The first of the Ferrari 296 GT3s will line up on the seventh row at the 3 Hours of Nürburgring, round four of the GT World Challenge Europe – Endurance Cup. It does so thanks to the time set by the number 51 crew of AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors with official drivers Alessio Rovera, Robert Shwartzman and Nicklas Nielsen. Combined qualifying took place in the morning on a wet track, with the cars mounting rain tyres while the track gradually dried out.
Pro Class. Rovera and Davide Rigon were first in the cockpit of the number 51 and 71 Ferraris of AF Corse – Francorchamps Motors, respectively. They drove when the asphalt conditions were challenging, in particular, due to aquaplaning on some corners.
Next up against the clock were Shwartzman, who posted a time of 2’10”062, earning him a temporary third place in the standings, and Daniel Serra, who completed his round in the top-15.
A red flag came out at the start of the last stage when Nielsen and Antonio Fuoco were at the wheel, which compelled the drivers to return to the pit lane. They came out on track again with ten minutes to go in heavy traffic. At the chequered flag, the number 51 crew were twelfth in the Pro class with a combined time of 2’10”531 (1”298 slower than the Mercedes number 88 in pole), and three places ahead of their teammates in the number 71 with 2’11”028. Maranello cars will line up 13th and 21st on the grid respectively.
Other classes. The number 52 Ferrari 296 GT3 of AF Corse – on its debut in the Endurance Cup – qualified 14th in the Bronze category and 49th overall, with Louis and Jef Machiels, who left Andrea Bertolini to complete the morning session. The Ferrari official driver turned in a best time of 2’09"982. Meanwhile, in the Pro-Am, the 296 GT3 number 38 of ST Racing with Rinaldi set the fifth quickest time in class and 53rd overall, with Isaac Tutumlu, Samantha Tan and Jon Miller.
The green flag for the 3 Hours of Nürburgring is due at 2.45 p.m. (local time).