The format and provisional entry list of the 88th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been released, entailing the addition of the Hyperpole session.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACO were forced to delay the 24 Hours of Le Mans event to the 19-20 September as the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual took place on its original date (June 13-14).
Specific details of the upcoming endurance race features a busy week for the 62 teams that are expected to participate, alongside an updated provisional entry list.
From September 17-20, Le Mans will host four free practice sessions, qualifying and Hyperpole procedures, and the traditional Warm-Up prior to the grand event itself.
The schedule also bases itself around the support series’ that will be held there, like the Road to Le Mans and Porsche Carrera Cup races.
In simpler terms, Hyperpole entails a final qualifying battle between 24 competitors without the congestion of other cars; this was a concern raised in the previous years at Le Mans.
A release from the ACO says: “Well aware of the financial impact of the current situation on racing teams, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest was keen to ensure that their resources are not tied up over too long a period.
“We have therefore rearranged the schedule of practice sessions – vital to good race preparation – and qualifying, the new Hyperpole procedure, the warm-up and the race, packing everything into a four-day timeframe.
“The different stages of the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans will therefore run from Thursday to Sunday, maintaining the requisite level of quality for such an iconic international event.
“The 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans has obviously had to be reorganised due to the unprecedented international context, but every effort has been made to guarantee a high-quality competition, where safety remains the priority.”