The first two free practice sessions at Le Mans marked the start of the long weekend of the world’s most famous 24 Hours. Sixteen Ferraris will be competing in the LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am classes.
Free Practice 1. The first 180 minutes on the Le Mans track progressed smoothly with only one entry of the Safety Car to clear debris at the entrance to the pit lane and a twenty-minute red flag after Team Project 1’s Porsche no. 89 came off the track. At the end of the session, car no. 51 was the best of the Ferraris in the LMGTE Pro class. It clocked a time of 3:55.186, ahead of its twin car no. 71, the no. 82 of Risi Competizione and the no. 63 of Weathertech Racing. Among the leaders of the LMGTE Am class, the 488 GTEs of HubAuto Racing and MR Racing set the second and third fastest times, while the other Maranello cars finished in the middle of the group. As the sun shone more brightly, the track temperature rose steadily from 23 degrees to 36. The wind blew at up to 5 knots during the session.
Free Practice 2. The second three hours of free practice saw two red flags, due to the two IDEC Sport prototypes running off the track. In the LMGTE Pro class, Weathertech Racing’s 488 GTE made significant progress, finishing in fourth place with a time of 3:53.670, eight-tenths of a second off the leading Porsche, while the two AF Corse Ferraris ended the session in fifth and seventh place, ahead of the Risi Competizione car. In the LMGTE Am class, Luzich Racing’s car posted the second-fastest time of 3:54.901, while AF Corse’s 488 GTEs followed in seventh and eighth. The other Prancing Horse cars ended the day in the middle of the group. After hitting a peak of 45 degrees, the asphalt temperature dropped to 41 while the wind continued to blow throughout the session.