WEC – Ferrari front row at 4 Hours of Silverstone
The qualifying session for the starting grid of the 4 Hours of Silverstone, the first round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), yielded an all Ferrari front row.
LMGTE Pro. Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, at the wheel of the 488 GTE no. 51 of AF Corse, took pole with a combined time of 1:54.171. Teammates Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina in twin car no. 71, will flank them, 131 thousandths of a second behind.
James Calado started the session for no. 51, stopping the clock at 1:54.323 before handing over to Alessandro Pier Guidi. The Italian driver took full advantage of the potential of the 488 GTE completing the 5,901 metres in 1:54,171, a new track record.
Davide Rigon set a time of 1:54.317 in car no. 71. Miguel Molina followed with 1:54.287, for an average of 1:54.302, which enabled the two Maranello cars to monopolise the front row.
LMGTE Am. The best of the Ferraris in the Am class, the 488 GTE of AF Corse driven by François Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Nicklas Nielsen, will start from the second row. The Danish and French drivers qualified car no. 83 car in fourth with a time of 1:56:489, four-tenths of a second off the polemen Yoluc, Eastwood, and Adam in the Aston Martin. The second AF Corse Ferrari in the class, driven by Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Giancarlo Fisichella and qualified by the Swiss driver and the former Formula 1 man in a combined time of 1:56.742, will start from fifth on the grid. The 488 GTE of Red River Sport (1:57.934) with Bonamy Grimes and Johnny Mowlem in the session and the 488 GTE no. 70 of MR Racing (1:58.336), qualified by Olivier Beretta and Motoaki Ishikawa, were a bit further back, respectively in eighth and tenth position.
James Calado: “Both our cars were very competitive and the work done in free practice also allowed us to optimise performance for qualifying. My lap wasn’t perfect. I made a few small mistakes, but Alessandro was extraordinary in setting the fastest lap of the session that allowed us to finish ahead of our teammates. Tomorrow will be difficult, a sprint race from the first to the last lap and so we’ll have to do our best. We hope to repeat our feat of a few years ago, pulling away and then managing the lead to the finish line, but we expect the Porsches to be competitive in the race, so it won’t be easy”.
Alessandro Pier Guidi: “The lap was excellent, and the 488 GTE was wonderful to drive. I think that the new asphalt favoured us because we were able to gain a good feeling for the track from early on. The team provided us with a perfect car, making our work easier. Expectations for the race remain high although we have previously shown that we don’t need to start from pole to win a race. Although I am delighted to start the season like this, we are aware that the points are up for grabs tomorrow and we will try to be ready”.
Davide Rigon: “I am delighted with the result. We made the right choice of tyres for qualifying, and we believe it will also be the right choice for tomorrow’s race. I am pleased with the balance of the car, and it was lovely to drive our Ferrari in this session. I’m happy with my qualifying time as well as Miguel’s, his first full time in the WEC. We finished very close to our teammates and tomorrow we hope to have a good race, also aiming for victory”.
Miguel Molina: “I am satisfied with my first qualification in the WEC. The pressure is much higher than in other championships, but I think I had a good lap. I am sorry that I lost a couple of tenths on my second attempt. Otherwise, our starting position could have been even more interesting. Today’s result is excellent, and it’s important to start from the front even though it will be a difficult race”.
Programme. The 4 Hours of Silverstone, the opening round of WEC Season 8, sets off on Sunday at 12 pm local time.