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    Fifth row for Ferrari at Spa-Francorchamps

    Francorchamps 03 maggio 2019

    True to expectations, qualifying for the Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours was difficult for the five Ferraris in this the penultimate round of the World Endurance Championship 2018/2019 Super Season. In the GTE-Pro class, the 488 GTEs entered by AF Corse will both start on row five, with the 51 car ahead of the 71. In GTE-Am, Ferrari are sixth, seventh and tenth with the 488 GTEs. The best placed is the Spirit of Race 54 car in the hands of Giancarlo Fisichella, Thomas Flohr and Francesco Castellacci.

    GTE-Pro. James Calado and Davide Rigon were first on track in the 51 and 71 cars respectively. The Englishman stopped the clocks in 2.14.317 and was unable to improve because of traffic in the shape of the GTE-Am cars. Davide Rigon improved lap by lap in the 488 GTE; 2’14”544 to 2’14”455 and finally 2’14”423. Halfway through, Alessandro Pier Guidi jumped into the 51 car, posting a 2’14”154 then getting down to 2’13”803. The final average time was 2’14”060. On the sister car, Sam Bird started with a 2’14”154 and then a 2’13”803 (average 2’14”182). The fact the lap times were very similar proves that the drivers got the very most out of the cars, even if it was only good enough for the fifth row. With the current Balance of Performance configuration, it’s impossible to fight for pole position, which went to Andy Priaulx and Henry Tincknell in 2’12”885 in the number 67 Ford.

    GTE-Am. This class went along the same lines as seen in previous events, with the 488 GTE struggling to be competitive. The best placed Ferrari, the number 54 car of Giancarlo Fisichella and Thomas Flohr, who will be joined for the race by Francesco Castellacci ended up in sixth place. The two drivers set an overall average time of 2’17”173 (2’15”497 for Fisichella; 2’18”849 for Flohr), just a tenth better than the 2’17”288 of the number 61 488 GTE run by Clearwater Racing with Matt Griffin (2’16”267) and Luis Perez-Companc (2’18”309), good enough for seventh. It was a Friday to forget for the number 70 MR Racing Ferrari, which ended up in the barriers in the early part of the session, when Motoaki Ishikawa was at the wheel. He managed to drive back to the pits and will start from ninth. Pole position in the class went to the Aston Martin of TF Sport (Yoluc-Alers Hankey-Eastwood) in 2’16”061. Outright pole went to the Toyota of Conway-Kobayashi-Lopez in 1’53”747. The Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours gets underway on Saturday at 13.30.