It was a difficult qualifying for the five Ferrari crews competing in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the first round of the Super Season of the World Endurance Championship (WEC). In the GTE-Pro class the 488 GTE of AF Corse team will start from the third and fourth row with cars no. 51 and 71. The Maranello cars in GTE-Am class occupy rows four and five, with the 488 GTE no. 70 of MR Racing the best of the lot.
GTE-Pro. In GTE-Pro class, James Calado and Davide Rigon started the session in no. 51 and 71 respectively. The British driver immediately set a time of 2:14:573, which he cut to 2:14:383 on the following lap, while Rigon lapped in 2:14:900 and then 2:14:780. Alessandro Pier Guidi on the 51 car on his first lap stopped the clock at 2:14:731 and then practically equalled his teammate’s time with a 2:14:388 which cut the average to 2:14:385. Sam Bird clocked 2:15:929 in no. 71 and then improved to 2:15:429, for an average of 2:15:104. The car 51 will start the race from sixth place, the 71 from seventh. Qualifying confirmed what we had seen in the Le Castellet prologue, with Ford and Porsche significantly faster. The two American cars and the two German ones fought it out for pole and were tightly bunched together. Ford no. 67 crewed by Tincknell-Priaulx recorded the overall best time of 2:12:947. It is clear that the 488 GTEs cannot match these performances in the current regulatory configuration (BOP).
GTE-Am. The GTE-Am class offered a similar picture to the main category with Ferrari crews fighting for a place on the fourth row. In the end, the 488 GTE no. 70 of MR Racing was the best placed car, with Olivier Beretta (2:16:719) and Motoaki Ishikawa (2:20:745), finishing seventh with an average of 2:18:512. The 488 GTE of Spirit of Race was qualified by Giancarlo Fisichella and Thomas Flohr in the eighth with the time of 2:18:917, while the Clearwater Racing car will start in ninth thanks to the 2:19:630 of Weng Sun Mok and Matt Griffin. Class pole (2’15”332) went to the Porsche of Gulf Racing with Wainwright-Barker-Davison. Overall pole went to the Toyota of Kobayashi-Conway-Lopez. The 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps will start on Saturday at 1:30 pm.