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24H Le Mans

ACO Confirms Extended Practice Sessions; Scrutineering Moved

24 Hours of Le Mans competitors to get more track time in revised race-week schedule…

Photo: Toyota

Teams will have more than 12 hours of track time in the buildup to the postponed 24 Hours of Le Mans, following the release of the provisional race week schedule for the Sept. 19-20 endurance classic.

The revised schedule will also see scrutineering be moved to the circuit from its traditional location in the Place de la Republique, which had previously been open to the public.

Confirmed on Friday by the ACO, a total of eight hours of Free Practice will now be on tap for Wednesday, Sept. 16 instead of the previous 5.5 hours allocated in the original June schedule.

This is due to the cancelation of the Le Mans Test Day, in an effort to allow competitors more track time.

It will include a five-hour long FP1, followed by a two-hour break and FP2, which will run from 8-11 p.m. local time.

Le Mans rookies will be required to complete a minimum of ten laps between the two sessions, a mandate that has typically been in place at the test day.

A 45-minute qualifying session has remained unchanged for Wednesday and will run from 11:15 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Thursday’s on-track action, meanwhile, sees a 60-minute FP3 session followed by the new-for-2020 Hyperpole, which will result in a total of six cars battling for each class pole position in a 30-minute shootout.

It will be followed by a three-hour long FP4 that will run until midnight. All drivers will now be required to log at least eight night-time laps to be qualified to race.

The revised schedule provides two-and-a-half hours of additional free practice time compared to the original timetable, although warmup has been shortened compared to previous years.

No word has been given on the schedules for the planned support series events, including the Road to Le Mans races.

Among the other changes include a revised race start of 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, as previously confirmed by ACO President Pierre Fillon.

An official reason has not been given on the relocation of scrutineering, although fan events such as pit walks, autograph session and drivers’ parade are still on the schedule.

24 Hours of Le Mans Provisional Schedule:

Sunday, Sept. 13
8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. — Scrutineering (circuit)

Monday, Sept. 14
8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. — Scrutineering (circuit)

Tuesday, Sept. 15
10 a.m. — Drivers’ Briefing
5-6:30 p.m. — Pit Walk/Autograph Session

Wednesday, Sept. 16
1-6 p.m. — Free Practice 1
8-11 p.m. — Free Practice 2
11:15 p.m.-12 a.m. — Qualifying

Thursday, Sept. 17 
5-6 p.m. — Free Practice 3
8-8:30 p.m. — Hyperpole
9 p.m.-12 a.m. — Free Practice 4

Friday, Sept. 18
10 a.m. – 8 p.m. — Pitwalk
5 p.m. — Drivers Parade (city center)

Saturday, Sept. 19
8:15-8:30 — Warmup
2:30 p.m. — Race Start

Sunday, Sept 20
2:30 p.m. — Race Finish

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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