Portimão takes the spotlight for round two of the FIA World Endurance Championship, held on the track renowned for its frequent changes of elevation and its highly technical layout. In the LMGTE Am class, the first two free practice sessions saw the Ferrari 488 GTEs in the limelight. By the end of the day the no. 57 Kessel Racing entry had notched up the fastest time ahead of another Prancing Horse car, the no. 83 belonging to Richard Mille AF Corse.
Free Practice 1. In the morning, with calm skies and air temperatures above 18°C, Kessel Racing’s no. 57 488 GTE set a time of 1’41”341, recorded by official driver Daniel Serra, sharing the car with Takeshi Kimura and Scott Huffaker. In fourth, with a gap of 0’544, was the Richard Mille AF Corse-run no. 83 Ferrari, which concluded the session with the best time set by Lilou Wadoux, alongside crew-mates Alessio Rovera and Luís Pérez Companc. The Italian AF Corse team finished tenth and eleventh respectively with the no. 54 488 GTE in the VistaJet livery - Francesco Castellacci lapping in 1’42”160 - and the no. 21 with Ulysse de Pauw at the wheel for 14 laps, producing a 1’42”296 marker.
Free Practice 2. In the afternoon session, with a clear sky and atmospheric temperatures around 2°C higher than in the earlier session, Kessel Racing’s Ferrari 488 GTE proved to be the protagonist of the 90-minute session against the clock, with Serra setting the fastest time of 1’41”209. In second place was the 488 GTE of Richard Mille AF Corse, a mere 0’046 off the pace, thanks to a time of 1’41”255 set by Lilou Wadoux. Third was the no. 54 488 GTE and sixth, the no. 21 car, both entered by AF Corse.
Saturday’s schedule will include Free Practice 3 from 11.15 a.m. and the qualifying session for the LMGTE Am class, from 3.30 p.m., which will determine the grid for Sunday’s race which gets underway at 12 p.m. (all times are local).