The No. 50 Ferrari 499P was the fastest qualifier during Wednesday’s opening qualifying session for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. (ACO photo)

Ferraris Set Sizzling Pace At Le Mans

LE MANS, France — The 24-car field for Thursday’s Hyperole qualifying session that sets the field for the 91st running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was determined during Wednesday’s initial round of qualifying at Circuit de la Sarthe.

Eight cars in each of the three classes are locked into the final 30-minute Hyperpole session after today’s 60-minute period that featured all 62 cars.

The Ferraris ended up in the top two spots, with Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Nicklas Nielsen leading the way in the No. 50 Ferrari 499P with a lap of three minutes and 25.213 seconds. Right behind was the No 51 Ferrari shared by Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi.

The Toyota GR010 machines were third and fourth respectively, with the No. 7 (Mike Conway/Kamui Kobayashi/José María López) leading the sister No. 8 entry (Sébastien Buemi/Brendon Hartley/Ryō Hirakawa).

A pair of Porsche Penske Motorsports Porsche 963 entries were fifth and sixth, with the Cadillac Racing entries seventh and eighth in the Hypercar class. Less than a second separated all eight qualifiers for Hyperpole.

Pietro Fittipaldi drove the No. 28 JOTA Oreca 07 to the top of the board in the LMP2 category with a best lap of 3:34.751. Fittipaldi shares his car with David Heinemeier-Hansson and Oliver Rasmussen.

Second in the class was the No. 41 Team WRT machine shared by Rui Andrade, Robert Kubica and Louis Delétraz.

The Garage 56 (Innovative Cars) entry fielded by NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports was 38th overall and more than four seconds quicker than the leading LMGTE Am machine.

The Garage 56 Chevrolet Camaro turned a best lap of 3:47.976 at the hands of Mike Rockenfeller, while the LMGTE Am leading Ferrari 488 GTE Evo entered by Richard Mille AF Corse and driven by Luís Pérez Companc, Alessio Rovera and Lilou Wadoux turned a best lap of 3:51.877.

Its sister Ferrari shared by Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Davide Rigon was second in class.

The Corvette Racing No. 33 with Nicky Catsburg at the controls was third quick in the category. Catsburg shares the seat with Ben Keating and Nicolas Varrone. The positions ninth and below in class are now set on the grid for the start of the race on Saturday afternoon.