Le Mans roads to stay closed between 24 Hours practice/qualifying

The public road sections of the 8.47-mile Le Mans circuit will remain closed between the Wednesday and Thursday qualifying sessions ahead of this year's 24 Hours

Le Mans roads to stay closed between 24 Hours practice/qualifying

The Mulsanne Straight and the run from Mulsanne Corner to the Porsche Curves will not reopen to traffic on Thursday as usual, which will allow more track time for cars taking part in the two support races for the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 18/19.

Vincent Beaumesnil, sporting manager of race organiser the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, told Autosport: "This will allow us to have more free practice for the GT3 Le Mans Cup and also to give a little bit more track time to the Ferrari Challenge."

The ACO has established the GT3 Cup on the European Le Mans Series bill as a rung on what it calls its "endurance pyramid" for 2016 and will also allow LMP3 prototypes to take part in the additional one-hour race on the Saturday morning of the Le Mans week.

Beaumesnil also promised "some other interesting on-track activities" on Thursday before the second session of qualifying for the 24 Hours starts as normal at 7pm.

Track activity will begin at 4pm on Wednesday with a four-hour session of practice prior to first qualifying at 10pm.

The public roads that make up approximately two thirds of the Circuit de la Sarthe, which include the route nationale between the city of Le Mans and Tours to the south, will be open to traffic on the Friday of Le Mans week when there is no on-track activity.

Free practice was introduced at Le Mans in 2009 after the decision, for economic reasons, to temporarily do away with the test day reintroduced in 1992.

The current format of one four-hour practice and three two-hour qualifying sessions was introduced in 2010.

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