Round three of the FIA World Endurance Championship kicked into full swing at Spa-Francorchamps, which hosted two free practice sessions on Thursday. The Maranello cars in the LMGTE Am class were fastest in the morning with Kessel Racing and in the afternoon with AF Corse. The red flag brought the second session to a premature halt after an accident involving two Prancing Horse cars, the number 54 and 21 of the Piacenza-based AF Corse team, from which drivers Thomas Flohr and Diego Alessi escaped unscathed. Davide Rigon turned in the day’s best time of 2’15”736.
Free Practice 1. In the morning, the first session was affected by two red flags lasting a total of 12 minutes. Ferrari set the fastest time of 2’16”177 with the number 57 Kessel Racing 488 GTE driven by Daniel Serra, who shares the car with Takeshi Kimura and Scott Huffaker. AF Corse’s 488 GTE number 21 finished second, 0’540 behind, thanks to Ulysse de Pauw, who crewed the car alongside Diego Alessi and Simon Mann. The Ferrari of Richard Mille AF Corse, driven by Lilou Wadoux, author of the best time trial, Alessio Rovera, who did not drive in the morning, and Luis Perez Companc, were fifth. The other AF Corse Ferrari of Luis Perez Companc was fourteenth.
Free Practice 2. The session ended with the 488 GTE number 54 in the lead thanks to the time set by Ferrari official driver Davide Rigon, which was the benchmark for the entire day at the Ardennes Forest circuit. Serra’s best lap put the Kessel Racing car in second, 1’050 off the pace. Richard Mille AF Corse was fifth, with Alessio Rovera posting a time of 2’17’230, and the number 21 Ferrari was eighth. The red flag interrupted track activities after a collision at Eau-Rouge between Flohr and Alessi.
The track programme will continue on Friday, 28 April, with the third free practice session from 11 a.m.followed by qualifying at 5 p.m. to decide the starting grid for the 6 Hours that begins on Saturday, 29th at 12.45 p.m. (all times are local).