Less than two hours after the checkered flag signalled the end of qualifying, most of the entries for the 90th 24 Hours of Le Mans returned to the track at 22:00 CET for the second free practice. The purpose of this two-hour session is to give drivers valuable time at the wheel in night-time conditions and for pit crews to carry out further adjustments to the settings in preparation for the big race on 11-12 June.
Final track action for Wednesday is underway.
Le Mans at night… what a sight 🙌
— 24 Hours of Le Mans (@24hoursoflemans) June 8, 2022
The brief shower that hampered qualifying earlier in the evening was just a bad memory as darkness descended on the Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans. With pit lights shining brightly , over fifty of the 62-strong field headed out for the day’s final two hours of drive time.
The #45 Oreca 07-Gibson of Algarve Pro Racing, badly damaged in the latter stages of the first free practice session following a crash in the Porsche Curves, again sat out after missing qualifying. The team’s mechanics were planning to rebuild the car in time for tomorrow’s practices. This was also the case of the #93 Porsche LMGTE Am entry that crashed in qualifying with Michael Fassbender at the wheel.
Brendon Hartley at the wheel of the #8 Toyota GR010-Hybrid was the first to dip under the 3:30 barrier on his third lap, shortly followed by Romain Dumas in the #708 Glickenhaus 007 LMH (3:28.900). However, Hartley subsequently had an encounter with the Mulsanne Corner gravel for the second time of the day after his run-off during qualifying.
Team WRT and United Autosports resumed battle at the top of the LMP2 timesheets with the #22 Oreca taking an early advantage, before the Belgian team’s #31 machine took over on its ninth lap. AF Corse mechanics spent most of the first hour of the session working on the gearbox of the #27 Oreca. Meanwhile, Inter Europol Competition’s #43 prototype suffered a broken suspension that put an early end to Fabio Scherer’s evening.
Corvette Racing once again featured strongly in the LMGTE Pro field with Nicky Catsburg (#63) leading early on from Tommy Milner (#64). The yellow mid-engined C8.Rs have performed solidly all day. Nonetheless, the #91 Porsche 911 RSR-19 subsequently moved up the standings to split the pair of American machines.
The two Team Project 1 Porsches (#46 and 56) battled gamely with the #98 Aston Martin of Northwest AMR in the first hour, before Jan Heylen in the #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche captured the second-best time in the closing stages.