Wednesday 13 June was a warm-up for the 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans with all 60 competitors taking to the legendary 13.626-km circuit on which they shall be racing in earnest this weekend. Six hours on track give a taster of racing conditions and an idea of what to expect in the race itself. All cars were able to book laps; some more than others! The weather stayed fair throughout, which made the first night-time session easier to negotiate for many drivers.
The #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid tops the time sheets for the moment, on 3:17.270. Winners of the first leg of the World Endurance Championship at Spa last month, the crew of the #8 Alonso/Buemi/Nakajima are currently showing better form than Conway/Lopez/Kobayashi in the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid sister car. The first LM P1 non-hybrid, the #17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 (Isaakyan/Orudzhev/Sarrazin) is 2 seconds behind the LM P1 Hybrid.
At the session close at midnight, the standings were as follows: In LM P2, the best time was banked by the #48 Idec Sport Oreca 07-Gibson (Lafargue/Chatin/Rojas) on 3:24.956. In LM GTE Pro, the #91 Porsche (Bruni/Lietz/Makowiecki) was fastest, on 3:47.504. In LM GTE Am the #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR (Al Qubaisi/Cairoli/Roda), banked 3:50.728.
Thursday promises to be just as action-packed. The next qualifying sessions for the 24 Hours of Le Mans are at 19:00-21:00, then 22:00-00:00. Dr Feelgood will be keeping the rhythm going in the break, taking the concert stage at 21:00.
Earlier in the day, there will be track action with the first leg of Road to Le Mans, one of the competitions that forms the base of the ACO endurance pyramid. Race 1 is at 17:30-18:25. Don’t miss the chance to spot up-and-coming talent and maybe even a future winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The day begins with the first practice session for the Aston Martin Festival.