it has been Toyota Gazoo Racing dominance in recent years, Ferrari laid down a marker in qualifying with both the #50 and #51 cars going faster. Antonio Fuoco was behind the wheel of the #50 and setting the fastest time of the session on Wednesday.
Both Toyota Gazoo Racing entries progressed to Hyperpole but were 0.3 seconds behind the Ferrari’s ahead. Kamui Kobayashi and Brendon Hartley set the fastest time for the #7 and #8 cars.
The #5 and #75 Porsche Penkse Motorsport entries made it through to Hyperpole, with Frederic Makowiecki and Felipe Nasr continuing the two-by-two formation for the top eight.
The final two cars that progressed were the two Cadillac Racing entries, with Earl Bamber and Sebastian Bourdais taking the #3 and the #2 cars through to Thursday.
In LMP2, it was the #28 Jota entry that topped the timesheets, with the #41 Team WRT only o.002 seconds behind at the end of Wednesday’s session.
Pietro Fittipaldi was behind the wheel of the Jota, with Louis Deletraz driving the Team WRT for their fastest lap.
The #63 Prema Racing almost got in the mix for the fastest time, with their fastest time only 0.04 seconds behind the cars ahead and through to the Hyperpole session.
The innovative NASCAR entry of Hendrick Motorsports went 38th fastest overall and even beat the LMP2 entry of Graff Racing. They were also around five seconds faster than the LMGTE cars, much to the surprise of Jenson Button, who is racing for the team.
In the LMGTE AM class, it was the #83 Richard Mille AF Corse that was fastest, around 0.3 seconds quicker than the #41 Corvette Racing entry.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans begins on Saturday at 3 pm in the UK time and hence the name, will run for 24 hours ending at 3 pm UK time on Sunday.