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24 Hours of LeMans

Ferrari beat Toyota to claim pole position on Le Mans return

The Italian team earned a one-two on the grid for the race with Toyota over one second behind.

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To news overview © XPBimages

Antonio Fuoco earned the #50 Ferrari pole position for the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours on their return to the top class, 50 years after their last appearance in Hyperpole.

Returning to the highest ranks of the World Endurance Championship for the Hyperclass regulations, Fuoco recorded a 3:22.982 effort around the Circuit de la Sarthe in a red-flagged session following a fire for Sebastien Buemi in the #3 LMP2 machine.

Former Formula 2 driver Fuoco was able to out-pace the sister #51 Ferrari, driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi by 0.773s to lock in a Ferrari one-two, half a century on from the last time the Scuderia were contenders for overall victory.

Third on the grid is the #8 Toyota with ex-Formula 1 racer Brendon Hartley narrowly pipping the #75 Porsche Penske machine to ensure the defending race winners start just behind the two Ferraris.

Kamui Kobayashi - who is set to make his NASCAR Cup debut in Chicago in July - had provisionally put the #7 Toyota third, but lost his lap, demoting his car to fifth.

The session was red-flagged with 5:15 left on the clock following a Sebastien Bourdais's #3 Cadillac catching fire, although he was uninjured as the car was craned away by marshals.

Hyperpole - featuring the fastest eight cars from each class from the first part of Qualifying - was restarted, allowing drivers one flying lap to improve their times, but the two Ferrari entries did not return as Hartley and Kobayashi tried - and failed - to improve.

LMP2 pole went to the IDEC Sport ORECA #48 driven by Paul-Loup Chatin while LMGTE AM honours were claimed by the #33 machine, guided by Ben Keating.

The race is set to begin at 16:00pm local time on Saturday afternoon.

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying