Ferrari On The Second Row At 24 Hours Of Le Mans

2024 24 Hours of Le Mans
2024 24 Hours of Le Mans

The Ferrari – AF Corse team’s 499Ps will start from the second row at the 92nd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, thanks to the times set by Alessandro Pier Guidi and Antonio Fuoco in the Hyperpole session this evening at the historic French track. This event, the fourth act of the FIA WEC, will kick off on Saturday 15 June at 4 p.m. (local time).

The session took place under dry track conditions, allowing both Prancing Horse cars to run on Medium tyres. The best lap times were recorded on lap eight for the 499P number 51, clocking in at 3’25”156, and on lap three for the “sister” Le Mans Hypercar number 50, with a time of 3’25”598.

The session, restricted to the best eight cars from the three classes participating in the 24 Hours, based on the Qualifying results, was interrupted by a red flag following an off-track incident at the Indianapolis corner with seven minutes and 41 seconds remaining. At that point, the Ferraris were in second and third place, driven by Fuoco and Pier Guidi. 

At the restart, in the last phase of the Hyperpole, Pier Guidi improved his time by over nine-tenths on the second flying lap, while Fuoco, who only had one flying lap available, could not lower his time. At the chequered flag, the two Ferraris were fourth and fifth, respectively. However, a penalty imposed on the Cadillac number 2 (five grid positions) after the previous round at Spa allowed the Maranello manufacturer’s Hypercars to move up to the second row.

The AF Corse team’s 499P number 83, driven by official Ferrari drivers Yifei Ye and Robert Shwartzman, along with Robert Kubica, will start 12th on the grid.

Antonio Fuoco, 499P #50

“It was a very tough Hyperpole. We did our best as a team to exploit the potential of our 499Ps. It appears that some competitors are overall stronger than us, but we know that the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a long race where various factors will play a crucial role, including the experience we drivers and the entire team have gained over the past few months.”

Alessandro Pier Guidi, 499P #51

“We knew we might struggle in Hyperpole in terms of performance compared to some competitors. We weren’t very lucky with the red flag, which affected our tyre preparation as we tried to improve in the final phase. However, I think our goal was to qualify in the first two rows, to lower the risks at the start, and we achieved that. The race? I’m confident and believe we can perform well, particularly as we can draw on the experience gained in 2023. I believe we have what it takes to perform well in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

Antonello Coletta, Global Head of Endurance and Corse Clienti

“At the end of the Hyperpole, we find ourselves where we expected to be relative to the competition. It’s important to note that a strong competitor like Toyota didn’t take part in this session. Otherwise, I believe they would have been another challenger for the top positions. Our result isn’t surprising, and we’re satisfied with our efforts. Now we look ahead to the race, which will be long and, as is traditional at Le Mans, full of challenges and variables to consider. The reliability of our 499Ps and teamwork will be two essential ingredients for doing well in the most eagerly awaited race of the year.”

Ferdinando Cannizzo, Head of Endurance Race Cars

“We are very satisfied with the result achieved in Hyperpole. We knew we didn’t have much chance to shoot for pole position, but we gave it our all and made very aggressive choices. Alessandro and Antonio (Pier Guidi and Fuoco, ed.) did an excellent job. It was a shame that the red flag affected the result, especially of the 499P number 50, whose strategy was more aggressive in terms of fuel on board: Antonio was preparing for the flying lap when the flag was displayed. Looking ahead to the race, we know it won’t be easy, as the pace shown by some opponents is remarkable. So we’ll have to do everything perfectly.”

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