Porsche leads first Le Mans qualifying; Duval ruled out (UPDATED)

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Porsche has the provisional pole for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. But it came on a day with way less track time than the six hours that were planned due to a litany of accidents.

Ex-Mercedes test driver Brendon Hartley, now a Porsche factory ace, clocked in at 3:23.157 in the No. 20 Porsche 919 Hybrid. He’ll co-drive with Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard this week, as he does for the rest of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Other provisional class polesitters are G-Drive Racing, AF Corse and SMP Racing in LMP2, GTE-Pro and GTE-Am.

Here’s results thus far. Two more qualifying sessions occur on Thursday, form 7 to 9 and 10 to midnight local time.

The No. 1 Audi wrecked earlier Wednesday and requires a change in chassis. The team confirmed just “two grazes” was all that affected Loic Duval, who had the accident at the Porsche Curves.

That said, despite the minimal nature of his injuries, Duval was ruled out by doctors late Wednesday night, confirmed by the team. Marc Gene will fill in for him at Audi; Oliver Turvey now fills in for Gene at Jota Sport in LMP2.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.