The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has announced a new condensed four-day track schedule for this year’s postponed September edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Track action, including the race, will take place on Thursday, Friday and across the September 19-20 weekend while scrutineering will be held at the circuit on Wednesday.
Free Practice sessions will be held on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. before qualifying later that evening starting at 5:15 p.m.
There will then be a four-hour night practice session taking place from 8 p.m to midnight.
Friday is typically left as a rest and preparation day in the Le Mans schedule and in recent years has marked the day of the ACO’s annual press conference.
However, this year Friday will feature cars on track for Free Practice 4 in the morning, prior to the new Hyperpole qualifying shootout that will determine the first six places on each class grid.
Hyperpole was originally set to take place on the Thursday of race week.
The race itself will then get underway at the earlier time of 2.30 p.m. on Saturday and finish at the same time on Sunday.
A statement from the ACO read that the schedule change was made “due to the unprecedented international context” in which Le Mans is taking place this year.
The reorganization is designed to lower the resource costs for teams traveling to France for the 88th edition of the famous event.
GEAR Changes Class on Updated Entry
The new schedule has been accompanied by an updated version of the entry list, covering some of the recent withdrawals and promotions from the reserve ranks.
One of the main changes is the promotion of the GEAR Racing Ferrari 488 GTE Evo from GTE-Am to GTE-Pro, as first reported by Sportscar365 earlier this month.
The withdrawals of six entries have resulted in ByKolles Racing, Spirit of Race, IDEC Sport, High Class Racing and Proton Competition moving cars up to the main grid.
The entries from Corvette Racing, Porsche’s North American GTE-Pro team and the SRT41 Garage 56 team have already been canceled.
ByKolles’ commitment to the LMP1 class with its ENSO CLM P1/01 Gibson brings the number of cars in the top category up to seven.
High Class Racing’s second Oreca 07 Gibson is now on the main grid, enabling double IMSA GT Le Mans champion Jan Magnussen to make his LMP2 debut in the ace with the Danish team after 16 consecutive participations with Corvette Racing.
Updated Le Mans Schedule (all times CEST)
Wednesday, September 16
Scrutineering – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, September 17
Free Practice 1 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Free Practice 2 – 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Qualifying – 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Free Practice 3 – 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Friday, September 18
Free Practice 4 – 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Hyperpole qualifying – 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Saturday, September 19
Warm up – 10:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Grid ceremonies – 12:45 p.m. to 2:12 p.m.
Race start – 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 20
Race finish – 2:30 p.m.