BMW Fastest in Shortened Qualifying at 24 Hours of Le Mans

24 hours of le mans 2024 practice and qualifying
BMW Fastest in Shortened Qualifying at Le MansKer Robertson - Getty Images

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The BMW M Hybrid V8 of Dries Vanthoor took the top spot in Wednesday’s provisional qualifying session at Le Mans. The session determined the eight cars that will advance to Thursday’s final shootout for the pole at the 24-hour.

A red flag in the closing minutes of the session secured the provisional top spot for BMW ahead of the Cadillac V-Series.R of Sebastien Bourdais, who trailed Vanthoor’s lap of 3:24.465 by 0.177 seconds.

Kamui Kobayashi’s off-track excursion at the Karting corner in the Toyota GR010 Hybrid prevented any teams from making a final challenge. A red flag was declared with three minutes remaining and all scoring halted.


The premature end caught some teams out, including Kobayashi’s teammate. When Brendon Hartley finished one second off the pace, he failed to make the top eight despite leading the earlier practice session. That meant Toyota, one of the favorites in the race, will not have a car in the final qualifying shootout. The No. 7 Toyota, meanwhile, will start at the back of the Hypercar grid after bringing out the red flag.

Two of the other factory teams expected to fare well in the 24-hour advanced. The Ferrari 499Ps of Antonio Fuoco and Alessandro Pier Guidi ended up third and sixth. Kevin Estre of the Porsche Penske Motorsport team was seventh ahead of the Porsche 963 of the privateer Jota team.

Alex Lynn, fifth fastest, gave Cadillac Racing two cars in the final session. Ahead of him was Paul-Loup Chatin who advanced one of Alpine’s A424s.

The scheduled one-hour session was the first qualifying effort undertaken since the BOP adjustments were made for the fourth round of the World Endurance Championship at Le Mans. Vanthoor’s lap in good conditions was two seconds slower than last year’s pole speed.

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The LMP2 and LMGT3 teams also vied to advance to the final session for the top eight cars.

In LMP2, Malthe Jakobsen was quickest in Cool Racing’s Oreca-Gibson 07 with a lap of 3:55.243.

The Mustang GT3 program run by Proton Competition had one of its best showing of the season. Ben Barker’s lap of 4:01.143 claimed the provisional pole. He was 0.143 seconds ahead of Frederik Schandoff’s McLaren 720S GT3 Evo.