Five Ferrari 488 GTEs will feature among the eight LMGTE Am class cars contesting the Hyperpole of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, round four of the FIA WEC. This impressive result came in the qualifying session on Wednesday, 7 June, at the Circuit de la Sarthe, already packed with fans and enthusiasts.
The number 83 car of Richard Mille AF Corse, crewed by Luis Perez Companc and Ferrari official drivers Lilou Wadoux and Alessio Rovera, battled down to the wire for the best overall performance in its class. The pair edged out the number 54 AF Corse car, driven by the other Prancing Horse official driver Davide Rigon, who shares the cockpit with Thomas Flohr and Francesco Castellacci. The best time set by Rovera, who won the 24 Hours on his debut in 2021, was 3’51”877.
Another Ferrari official driver, Daniel Serra, turned in the fifth-fastest performance of the day. The Brazilian shares Kessel Racing number 57 with Takeshi Kimura and Scott Huffaker. Seventh quickest time went to the AF Corse 488 GTE number 21 with Ulysse De Pauw, Simon Mann and Julien Piguet and eighth to the other Kessel Racing car, the number 74 driven by Kei Cozzolino, with Yorikatsu Tsujiko and Naoki Yokomizo.
The remaining two Ferrari 488 GTEs competing in the French weekend, the number 100 of Walkenhorst Motorsport and the number 66 of JMW Motorsport, both only entered in the Le Mans round, finished outside the top eight.
After a second free practice session late on Wednesday evening, the programme at the La Sarthe circuit will include Free Practice 3 on Thursday, 8 June, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Hyperpole to decide the starting grid, from 8 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. and a fourth free practice session from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. The centenary edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will set off on Saturday, 10 June, at 4 p.m. (all times are local).
Alessio Rovera, #83 488 GTE: “Obviously, I am delighted to have made the best time because it gives us access to the hyperpole. I am also pleased with the car because, after some problems in the first free practice session, we managed to find the right balance. We adopted a few solutions that will be useful for the race.”
Davide Rigon, #54 488 GTE: “It was a very tight and stressful session, with several red flags breaking the rhythm. However, I am delighted that I managed a good, clean lap on my second set of new tyres, which allowed me to clinch the Hyperpole. Now we'll continue to work with the team and our teammates. We are preparing for the race very well, and I am really pleased with the car.”