With the final classification determined by the average lap time combining the best effort from each entry’s three drivers across four 12 minute qualifying sessions, a series of red flag interruptions meant the final runs were completed in pitch darkness.

As a result, it was a lap time from Q2 - while there was still light and warm temperatures - that anchored the #71 Iron Lynx Ferrari 488 to the top spot, courtesy of Antonio Fuoco, the Italian backed up by similarly rapid efforts from co-drivers Davide Rigon and Daniel Serra.

That put the trio just under two tenths up on team-mates Miguel Molina, James Calado and Nicklas Nielsen in the sister #51 Iron Lynx car, the two Ferraris a comfortable three tenths up on the closest opposition.

That was led by the Orange1 KPAX Lamborghini Huracan, spearheaded by its fastest driver Jordan Pepper, in third, followed by two Audi entries, #12 Team Tresor LMS evo II led by Mattia Drudi and the #32 WRT machine fronted by local hope Dries Vanthoor.

With five of the nine represented manufacturers making it into the top ten, Nick Yelloly helped bring the #98 Rowe BMW M4 up to sixth place, while the best-placed Mercedes AMG effort - Team GetSpeed - was eighth best.

For the entries classified inside the top twenty, they will now go ahead to a special Superpole session tomorrow, which will decide pole position and the order on the first ten rows 

It’s a session that won’t include Valentino Rossi’s VR46 WRT Audi entry after being classified 25th on the timesheets once the average from his, Frederic Vervisch and Nico Muller’s best laps were calculated.

Still, 25th marks a decent final result for a trio that were otherwise only 34th, 36th and 33rd quickest in their individual Q2, Q3 and Q4 sessions respectively.

Elsewhere, the KCMG Porsche - one of the race favourites - will start at the back after brake problems forced Le Mans 24 Hours winner Nick Tandy to park up before setting a time.