Ferrari heads third practice session at Le Mans

With Hyperpole fast approaching, it was Ferrari’s turn to top a session, Antonio Fuoco posting a 3m27.263s in the No. 50 499P at the end of Free Practice 3 on Thursday afternoon.

As a whole, it was a quiet but highly productive three hours of action, with no blistering times and the majority of teams focusing on race set-up and long-run pace.

Fuoco’s lap saw him snatch the top spot from Kevin Estre in the WEC championship-leading No. 6 Porsche 963, after the car spent much of the final hour at the top of the screens.

A last-gasp flyer from qualifying hero Dries Vanthoor put the No. 15 WRT BMW third, ahead of the No. 3 Cadillac that slotted in fourth. The No. 7 Toyota dropped down to fifth as a result.


Twenty-two of the 23 Hypercars set competitive times in the session. The only car which failed to make it out was the No. 12 HERTZ Team JOTA 963. This is because mechanics are furiously building up a brand-new car from scratch following Callum Ilott’s crash in Free Practice 2 last night.

JOTA will not take part in Hyperpole as a result, and will shake down the car tomorrow night on the airfield adjacent to the pit straight ahead of the race.

There was one other Hypercar that received significant attention from mechanics in the session, the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari. The 2023 winning crew completed 32 laps but would spend much of the third hour in its pit box with an electrical issue.

LMP2 saw Panis Racing top the times, Mathias Beche in the No. 65 ORECA aboard for the 3m37.217s flyer.

But the Panis ORECA hit trouble later in the session when Scott Huffaker ended up nose-first in the tires at Indianapolis after a trip through the gravel.

It was an almost identical tale for the No. 47 COOL Racing ORECA, which topped the times and also ended up in the tires at Indianapolis. It would be classified second.

The top four in the class were all P2 Pro/Am runners, with the AO by TF ORECA third and the No. 183 AF Corse ORECA fourth following a late improvement from Nico Varrone.

Continuing the same theme, the LMGT3 pacesetter ended up in the wars after setting the best time too. After Gregoire Saucy set a 3m57.558s early on in the No. 59 United Autosports McLaren GT3 EVO, James Cottingham found grass on approach to Tetre Rouge, sending him into a spin and backwards into the barriers, bringing out a red flag.

Iron Lynx’s Lamborghini would end up second, with the GR Racing Ferrari, back on song now after its mechanical woes yesterday, third.

Hyperpole is up next, at 20:00 local time.

Story originally appeared on Racer