The qualifying session that decided the line-up for the first Hyperpole in the history of Le Mans saw fifty-nine cars racing against the clock over the scheduled forty-five minutes. A side effect of the heavy traffic was that some of the Ferraris that had performed well during the free practice were impeded, thus failing to qualify in the top six for Friday’s Hyperpole.
LMGTE Pro. Alessandro Pier Guidi set the third fastest lap time of 3:51.244, 372 thousandths of a second slower than the session’s best time recorded by Richard Westbrookon on his last attempt. The 2017 World Champion was followed by Davide Rigon who clocked 3:51.988 on his eighth lap. The 488 GTE of WeatherTech Racing qualified by Toni Vilander, finished seventh, falling short of the Hyperpole by 366 milliseconds. Sebastien Bourdais also missed the cut, finishing in eighth for Risi Competizione.
LMGTE Am. A single Ferrari through to the Hyperpole is not a good return for the Maranello cars. However, the session is not crucial to the outcome of the race. The fastest of the 488 GTEs was that of Luzich Racing with Côme Ledogar fourth in a time of 3:53.292, 514 milliseconds down on the fastest lap set by Augusto Farfus. Nicklas Nielsen was left ruing the 23 thousandths of a second that separated him from the final place in tomorrow’s session. The AF Corse driver, in seventh, finished ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella, tenth, who ran into trouble with tyre pressure and traffic. Twelfth to sixteenth place was occupied by the Ferraris of MR Racing with Kei Cozzolino at the wheel, HubAuto Racing with Tom Blomqvist, Spirit of Race with Griffin and Iron Lynx no. 75 driven by Andrea Piccini, followed by Jan Magnussen for JMW Motorsport. Row ten was all Iron Lynx with car no. 85 of Michelle Gatting and no. 60 of Paolo Ruberti, followed by the Red River Sport entry, with Johnny Mowlem at the wheel and AF Corse no. 52, with Alexander West in twenty-second.