With the rescheduling of the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans, the decision has been made to condense the event to four days.
Teams are used to having a full week of Le Mans, but with the Coronavirus pandemic causing schedules and championships to be changed throughout the sporting world the 24 Hours of Le Mans has fallen to the same fate.
Moving from a five-day event to four means that there will be no scrutineering parade in the town of Le Mans, nor a break day between qualifying and the race start. Instead, scrutineering will be held at the Circuit de la Sarthe to avoid drawing any potential crowds, on Wednesday 16 September.
Practice will take place on the 17/18 September (Thursday/Friday), and the amount of on track time the teams will have ahead of the race start will be reduced from the 12 hours collectively they usually have to 11. This will make a difference to the first-time racers at Le Mans who may find themselves slightly less prepared and more tired at the start of the race compared to rookies at the circuit in the past.
Although the timetable has been streamlined, the race organiser Automobile Club de l’Ouest have decided to continue to trial the new ‘Hyperpole’ qualifying format that was set to debut this year.
The statement from the ACO announcing the changes to the schedule read: “The 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours 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.”
2020 24 Hours of Le Mans New Timetable
Thursday, 17 September
10:00-13:00 – Free practice 1
14:00-17:00 – Free practice 2
17:15-18:00 – Qualifying
20:00-00:00 – Free practice 3
Friday, 18 September
10:00-11:00 – Free practice 4
11:30-12:00 – Hyperpole qualifying
Saturday, 19 September
10:30-10:45 – Warm-up
14:30 – 88th Le Mans 24 Hours